OGRE’s exquisite synth score for the John Carpenter-narrated synthwave documentary The Rise of the Synths gets a vinyl pre-order today via Lakeshore Records. Don’t sleep on this, because this stuff never stays in stock long.
The vinyl version of the score by UK-based OGRE (AKA OGRE Sound and AKA Robin Ogden) is a must-buy for fans of either the documentary or synthwave. (Pre-order it here.) OGRE’s scores stand up there with the best of synth composers such as Wendy Carlos, Cliff Martinez, Edgar Froese, Vangelis, and Carpenter, so I’d recommend you get it even if you’re not super familiar with the doc or the scene.
The Rise of the Synths, directed by Iván Castell, follows a group of composers from different countries who, in the mid-2000s, independently of each other, created an underground music scene that existed largely on MySpace and mp3 blogs such as Discodust and Binary (and later on Facebook and other platforms). The movement, later known as synthwave, was one of the first pure Internet-generated genres. Of course now there are live shows and geographic-focused scenes within the larger umbrella, in addition to the Internet realm, but back then it was very much an internet thing.
The doc features a host of artists, along with journalists like yours truly and record label folks like Lakeshore’s art director John Bergin, who is himself a longtime (and profoundly gifted) synth artist. Here’s the full roster: College, Maethelvin, Electric Youth, 80s Stallone, Vehlinggo, Carpenter Brut, Dance with the Dead, Drive Radio, Dynatron, Filip Galetic (Synthwave TV), Gost, Gunship, Holodeck Records, John Bergin, Jurgen Desmet (Playmaker Media Group), Lazerhawk, Mecha Maiko, Miami Nights 1984, MPM Soundtracks, Nightcrawler, NINA, OGRE, Pauline Putrescine, Perturbator, Power Glove, Robert Parker, Scandroid, Ten of NewRetroWave, The Midnight, and Waveshaper.
The Rise of the Synths is a journey back and forth in time, from the roots of the scene to its impact on today’s pop culture. Exploring an underground world, populated by some of the last rebels on the Internet, the film asks various questions, including: “Why now is there this nostalgia for the 1980s? Where does it come from? And what will become of it?”
For more information, go to Lakeshore’s Record Shop.