Synthwave

What’s up with the music style that is influenced by synthesizers? Where does Synthwave have its roots? How many artists are there?

I could tell you so much about a style of music that has influenced me for years, but then just refer to the corresponding Wikipedia entry.

In 2017 I opened TL80s.de, a German language site about Synthwave. In a flash I had thousands of fans through several social channels. Last year I closed the site. It broke my heart. On the other hand my heart opened. I had more time for my family, which had grown. 2 small children mean: Less time for web projects. But that doesn’t mean that Synthwave itself is dead to me. On the contrary.

There were phases during my work on TL80s when I thought: everything sounds the same. Evil? No, not evil. I just didn’t understand some of it. In fact, every Synthwave artist expresses his own personal 80s world. Sometimes this may be similar to the sounds of other artists, but in reality it’s feelings that are reflected in the music. And Synthwave is an emotion that many people experience in a very similar way.

By the way, Synthwave is not the end of the line. From Dreamwave to Darkwave there is everything that warms the synthesizer-hearted heart. Warm melodies and/or hard guitar riffs. Plus vocals that were obviously transported into the present with a DeLorean. The artists do their best to keep up this era and they manage it with bravura. Among them names like The Midnight, Sellorekt/LA Dreams, Oscillian, Beckett or Kavinsky, just to name a few of my favourites.

Synthwave can also be found in many movies. For example, director Nicolas Winding Refn likes to use synthesizer sounds in his movies (like “Drive”). The movie “The Guest” is also a good example.

There is a huge fanbase for Synthwave and yet the music still lives in hiding. So it is quite good that I write a few lines about it. And in the following there are some tips you should check out, if you got curious now.

Dominik Höcht @dominikhoecht

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