Finding yourself on another Stranger Things binge because you can’t get enough of the soundtrack? Or are you an 80’s fanatic down to your core? Say no more, and let grandpappy CLICKON show you what real music is.
There’s something inherently hypnotic about synths. It’s hard to place, but once it grabs you it refuses to let go. Popular music utilizes them to all sorts of ends – whether it be a floaty pad or a harsh stab, the manipulation synthetic sounds give to musicians, producers, and the like is unparalleled.
So what happens when an entire genre forms around the nostalgic, haunting, and downright funky sounds that defined the ‘80s? Something beautiful. Sit down, treat your ears to some orgasmic beats, and introduce yourself to our pick of the best Synthwave artists out there:
Although we still can’t really stomach the moniker, Deluxe’s beats speak for themselves. Using dark, haunted, and repetitive progressions mixed with absolutely filthy arpeggiation, this artist knows how to invoke a sound and make it his bitch. Just take a listen to “Combat Ready” by him. The masterful cutting of vocals, lonely punctuated chords topped of with a killer mix revealed halfway in has had us looping this one on repeat for weeks.
Dance with the Dead
Take every monster movie or creature feature from the ‘80s, distill them into audio form, then run them through some of the grimiest yet crisp guitars you’ve ever heard, and you’ll end up with Dance with the Dead. Tracks carry monikers like “Invader”, “Diabolic” and “That House”. The beats are pounding and relentless, yet they never feel too overwhelming. If there’s one album worth mentioning, it’s “The Shape”. Turn of all the lights, sit back, and let the ethereal opening of “There’s a Storm Coming” set the tone for the rest of the evening.
Makeup and Vanity Set
This will melt you. Long, drawn out chords coupled with arpeggiation that grows to such a fever pitch that it seems to capable of programming your whole mental state – that’s Makeup and Vanity Set. If there’s one work we had to pick to share, it would be 88:88. With tracks as strong as these, we’re happy to have it playing on repeat all through the workday.
This one is a bit of an outlier. We could classify El Tigr3 as Synthwave – for whatever good that would do – but there’s something about this artists style that defies all classification. If you’re in for a good stumper, throw on tracks like “She Swallowed Burning Coals”, followed by “Infanticide” and “Bleed Them White”. No two listens will be the same – guaranteed.
The master of poppy, crunchy, and downright weird synths – Scattle is second to none. His work both manages to sound all over the place and equally composed and structured. For us, his Sketch album satisfies any and all needs for head-bumping, body-grooving synths that encapsulate just how high of a productivity trance you can drop yourself into with effective music.
If this is your first time dipping your toes into synth-heavy music, we envy you. You have an incredible ride ahead of you – enjoy the spacecruise.