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Is sovietwave a subgenre of synthwave or vaporwave?

Kreislauf

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I found this album while browsing the vaporwave tab in bandcamp and from what i understood it belongs to a subgenre called sovietwave. However it sounds extremely synthwavy to me. Is sovietwave a subgenre of vaporwave or is it a subgenre of synthwave?
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Ok, as a fan of sovietwave, no, sovietwave is not a subgenre of vaporwave, is a subgenre of synthwave, which makes use of soviet era synthesizers (more specifically, the polivok), the communist inspired vaporwave subgenre is called "Labourwave" which like fashwave, is mostly aesthetic and doesn't have any difference with any vaporwave song (unlike sovietwave, which is original on it's own), it is also popular between the soviet nostalgia enthusiasts due to the idea of the dead dream of lenin and the future that never was (it also had a lot of the space race aesthetics too)

The polivok (it can be a plugin too)
1643540080827.png

Sovietwave aesthetics:
1643540107079.png
An example of Labourwave.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLMTNFkKcaI

And the soviet nostalgia:
1643540237999.png
 
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Kreislauf

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nsequeira119

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Ok, as a fan of sovietwave, no, sovietwave is not a subgenre of vaporwave, is a subgenre of synthwave, which makes use of soviet era synthesizers (more specifically, the polivok), the communist inspired vaporwave subgenre is called "Labourwave" which like fashwave, is mostly aesthetic and doesn't have any difference with any vaporwave song (unlike sovietwave, which is original on it's own), it is also popular between the soviet nostalgia enthusiasts due to the idea of the dead dream of lenin and the future that never was (it also had a lot of the space race aesthetics too)

The polivok (it can be a plugin too)
View attachment 16244
Sovietwave aesthetics:
View attachment 16245An example of Labourwave.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLMTNFkKcaI

And the soviet nostalgia:
View attachment 16246

I agree, it's definitely a subgenre of Synthwave. Soviet vaporwave is kind of an oxymoron considering that vaporwave is explicitly about consumerism and no such thing existed in the Soviet Union- at least, not as we understand it. Sovietwave isn't even necessarily a nostalgic genre, the Soviets were huge pioneers of synth music and arguably made more synth music than we did in the 80s, so there's much more of a blur between music that tries to capture that sound and actual 80s Soviet synth music. Here's one of my favorites- "How Do You Know" by the group "Original".

 
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Ross_Я

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the Soviets were huge pioneers of synth music
How so? One of the first soviet synth bands was Argo from Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic. They were formed in 1979 and were waaay experimental. I'd call them barely listenable.
At that point there were already years of true pioneers of synth being on the scene. Like, Kraftwerk, for example.
In fact, given how close West Germany was to USSR, one can tell it took really long time for soviets to jump on the synths. Synths in the USSR took hold approximately at the same time they took hold in US. And there was a good reason to it: the Iron Curtain and inner soviet politics.

arguably made more synth music than we did in the 80s
As much as I'd like to agree with it, this is simply not true, and the reason is stated above. Especially for the first part of the 80's, before perestroika and stuff, synth music was pretty much considered western music, with all the consequences of it. Nothing too heavy, but to get a record in the studio was next to impossible.
The band Original you've attached is a prime example for it: Davron Gaipov has only been able to make several records because his father was a big political figure. And even then it backfired on him: he eventually got caught into political games and got sent into Siberia for five years.
Arguably, Hong Kong alone likely dished out more synthesized music than the whole Soviet Union during the 80's. Once again, this place had a huge timelag.
 
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nsequeira119

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How so? One of the first soviet synth bands was Argo from Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic. They were formed in 1979 and were waaay experimental. I'd call them barely listenable.
At that point there were already years of true pioneers of synth being on the scene. Like, Kraftwerk, for example.
In fact, given how close West Germany was to USSR, one can tell it took really long time for soviets to jump on the synths. Synths in the USSR took hold approximately at the same time they took hold in US. And there was a good reason to it: the Iron Curtain and inner soviet politics.


