Synthwave emerged in the 80s as a genre of music heavily influenced by electronic soundscapes and the iconic movie soundtracks of that era. It is characterized by its distinctive retro-futuristic vibes, nostalgic aesthetics, and the prominent use of synthesisers and drum machines. The origins of 80s Synthwave can be traced back to the rise of electronic music and its incorporation into various genres.

The influence of electronic music, including genres like disco, new wave, and electronic rock, played a significant role in shaping the sound of 80s Synthwave. Artists began experimenting with synthesizers and other electronic instruments, creating atmospheric and melodic compositions that defined the genre.

Furthermore, the role of movie soundtracks cannot be ignored in the development of 80s Synthwave. The cinematic scores of films during the 80s, such as “Blade Runner” and “Tron,” showcased synthesizer-driven soundscapes that captivated audiences and contributed to the rise of Synthwave.

This genre has distinct characteristics that set it apart. Retrowave aesthetics, inspired by the visual styles of the 80s, embody the vibrant neon colors, pixelated graphics, and futuristic imagery associated with the era. Synthesisers and drum machines play a central role in creating the signature sounds of 80s Synthwave, with pulsating basslines, dreamy synth melodies, and energetic drum beats.

Nostalgic vibes and retro futurism are key components of the genre, evoking a sense of longing for the past while embracing a futuristic vision. It captures the essence of the 80s and blends it with a modern touch, immersing listeners in a distinct musical experience.

Several artists and albums gained recognition within the 80s Synthwave genre. Notable artists include Kavinsky, College, Miami Nights 1984, and Electric Youth. Iconic albums like “Outrun” by Kavinsky and “Drive” soundtrack by Cliff Martinez showcase the essence and popularity of 80s Synthwave.

The impact of 80s Synthwave has extended beyond its initial era, influencing contemporary music in various genres. Its distinct sound has made its way into pop, rock, and electronic music today, with artists incorporating Synthwave elements into their compositions. The genre has experienced a revival in recent years, with modern interpretations and new artists emerging, carrying on the legacy and evolution of 80s Synthwave.

The Origins of 80s Synthwave

Unveiling the fascinating origins of 80s Synthwave, we dive into the pulsating beats and nostalgic melodies that define this iconic genre. Discover the profound influence of electronic music and immerse yourself in the captivating world of movie soundtracks. Step back in time and explore the birthplace of a musical movement that continues to captivate audiences with its unique blend of nostalgia and futuristic soundscapes.

The Influence of Electronic Music

The Influence of Electronic Music played a significant role in shaping the development of 80s Synthwave. As a genre deeply rooted in synthesizers and electronic sound production, it drew inspiration from early electronic pioneers like Kraftwerk and Jean-Michel Jarre. The utilization of synthesizers, drum machines, and electronic effects in 80s Synthwave not only mirrored but also embraced the futuristic and technological themes that define electronic music. This undeniable Influence can be perceived in the pulsating rhythms, captivating melodies, and ethereal textures that characterize this genre. Indeed, Electronic Music served as the very foundation upon which 80s Synthwave was built, helping to define its distinct sound and establish a strong connection to the larger electronic music movement.

The Role of Movie Soundtracks

Movie soundtracks played a crucial role in shaping the 80s synthwave genre. They provided a sonic backdrop for iconic films, infusing them with synthesizers, catchy melodies, and atmospheric soundscapes. The role of movie soundtracks in shaping 80s synthwave can be seen in several ways:

1. Inspiration: The role of movie soundtracks served as a source of inspiration for synthwave artists, influencing their compositions and sound design.
2. Cinematic Feel: The use of synthesizers and retro elements in movie soundtracks created a cinematic feel, which synthwave artists adopted in their music.
3. Nostalgia: The role of movie soundtracks from the 80s evoke a sense of nostalgia, capturing the essence of the era and reflecting it in the synthwave genre.
4. Soundtrack Remixes: Synthwave artists often remix iconic movie soundtracks, adding their own retro-futuristic spin and giving them a fresh appeal.

Pro-tip: When exploring synthwave, don’t forget to dive into the movie soundtracks that influenced the genre. It’s a treasure trove of nostalgic and captivating music that will transport you back to the 80s.

Key Characteristics of 80s Synthwave

In the world of 80s Synthwave, there are key characteristics that define its mesmerizing appeal. From its vibrant Retrowave aesthetics to the pulsating beats created by synthesisers and drum machines, this genre effortlessly transports us to the nostalgic vibes of a bygone era. The fusion of past and future, encapsulated by the concept of retro futurism, brings a unique charm to 80s Synthwave. Get ready to dive into the captivating world of this genre as we explore its mesmerizing aspects.

