Interview: Lazerpunk

I had the opportunity to ask Lazerpunk a few questions recently, and the Hungarian retrowave artist had plenty to say!

Q: I have heard your musical style described as "80s synthwave with a touch of industrial." Tell me about your style in your own words, and about what music influences you as an artist.When I was a kid I wanted to be a rock star, like almost everyone in that era. We didn't really have internet at that time, so I mostly listened to what was going on the TV and the radio, and I dismissed electronic music as dumb and uninteresting. Apart from Kraftwerk and Jean Michel Jarre. If I remember right I've been listening to them since nursery school. Then later in my teenage years I got internet connection and the world of electronic music just sucked me in. Especially the ebm/industrial scene. I think the first band I found was Funker Vogt, then came the rest like Skinny Puppy, Front 242, Frontline Assembly, Hocico, Combichrist, Wumpscut, etc.. I spent the fair share of my youth at various industrial parties.

Q: What equipment and/or software do you use? also, what is the creative process like for you when you sit down to work on music?
People always get disappointed when I answer this question. At this point I use only software. I started with Dance eJay, a program I bought with a box of cereal. But I got bored of it quickly, and started making video games instead. I got back into making music only a few years ago. Now I use FL Studio. To be honest, I often try to copy the style of artists I like, or I try to completely copy a track of theirs. I start working on it, but at some point I'll just decide that it would sound better if I do this and that in a different way. So in the end all my tracks are unique.

Q: You live in Hungary. What is the retrowave scene like there? Are you afforded a lot of opportunities to display and expose your work?
A sad topic. Although Hungary (I mean the capitol, Budapest) has a lot of clubs and it is considered to be one of the best places in Europe if you want to party all the time, it seems to me that we are not so open musically. For example, the industrial/ebm scene is amazing in Germany. Here? It barely exists. And the same goes for many other genres. I'd kill for a good synthwave event in my city, but I figured that if I don't make it happen, nobody will. I think the problem is that everyone is waiting for others to act. Club owners are waiting for musicians to approach them, musicians are waiting for club owners. I think we have to get rid of this "you can't make it happen here" mindset and get off of our asses. Good things come to those who wait? Bullshit! Good things come to those who go out and take action. So my plan for 2015 is to break out from this  virtual reality, and make some retro noise in the offline world. Thankfully there are a few other synthwave artists in Hungary who I can count on, like Q U I X O T I C, Neon Droid and the 80s strange robots.

Q: Outside of strictly music, what aspects of 80s retro culture influence you or stick out in your mind?
Honestly I'm too young to have any memories from the 80s, but you have to understand, that Hungary (and Eastern Europe in general) is a different place. Here time goes slower. What was the 90s in the US was the 80s here. Sometimes I think about the 90s and realize that most of my memories of that era is from 2000-2005. It would be hard to pick just a few examples. The vast amount of cheesy action movies, weird sci-fis, laughable horrors I watched on overused VHS tapes. The video games I played on old analog TVs. And the optimistic, good vibes of the 90s in general all influenced my music in some way.

Q: Outside of synthwave/retrowave music, what kinds of music do you enjoy? What other genres?
I listen to a lot of genres. Mostly electronic, but sometimes I feel like I need to reset my brain and ears. Then for like a week I listen to black metal, indie, rock music, rockabilly, hardcore, whatever. Then I get back to electronic music, and to be honest I still feel like a discoverer. People who don't listen to electronic music often dismiss it as dumb techno, and they think all electronic music is David Guetta. Then I show them some witch house, vaporwave, dark ambient, power noise, chiptune, space synth, drone music and I just see the spark in their eyes. And little after that they tend to ask me to turn off that shit, haha. Okay it mostly happens with power noise only.

Q: In August, you released "Game Over," which is a very good album. What has been cooking since then, and what can we expect in the future? Anything in the works? If nothing else, at least give us a hint or a teaser.
Since Game Over I made a few tracks, and I also started working on an other project. Which is nowhere yet, but it is going to be some good stuff. Something more harsh, more dark, and more agressive. As for Lazerpunk! I have a lot of plans for the near future. One of them is original music videos. And I don't mean that I'll put together scenes from retro movies (although I absolutely love these videos, bless you neros77) but I will direct my own videos. I think this is something that would make the synthwave scene a lot better. I mean I would really, really love to see original music videos from people like Protector 101, Perturbator, Lazerhawk, Gost, etc. I think music is not just about music. The music itself is just a part of it. The style, the looks, the pictures, the videos, the concerts, these are all very important things and I think the retrowave scene is missing out on these in a lot of cases. There are amazing artists out there who have nothing but a soundcloud link with a few mp3s. And no offense, because they are still doing good, since their music is great. But imagine if they had music videos, did live shows, tours, etc. I'd love that.

