Fans Ride Synthwave Back to the ’80s

The Rise of the Synths is a documentary about synthwave by Ivan Castell.

Rise of the Synths EP 2 captures the spacey sound of the ’80s for a back to the future feel. (Photo courtesy Ivan Castell)

Currently in production after a successful Indiegogo fundraising campaign, Spanish filmmaker Iván Castell’s Rise of the Synths is a documentary about the cult movement that’s grown around ’80s era synthesizer music. The project gets the second of  two EP releases from Lakeshore Records’s BandcampRise of the Synths EP 2 features tracks from Gunship, Power Glove, Com Truise, Robert Parker, Waveshaper and Code Elektro. It comes to market on June 9 and digitally through all outlets on June 16.

Rise of the Synths explores global grass-root music scene known as synthwave, a blend of modern electronic composition with ’80s pop culture nostalgia that over the last two years has grown from a whisper on internet hubs to a full-scene that continues to expand.

“Thousands of synthwave composers around the world are living out double-lives,” Castell says. “Away from their normal everyday life they spend another half-life behind a faceless musical avatar, creating and uploading their own renditions of 80’s-styled film scores, sharing them with the world, surging the wave.” Accounting for millions of plays on social media, the genre has attracted devoted fans that are flying below the mainstream radar.

They aspire to the sounds spawned beginning in the late ’70s  by artists like Edgar Froese, Paul Haslinger, Giorgio Moroder and John Carpenter — tributes to whom appear throughout the series, including on Rise of the Synths EP 1, released in May. Castell calls it “A time travel into the universe of creating sounds. A love letter to human fascination and the collective memories of a universe that never existed.” For more information visit

The track list for Rise of the Synths EP 2 is:

01 Chrome Canyon: “Deckard Returns”
02 Gunship: “The Vale Of Shadows”
03 Power Glove: “Fatal Affair”
04 Com Truise: “Idle Withdrawl”
05 Robert Parker: “Silver Shadow”
06 Waveshaper: “A Mission To Remember”
07 Code Elektro: “Black Rain”

The track list for Rise of the Synths EP 1 is:

01 Giorgio Moroder & Raney Shockne: “Triage”
02 Carpenter Brut: “Night Stalker”
03 Dance With The Dead: “Dead of Night”
04 OGRE: “Rebar (Prologue)”
05 Lazerhawk: “A Hero’s Journey”
06 Mega Drive: “Stargate”
07 Voyag3r: “Appearance of the Mysterious Traveler”

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