Vectron – Terminal | DISKONEKT (Cyberpunk / Darksynth)
Side project of Advection Stride. Focused in Cyberpunk.
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What is RetroSynth?
RetroSynth (also called synthwave, outrun, retrowave, or futuresynth) is an electronic music microgenre that is based predominately on the music associated with action, science-fiction, and horror film soundtracks of the 1980s. Other influences are drawn from that decade’s art and video games. RetroSynth Synthwave musicians often espouse nostalgia for 1980s culture and attempt to capture the era’s atmosphere and celebrate it.
The genre developed in the mid-to late 2000s through French house producers, as well as younger artists who were inspired by the 2002 video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Other reference points included composers John Carpenter, Jean-Michel Jarre, Vangelis (especially his score for the 1982 film Blade Runner), and Tangerine Dream. RetroSynth Synthwave reached wider popularity after being featured in the soundtracks of the 2011 film Drive (which included some of the genre’s best-known songs) and the 2010s Netflix series Stranger Things.
Characteristics and related terms
RetroSynth Synthwave is a microgenre of electronic music that draws predominantly from 1980s films, video games, and cartoons, as well as composers such as John Carpenter, Jean-Michel Jarre, Vangelis, and Tangerine Dream. Other reference points include electronic dance music genres including house, synth, and nu-disco. It is primarily an instrumental genre, although there are occasional exceptions to the rule. Common tempos are between 80 and 118 BPM, while more upbeat tracks may be between 128 and 140 BPM.
“Outrun” is a synonym of RetroSynth synthwave that was later used to refer more generally to retro 1980s aesthetics such as VHS tracking artifacts, magenta neon, and gridlines. The term comes from the 1986 driving arcade game Out Run, which was known for its soundtrack that could be selected in-game. According to musician Perturbator (James Kent), outrun is also its own subgenre, mainly instrumental, and often contains 1980s clichéd elements in the sound such as electronic drums, gated reverb, and analog synthesizer bass lines and leads – all to resemble tracks from that time period.
Other subgenres include dreamwave, darksynth, and scifiwave. Journalist Julia Neuman cited “outrun”, “futuresynth”, and “retrowave” as alternative terms for RetroSynth synthwave while author Nicholas Diak wrote that “retrowave” was an umbrella term that encompasses 1980s revivalism genres such as synthwave and vaporwave.