So, the synthwave community has been responding to a blog claiming "Synhtwave is dead" by a source who, up until this point has been thought to be a good resource on whats happening in the Synthwave scene and all it's sub-genres. This person obviously hit a nerve in the community, and some may say its because, he's right. However I'd like to offer a different perspective, which is that, it's not about whether he's right or wrong it's about how he's spinning it.
The Synthwave community as I've known it has always been about positivity over negativity. Building up, not tearing down. Artists like Xennon create playlists including much of the community, promoting and giving a platform to hard working artists.
Click HERE to listen...
While the "Synthwave is dead" blog might have had some valid points, it was spinning the writers opinion in a negative way, rather than a positive one. The truth is, all genres change. All trends become oversaturated. All pioneers of a sound are replaced with innovators putting their own artistic touch on something that has inspired them.
Take for instance the punk scene. In the mid/late 1980's many people believed punk was dead, or dying. In a way, they were right. It all depends on how you spin it. A decade later, bands like Green Day and Offspring, who were branded as "punk" went on to gain more popularity than any "punk" band before them. Bands like Bad Religion, who were amongst the pioneers of punk, began to evolve their sound and had much more success because of it. Now, the fans of the original punk sound may have thought of all of this as a betrayal to the roots of "punk" music as we knew it. But one thing is for certain: Punk didn't die....
The mark left by punk music can still be heard today in many modern rock, indie and even electronic artists music. As well as the fact that many punk bands continue to grow or hold on to their success.
So, here's my more positive spin on this whole situation:
Synthwave is a movement which started from a desire for a certain sound. It's gained a tremendous amount of popularity, due to people's longing for this sound, and that sound is not going away. There's one element of this sound which ties all its artists together. One aspect which is prevalent in all its sub-genres, from horror inspired Darksynth to the mellowest pleasant Vaporwave, and everything in between...
It is, the cinematic quality of it all.
THAT is the mark Synthwave will leave. THAT is what will carry it's newer generation of creators into the decades to come. THAT is the sound that will last.
Synthwave is most associated with the 1980's, but its the way music changed the world in the 80's that is important. MTV exploded and forced artists to think of their music from a visual perspective as well as a musical one. HBO and other cable channels brought the movie theatre into our homes. Soundtracks to movies like Purple Rain, The Breakfast Club, and Top Gun, became as immortal as the movies themselves. Synthwave is about way more than nostalgia, its about something that changed forever in the 80's, music was teamed up with visual art, and the result took us to new places music had never taken us before. It is this that makes Synthwave and all its sub-genres unique and special. It is this element that will transcend anyones label of the genre.
Artists like Terrordyne will send you into a dark cinematic thriller, M.K. Khan will transport you to an endless summer, and Alpha Crome Yayo will take you to so many beautiful places. Not to mention so, so many more artists and curators like Neon Fawkes who painstakingly created one of the most inclusive playlists on spotify. Honestly, there's so much great music, support and positivity out there, I can't name everyone. Just go on twitter and search the hashtag: #synthfam and you'll find a cinematic world of great music. Click HERE to listen...
Punk will never again see another Minor Threat, Black Flag, or Bad Brains, but Punk never died as many people claimed it did. Synthwave and its effects will not die either. Perhaps it won't ever be what it started out as, but the importance of what it brings to music will last.
And, on a more personal level, the positivity throughout the synthwave community is beyond anything I've seen in my 20+ years in the music business. I like to think that effect will also change the entire music scene for good.