Electronic music, much like other genres have sub-genres like House, Hardstyle and the popular Dubstep which are all very well known in the mainstream. However many genres that electronic music branches into can’t seem to make it to the masses. Synthwave (or Retrowave, Futurestyle and Outrun), is one of those styles of music that has had a hard time becoming more noticeable, on the other hand, it’s been gaining some ground thanks to the help of it being incorporated in video games and movie soundtracks. To give an idea of what synthwave is according to Wikipedia is influenced by 1980s video games, cartoons, and sci-fi movies, and contains electronic drums and analog synthesizers that resemble the time period. So with that, I’m going to give to you the best Synthwave producers who have come out in the last eight years and since the genre is exploding there are many producers coming out at once.
Sung is your basic Snythwave artists, but what’s good about him is that he uses a lot of music from racing video games that were used in the 80s. A lot of producers in this genre having more quicker sounding songs and have several melodies playing at once. While he does have those elements in his songs he songs are on the slow side of things. Many artists find that better and that works for them and in this case, it works for him.
4. September 87
They are really great for their more melodic vibes and a lot of their songs sound like they’ve been taking out of a movie which is basically what they’re known for. The duo has an album called Act 1(Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) and it tells a story of between two lovers but I can’t give much away if because it is a movie (sort of) after all. The themes of the album are those one would find in any 80s movie like Sixteen Candles or Pretty in Pink. They would be a great jump off point if you still want to be on the safe side.
3. Jordan F
Now Jordan F is a lot lighter than most producers but that really doesn’t hurt him, in fact, it helps him to stand out more. His sound is atmospheric and almost calming that you can still dance to it. The spacey sounding songs he puts together into one album go hand in hand with the themes he tries to convey. He also uses a lot of modern electronic sounds that very few producers in the genre will use so his past and present allow him to put very interesting songs.
2. Carpenter Brut
He may as well be one of the best known and the most popular producers in the scene. When it comes to his music it’s fairly straightforward but he has a range of different styles. He can be aggressive with some heavy tracks to down to earth slow-moving songs so he has something for everyone’s palette. He’s usually playing songs that inspired heavily by 80s cartoons and anime and those have very colorful track built in already.
1. Dance with the Dead
They are very different in terms of style, not many producers use actual instruments like drums and guitars and use influences from horror movies, along with heavy metal artists who were good at the time like Metallica and smash them into what makes their sound. Dance with the Dead are very diverse much like the artists of this list but stand out with their themes, like the undead or aliens and heavy metal music. Their release B-Sides Vol. 1 presences of guitars was there and it mixed well with the 80s style music, they’ve used this real instruments makeup in the past but not as heavy as they did on this album and it pays off.
There you have it, the cream of the crop, the best that scene has to offer. Granted there are tons more but these will help you down the rabbit hole. Overall Snythwave is in a strange spot right now, on the cusp of becoming mainstreaming or it could change entirely. We’re seeing producers change their style and incorporating more influences from the present and its working for them, but not everyone is ready to leave that. If it ever becomes mainstream, more and more people will fall in love the idea of modern artists using 80s themes to make some great music.