Space Music: ‘Blood Dragon’ Synthwave & Beyond

BY Robert Lamb / POSTED May 7, 2013
Doesn't that color scheme warm your heart? (Ubisoft) Doesn’t that color scheme warm your heart? (Ubisoft)

As you may have noticed, I’m quite the fan of VHS-era sci-fi and classic electronic film scores.

I also play the odd video game, so of course I picked up “Blood Dragon,” which breathes retro action life into the “Far Cry 3″ game engine. A Michael Biehn-voiced cyborg super soldier battles neon dinosaurs, blue-blooded cyborgs and mutant ninjas in a world full of VHS tracking distortion, post-kill one-liners and of course an amazing sythwave soundtrack. Let’s have a listen…

It’s the work of Power Glove, an Australian syth duo who claim to be “two lawyers sent back from the streets of future, post apocalyptic Los Angeles 2043.”

The “Blood Dragon” OGS does a fantastic job echoing the nostalgic wonder of such soundtrack artists as John Carpenter, Alan Howarth, Brad Fiedel, Tangerine Dream, Goblin and Claudio Simonetti. The whole game is a blast, but the soundtrack really makes it worth playing in a dark room with the sound up.

Love that vibe? Well there are plenty of other synthwave artists to choose from (in addition to some of the old masters listed above), so perhaps you’d dig a little of this. We’ll start with an awesome mix by Dave Fogg (featuring everyone from John Carpenter and Brian Eno to the Chromatics and Trent Reznor):

Now let’s hear from some current synth standouts…

And of course the sadly as-yet-unreleased score by Sinoia Caves/Jeremy Schmidt for “Beyond the Black Rainbow.” Great film, read my review here.

There’s a lot more out there, as clearly this whole VHS-era nostalgia trip has infected a lot of us. Perhaps you have a favorite sythwave/retro electronic/Italo disco artist you’d like to share with me. Heck, maybe you are one. Drop me a line.


About the author: Robert Lamb is a senior writer and podcaster at HowStuffWorks, where he co-hosts Stuff to Blow Your Mind with Julie Douglas. He has a love for monsters, an aversion to slugs and a hankering for electronic music.

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