Let Drive Radio bring you back to the 80s
TRIGGER WARNING: this post contains no metal, but does contain a bunch of retro music and 80s gifs.
Are you tired of modern day life? Have you had enough of compulsively checking your smartphone? Are you sick of hearing about twitchat, snapbook and hashtag wars over coffee cups? Do you long for the days when “backlit curved ultra HD display” was random technobabble from a shitty sci-fi film? Do you prefer carrying a cassette tape with 10 songs over a digital device that can carry several thousand? Well my friend, perhaps you need to go back to a simpler time, a more neon time, and Drive Radio can take you there.
Drive Radio is a Belgium-based internet radio station specializing in playing a wide selection of artists that fall into the synthwave/chillwave/outrun (or whatever you’d like to call it) spectrum: instrumental songs with a heavy dose of analog keyboard pads, vintage drum machine beats and plenty of retro flavor, creating the perfect soundtrack to your Miami Vice and/or Knight Rider fantasies. More 80s than the 80s itself, the “let’s drive off into the sunset while the credits roll” nostalgia factor is amped up to 11 for maximum awesomeness, dude.
Sometimes you’ll hear an artist whose song could pass as a true 1980-1989 top 40 hit, but primarily this is a genre that wholeheartedly embraces the rose tint on its wayfarers. After all, why bother trying to recreate the actual past when we can dive headfirst into that comforting John Hughes soft focus and imagine it as the golden hour fever dream we all wished it could be?
Artists like Lazerhawk, Perturbator, Com Truise, Kavinsky, Dance With The Dead, Carpenter Brut, Mega Drive, Power Glove, Mitch Murder and countless others get plenty of airtime, as does the occasional era-appropriate movie trailer for Rambo, Ferris Bueller, Robocop, Escape from New York and more – all commercial free.
If you’re in the mood for something darker, Monday nights are Drive Radio’s Darkwave Rotation. Not to be confused with The Cure or She Past Away, this is the stuff of 80s horror, featuring foreboding John Carpenter-style synths and deep, rumbling moog patches in minor keys that layer a glossy coating of malevolent neon blackness over the station’s usual sunshine & palm trees oeuvre.
This is a genre that casts a wide net, and Drive Radio is remarkably consistent in its programming for a streaming service: some songs may have a shade of dubstep, others edge a bit toward club thumpers, but overall the retro groove stays on track. If you’re looking for other content, there’s plenty of news, reviews, interviews and other cool shit on their homepage to keep you busy until your limited edition They Live DVD arrives in the mail.