Katsuhiro Otomo’s masterpiece AKIRA was released on July 16th 1988… 30 Years Later, Synthspiria decided to gather talented Synthwave artists from all around the world to pay their own tribute to one of the greatest anime of all time.
To achieve this project, Synthspiria wanted diversity. When you think about Akira and Cyberpunk, some Synthwave artists are really obvious and come immediately to the mind. Still, we wanted to surprise the audience too. Either with completely new and unexpected visions of Akira or with artists going out of their confort zone for the sake of the compilation. The result was a critical success!
The artists all gave the maximum for a unique result in a constant good mood. When you think about it, it is extraordinary that 30 years later, a work is so powerful that it allows a band of strangers to meet, have fun and realize a project like this!
Thank you Otomo San, and thank you even more to all the artists who have followed us on this adventure, both musicians and our talented illustrator Lucas Mendonça who kindly lent us one of his extraordinary artworks for the occasion.
We had a huge and immediate crush with Wolf Arm : Unsigned Code was Synthspiria’s DarkSynth Album of the year 2017, and Digital Fingerprints was also heavily praised when it was released earlier the same year. Both albums are incredibly powerful trips into a dark dystopian future, mixing heavy guitars with keyboard melodies in such a masterful way… They blew our minds and you should definitely listen to them : they’re both sleeper hits, ready to explode on the mainstream Synthwave scene once more people realize how incredible Wolf Arm is.
Really enthusiast with the project, Wolf Arm was among the firsts artists to join the compilation, and that really meant the world to us.
The Singularity was an easy choice to open the album : the intro immediately sets the scene, the melody is catchy, the rythm is fast… and the guitar will tenderize the audience to get it ready for what’s coming…
Leaving more spaces for the guitar to express itself with face-melting solos, Unsigned Code is an amazing follow-up to Digital Fingerprints. When it was released, we doubted Wolf Arm could surpass its first album… and yet he did it.
Digital Fingerprints is a truly incredible immersion in Wolf Arm’s Cyberpunk universe. This album made us want to drill a datajack in our skull so we could enjoy it directly in our brain. If you’re a Hardcore fan of William Gibson’s novels, this is a must-listen. Nobody ever translated his universe in music so perfectly before.
Straight out of Marseille’s Synthwave scene, Speed Machine is definitely one of France’s upcoming “SynthStar” ! He only needs one album to start his world domination plan, then he’ll be unstoppable. Still, if you want to be ready, you should definitely listen his two EPs.
Heavily inspired by Sci-Fi and Horror movies, Speed Machine waste no time and takes no prisoners. It is not surprising that he loves Akira and we were thrilled when he agreed to join us !
Just like The Singularity, Mechanized Dystopia is inspired by the famous bike scene in Akira. To stay in the race, Speed Machine use this heavy engine and gives everything he has in the explosive “Big Finale” !
Lost Planet is a love letter to the Sci-Fi Horror Genre. The result is the most cinematic, creepiest Space Synth you’ll ever hear.
The bass are deep and unrelentless, melodies are cold and you’ll never feel safe…
In space, nobody will hear you scream.
Speed Machine’s first EP Dead Racer is a way more aggressive and fast release : mixing Darksynth with rampant Outrun, it will run over you and let tires marks all over your face.
But in a good way.
Leslie Nayoko is not human. It’s a program. It became self-conscious, picked its own name and decided to use Music to express its feelings and communicate with humans. Shrouded with mysteries, Leslie Nayoko was hard to find, but luckily we knew a hacker who knew how to reach it (Leslie Nayoko already helped us with our first compilation Memories of Giallo !).
As it happens, Leslie Nayoko already saw Akira and loved the Anime. It agreed to join our compilation and gave us a violent, noisy and a little creepy DarkSynth track. It is a headbanger filled with samples that really catches the darkest essence of the Anime… How could a program understand humans’ emotions so well ? Not sure we want to find out…
If you loved Leslie Nayoko’s track for our compilation, you should definitely check out Unfolding Reverie. Dark urban landscapes, industrial roots, hints of metal, techno and chiptune… 4 amazing tracks that will always catch your imagination and take your mind for a ride in a Cyberpunk City on the verge of collapse.
