During the tumultuous past few years, a new sub-genre appeared that combines elements of several existing genres. Fashwave is synthwave with a darkwave sensibility and occasional metal-inspired riffs that sound very much out of the canon of Beherit or Burzum, but simplified to fit within the more synthpop-oriented rhythms of fashwave.

As this music keeps getting censored by YouTube and BandCamp, it is very hard to acquire, except for downloads of second-generation video uploads. And you should get the video, because in accord with its inspiration from the 1980s, fashwave is designed as combined video, audio and symbolic presentations, sort of like Greek theater.

Like synthwave, this sub-genre embraces retro aesthetics without corniness in the half-cynical and half-unserious self serving style of mass man, but instead accepts the cheesy 1980s milieu as a constraint to work within and something which can be improved by recontexting it. In fact, much of fashwave feels like retroactive continuity that is re-interpreting the past as something it was that we did not see.

Unlike most synthwave, however, fashwave embraces a vigorous intensity more like metal. Even at its fruitiest, the music aims for high energy (“yuge” no doubt) and a sense of inner conflict, which makes it musically more interesting than most synthwave. The Miami Vice aesthetics and WWII fetishism just make this more surreal.

I think it a mistake to read this music solely as promotion of fascism and national socialism, although surely that is also there. There is more of a sense of “retro” itself, as in looking back at the 1940s and thinking that this was the last time European and American civilization had something close to “greatness,” and the 1980s as the last safe time before the downfall.

Fashwave leapt into prominence in 2016, when it was used as a tool by large media to warn of an Alt Right form of music, but then people got out there and realized that the music is entirely separate from the political movement, and so the hype died. But the music gained intensity over the next year, mostly because as things get further out of hand in modern society — this is something that the top 20% of our population by IQ knows instinctively, but everyone else is oblivious to — people are looking for a strong, comforting, but realistic and thus somewhat dark voice to explain the past and open doors to the future.

This phenomenon kicked into high gear with the recent deletion of accounts belonging to fashwave artist Joseph Retrostein and others. This is a common nasty tactic by big media providers, who are betting on individuals not having backups and therefore, the material being gone forever, which is a good way of making it look as if you have everything under control and that your anarchic internet is actually a digital Disneyland managed by paid staff.

Therein we see something interesting about the recent censorship. They are no longer trying to win; they are trying to hide the truth long enough to get away with whatever they are doing. Facebook, Google, Reddit, Twitter and other censors do not expect to change minds, although they hope to prevent new people from being influenced by the virus of post-democratic thinking, but they really want to present services where everyone is happy and nothing is harmful so they can suck in more scared media sheep to keep their statistics up.

As far as the political content, it is a laugh to even discuss it. All music has political content and no music has political content, because “politics” is merely the expression of a desire for a certain type of civilization translated into symbols to manipulate masses of people, which is why censorship is such an important thing now. Napalm Death are Reds; Morrisey is a royalist; most metal bands want eugenics, oppression and some type of authoritarian power to keep The Herdâ„¢ in its place, because right now mass culture is ruining everything.

For metal fans, what is of interest here is that this music carries on much of what black metal wanted to be: a fusion of metal intensity and synthpop or techno listenability, perhaps while evoking a combination of the autumnal sounds of a dying civilization and the fervent rise of those who want to hoist the black flag, clear aside the dead wood, purge the liars and idiots, and rebuild something greater than Rome in its heyday.

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37 thoughts on “Fashwave”

  1. Marc Defranco says:

    There’s been a pretty big bump in this type of retro electronic John Carpentar music. Perturbator, Gost and other big names have released stuff through metal labels so this stuff is probably just following along

    1. It’s different from John Carpenter: less kraut rock influence, more 80s nostalgia.

      1. Marc Defranco says:

        Ahh ok

      2. Trashchunk says:

        That’s why a lot of it is shit to me, it all has extremely lazy EZ congoid dance beats that are generic. I like the lethargic pace and teeny sounds of Kraftwerks drums, or the militant glory of early Laibach, even a real drum track sounds good on this type of stuff (So Young So Cold comp), either way, I don’t want to dance like a negro.

  2. Deport All Hipsters says:

    This is actually pretty good.
    This guy is still on Bandcamp https://xurious.bandcamp.com/

  3. Tiffany T says:

    Hey guys would you consider this music hard rock or heavy metal?
    Please help !


    1. canadaspaceman says:

      RACER X’s Street Lethal album is heavy metal, not hard rock, but has rockin’ parts. Good album, has Paul Gilbert shredding guitar like Yngwie , EVH, Dweezil Zappa, etc.

  4. ;alks;als;la says:

    Pure cringe, so contrived. “Vaporwave” itself (one half of the equation) is a phony fetishism of an era nobody in the ‘genre’ even lived through. I was actually alive in the 80s so I can tell you these kids get it all fucking wrong.

    Goebbels: smh

    1. Marc Defranco says:

      From what I understand the 80s were a lot of working, drinking, clubbing and goofing off with a dash of Cold War

      1. Perhaps more than that, the 1980s were a return of social order after the upheaval of the 1960s, bringing with it an increased focus on values that had previously been traditional. Its downfall was that it did not continue and go all the way back before the 1950s, which was a time that interrupted the post-WWI drift toward Leftism, and instead look at the roots of civilization and what is required to have a thriving one.