Lazerpunk's Bandcamp Page

Bryan Eddy

Bryan Eddy (sometimes Ronnie Future) lives in the central region of North Carolina. He studied Criminology/Criminal Justice at a money mill tech college and is an avid reader/curator of true crime and serial killer non-fiction. He first discovered RetroWave music by being exposed to it around 2011, and jumped directly into the plasma pool. He has not surfaced since. Bryan is an avid fan of horror films from the 70s and 80s, as well as most of the music from that era. He also enjoys tabletop RPGs and occasionally writes material for those as well.



Listen up folks. Your ears will thank you in the multitudes!!



Hey Guys,

Here is wishing you all a "Happy Holiday". Enjoy your gift courtesy of Laser Unicorns!

Take a look at the sneak peak clips from the "Kung Fury" Movie!! Full of merriness!



2014: Top Ten Newcomers

To cap off a great year for retrowave music, I’ve compiled a list of ten amazing newcomers to the scene from 2014. While the artists near the top of this list are personal favorites, and some are more popular than others, this list isn’t meant to stratify them. It is meant to bring them all to your attention, for the first time or all over again.

10: Colonizer

Texas- based Colonizer released his debut “Dawn of the Hunter” in May, and quickly followed up with November’s self-titled work. While both are quite good, the fun part here is listening for the improvement and growth between the albums. One of the more enjoyable parts of my work for NRW is observing the growth of newer artists, and Colonizer did not fail to impress me. He is one worth keeping an eye on!

9: Android Automatic

Talk about a guy who’s got it figure out. Android Automatic may have been making and playing music before 2014, but hadn’t released any of it to us until this year. Upon listening, all I can say is that it perfectly fits the formula, and that is a compliment, not an insult. AA produces crisp, unforgivingly precise retrowave, with rich synths and a truly classic ear-feel.

8: Panda P. I.

Here’s someone who’s spent the entire year cranking out good tunes, and I feel dumb for having overlooked it. Panda P. I. debuted in January, releasing a few EPs and even featuring on an indie game soundtrack. Just this month he released his first full-length, “Victim of Technology,” which is very good. While staying true to form, Panda P.I. plays a little with the formula and keeps you on your toes while you listen. There is also a wonderful metamorphosis of style and skill across his work. It is all worth taking in.

7: Glass Apple Bonzai

Glass Apple Bonzai is certainly something else. Much of newer retrowave music focuses on the synth and doesn’t primarily feature singing or lyrics, but Glass Apple Bonzai throws that out the window.  Upon first jumping in and firing up the self-titled album, my thought was “it’s good that Thomas Dolby and those other guys have someone to pass the torch to.” And that’s not a bad assessment. It is very tight music, with attention paid to quality throughout, but the guy has a good voice, too! Here’s hoping we hear much more from Glass Apple Bonzai in the future.

6: Mega Corp

Mega Corp has released just a small handful of tracks so far, but I wanted to feature him for a couple of reasons. One of these is that he hails from my home state of North Carolina. I believe that makes exactly two of us out here who are into retrowave. The other is that, while his work is sparse, it has been good enough that he has been featured in NRW compilations before. Therefore, you may have heard him. I sincerely hope he gives us more to hear; as well as having only made a couple of tracks, he also hasn’t made much about himself known outside of his location. Personally, I’ll be watching this guy like a hawk. He seems to have a good sense of dramatic buildup in his music, and also a good ear for blending tones.

5: Dana’s Vision

This Swedish artist is another one who’s done sparse work but ended up on one or more of our comps. From what little I’ve heard, this is outrun-style music at its finest. You want to get in your car and count the white lines down the highway. Dana’s Vision is another one I expect great things from.

4: Lazerpunk

Lazerpunk, a Hungarian retrowave artist, went ahead and debuted with a full-length album this past August. Since then he has busted a few tracks here and there, but I wanted to draw attention to him because he’s got something else good going for him: He’s very approachable. Many musicians milk the mysticism of being aloof and hard to reach; not so our Lazerpunk. I have an interview with him that will be published later on. As far as his music, it is nice and sharp, with a dark flavor but no lack of energy to it. “Game Over” is an album worth listening to.

