Space Music: 'Blood Dragon' Synthwave & Beyond

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 spent his childhood reading books and staring into the woods — first in Newfoundland, Canada and then in rural Tennessee. There was also a long stretch in which he was terrified of alien abduction. He earned a degree in creative writing. He taught high school and then attended journalism school. He wrote for the smallest of small-town newspapers before finally becoming a full-time science writer and podcaster. He’s currently a senior writer at HowStuffWorks and has co-hosted the science podcast Stuff to Blow Your Mind since its inception in 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his wife Bonnie, discussing dinosaurs with his son Bastian and crafting the occasional work of fiction.