Soundtrack Review: The Rise Of The Synths

Soundtrack Review: The Rise Of The Synths

The Rise Of The Synths Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the documentary score Rise Of The Synths by Various Artists.

EP 1

At a glance:

Geek Score: 97.1
Total Minutes Of Excellence: 25.3
Album Excellence: 76.8%

How are the scores calculated and what does it mean?

EP 2

At a glance:

Geek Score: 100
Total Minutes Of Excellence: 32.8
Album Excellence: 100%

How are the scores calculated and what does it mean?

The Rise Of The Synths is a travel in time towards the roots of a worldwide grass-root music scene known as Synthwave, an irresistible blend of modern electronic composition with 80s pop culture’s nostalgia, that over the last two years has transformed from a whisper on selected internet hubs, to an ever-growing scene, expanding rapidly as we speak. Accounting millions of plays on social media, devoted fans are legion, but nobody in the mass media knows about them. Thousands of synthwave composers around the world are living out double-lives. Away from their normal everyday life they spend another half-life behind a faceless musical avatar, creating and uploading their own renditions of 80’s-styled film scores, sharing them with the world – surging the wave. They belong to an endless army of watchers for the master’s legacy: the sound that Edgar Froese, Giorgio Moroder and John Carpenter created in the late 70s.
A time travel into the universe of creating sounds. A love letter to human fascination and the collective memories of an universe that never existed. The score is composed by various artists.

A couple of years ago I discovered synthwave, and oh my God what a revelation it was. A little back story here. I was born in 1977 which means I spent my younger years in the best decade that ever was, the 80s. The music, the movies, the culture. I still live it today and I refuse to move on. It’s such a huge part of me that I can never get past it nor do I want to. They say that the 2011 movie Drive popularized synthwave thanks to Kavinsky. Synthwave is the celebration of that time in musical form usually with synth music that sounds like it was made in the 80s. So I’m super stoked for the documentary which hopefully will be out soon. Meanwhile there’s tons of synthwave music to enjoy and you can get a taste through 2 EPs that has been relased for the documentary featuring old synth legends as well as upcoming ones. We start with a legend, none other that Giorgio Moroder, one of the true fathers of the 80s sound. ‘Triage’ is so lovely to listen to, it’s dark, somber, and I can imagine it being played in an 80s science fiction movie. It’s Moroder, so it’s nothing short of brilliant.

One of the big players in the world of synthwave is Carpenter Brut who is one of the legends of darkwave (yes that’s a legit word). It’s a sort of darker 80s sound. Think 80s action and science fiction, lots of energy and action. ‘Night Stalker’ is their contribution and it’s superb. One of my favorites are Dance With The Dead and they don’t disappoint with their ‘Dead Of Night’ which is a sort of rock ballad, 80s style. Gorgeous. Ogre, some of you might recognize. Last year they re-scored the horror classic Night Of The Living Dead which I reviewed. ‘Rebar (Prologue)’ is their contribution. I bet Arnie would have loved kicking ass to this one in the 80s. EP 1 seems to focus on the harder side of synthwave, so I hope EP 2 are focusing on the more dreamy side of synthwave with some awesome dreamwave (yes also a word). Lazerhawk was one of the earliest synthwave artist and ‘A Hero’s Journey’ although brilliant is calmer than what I usually hear from them. Mega Drive, brilliant name by the way, is featured with ‘Stargate’ another great darkwave track. Voyag3r I actually didn’t know about so it’s awesome to discover new artists. ‘Appearance Of The Mysterious Traveler’ is the longest one, but perhaps the least synthwave-y (alright, not a word) of them all. It’s the odd man out, but let’s check out EP 2 for more synthwave-y goodness.

EP 2 starts off with another synthwave artist I wasn’t aware of. Chrome Canyon opens with ‘Deckard Returns’ and of course every 80s movie geek know who Deckard is and that he’s coming back pretty soon! The music definitely fits the Blade Runner universe with it’s Vangelis inspires synths. Gunship is well known, at least to me and their ‘Vale Of Shadows’ takes place in the 80s horror genre for sure, the John Carpenter kind, although with added Terminator-ism. Sounds good? It’s great. This is also what you would call a vocal track. That’s a thing too. People are adding singing on top of the tracks so I’m glad they included this to show off what it can be like. It’s like listening to a brand new 80s track by one of your favorite bands, that’s what. Power Glove the synthwave artist, not the Nintendo accessory should definitely be known to a number of people, specially if you’re a fan of video game music. They scored the 80s awesome Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon and also Trials of the Blood Dragon. Their ‘Fatal Affair’ is another track they could have squeezed into any of those scores. Com Truise is also considered one of the early adopters of Synthwave, and ‘Idle Withdrawal’ tells you why. It’s another great track. Robert Parker, another huge name in synthwave gives us ‘Silver Shadow’ and I think he did a time jump into the early 90s thanks to that bass line. It sounds like it could have featured on an awesome Amiga game back in the day. Finally there’s Waveshaper with ‘A Mission To Remember’ and ‘Code Elektro with ‘Black Rain’, both very hard and edgy and awesome. It’s a shame though that they didn’t have move vocal synthwave or dreamwave to further show what this genre can do. My personal favorite fork of synthwave is dreamwave. It always takes me back to my personal memories of the 80s. Still, this is obviously an awesome compilation of music any fan of 80s synth music will love.

HIGHLIGHTS:
EP 1
1. Triage
2. Night Stalker
3. Dead Of Night *
4. Rebar (Prologue)
5. A Hero’s Journey
6. Stargate

EP 2
1. Deckard Returns
2. Vale Of Shadows *
3. Fatal Affair
4. Idle Withdrawal
5. Silver Shadow
6. A Mission To Remember
7. Black Rain

GD Star Rating
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