Dead in Space in a 30 minutes 1 track album. We could say it is a soundtrack to a sci-fi odyssey that was never shot… Yet it is more its own journey in the cold and black void of space. An experience that will make your blood freeze.
When it comes to Cyberpunk DarkSynth, neon shudder is a cornerstone. Heavily inspired by Cyberpunk literature, Japanese animation and video games, he delivers a very melodic, cold and elegant DarkSynth. Having him on board is both a pleasure and an honor.
If neon shudder is the Ying, his other project low.poly.exception is the Yang.
Rough, dark, gloomy, desperate. It shows another side of his Cyberpunk universe.
For some reasons, I like to think that neon shudder could be listened by rich corporate executives in their shiny offices and low.poly.exception is what hackers trying to steal their data would love.
2 faces of the same coin, yet always the same strong universe.
Sons of Seraph is a really hard to describe album : imagine Cyberpunk DarkSynth composed like Classical Music. Magnificent, and that’s an adequate word. It is a standard that any fan of the genre must have.
The more you listen to MEGASTRUTURE(S), the more you feel this dark confort surrounding you. This album is a labyrinth : you’ll lose yourself in it, and in the end you’ll never want to leave anyway.
I wouldn’t be a complete Cyberpunk album without the French specialist Fixions. His latest album ヘッドハンター quickly became a staple of the genre, featuring his unmistakable signature sound. Listening to him is like hitting a wall of dark melodies at full speed : it is such a blast !
A true nerd to the core, he loves video games (he’s well known for the soundtrack of Mother Russia Bleeds, a violent and retro beat’em all !), anime… and guess what ? He’s a friend of us. Already featured on our Giallo compilation, he’s coming back for a new ride and we couldn’t be happier and more proud to have him on board again.
This time, he’s playing at home, in his field of expertise, and The Espers is one of his most crazy composition ever… Even under his standards !
ヘッドハンター is a Cyberpunk masterpiece. It is a wall of sound that you’ll keep headbanging against without even scratching it. It is a total must-listen and it was the 6th album on Synthspiria’s best DarkSynth albums of 2017.
Just a little less “dense” than ヘッドハンター, Genocity also has a spookier side to it which Horror Synth fans will definitely love. Does it makes his Cybersynth deadlier ? We don’t know : both albums only score one-shot kills.
Usually more into retro action movies’ scores, Gregorio Franco’s latest album The Dark Below is a brutal, ceaseless and nihilist Darksynth assault, yet keeping his urban and “Noir” influences he’s been treasuring since 2013. A veteran !
When the single The Void Knows your name was released, we were all headbanging as one and we knew this new musical evolution would totally fit with Akira’s dark and violent universe. Luckily for all of us, he thought so as well.
Spoiler alert ! Gregorio Franco will soon lead the new wave of American DarkSynth that will soon be unleashed upon the rest of the world (alongside his friends Street Cleaner and FacexHugger). You’ve been warned !
If you’re into explosive and destructive DarkSynth, this bomb of an album will blow your mind and ears. All bangers, no fillers ! Adding new influences into his music, The Dark Beyond is a master crafted album you should not pass.
On the other side of the spectrum, Syndicate : The Heist is a score for a movie that never was. Imagine John Carpenter composing music for a noir heist film and you’ve got this album in a nutshell. Released 4 years ago, it’s a must to fully understand Gregorio Franco’s roots and music.
Despite actively trying to destroy Earth and enslave mankind, we do love the Alien Warchief named Volkor X with all our heart. He’s among the most prominent French Synthwave artists and it is a great honor for us to get one of his new song as a total exclusivity.
That’s right : he’s working on a new album and we should all be trembling in fear instead of dancing to his warning shot. Pathetic humans : like lambs to the slaughter ! We deserve what’s about to happen.
He’s Volkor X, and he does not come in peace. His first album is fast, furious and fun. It’s the DarkSynth soundtrack of a video game where the End Boss is a huge and angry Alien about to destroy Earth. You probably already know this album, and if you don’t… Well : go get it now.
Alongside Daniel Deluxe, Volkor X participated in <Desync>’s soundtrack. It is a (VERY) hard video game, a fast and deadly shooter where skill matters… and it was a perfect match with Volkor X’s music !
