If you’re old enough to remember the power ballads and synthwave movement of the 80s, then September’s #PAXWAVE Weekly playlist likely spoke to you. If you’re too young for those memories, then consider the quartet of songs your time machine to the era of long hair and synthesizers. There’s a lot to unpack with these series of differing styles. You’ll dance to the rock ‘n roll elements of Midnight Danger’s cover of Alice Cooper and enjoy the softer sounds of Futurecop! In between, you’ll enjoy the sounds of Maico and Siamese Youth, who both use synth beats with great results. 

Kicking off September’s playlist is a strong cover to a favorite from 1986. “He’s Back (The Mand Behind the Mask)” first debuted on Alice Cooper’s Constrictor album and horror fans will immediately recognize it as the theme song to Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives. While the movie left a lot to be desired, Midnight Danger’s cover is a fitting tribute to Alice Cooper and the man behind the hockey mask, Jason Voorhees. Lizzy Eriksson and Stone Sinna provide the vocals while Midnight Danger turns up the rock with a more impactful score than the original. There’s a clear respect for Cooper’s version as Midnight Danger merely amplified its best parts in this memorable horror theme.

The second song for September calms things down a bit with a song you’ll swear you’ve heard before. The familiarity of Siamese Youth’s “Coco” isn’t a sign that the Berlin artists borrowed elements from 80s favorites, but rather that they understand the timeless tunes of the era. While “Coco” may be a callback to the 80s, it’s impossible not to hear a bit of modern pop sneaking through in the chorus. This catchy track is off of Electric Dreams, the debut album of synth-duo Mark Gritsenko and Christoph Hassel. 

For the third track on the #PAXWAVE playlist, we’re treated to a healthy dose of guitar riffs, rhythmic beats, and the sci-fi sounds of synth. Maico’s “R-20 10” is classic electronic music that puts all of the best elements of synthwave at the forefront. The beat will grab hold, but it’s the interjection of guitar that will cause your hair to stand on end. As if the song weren’t gripping enough, Maico released a music video for “R-20 10” that was produced and directed by Mike Garcia. Ensuring viewers and listeners understand the connection to the 80s, the video revolves around Knight Rider’s trusty car – KITT.

The first three songs of September may have gotten your adrenaline pumping, but Futurecop! is here to bring it down with the soothing sounds of “Breakfast Cereal.” The twinkling start of this synthpop track is sure to relax you as it prepares you for the uptick in energy that follows as the chorus comes into play. Since 2007, Futurecop! composer Manzur Iqbal has been crafting addictive synthpop and synthwave tunes, and “Breakfast Cereal” is no different. The uplifting song is a contrast to Midnight Danger’s start to the month and will leave you anticipating what may land on # PAXWAVE’s October playlist.


Mark LoProto
Mark LoProto is a horror-loving gaming enthusiast with a love for electronic music and a soft spot for Ghostbusters, bubble wrap, and kittens. He's also on Twitter.