3: Street Cleaner

Also easy to approach and phenomenally talented, Jesse Bishop aka Street Cleaner was pretty busy during 2014. Starting out in July with a set of remixes, Street Cleaner kicked ass all through 2014. His current album, “Payback,” was just recently reviewed by yours truly and was a real treat. He also has an interview published on our site. Street Cleaner isn’t screwing around; he’s got his look down, his aesthetic settled on, and he’s got a solid reputation already despite being new to the scene.

2: Sagittarius V

“Lucidator” was featured on our most recent compilation, and we all thought it deserved to be; this guy is amazing. Hailing from Belgium, Sagittarius V snuck out and dropped some bombs on us. 2014 for him included “Symphonies In Space” and “Renegade,” two excellent short albums with very different themes. While “Symphonies” seems much more experimental, “Renegade” fits like a Tetris block into the retrowave aesthetic and is good from front to back. Sagittarius V is poised to continue impressing us, and I for one hope he plans to hit us again and again with tracks as great as “Lucidator.”

1: VHS Glitch

Oh, where to start with VHS Glitch. His “Digital Rebirth” occurred in April and he’s been at it with a fury ever since. He’s appeared on our comps, we’ve featured his songs on YouTube, and he’s been busy popping out albums and remixes and just not letting up.  VHS Glitch shows little sign of slowing down, either: the dude has finished up 2014 by releasing a set of remixes for free as a gift to his fans. And to address the music for a moment, it is fare for any 80s soundtrack. If I flew a spacecraft, this stuff would definitely make the cut for my interstellar road trip mix tape.

If you'd like a listen, here's everyone's Bandcamp page...

VHS Glitch
Sagittarius V
Street Cleaner
Dana's Vision
Mega Corp
Glass Apple Bonzai
Panda P.I.
Android Automatic

It’s been a heck of a year, and we’ve got a lot in store for you in the next one. Happy Holidays to all you retro fans, and we’ll keep bringing you the best as long as artists like these keep making it!

Bryan Eddy

Bryan Eddy (sometimes Ronnie Future) lives in the central region of North Carolina. He studied Criminology/Criminal Justice at a money mill tech college and is an avid reader/curator of true crime and serial killer non-fiction. He first discovered RetroWave music by being exposed to it around 2011, and jumped directly into the plasma pool. He has not surfaced since. Bryan is an avid fan of horror films from the 70s and 80s, as well as most of the music from that era. He also enjoys tabletop RPGs and occasionally writes material for those as well.


Top Ten EPs of 2014

 NewRetroWave's Top Ten EPs of 2014

by Joey Edsall

10. Dynatron – Throttle Up

My list begins with the first release I reviewed for NRW. I initially described the release as “confident“, and after months of listening this still stands.  Throttle Up has a thumping, driving quality to it that never really lets up.

9. Sagittarius V – Renegade

Sagittarius V's thematic and dystopian release from September 2014 was one I found myself going back over several times. Several of the songs balance this line between frantic and calming, a quality which made this EP a standout.

8. Midnight Static – Colorwave
No Album Art Available

The undeniably catchy and lo-fi tracks on Midnight Static's very recent release feel like they could be New Order demo tapes. Let me be clear: A lot of the synths on this EP are not pristine and clear. Let me be clearer: they sound beautiful and it makes this release memorable, unique, and one of the ten best synthwave EP's of the year. Oh, and it's free.

7. Com Truise – Wave 1 

Moving away from the most obscure on this list to the closest this list has to “mainstream“, Com Truise released an EP this year, and it was (unsurprisingly) groovy and awesome. While demonstrating the scene's love of certain words (“waves“, in this case, more on that later!), the releases showcases a lot of funk sensibilities, a trait that I noticed popping up in a lot of underground electronic releases this year.

6. Dead Astronauts -  ­Self Titled EP 2.0

If you're like me and loved Dead Astronauts' full length, then you would be happy to know they have a name your price EP also available on Bandcamp. It is technically a rerelease of a 2013 EP, but has re-mastered audio and bonus tracks to keep you more than satisfied. It has everything that made Constellations so memorable and enjoyable.

5. Josef Kenny – Parallax

Parallax really emphasizes the ­–lax in this subdued, chill EP. The album is dripping in analog, being recorded with a slew of synthesizers, guitars, and a drum machine all into a cassette recorder. While the digital vs. analog debate is…endless, the EP has an identity all to its own and is refreshingly original from start to finish. The guitar work in particular in this album is unlike any guitar on any release this year.

4. Marco Maiole – Pollen­

Marco Maiole's debut from November has one of my favorite opening tracks of any release of the year. This is another very funky release this year, with upbeat and euphoric synths and vocoder laced vocals. The entire EP feels like the playlist for a dance club that closed when you were too young, and you spend the rest of your life imagining how much fun it must have been.