We discovered Carbon Killer with its first video clip for Bolt and we fell in love on the spot. This song, along with Tempest, its first EP, showed so much potential… we couldn’t be more excited to get a full length album one day !!
Carbon Inc. was released a few months later on Lazerdiscs Records label and WOW : it is a DarkSynth masterpiece… yet short again ! 5 Tracks, when they’re THAT good, it’s already a huge success in itself, but they’re so great, we wanted more, always more… and that’s why we contacted them for our Akira Project. In order to get a new track, we had to give up our souls to the Black Sun Cult, but don’t worry for us : it was definitely worth it !
Credit : G.Abgrall
Praise the Black Sun !
Are you brave enough to travel to The Capital, Carbon Killer’s grim and dystopian megacity ? Will you join the mysterious Black Sun Cult ?
Carbon Inc. is an epic album that delivers a fresh and unique take on Cyberpunk and DarkSynth Music.
Tempest is Carbon Killer’s first EP. It is short, only 2 tracks, but GOD WHAT A PROMISING START ! Under The Skin is a both a sensual and dark cyberpunk chant with vocals, and Bolt is a Synth-Rocket boosted with slapped bass, shredding guitar solos and a raw energy few bands can match. Do not miss it.
As we were discussing the Artist Line-Up for the first time, AWITW released his album Metropolis. Most know for his Retrowave/Dreamwave releases, the first few tracks convinced us that AWITW could also compose some pretty killer Darksynth-Oriented songs, while staying in the light and softness. We wanted to meet him for quite some time but didn’t find the right opportunity for it, this could be one…
We contacted him the same evening, little did we know that he was a die-hard Akira fan. Totally thrilled to be part of the project, he immediately told us he wanted to do a track based on the dolls nightmare scene. Less than 24 hours later, AWITW gave us his finished track.
Yep, that’s how he is : friendly, warm, enthusiast, creative… and the most prolific Synthwave composer to ever walk this earth.
Adding DarkSynth to his classic Retrowave sound, AWITW achieves the impossible : mixing Pink Neons with Cyberpunk Darkness ! A recipe that only he has the secret and that will always put a smile on our face, even in the darkest hours: Neo-Tokyo Disneyland in a few ways!
Inspired by his childhood memories, Mirage is a warm and feel good Dreamwave album. Probably one of the best entry point to AWITW’s vast discography !
Better known as Tommy’86, Acidulé is a side project that steps away from DarkSynth to get into pure Retrowave territory. Still, both projects shine by their raw efficacy at creating atmospheres and catchy melodies. While Tommy’86 will take you into a dark totalitarian future, Acidulé takes you on vacation under Miami’s sun.
So yes, we know what you’re thinking : why not a Tommy’86 track ? It seems a better fit for Akira’s universe !
Indeed, still, where’s your curiosity ? Acidulé’s take on Akira is a retro refresher, it is aiming straight at your own nostalgia… and it will hit you right in the feels.
Acidulé’s first album is a chill trip around the world and around his musical influences. So please just sit down, relax, put on your headphones and turn up the volume : your flight won’t have any turbulence as long as Acidulé’s is piloting.
Even more influenced by the famous “French Touch”, Let There Be House shows a more direct approach to Acidulés sound. It’s still retro, it’s still catchy, but now it will make you dance too !
When we first heard Roex, we were totally amazed by the pure Cyber Synth insanity that was going on in our ears. That sound is so unique ! Halfway between Trance, House, Synthwave, Chiptune and more, there’s he stands in all his glory : Roex.
We wanted him on board, not even knowing anything more about him. We knew he would be an important piece of our puzzle compilation.
When we reached his bandcamp page and saw that his avatar was Akira, we had a feeling he couldn’t refuse… We were right !
Roex’s latest album is a perfect display of his skills and signature sound. Let those long, complex and fast melodies take you to the edge of madness… Then finally give in your sanity and dance like a madman.
A little less crazy, with slower tempos, Neo-Tokyo 2019 is also a must-listen because it highlights the inherent groove in Roex’s music.
I guess there’s also a little bit of funk somewhere in his already overcharged musical DNA !
