Tag Archives: synthwave

Internet Micro-Genres and the Over-Classification of Music Online

When I was a young lad playing music in my teens and 20s, before the Internet took over, me and the rest of my fellow musicians made music that we considered to be un-classifiable. We didn’t want to be called things like alternative, punk, grunge, hardcore, indie rock, math rock or any of that stuff. It was considered pretty lame to classify your music something and if it fit neatly into one of those categories you were doing something pretty wrong.

This is basically the opposite of what 20 somethings do with their music these days. Everything is about internet exposure, and how you get that is by manipulating and exploiting trending micro-genres, keywords, and cliques on the internet. The problem with this is a homogenizing effect on music, not just pop music, but all music. The more people try to conform to Synthwave, Vaporwave, Chiptunes, Sadcore, Trap, or whatever else, the more they just sound like everything else in that net-scene.

I’m not saying that all of the artists making music in those styles are bad, but I am saying there’s a problem with fit too neatly into categories. This is the very definition of thinking WITHIN the box. The fact that my music doesn’t really fit neatly into any category has made it very hard to market online, but also is what makes it special (at least to me).

So what can be done about this? I’m not totally sure. I have tried in the past with the blog version of my Anthill Recordings Label to help promote good music that’s hard to classify. But then I’m stuck with the task of how to market that blog itself?!

I think this is really up to the artist and their integrity. If people want to create unique and original music, they will. People that are into music just to gain a little notoriety, will most likely be concerned with fitting neatly into whatever sub-genre that want to target, and those with creative integrity will not concern themselves with this and will most likely be heard by less people. Maybe this is the new underground. 

Maybe now that this site has a bit more traction and popularity than in the past, I can use this as a place to share some hard to classify music I think is good. I’m not sure how I’ll tag it though. This is a pretty big problem it seems. I’m not the only one thinking this either. Last night I was having a discussion about this with my friend Fornax Void, and he brought up many of the points I’m making in this post.

If you feel like you’re making great music that you can’t fit into a neat category, by all means send it to me in the comments section of this post. I’d love to hear it.

Stranger Waves – A Synthwave Compilation Inspired By Stranger Things

Stranger Things is still crushing the internet with Season 2, and in addition to being a great show, it’s inspiring all kinds of amazing music from all over the world. The online group “Synthwave Emotions”  has released this amazing compilation of music inspired by the show.

Artists featured on the compilation are:

01. 26Hate – Stranger Waves (Opening Theme) 00:00
02. Immortal Girlfriend – Overcome The Night 01:16
03. 26Hate – Devotion 04:41
04. Midnight Danger – Malignant Force 09:07
05. Pontiac At night – Curfew Violations 13:37
06. ÆX44 – Demogorgon 18:07
07. Deathray Bam! – Behind the Wall 24:41
08. Turbo Knight – Strange Aeons 29:17
09. Master System – Distance (feat. Ultraboss) 34:14
10. Leg Puppy – Utopia (Eternity 84) 39:32
11. Le Louvre – Blood Moon 43:39
12. Zane Alexander – Quarantine 48:55
13. Venator – Sanguine 52:31
14. Saffari – Strange Kind of Feeling 58:02
15. Cleeve Morris – Dustin 01:01:41
16. Once Around Saturn – Titan Excursion 01:04:38
17. DREAM SHORE – Upon A Story 01:07:09
18. Steve Arrows – VHS Ghost 01:10:46
19. Shadows & Mirrors – Nightmareland 01:13:41
20. White Tiger – Explorers (ft. JJ Mist) 01:16:09
21. Dead Bad Bunny – The Upside Down Theme 01:22:10
22. Midnight Danger – Darkness Approaches (Bonus) 01:23:53
23. Turbo Knight – Mirrorverse (Bonus) 01:27:53
24. ÆX44 – The other side (Bonus) 01:32:23
25. Fishdick – Falcons Crest (Bonus) 01:35:52

This is great and fun stuff, well produced and making for a great Friday morning.

Peter Baumann’s Strangers in the Night is basically the most 80s video in existence

Even though this video is over 30 years old, I’ve somehow never seen it until just now. Judging by how few views there are on this youtube video, it seems like it’s still pretty new to many.

Peter Baumann was one of the core members of the band Tangerine Dream, who of course spawned the amazing work of Klaus Schultz, but less known is the work of Baumann. Strangers in the Night is off of his album of the same name from 1983. It was his fourth solo album.

This song and video is essentially everything the modern Synthwave and Retrowave movement is doing amplified by a million and its video is a pure work of art. Its use of Video FX such as flying geometric shapes, smokey alleyways with perfect lighting, and an untra-serious looking Bauman staring off into the distance with a headset microphone is nothing but hilariously amazing.

Peter Bauman

Korg nanoPAD2 Finger Drumming to Synthwave, Retrowave, Dreamwave!

80s VHS girls

Subscribe to my youtube channel and check out this performance with Ableton Live Intro with a nanoKONTROL and nanoPAD2 control surfaces.

I made a couple of melodic loops but am playing all the drum beats live on the nanoPAD2. I used mostly Simmons SDS7 and SDS5 drum samples and a couple others.

The bass tones are from the Jup-6 free VST plugin, which you can download here http://demonicsweaters.com/2015/02/add-this-to-your-vst-collection-free-roland-jupiter-4-inspired-vst-plugin-for-windows/

The lead and string sounds are the DSX from the UVI workstation soft-synth which you can get for free if you purchase a nanoPAD2.

You can purchase this song here https://demonicsweaters.bandcamp.com/track/nanopad-thai

Thanks for watching!