• STYLE /Cyberpunk, Electro Clash, Darksynth
  • RELEASE DATE /September 16, 2022
  • LABEL /Lazerdiscs Record
  • GUESTSCastroe, Power Glove, Absolute Valentine, Vondkreistan, Bloodpanic, Wice, Knight, Neus, Douze, Tommy'86, Christine, Hyboid
  • DESIGNERS /Dixel Art, Salarkhan
  • FORMAT /Digital

RSW rating ➔

¦ 10 ¦
Just our Compilation

Our Few Words

We have exclusively teamed up with the legends that are Laserdiscs Records to bring you a compilation of pure synthwave. It’s a team up we have always dreamed of and they represent some very talented musicians. Before writing this review I was unaware this until Retro Synthwave dropped the news. So in a fresh and new take on this compilation I’m going to review it neutrally.

Castroe‘s Gatsu is the perfect opening for a compilation, a gentle intro to bring us into a song that kicks every sort of ass you can imagine. The second song is a remix by Absolute Valentine of Power Glove‘s Motorcycle Cop; he adds a hard hitting edge to this track with its tough beats and crunching bass. Vondkreistan delivers a track called Silence with its cyberpunk underground rave vibes and teasing us with a punchy drop halfway through. Bloodpanic are next with the fast, sadly brief and beautifully heavy Close Combat delivering sweet Justice Cross era influence with a cop chasing a down a villain vibe to it. Wice’s 2078 delivers a swift kick of vicious synthwave versatility that makes this song stand out. KN1GHT brings Bionic Nemesis to the floor that belongs in a 80s sci-fi movie with its steady tempo as the song keeps us on our toes. NeusPower follows the flow that KN1GHT has with a calmer middle point of the song giving us a well deserved minute to take it all in before delivering a heavy bass drop. Timebomb by Douze provides a cinematic edge with the intro and gives us a steady groove throughout. Tommy ’86 gives us a monster if a track at just under 8 minutes; Descent Into The Abyss is definitely a lengthy take which sounds like a Giorgio Moroder song that’s taken a very dark twist that feels like a story (I love prog, so instrumentally I love this track) and offers plenty of variation to justify its track length. Christine’s Brain Damage is brilliantly eerie and entertaining with it letting the bass do the talking. The last song is DeLorean Future Force by Hyboid which ends the compilation familiar synthwave ground being a generally great song despite its length.

Cyberwave 86 is a compilation that despite multiple musicians providing songs it all follows the album title name strictly as a cyberpunk theme as such. It’s refreshing to see so many talented synthwave musicians all on the same page providing top quality songs. Some of the songs do follow a similar writing process which for die hard synthwave fans it’s bliss to the ears other listeners may not like the groove, then instrumental break, then back to the groove process. Cyberwave 86 is everything I love about synthwave. The genre has evolved into very interesting subtree, but this compilation is a showcase to demonstrate the foundations that can be built within this genre. It’s all instrumental, so for those who find vocals annoying, or not even, then crank this compilation to the highest volume, party on and hopefully your neighbours won’t complain. The theme is dedicated and the songs are purely top class, Cyberwave 86 deserves multiple listens not just for Retro Synthwave, but the talented musicians that are featured on this record.

– Matthew Clewley
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