The Nine Circles ov…How I Became a Synthwave Fan

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After what feels like an eternity in the “development” stage — damn you, nursing school! — we’ve finally gotten our Retrocution column going here at Nine Circles. And damn, does that feel killer. I’ve gotten to a point in my music listenerdom where I’m listening to as much of this stuff as I do metal, if not more — and my attempt to build out this column certainly isn’t going to change that trend.

But, one thing said attempt has done is, it’s gotten me to look back at exactly how I got into this stuff. For a long time, I couldn’t — or never really tried to — pinpoint that. If asked why / how I got into the genre, I’d give a generic answer about “the aesthetics” or something, and just shift the topic to the genre’s latest offerings. And to be fair, “the aesthetics” are certainly part of the equation — but the music is the truly important part, and I’d never given any real thought to my foundations on that side.

So, let’s change that, shall we? Without further ado, I present The Nine Circles ov How I Became a Synthwave Fan. Continue reading

Retrocution: Special “Summer of 84” Edition!

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A few weeks ago, the then-new episode of the Vehlinggo podcast introduced me to Montreal synth duo Le Matos. Host Aaron Vehling had brought producers Jean-Nicolas Leupi and Jean-Philippe Bernier on the show to talk about their work on the new retro thriller, Summer of 84; the duo had composed and performed the film’s score, while Bernier also served as its cinematographer. With the description of the film and song samples that Leupi and Bernier offered up on the show, I was, to put it mildly, intrigued.

I jumped into the score immediately, but it took me until just this past weekend to actually sit down and watch Summer of 84. So, this edition of Retrocution is going to focus on both: a tremendous, tension building collection of cinematic synthwave tunes, and the decent-but-not-great nostalgia trip that can’t quite match up with them. Continue reading

Retrocution: GOST returns with “She Lives in Red Light”

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Still exhausted from the length of our last Retrocution post? I know I am. Well, fortunately for all of us, this post won’t be 700+ words long. After all, this time out, we’re covering a single, rather than a full album. The track in question? The newest Century Media signee, GOST, who returned this past week with the single, “She Lives in Red Light.” Hit the jump and dig in with us… Continue reading

Retrocution: Dance With the Dead’s “Loved to Death”

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I’m going to start this post by talking about a Missouri sludge band called The Lion’s Daughter. Now, this may seem like an odd way to start a post that is, ostensibly, about California synthwave duo Dance with the Dead and their new album, Loved to Death, but bear with me here… Continue reading

Retrocution: Duett’s “Cycles”

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Duett released full-length No. 3, “Cycles,” on August 13.

Welcome to the first edition of Retrocution! In this series, we’ll be presenting our favorite highlights from the worlds of synthwave, retrowave, dreamwave…hell, there are too many sub-genres to even begin to cover at this point. Let’s just call it “”80s-style synthesizer music,” shall we? That stuff. That’s what we’ll be covering here. To kick things off, let’s look at an album that just dropped this past week: Duett‘s new full-length, Cycles. Continue reading