In September, I was at my friend's house for board games. As the games and the hours rolled by, I became more and more aware of the music that had been playing in the background. Mostly instrumental (very few vocals). All electronic. Intense rhythms and beats. The accompanying YouTube videos - cuts from Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira, ultra-violent 8-bit videos, poster art or screen shots from 80's movies such as Cliffhanger or Pretty in Pink ... and Stranger Things - also sucked me in.
I was driven to distraction researching the source of this music: Michael Stein and Kyle Dixon of Survive. Survive is a dark synthwave band from Austin. The song I was listening to was ‘Floating Cube’. I heard echoes of Berlin music collective Tangerine Dream. It wasn't like Tangerine Dream, but the music called Tangerine Dream to mind. Listen to it. You may hear different echoes.
My friend told me that he had just put the Stranger Things theme song on YouTube and it was going from there.
Here's a small sample of what's available, I do encourage you to start here and explore on your own. You can also follow NewRetroWave on Soundcloud or YouTube.
• Carpenter Brut's brutal feedback-heavy electronica (watch and listen to the video for "Turbo Killer");
• Perturbator's intense beat and manic melody in songs like "Raw Power" and "She Moves Like a Knife";
• Magic Sword's electronic fantasy epic "In the Face of Evil" (I recently used it in my D&D campaign to introduce a new villain).
• Dynatron's weaving melody overlaying langorous synth backgrounds - "Stars of the Night" or "Dust of the Saturn" (that's not a typo) are siren's calls to wake up and explore the cosmos;
• Starforce's "Disrupted Cryonics" and it's companion "Age of Nano" both start with a strong melody and a beat that explodes into action after a short introduction, with new voices coming in and out of the songs.
• Timecop 1983
• D. Notive
• Zombie Hyperdrive
• Power Glove
• Droid Bishop
• Le Matos