Synthwave, or new retro-wave, is becoming increasingly popular in recent years as adopted by TV shows such as Stranger Things, according to the fine folks at Magnetic Magazine. Coupled with the constant energy surrounding dance music of all flavors from electropop to vaporwave amongst club goers and discerning music fans from across the world, a vision emerges of a genre that once was strictly subculture but has now begun to transcend boundaries to break into the big time.
No matter how many views may accrue on YouTube, you won’t find the following artists featured on TMZ too often, and might just find something you move your body to!
#1. Flight Facilities – ‘Foreign Language’ feat. Jess
Flight Facilities, also performing as Hugo & Jimmy, is an Australian duo best known for their awesome electronic dance music or electropop music. “Foreign Language” is an absolute banger, with an unbeatable bass line that lifts the very best beats that Funk could conjure laid smoothly over top some great vocals and a particularly inspired 1970s-era music video. Must not miss!
#2. Lazerhawk – ‘King of the Streets’
One of the older names in the 80s revival that is synthwave – and a name that is evocative of the cheap but thrilling action movies and anime of the decade – Lazerhawk blends classic groove with MIDI sounding percussion and pad beats. Like many of his companions in the electronic music genre, Garret “Lazerhawk” Mays is actually a one-man band, composing and performing most of his music solo with featured artists on individual tracks as guests. Still releasing music regularly to great acclaim, Lazerhawk is a foundational artist in what is an emerging subculture and musical genre.
#3. Carpenter Brut – ‘Turbo Killer’
With insane production values and grating, grinding digital guitars, Carpenter Brut hammered this release home with a vengeance. The music is hard in the pocket constantly, juxtaposed against a beautifully shot grindhouse short that has as much neon and blood red as the eye can handle. Bordering on industrial rock, something like Nine Inch Nails, but remaining true to the darksynth core of the composition, Carpenter Brut has defied all expectations and produced a true masterpiece in “Turbo Killer.”
4. Perturbator – ‘God Complex’
Perhaps the most notable name on the list, Perturbator has started piquing the interest and ears of mainstream publications, including those at National Public Radio. “God Complex” is the finale track of the new album, titled The New Model. With hard bass and intrusive, violent thrusts of the keyboard into the mix being backed by a thoughtful and wistful melody, there could be no better ending to such a bleak, black album.
5. Dance with the Dead – ‘Screams and Whispers’
With their horror-inspired imagery and spooky thrash synth, Dance with the Dead can really set the club on fire when cranked to the max. Often energetic and almost never taking their time to rest, “Screams and Whispers” perhaps best embodies the snarling yet fun-loving pose adopted by the artists. Sounding like a killer rock tune transmogrified into a beast of a zombified beat, the song is easily the best from the album. Another duo with heavy metal roots, this band is one to look out for if you particularly enjoy the melding of two rattling loud musical genres.
Given that almost all top 40 singers, songwriters, and performing artists currently draw very heavily from the creative font being stocked by artists like the ones above, anyone looking to check out the roots of modern pop could do no better than to invest a few minutes with the work from the standouts in the electronic dance genre. After all, dance music owes a great deal to disco, and funk before that.