Nicolas Winding Refn is the visionary director behind films like Drive, Bronson, and Only God Forgives. His latest creation is a six-episode Netflix series about a young woman who escapes a life of enslavement to seek vengeance in the underworld of Copenhagen. Expect lots of neon, violence, and synthwave music.
Musician Astrophysics takes songs from various genres, and slathers them with a thick layer of 1980s electronic sounds, then complements them with appropriately retro graphics. There’s lots of great stuff to enjoy on their YouTube channel, but this synthwave remix of Outkast’s 2003 hit Hey Ya! is our favorite (so far.)
You can do all kinds of fun things with magnets, but we never thought of them as musical instruments. The guys from Magnet Tricks and Magnetic Games teamed up to create a series of sounds from magnetic vibrations, sampled them, then turned them into a synthwave track.
Beatboxer Tom Thum shows off his versatility by using his throat, mouth, and a digital looper to create a synthwave track that would be right at home in a 1980s science fiction flick. He might look goofy as he makes noises, but he sure sounds good. They should hire Tom to do music for season five of Stranger Things.
Synthwave musician Astrophysics programmed iconic Japanese vocaloid Hatsune Miku to sing the The Weeknd’s hit track Save Your Tears. The fat electronic sounds are the perfect complement to the synthesized vocals, and fit right in with The Weeknd’s 1980s vibe.
Jung Jae-il’s soundtrack from the hit show Squid Game is equally intense, memorable, quirky, and creepy. YSSY combined the tracks Pink Soldiers and Way Back When and transformed them into a 1980s inspired synthwave song suitable for another Netflix series, Stranger Things.
Hey! What a wonderful kind of day! Hot Dad turns the theme song from the PBS Kids show Arthur on its ear, replacing the warm reggae riddims of Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers’ original with a moody 1980s synthwave sound. It shouldn’t work, but somehow it does.
The Mandalorian has a great original score by Ludwig Göransson that suits the western-inspired Star Wars series perfectly. Duo YSSY made an awesome 1980s synthwave version, and it’s like what the show might have been like if Mando and Baby Yoda were being chased by stormtroopers driving Pontiac Trans Ams.
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross recorded a fantastic tribute to John Carpenter’s theme from Halloween, adding their own haunting style, while preserving the synth sound that made it a classic. From the upcoming John Carpenter’s ‘Anthology: Movie Themes 1974-1998.
Scandroid performs an awesome synthwave arrangement of John Williams’ classic Force Theme from the Star Wars saga. While it might not suit the timeless feel of the films, it certainly captures the essence of the era during which they achieved their greatest fame – the 1980s.