Backports: 80s tracks which synthwave actually sounds like

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Basslint
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Backports: 80s tracks which synthwave actually sounds like

Post by Basslint »

Synthwave usually sounds like an idealized version of 80s music, rather than the real thing. It's not uncommon to hear things like extreme sidechaining, autotune and automation that would have been very hard or impossible to achieve in the 80s, especially using the cheap keyboards many of those synthpop bands were using.

As a matter of fact, most 80s music did not sound like synthwave at all! Just ask anyone who likes Huey Lewis and the News, Spandau Ballet or Talk Talk.

But what about songs which, without the excesses, really do sound like what is today known as synthwave? Here are some examples (I am talking about the instrumentals, not the vocals):

John Carpenter - Assault on precinct 13 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Oe1XzkSW6c)

This track is probably the most similar thing to synthwave there was in the 80s and surely one of the most influential tracks on the genre.

Paul Engemann - Push it to the limit (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ghf8gBEZICc)

Laserdance - Power run (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPpZucFBk9M)

Koto - Visitors (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6ApswKLjz8)

(of course, the whole space synth genre from the 80s which includes bands like Laserdance and Koto seems to have influenced synthwave more than most other 80s music)

Any other tracks you know?
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Re: Backports: 80s tracks which synthwave actually sounds like

Post by MyLoFy »

I recently rediscovered this, one of my favorites when I was a kid. Still trying to reproduce that awesome synth brass in the chorus, without success:

Propaganda - P:Machinery
https://youtu.be/660ZCEhvbnw

If anyone has a preset for that I'm all ears ;)
And just as a reminder: Synthwave is the theme of this months Libre Music Challenge!
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Re: Backports: 80s tracks which synthwave actually sounds like

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Re: Backports: 80s tracks which synthwave actually sounds like

Post by Basslint »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjKTafF8HSM

Corey Hart - Sunglasses at night

Actually more influential on synthwave than more famous hits, IMHO, both musically and lyrically.
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Re: Backports: 80s tracks which synthwave actually sounds like

Post by Basslint »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TToLgW7zuc

Glenn Frey - You belong to the city

Sounds and lyrics-wise, this song set the bar high for everything that went after the "80s noir" sound.
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Re: Backports: 80s tracks which synthwave actually sounds like

Post by sunrat »

Funny how micro-segmented genre categorisation has become. In the 80s synthwave was just called pop music.
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Re: Backports: 80s tracks which synthwave actually sounds like

Post by Basslint »

Donna Summer - She works hard for the money

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tuUEpbGVV2Y

This is one of the songs that sounds the closest to modern synthwave. It does have some elements atypical for synthwave like funky trumpets, a bluesy sound and Moroder-style guitar lines (even though it's not produced by Giorgione) but has all the main elements of the genre (synth bass-line, high-pitched reverbed snare, synth arpeggios, repetition, and two rocking solos on guitar and sax!).

Why do I keep at this? Because I kinda like synthwave but I think it's best to know the original sound.
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Re: Backports: 80s tracks which synthwave actually sounds like

Post by Gps »

I think his one fits here too:

Cerrone - Supernature
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJ5V3OZdIZM

Inspired by: Days of Pearly Spencer ? :P
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VDS8uArR0A
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