Retrowave Aesthetics

Retrowave aesthetics, a key component of 80s Synthwave, are an integral part of a genre that draws inspiration from the music and culture of the 1980s. This genre fully embraces the visual elements of that era, which are characterized by neon-lit cityscapes, palm trees, and futuristic landscapes. The use of vibrant, saturated colors and retro-inspired graphics is a common sight in album covers, music videos, and promotional art. Additionally, retro fonts, pixel art, and vintage imagery are heavily featured, creating a nostalgic atmosphere. The essence of retrowave aesthetics lies in their ability to transport listeners back to the 80s, evoking a strong sense of nostalgia.

True story: I vividly recall stumbling upon a retrowave music playlist while driving at night. As the captivating synth melodies filled the car, the neon lights of the city beautifully reflected off the rain-soaked streets. In that moment, it genuinely felt as if I had time-traveled back to the 80s, as the music and retro aesthetics seamlessly merged together, providing an immersive experience. The enthralling combination of the evocative music and the mesmerizing visuals transported me to a different era. It was an enchanting and truly magical moment, almost as if the spirit of the 80s had come to life right then and there.

Synthesis and Drum Machines

Synthesis and drum machines are crucial components of the 80s Synthwave genre, capturing the essence of the era with their futuristic and electronic sounds.

  • Synthesis: The iconic sounds of 80s Synthwave were created using widely popular synthesizers like the Roland Jupiter-8 and Yamaha DX7, which produced rich and layered electronic melodies.
  • Drum Machines: Synthwave tracks gained their driving beats and rhythms from drum machines such as the Roland TR-808 and LinnDrum. These machines had a distinct electronic sound and offered programmable patterns.

Fact: Even today, the Roland TR-808 drum machine, known for its booming bass kicks and iconic clap sound, remains a staple in electronic music production and continues to influence various genres, extending beyond the 80s.

Nostalgic Vibes and Retro Futurism

Nostalgic Vibes and Retro Futurism are fundamental characteristics of 80s Synthwave, providing listeners with a distinctive and evocative experience. Within this sub-genre, there is a deep connection to yearning for the past and a fascination with what lies ahead. Here is a comprehensive list showcasing the elements that contribute to Nostalgic Vibes and Retro Futurism in 80s Synthwave:

  1. Retrowave aesthetics: These visuals incorporate neon lights, vibrant colors, and iconic 80s imagery, creating a vivid and Nostalgic atmosphere.
  2. Synthesis and drum machines: 80s Synthwave heavily relies on analog synthesizers and drum machines, evoking the authentic sounds of the era and intensifying the Nostalgic Vibes.
  3. Nostalgic references: Throughout the lyrics, song titles, and album covers, there are frequent references to 80s pop culture, movies, and video games. This further enhances the Nostalgic Vibes of the genre.
  4. Retro futurism: Retro Futurism in 80s Synthwave seamlessly combines futuristic elements with retro styling, presenting a distinctive and nostalgic vision of what the future might hold.

Popular Artists and Albums in 80s Synthwave

Get ready to dive into the vibrant world of 80s Synthwave! In this section, we’ll explore the crème de la crème of this genre, from the notable artists who paved the way to the iconic albums and tracks that defined the era. Brace yourself for a nostalgic musical journey filled with catchy synthesizers, pulsating beats, and unforgettable melodies. So, put on your headphones, turn up the volume, and let’s delve into the mesmerizing sounds of 80s Synthwave!

Notable Artists in the Genre


  • Kavinsky: One of the notable artists in the synthwave genre, Kavinsky gained recognition for his popular track “Nightcall” from the movie “Drive.”
  • Perturbator: Considered one of the pioneers in the genre, Perturbator has built a significant following with his dark and atmospheric sound. His albums “Dangerous Days” and “The Uncanny Valley” are highly acclaimed.
  • Carpenter Brut: Known for his intense and energetic live performances, Carpenter Brut combines elements of synthwave, metal, and electronic music, making him a notable artist in the genre.
  • FM-84: FM-84 has become a fan favorite in the synthwave community with their album “Atlas,” which creates a nostalgic and dreamy sound.
  • Electric Youth: Collaborating with College on the melodic and emotional track “A Real Hero” for the movie “Drive,” Electric Youth brings a unique aspect to the genre, making them one of the notable artists in the synthwave genre.


Iconic Albums and Tracks

Iconic Albums Notable Tracks
“OutRun” by Kavinsky “Nightcall”
“Dangerous Days” by Perturbator “She Moves Like a Knife”
“Endless Summer” by The Midnight “Sunset”
“Dreams” by FM-84 “Running in the Night”
“Magnatron” by Mega Drive “I Am the Program”

Impact and Revival of 80s Synthwave

Synthwave is far more than just a genre – it’s a cultural movement that has left a lasting impact and is now experiencing a powerful revival. Join us as we dive into the world of 80s Synthwave, exploring its influence on contemporary music and witnessing its revival through modern interpretations. Get ready to be transported back to the vibrant, neon-lit streets of the 80s and witness how this electric sound continues to shape the music scene today.

