A descent into the synthwave dimension – a brief guide

STOP.

Important.

I want you to play this video and let it pound your eardrums as you scroll through this post because we’re diving into the universe known as synthwave:

This is a dimension of laser grids. A place where the sun sets as it’s diced by parallel lines. 

A digital landscape where solitary, stoic heroes chase evil creatures in fast cars below gold-dotted skylines as silhouetted palm trees zip by.

You hear that sweet synth sound?

That delicious dreamy dose of nostalgia?

That, dear Reader, is synthwave or in some circles, retrowave or outrun.

You’re probably already familiar with this kind of music if you lived through the 80s or watch Stranger Things.

This genre is old, yet it’s kinda new as synthwave artists like Kavinsky and Perturbator embrace that awesome, radical 80s sound in tracks like Nightcall and Future Club

This sound has been increasing in popularity again and doesn’t seem to show any reduction in RPMs.  

I personally discovered this music a couple of years ago through the radio function on Pandora, and since my dark baptism, I find myself wanting more. 

Synthwave reminds me of those glorious 80s action movies, the golden age of videogames and when my childhood revolved around my BMX and white high tops.

I’m no music expert, however as a fan of all things 80s and synthwave, here’s what I find most enjoyable about the genre — it’s appropriate at anytime.

What Synthwave is good for:

  • Driving at night, alone
  • Running
  • Feeling like a badass
  • Focus, study

What synthwave is not good for:

  • Funerals (unless you were a mercenary hired to kill cyborgs).

For synthwave culture immersion, I suggest the sub-Reddit r/outrun where users post not only music, but synthwave related art. My favorite post so far is this gallery of synthwave inspired GIFs.

I also find the names of synthwave artists awesomely apropos, like Com Truise, 80s Stallone, Timecop 1983, Miami Nights 1984, Power Glove and FM-84.

Hopefully, if you’ve made it this far into this post, you have a good handle on synthwave.

If you don’t like it, that’s cool, grandma.

Now go out, wear some shades at night and crank up the radio because there’s always driving to do

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