Just look at his album Saint Wave’s cover and I guess that’s the best description one can gives to Earslicker’s music : over the top, raw, surprising, you’ll never know where he’ll take you and where you’ll end. His music may be seen as a best-of the 80’s and 90’s techno.
After we reviewed his album Saint Wave, he came to us and we met such a nice and creative artist. As soon as we released our first Compilation Memories of Giallo, he told us he wanted to be part of the next… And here he is : for 30 Years After, he delivered Ride or Die, a furious gut wrenching electronic version of Akira’s race scene, with motor sounds and all, and it is such a crushing experience ! Thanks Earslicker !
Saint Wave is a is an hypnotic and uncompromising record. Featuring 12 long and convoluted tracks, this album gets better and better every time you listen to it and discover new pop or noise gimmicks.
Hosannah for the new Saint of Synthwave !
Quantum Supremacy a short album (compared to Saint Wave) with a very Cyberpunk pitch : what would happen if Artificial Intelligence were in charge of Mankind and finally understand the concept of “Chaos” ?
Well we’re not really sure of the answer ourselves, but the album is a straightforward and in your face mix of Old School Electro and DarkSynth, which happens to be right up our alley !
Peter Zimmermman’s Nu Disco and Dreamwave may seem pretty far from Akira’s dark universe, yet in 2015 he did record Kaneda’s Theme on his PornCoreSynthRock album.
Mixing many samples directly taken from the anime and adding his own melodies, Peter Zimmermman achieved a miracle : a true to its roots Dreamwave cover of Akira ! At first, we only wanted exclusives tracks for our Compilation, but this track was a must-have.
We contacted Peter Zimmermman and he agreed to join us ! We hope we’ll be able to bring this awesome song under the spotlights again for the latecomers !
You cannot go more retro than Ryse of the Shrymps ! Everything screams “EIGHTIIIIIIIES” in those superb pop rock songs from the future past ! It is so well made, so perfect, that one would hardly believe it is a 2017 release… Even the hardly recognizable David McCallum’s The Edge cover named Off the Edge sounds authentic !
You know this track for sure, It was used as a sample in the very popular song by Dr Dre’s The Next Episode.
Ryse of the Shrymps is a 5 tracks wonder with wonderful guests appearances (Daria Danatelli & Ultraboss !), all lead by a talented conductor.
Released prior to Ryse Of The Shrymps, One Last Dance paved the way with 5 epic songs : the Workout (Think 80s aerobic’s clip music) Blue Sunday, the Pop Rock Electric Heart, the Dreamwavy Nicola, the Nu-Disco Mirage and the huge Set It Up, a 30 minutes catchy medley masterpiece !
Definitely, Peter Zimmermman knows how to party !
Aerds is a young French Synthwave composer that didn’t release an album yet, but showed us 2 promising singles and was featured on NewRetroWave YouTube channel ! Pushing the Outrun genre to its limits, he created a buzz within the french Synthwave community with its first song Deadline.
Flycruisor an even follow-up which was directly inspired by Akira.
We asked him if he wanted to be featured on our compilation we’d really like his music to reach a wider audience : one day, Aerds may tour the world and make Synthheads dance all around the globe… But right now he’s taking you on a ride on Kaneda’s bike that you won’t forget.
Aerds’ first single definitely made some heads turn in Synthwave’s small world. If you loved Flycruisor, it’s for now the only other available track he made. If you’re an Outrun fan, you can’t miss it… But do not thank us too early : the wait for Aerds’ full album will be difficult !
At first, we wanted to create an original illustration for 30 Years After… But then we stumbled by chance upon this awesome piece on ArtStation by Lucas Mendonça. We all instantly fell in love with it : the simple colors, the cunning looks, the simplicity and efficacy which are perfect for an album cover…
After a few weeks, we decided there was no point in looking further and we contacted the famous brazilian artist. Lucas Mendonça was really nice and accepted to lend us his artwork !
Thanks Lucas, you cannot imagine how happy we still are today and how proud we feel about 30 Years Later’s cover. We knew we would have awesome musical artists on the compilation, yet we were afraid of not being able to find a cover that matches the content… We were wrong, thanks to you.
You can also buy his artbook, posters (including Akira’s one !) and other goodies on his shop !
One last time, to all of you who made this compilation possible, we would like to thank you with all our heart. Until next time…