Outrun Electro, Neo 80’s, Synthwave, Dreamwave, Newretrowave – The sound of the 80’s, only shinier and with more neon.

I’m a big fan of Neo 80’s, Synthwave, Outrun Electro or whatever you want to call it.. “1980s-inspired music with modern fidelity.” – Stylistically it ranges from light synth-pop with Eurohouse dynamics to soundtrack music created for 80’s films that never were but which are almost willed into existence by the dedicated music video collages of footage from the era.

There’s also a big influence from the driving Italo Disco sound and some artists like Tesla Boy are actual bands with an actual regular vocalist and songs with the an 80’s flavour.

The genre has a definite set of aesthetics which nearly all the artists use and I think that this cohesive visual language has probably helped it to gain traction. Elements that recur are artist and song names evocative of the era, neon colours, early computer graphics and any movie footage that incorporates any or all of these elements.

Some acts like Miami Nights 1984 are inspired more by the sunny, luxurious and decadent feel of Miami Vice and Scarface – washy synth-pads and lead breaks while at the other end, Com Truise riffs on the airless, formalism of early computer graphics and the sound echoes that – something like the minimalist soundtrack work of John Carpenter.

The movie Drive did quite a bit to break the sound into the mainstream along with a lot of remix work by the artists and Lazerhawk just did the soundtrack for a fun-looking new game in the Far Cry series called Blood Dragon.

Other artists you should check are Lazerhawk, Pilotpriest, Futurecop!, MPM, Noir Deco and if you check YouTube you can find a lot of similar artists just by looking out for Neon Logos and graphics that have the 80’s aesthetic. Also check the Rosso Corsa website.


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