Skip to main content

Resonant evil: how synthwave is taking over the underground

Steeped in the brashly futuristic and perverse world of 80s exploitation movies and sci-fi, synthwave has become the latest movement from the era to make new waves

Divided societies, repellent right- wing governments, the rise and rise of the super-rich and, of course, the unstoppable forward march of untamed technology… you don’t have to be particularly observant to spot that 2016 was the year that the world appeared to retreat back to the social upheavals and squinting meanness of the 1980s: a decade that somehow showcased both the worst and the best of humanity, and which still seems to exert a magical, nostalgic gravity on music and movie fans of a certain age. For all its excess and ideological selfishness, the 80s plainly had many wonderful attributes too, as filmmakers and musicians channelled their late 20th-century fear, paranoia and alienation through some of the most seminal sounds and visions ever captured.

From the archive

From the archive

From the archive


More from this edition

Get Involved

Trending Features