        Similarly, National Socialism aimed for a form of modernity without the problems of modernity, but “fighting fire with fire” can lead to everything still being ablaze. This is why National Socialism was not extreme enough — it did not repudiate and replace 1789 — and why it also compensated with absurd, over-the-top activities which ended up being miserable and degrading, such as the Holocaust and a valiant but failed war against nearly everyone. The Japanese showed the same spasmodic tendency, although in Italy it seemed less ambitious.

        1. Rainer Weikusat says:

          The only reason why “National Socialism” was ever allowed to happen (first by financing it and then, by installing the NS leaders as state leaders) was this very war. The people who “saved the army” at the end of WWI by sacrificing the monarchy (to woo the USA) had been working towards this goal ever since they got rid of the immediate problem of the working class uprising in Germany in 1919/20. They brought in Hitler to secure the popular vote (to a degree at least) after two attempts at installing leaders directly from their ranks (Kurt v. Schleicher and Franz v. Papen) had turned out unworkable in practice.

          1. Trashchunk says:

            No one cares, where’s the German beers faggot?!

            1. Rainer Weikusat says:

              I care. But not about what you don’t care about, “abbot”.

  5. Erekt says:

    I thought martial-industrial has been a “thing” for quite a while now. What gives?

  6. Lance Viggiano says:

    so you have on the one hand synthwave with cheesy retro fetishism and in the other the cheesy militarism of the thirties. The next thousand years of cringe are ours!

    tbh perturbator reps dat heshlyfe doe. I fuck with it but. this fashwave is too much. It’s piss bottle.

    1. entertain me says:

      And that’s why your women prefer sand negroes nowadays.

      1. Lance Viggiano says:

        I’m not in Sweden my dude.

    2. you're gay says:

      damn L dawg are you drunk?

      1. Lance Viggianno says:

        I was very hungover

  7. Flying Kites says:

    “It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this”


    1. Only Italo disco is real says:

      I always knew uncle Adolf was a good man.

  8. McJameson says:

    This music is only tolerable while driving through downtown at night on x.

  9. Anndra says:

    this is really terrible music.

  10. Donald Trump says:

    This is hit or miss but when it’s good it’s GOOD. The track “Banzai” is quite enjoyable. Thus is gonna be HUUUUUUUUUUUGE.

  11. Necronomeconomist says:

    “the 1980s as the last safe time before the downfall.”

    Brett, c’mon now. Do you see it that way, or just positing that Fashwave posits it that way? I’m sure that, in the ’80s, you were completely anti-Reagan, anti-Moral Majority, anti-Americanism, anti-God/country/family.

    Cold War. Didn’t you think the ’80s were the downfall?!

    1. I see their point, which is that compared to what came after, the 1980s were a time of relative stability. I still have skepticism about Reagan, but what he did was to halt the rushing wave of 1968-style “reforms.” The Moral Majority, Americanism and “God, family, country” (work hard, pray hard) are still conservative idiocy worth criticizing.

      One cannot be a conservative without embracing the fundamental idea of conserving what is virtuous, and this implies seeing the entire world through a qualitative filter that is akin to Darwinism. With this, it becomes clear that conservatives who endorse, say, democracy, are Left-converged and compromised.

      1. you're gay says:

        ‘I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: democracy simply doesn’t work.”

      2. autist says:

        democracy worked when it was only white male land-owners who had the vote.

        1. That led to our current state, so I must disagree.

          Democracy sucks, fascism sucks, all Leftism (incl. Communism, their ultimate goal) sucks. Plato was right. You have to re-start the cycle, and there is only one form that does that.

  12. you're gay says:

    loving ‘fight for western civilisation’

    1. you're gay says:

      it’s time to get ill

  13. Imposition says:

    This is all ‘fuck me the arse’ music.

    Like recent Burzum ‘efforts’, it’s music which is only getting attention because it’s fashy.

    Not a great reason.

  14. Cheesedick says:

    Fuck this music. I’d rather listen to 90’s TV eurotrance.

  15. Dispirited says:


    All I hear is cheesy hipster shit trying to replicate some sort of Jean Michel Jarre sound trying by use of ‘strong’ track titles and imagery to attract people who are either brainless idiots who think being born white deserves a medal or are enamoured with Third Reich aesthetics.

    If you put this music to Japanese animation and change the titles to something completely different nobody would be calling it fashwave.

    Brett, you seem to be aware of the cheesiness here, and you even mention it somewhere, and that’s cool; what bugs me is that I don’t know if you’re being funny or you’re serious when you write:

    “…the fervent rise of those who want to hoist the black flag, clear aside the dead wood, purge the liars and idiots, and rebuild something greater than Rome in its heyday.”

    Oh I see what you’re trying to do. Rome. Fascists. Of course.

    How is that not herd mentality? you want to join a group of idiots who want to fight people deemed inferior to them in order to build an empire? go join the muslims of ISIS. That’s what they’re trying to do. That’s what Islam teaches.

    I don’t know want to be too hard here; I don’t know how old you are. Enjoy your fashwave.

  16. Parasite says:

    Best “fashwave” on Youboob is by this track.


    Not the intended original “video” but has been edited to be Fashwave.

  17. LoAd says:

    What the fuck is wrong with my anus. It used to post good articles about true metal bands. Now it’s posting cringy things about shitty 80s nostalgia

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