We still don’t know when Cyberpunk 2077 will finally land on retail shelves. Developer CD Projekt RED have indicated 2019 at the earliest, but they don’t want to rush it. Frankly, good choice, nobody likes a rushed game. But after that Gamescom trailer from a couple of weeks ago, we’ve got Cyberpunk 2077 on the brain.
The game has a very dystopian aesthetic, with tech noir and augmentations in the style of Blade Runner, and recent game releases like Detroit: Become Human. Titles like these have had unique soundtracks — sometimes orchestral, sometimes electronic.
Nothing, however, captures the feel of the Cyberpunk 2077 aesthetic than Retrowave and Outrun music, reeling in the sound of synths and the noises of nerdy cultural icons from long ago. The sounds of the 80’s remade for our ears today, heavily inspired but taken into an artistic direction focusing on immersion and ambiance. Here’s 5 Artists that will get you hyped up for Cyberpunk 2077.
ALEX has been hard at work over the past two years, releasing and collaborating on album after album within the Retrowave scene. He’s been seen most often producing high quality sounds with dominant female vocalists, with the likes of Ra, Megan McDuffee, and Rachel McAlpine.
ALEX’s albums and EP’s are all very succinct, but build around overarching themes. His most recent release, Simulations, is very much themed around tech noir; some of the lyrics are even direct references to Blade Runner. His previous release Hero was more fantastical, and delved into themes around fantasy and adventure. Akuma and Blood Club delved into demonic and cybernetic themes, kind of like DOOM without all the guitar shredding.
Top Tracks: Hologram Lover, Game Over and Broadway.
4. Miami Nights 1984
Miami Nights 1984 is an iconic retrowave producer, with a constant overtone of a sun-bleached Miami, a hot beachy summer, 1980’s cop thrillers and 90’s Video Games interwoven into their beats.
MN84 last graced the retrowave scene in 2012 with Turbulence, with its abundant bassy riffs and intense, immersive themes. In 2010, MN84 dropped Early Summer, which was very much a lighter prelude to the release of Turbulence, with a more upbeat tone throughout.
Top Tracks: On the Run, Ocean Drive and Saved by the Bell.
GUNSHIP is a crazy good producer within the scene, creating thematic albums with self-performed vocals. GUNSHIP is more into what could be considered the dreamy side of the dystopic, riddled with mystery and often horror-esque elements, coupled with the odd, interestingly placed, instrumental section.
GUNSHIP is no stranger to trying new things – his song ‘Dark all Day’ incorporates a second voacalist, with unique instrumental work behind it. It features Indiana and Tim Cappello on the saxophone.
GUNSHIP’s self-titled album from 2015 was riddled with horror themes that deeply immerses the listener in a dystopian universe.
Top Tracks: The Mountain, Tech Noir and Dark all Day.
2. Power Glove
I recently listed Power Glove in our “Greatest video game soundtracks we’d love to hear live” piece. They placed at Number 5 on that list, the soundtrack to Ubisoft’s Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, providing the soundscape to Rex Power Colt’s liberating of a technocratic retro future. Power Glove are, however, brilliant retrowave artists by their own accord. They later worked with Ubi again on 2016’s Trials of the Blood Dragon.
Power Glove produce to the theme of retro games and the dystopian movies of the 80’s, like Robocop and Terminator, with a VHS-esque theme over the top that gives the music a sound like it’s playing of an old boxy anolog TV to the soundtrack of a campy Sci-Fi.
Top Tracks: Streets of 2043, Motorcycle Cop and Punch!
Lazerhawk is an absolute icon of the scene, able to drift in an out of themes throughout his albums, with songs taking forms of soothing, background bangers through to being intense masterpieces.
Lazerhawk has covered it all, with broad, distinct themes overarching his albums. His debut, Redline, was filled with throws to 80’s fast car movies. The second track, Overdrive, is the iconic Outrun song. 2012’s Visitors is about space, aliens and mystery, as if it could be a soundtrack to a sci-fi. 2013’s Skull and Shark plays to horror and violence between people, being an ominous experience throughout. 2017’s Dreamrider, featuring Gunship on track three, plays to more mystical and dreamy themes, being more light-hearted than its horror-themed predecessor.
Top Tracks: Another Chance, Overdrive, Star Hustler, and Feel the Rush Tonight.