When Wave // Breaker was initially conceived as an ongoing series it was pitched as being a way to highlight acts within the synthwave scene through a mixture of interviews, reviews, research, and commentary. O... Read More...
It would seem that, when it comes to discussing it as a music genre, a lot of different people have just as many if not even more varying criteria as to what exactly constitutes synthwave. For some it's all about retaining that sound from the 1980's, while to others it's all about the synths be they hardware or software, but at the heart of it all is one simple fact: it's inherently electronic in origin. That said, synthwave tends to not only at times sound like other electronic music genres but melds well with them too at other times as a result. Perhaps there's been no better example of this than the ways in which chiptunes have influenced synthwave, and vice versa, although to really crank them up it never hurts to add a little metal into the mix. This trinity of sound has therefore produced what has become known as electro death and one of its emerging torchbearers is Big Lich.
When one thinks about synthwave they more often than not conjure up images of neon landscapes made up of transparent grids, sunsets, beaches, palm trees, fast cars and anything else that may fit into such an aesthetic. That said, one does not tend to think about upside down crosses, demons, serial killers and an overall sense of evil in turn. However, for every genre that has ever existed there lies a much darker side, a subgenre which turns things on their head and produces a much more heavier sound in response. For synthwave that would be darkwave or darksynth, either seem to be interchangeable for the most part, with well-known acts such as Carpenter Brut, GosT, Perturbator, and Dance with the Dead carrying the torch. Of course, for every well-known act, there are those who are scratching, clawing and going through hell to be noticed, many of whom were influenced by those already leading that proverbial charge. Gregorio Franco is one of those dark souls of the synth and, if what he's produced thus far is any indication, he is not only one to keep an ear to the ground on but one to keep an eye out for as well.
OK I'm going to open this post by just saying: HELL YEAH. That was my first reaction when I learned that Dance With the Dead (of whom we've already spoken) were working with Scandroid on a remix of one of his tracks for his upcoming release, Dreams of Neo-Tokyo. Apparently, the new release will feature remixes of all tracks with vocals from Scandroid's amazing self-titled retrowave release. The idea is to breathe new life into these tracks and re-release them as their own unique story suite. Enter Dance With the Dead and their unique mix of rock and metal with retrowave. Hear the result of this incredible collaboration right below!
You might have noticed that some of us on the blog staff really love Synthwave and Retrowave. And why wouldn't we? There's so much in it that appeals, both musically and culturally. Some of it is enjoyable simply because it sounds great; most of it enjoys the added bonus of being culturally interesting, looking back on cultural and historical movements with a critical eye. And some of it is just damn FUN. Case in point: Dance with the Dead. This project straddles the boundaries between synthwave, EDM and plain old dance with its catchy beats and larger than life synth lines. However, it also incorporates a hefty deal of metal influences, with some of the tracks being downright heavy. On the newest release, B-Sides: Volume 1, these influences have really been brought to the fore. Just listen to the opening track below.