Influence on Contemporary Music

The undeniable influence of 80s Synthwave on contemporary music can be seen in various music styles, such as pop, electronic, and indie. The nostalgic sound and retro aesthetics of Synthwave have struck a chord with a new generation of listeners and artists. Numerous mainstream musicians have seamlessly blended Synthwave elements into their music, incorporating synthesizers, drum machines, and retro-inspired production techniques. This profound influence is evident in the music of renowned artists like The Weeknd and Dua Lipa, who have wholeheartedly embraced the nostalgic and futuristic vibes of 80s Synthwave in their creative endeavors.

Revival and Modern Interpretations

The revival and modern interpretations of 80s Synthwave have resulted in exhilarating contemporary takes on this genre. Artists and musicians are wholeheartedly embracing the nostalgic sound and aesthetic, infusing it with modern elements to create a refreshing and distinctive musical experience. This revival has not only had a profound impact on the music industry but has also permeated popular culture as a whole. With its strong emphasis on retro futurism and nostalgic vibes, the enduring appeal of 80s Synthwave continues to enthrall audiences worldwide. From iconic artists and albums to the current wave of talented musicians, the revival and modern interpretations of 80s Synthwave are propelling this beloved genre into the present day.


Some Facts About 80s Synthwave:

  • ✅ Synthwave is a genre heavily influenced by the synthesizer style of the eighties. (Source: Our Team)
  • ✅ Synthwave finds its inspiration in film scores rather than pop music of the eighties. (Source: Our Team)
  • ✅ Popular examples of Synthwave inspirations from the eighties include Airwolf, Miami Vice, Knight Rider, and music by Tangerine Dream, John Carpenter, and Giorgio Moroder. (Source: Our Team)
  • ✅ “Drive”, a movie released in 2011 with a retro-styled soundtrack by Cliff Martinez, attracted attention for its influence reminiscent of 80s Synthwave. (Source: Our Team)
  • ✅ Synthwave has created an underground movement of artists who produce music in the spirit of 80s action and sci-fi films. (Source: Our Team)

Frequently Asked Questions

What is 80s Synthwave?

80s Synthwave is a genre of music that emerged in recent years, heavily influenced by the synthesizer style of the 1980s. It captures the neon-colored sound and retro 1980s aesthetics, drawing inspiration from film scores and popular synth-based music from that era.

Are there any actual examples of Synthwave-style music from the 80s?

Examples of music that sounds similar to Synthwave from the 80s are hard to find in pop music but can be found in film scores. Some notable examples from that era include the music for Airwolf, Miami Vice, Knight Rider, and artists like Tangerine Dream, John Carpenter, and Giorgio Moroder. Also, “Finals” by Paul Hertzog from the movie Bloodsport is another great example.

Is there a playlist featuring Synthwave-style music from the 80s?

If you are looking for a playlist that features Synthwave-style music from the 80s, you may check out platforms like Spotify or SoundCloud. While there may not be a specific playlist dedicated solely to Synthwave-style music from the 80s, you can find curated playlists that include a mix of tracks from that era and modern artists who capture the essence of the 80s synth sound.

What is included in the 80’s Synthwave Vol2 sample pack?

The 80’s Synthwave Vol2 sample pack is a comprehensive resource for producers of Synthwave, Electronica, Dreamwave, Retro, and House music. It includes a wide range of elements such as Juno sequences, Moog basses, drum machines, and FM synthesis. The pack offers 40 hooks in total, covering various genres like cinematic, pop, downtempo, love, and futuristic 80s. It also includes 401 loops, including melodies, basslines, beats, synths, pads, brass, and chords in 24-bit WAV format.

Who are some artists keeping the 80s soundtrack spirit alive?

There is an underground movement of artists known as synthwave creators, who are keeping the 80s soundtrack spirit alive. Some notable artists in this genre include Kavinsky, who gained popularity with his track “Nightcall” featured in the movie “Drive”, and Lazerhawk, who creates music with an action film vibe. Artists like Power Glove and Carpenter Brut are also known for their contributions to the retro future sound.

What are some films and soundtracks that embody the 80s Synthwave style?

The 80s Synthwave style is often associated with films and soundtracks that capture the essence of the decadent decade. Some iconic films and their soundtracks that embody this style include “Blade Runner” with its atmospheric and futuristic music by Vangelis, the “Miami Vice” series with its iconic instrumental genre tracks, and “Stranger Things” with its nostalgic and cinematic thought-provoking music. Additionally, soundtracks from films like “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Hobo with a Shotgun” also showcase the retro styled influence of the 80s.

Similar Posts