Synthwave (also known as outrun, futuresynth, or retrowave) is a microgenre of electronic music based primarily on music related to 1980s science fiction, action films, and horror film soundtracks. Other influences came from the art and video games of that decade. Synthwave musicians often retain nostalgia for the culture of the 1980s and try to capture and celebrate the atmosphere of that era.


Characteristics and related terms

Never before has the music of thirty years ago grown so much into a new trend that has gained strength. This direction is a real comeback to the sound and concepts of the 80s — 90s. The Synthwave genre was formed in the early 2000s.

This was due to the increased interest in cyberpunk and everything related to it. Its main feature is the use of synthesizers in order to imitate old music as much as possible. Perhaps the most important idea of such music is to convey the atmosphere of films and video games of that era.

Other subgenres include darksynth, dreamwave and scififan. Journalist Julia Neumann cited "Futuresynth", "outrun", and "retrowave" as alternative words for synthwave, while Nicholas Diak wrote that "retrowave" is a term that encompasses such 1980s revival genres as Vaporwave and synthwave.


The first attempts to replace live instruments with synthetic ones began in the seventies. The further dawn of electronic music led to the emergence of keyboard synthesizers on the mass market. The pioneers of the genre are the German band Kraftwerk. Later, in the early 80's, a number of bands began to adapt to the sound of the Germans. The tools themselves appeared in the 50s. During these years, RCA released the world's first Mark I and Mark II synthesizers. They took up an entire room and required a long setup before playing.

Such a device cost 175 thousand dollars. Mass production of synthesizers began with physicist and engineer Robert Moog. He created the later popular Minimoog. This is a synthesizer with small dimensions and a price of $ 1,500.

At this time, most British synthpop bands began to use it in their sound production. This genre later morphed into a retrowave. Depeche Mode became one of the most prominent representatives of the synth movement. Their track Personal Jesus, recorded in ' 89, perfectly illustrated the rapid development of electronic music.

Another key factor in the evolution of modern synthwave music is OutRun. This is a series of arcade games that were released on slot machines in ' 86. From there, the canonical elements of the design of the modern synthwave went. Covers with palm trees, a "striped" sunset and a low-lying attribute-a red Ferrari.

The gaming industry of the 80s had a huge impact on the formation of synthwave and the dynamics of the electro-direction. After hearing the sounds of old games in modern music, many people fondly remember the times of their childhood.

Popularity and spin-offs


Since the early 2010s, synthwave soundtracks for films like Tron: Legacy and Drive have drawn a new generation of fans and artists to the genre. The disc included Kavinsky's Night Bell, A Real Hero, College, which catapulted synthwave into the mainstream and solidified its status as a musical genre. The genre's popularity fueled its presence on video game soundtracks such as Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon and Netflix's Stranger Things series, which included synthwave to match the setting of a 1980s show. Nerdglow's Christopher Higgins named Electric Youth and Kawinski as the two most popular synthwave artists in 2014.


In the 2010s, fashwave emerged as a largely instrumental version of vaporwave and synthwave, with political song titles and sound bites such as snippets of Adolf Hitler's speeches.This phenomenon has been described as self-identified fascists and alt-right people appropriating vaporwave music. It was popularized in 2016 by Andrew Anglin, founder of the Daily Stormer, who promoted synthwave as the "whitest music ever" and "millennial childhood spirit". Somewhere else there was a tendency for Russian synth-wave musicians. Their creativity was supported by nostalgia for the USSR, sometimes referred to as "Soviet Wave".

Another figure is Garrett Hayes from Texas. His project is Lazerhawk. This is a nostalgic jam from synthwave, experimental coldwave and disco. All the beats and arrangements are borrowed from the past and mixed on modern sound equipment.

Mike Glover makes retro-oriented electro as part of a project called Miami Nights 1984. The name is completely correlated with the content. When listening, the atmosphere of the early films of Michael Mann or GTA Vice City is formed.

The synthwave aesthetic has taken the world by storm with its mesmerizing blend of 80s nostalgia and futuristic elements. At the forefront of this movement are subgenres like dark synthwave and vaporwave synthwave that are known for their haunting melodies and ethereal soundscapes.

One of the hallmarks of the genre is the iconic sound of the synthesizer, which has been dubbed the "synthwave goose." It's the driving force behind many of the tracks that make up the synthwave scene, from the pulsing beats of 80s synthwave to the brooding ambiance of retrowave aesthetic.

Thanks to the popularity of platforms like YouTube, it's easier than ever to discover new and exciting music in the synthwave genre. There are countless channels devoted to sharing royalty free synthwave, making it a favorite of content creators looking for the perfect soundtrack to their videos.

For those who want to fully embrace the 80's synthwave vibe, there are even synthwave clothes available. These retro-inspired garments are perfect for anyone looking to add a bit of neon flair to their wardrobe, and can be found in both the synthwave and retrowave clothes categories.

One popular subgenre of synthwave is "rain deep work synthwave," which combines the genre's signature sounds with relaxing and soothing rain sounds. This type of music is perfect for studying, working, or just relaxing after a long day. There are several playlists and channels on platforms like Spotify and YouTube that specialize in rain deep work synthwave.

Synthwave has also become popular for its distinctive visual style, which often features retro-futuristic images that are reminiscent of the 1980s. Synthwave wallpapers and backgrounds are widely available online and can be used to create a nostalgic and futuristic look on your computer or mobile device. These wallpapers typically feature neon colors, cityscapes, sunsets, and other elements that are common in synthwave artwork.

If you're interested in exploring the world of synthwave, there are several popular artists and bands that you should check out. Some of the most notable synthwave artists include The Midnight, FM-84, Timecop1983, Mitch Murder, and Gunship. These artists have created some of the most iconic and influential tracks in the genre and continue to push the boundaries of synthwave.

Another popular aspect of synthwave is its connection to retro-futuristic cars. The iconic Lamborghini Countach and DeLorean DMC-12 from the movie "Back to the Future" are often featured in synthwave artwork, and many car enthusiasts have customized their vehicles to fit the synthwave aesthetic. Some synthwave artists have even created music videos featuring these cars, further cementing their connection to the genre.

In addition to cars, synthwave also frequently features cityscapes and sunsets. Synthwave sunset images are popular on social media and can transport viewers to a nostalgic and futuristic world. Similarly, synthwave cityscapes often feature neon lights, palm trees, and retro-futuristic architecture that are instantly recognizable.

For those looking to express their love for synthwave in a more permanent way, a synthwave tattoo may be the perfect option. Synthwave tattoos often feature retro-futuristic imagery, neon colors, and geometric shapes that are common in synthwave artwork. Some popular tattoo designs include retro cars, cassette tapes, and VHS tapes.

Finally, for those looking to show off their love of synthwave through fashion, there are several clothing brands that specialize in synthwave-inspired clothing. These brands often feature neon colors, geometric designs, and retro-futuristic imagery that are common in synthwave artwork. Some popular clothing brands include Lazerkat Clothing, Akade Wear, and Time Warp Tees.

In conclusion, synthwave is a unique genre that combines retro-futuristic sounds and visuals with modern technology. From rain deep work synthwave to synthwave wallpapers and backgrounds, there are many ways to experience this exciting genre. Whether you're a fan of the music, the artwork, or the fashion, there's something for everyone in the world of synthwave.

No matter what your style, the synthwave sun is always shining. So kick back, relax, and let the smooth sounds of astralthrob and other synthwave artists transport you to a world of neon and nostalgia. tags: outrun music genre