As much as I'd like to agree with it, this is simply not true, and the reason is stated above. Especially for the first part of the 80's, before perestroika and stuff, synth music was pretty much considered western music, with all the consequences of it. Nothing too heavy, but to get a record in the studio was next to impossible.
The band Original you've attached is a prime example for it: Davron Gaipov has only been able to make several records because his father was a big political figure. And even then it backfired on him: he eventually got caught into political games and got sent into Siberia for five years.
Arguably, Hong Kong alone likely dished out more synthesized music than the whole Soviet Union during the 80's. Once again, this place had a huge timelag.
You underestimate the Soviet Union's potential in terms of its ability to conceptualize the future, which had been a core tenet of the Union since its inception, and which also happens to be a necessary component of electronic music. Keep in mind that Hong Kong was a puppet state of Britain until 1997- a country under a monarchy isn't going to create music of the future, it's going to create stuffy, aristocratic fluff. When I listen to a band like Original, on the other hand, I find that it's decades ahead of its time, an unparalleled cosmic voyage. Maybe the reason you don't understand great Soviet synth music isn't because it has some kind of "timelag-" it's probably because the Soviet Union was such a sophisticated civilization that its greatness will only be understood in centuries to come. Their music is positively kickin'!
 
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Jodo_Fan

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Keep in mind that Hong Kong was a puppet state of Britain until 1997- a country under a monarchy isn't going to create music of the future, it's going to create stuffy, aristocratic fluff.

Not to be a downer, bro, but wouldn't that then have to apply to the UK's musical output? As one example, Brian Eno's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (1981) is pretty forward looking with its use of samples.



And then there's Gary Numan.



etc. etc. etc.
That said, I like the way you try to look at music from a wider social perspective. :)
 
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Ross_Я

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First of all, how does a form of government on its own has anything, literally anything to do with its art or artists? Even individual people's ability to conceptualise the future only depends on a form of government indirectly. Have you listened to Hong Kong music, saw it's movies? They are bonkers, definitely not anyhow stuffy or aristocratic.

And second: I was born in the Soviet Union. I keep living in whatever's left after it and I miss it dearly. If anything, I might overestimate Soviet Union on ocassion. And while I'm ready to argue to death that Soviet Union has been ahead of its time in different aspects of culture - like hockey, some genres of movies, theatre and even some genres of music - please, do believe me when I say: synthesized music has not been such an area.

That's in two words. Soviet Union overall can sliced on different eras, pretty much depending on those who has been in charge at the time, and their attitude towards art and artists. Lenin, for example, promoted movie industry, futurists and futurism heavily. Stalin sent most of them to an early grave and cut money funding to multiple movie makers. Eisenstein, for example, failed to finish ¡Que viva México! and Bezhin Lug because of him.
 
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nsequeira119

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Not to be a downer, bro, but wouldn't that then have to apply to the UK's musical output? As one example, Brian Eno's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (1981) is pretty forward looking with its use of samples.



And then there's Gary Numan.



etc. etc. etc.
That said, I like the way you try to look at music from a wider social perspective. :)

Yeh, I'd apply that to Britain, Canada, Australia- all the Commonwealth countries. They don't have the surge of optimism Soviet Synthwave has. I like Brian Eno, but for completely different reasons. His compositions are measured, calculated, precise. Something like Original is indescribably colorful and vibrant. The Soviets are truly unparalleled in the synth field, and the more you look into it, the deeper the plunge takes you. A ton of my recommended feed is Soviet synth bands I used to have no idea existed- the only reason Americans don't know about them is because of the Iron Curtain, but with the magic of the Internet they can finally be heard. Top-tier synth-pop, very few American bands even come close. Maybe SSQ, but not much else.
 
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Ross_Я

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Finally, if you like Original, try to listen to space disco and french electronics of late 70's in general. Space disco as a genre was created specifically for feelings of "an unparalleled cosmic voyage". The band Space especially has been quite popular in USSR: out of all things, they were able to give a concert in Moscow, in 1983 nontheless: given that it was before perestroika, it is quite an unimaginable feat.



And I own a soviet Space vinyl disc. Actually, I own a vinyl of Original as well. If you do not see the influence of Space in the early soviet synth music - and especially that Original track - I don't know what to say.
 
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