New Retro Wave

MUSIC: New Retro Wave

It’s fresh, it’s electric, it’s yesterday, it’s NOW! This is New Retro Wave!

by Christopher Smith

New Retro Wave

Ever heard of it? Well if you were a kid in the 80’s there was no getting away from it. New Retro Wave is 80’s music and themes from artists and groups today, that sound exactly like they did yesterday! This is ‘Tron’. The brat pack movies. It’s LA, Beverly Hills, ‘Flight Of The Navigator’, a video arcade game. This is music now, but just as we remember it was 30-40 years ago.

New Retro Wave can trace its origins to synthwave, a genre of electro-pop music that was used in virtually every film, video game and soundtrack of the 1980’s. If you’ve ever watched a John Hughes film, played Out Run or heard the albums of Tangerine Dream then you know it. With a renaissance in 80’s music and artists growing stronger in the early years of this century, particularly in internet communities, New Retro Wave is both a label and a network formed in 2011 to promote the artists of today who write and record the music of yesterday.

This is not ‘covering’ or re-producing. This is new music, written and produced by young and talented individuals, produced in the style that anyone that lived or grew up during the 80’s or follows 80’s music can identify with. For many, myself included, it’s a trip down memory lane and back to a time when there was no awareness of what was happening in the world. Days lasted forever and Summer’s never ended.

New Retro Wave is big and it’s getting bigger all the time, with over 83,000 followers on Facebook, 23,000 on Twitter and 700,000 ‘subscribers’ on YouTube already (increasing by 200,000 year on year). The network also runs a number of playlists on Spotify which it updates on a regular basis and is followed by over 50,000 listeners already. Acts are not just limited to The US, some of the most prolific artists come from the UK and across Europe including W O L F C L U B, Orax, Timecop1983, Waveshaper and FM-84 – who we featured recently with their new release “Bend And Break“.

And it doesn’t stop at online music sharing, New Retro Wave goes live too! With tours and gigs happening all over the world bands like Timecop1983 and FM-84 are constantly promoting and elevating the awareness of New Retro Wave both to those who were there in the 80’s as well as an army of new followers. And there’s also the NRW Radio app that can be downloaded so you can carry NRW anywhere and everywhere!

NRW also spreads to some superb graphic artwork and designs based on 80’s imagery using modern technology to replicate the hand drawings of the past. Sam Todhunter, Art Director for NRW is a prime example, ‘dreaming’ up images for both album covers, posters and comics. Sam says he discovered the synthwave music genre in 2015 and lives “a happy, calm life by the ocean, obsessing over art and music…and Robocop!”.

So slam on Airwolf or ‘Top Gun’, pop some fluorescent socks on and crank up the volume to the max and join me on a nostalgic ride into yesterday and all our childhood memories or if you’re crazy about the 80’s but were not around at the time, then this is for you! “Hey batter, batter, swing batter!”.

You can purchase NRW albums and singles through bandcamp by clicking here.

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Written by Christopher Smith

So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about. Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?! Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…! Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable. I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!