3. Timecop1983 – Waves

Wait a minute… Retrowave artists love Miami and the night. Miami is in Florida. Florida gets a lot of waves. Retrowave artists really love waves. This website is called NewRetro….Wave. Illuminati confirmed! Open your eyes, people!

Nobody does dreamy like Timecop1983. His absolute skill with setting mood and then refining it with beautiful melodies is what makes me return to his music time and time again. He is hands down one of the best artists in the scene. This EP has a lot of long songs, but not one deserves to be skipped.

2. Arcade High – Heat Wave

Waves again (shut up, it counts)! The record label Telefuture has been all over this list with their unique batch of artists. The titular track features vocals by Morissa Trunzo and its combination of joy and sine waves is so good that it would find its way into the list on the strength of that track alone. It is that good.  The reason it is so high up on the list is because the other tracks on Heat Wave are all impressive. The EP manages to make you really wish it had twice the amount of songs it had.

1. Starcadian – Saturdaze

Another countdown win for Starcadian! Two minutes of Saturdaze opening track, “Ultralove“, should show you why. Starcadian manage to mix lush pads and retro sounding synths with high-energy beats and a very Random Access Memories-esque feel. No release this year left me wanting to dance this much. The entire EP is gripping and interesting and really unlike anything else in the scene. It is impossible to listen to it and stay motionless. You find yourself possessed by Saturdaze.

Joey Edsall

Joey Edsall was born and raised near Scranton, Pennsylvania. He has always immersed himself in art, being an avid fan of film and music and an amateur creator of both. In addition to the electronic production aspect of music, he is the lead guitarist of Scranton-based post-hardcore band Give Us Your Bones. It was his love of film that initially drew Joey to NRW and the unique sounds of the genre, through modern classics like Drive and retro classics like Big Trouble in Little China. He is also a middle school English teacher. Email:


The Top 10 Best Retrowave Album Covers of 2014

The Top 10 Album Artwork Covers of 2014

By Rhys Pearce

10. Le Cassette - Left to our own devices / Released on 10th July 2014
Artwork by Crystal Labs

'A real basic design here, but really effective. This kind of art was super popular during the 1980's and I like to imagine that Prince has wallpaper like this throughout his house'.

9. Timecop1983 - Journeys / Released on 10th June 2014
Artwork by Timecop1983

'Another simplistic design that goes to show that album art doesn't always have to be complicated and complex to be visually appealing. This cover has a super classic retro vibe and always leaves me wanting to play Out Run'.

8. Void Vision - Sub Rosa / Released on 11th November 2014

'Definitely one of my favourite records released in 2014. This grey scale cover spoke to me before I'd even heard a note of the music and I felt it captured the essence of Void Vision's sound in a single photo'.

7. Dead Astronauts - Constellations / Released on 16th October 2014
Artwork by J3 Concepts

'Lets be honest, if you bumped into this creature on the street, you could pretty much guarantee that you'd shit your pants. But, no need to worry guys as its just just the product of someone's least I hope so".

6. Mild Peril - Matter / Released on 3rd July 2014

'First time I saw this cover, I was expecting to listen to some old British Metal band from the late 70's. Turns out that 'Matter' is an awesome Medieval inspired Synth album Programmed & Performed by the talented C Gilbert'.

5. Muscle - The Pump / Released on 17th March 2014
Artwork by Youp Wehnes

'The ultimate soundtrack to get your pump onto, 'The Pump' features an oiled up honey flexing her guns, what's not to like about this cover?'

4. Perturbator - Dangerous days / Released on 17th June 2014
Artwork by Ariel B Zucker

'This beautiful post apocalyptic image from Perturbator is totally bad ass and I'm convinced is something that even SLAYER would be proud of'.

3. Monomer - Labyrinth / Released on 6th November 2014

'The artwork on this cover was designed by, Rufus Blacklock, of whom I'm a big fan. This incredible design was clearly born in the mind of someone with incredible skill and vision'.

2. Ron Cannon - Blue light murder / Released on 13th June 2014

'This could have easily been the front cover of a Slasher Film in the 80's and is without a shadow of a doubt something I would have rented. 'Blue Light Murder' is my unsung hero of 2014'.

1. Starcadia - Saturdaze / Released on 26th September 2014
Artwork by Starcadian & Iknonoklasm

'This beautiful design fills me with nostalgia and takes me back to those feelings of being a kid back in the day. On this album, 'Starcadia' take classic themes from 80's shows such as 'Dance Or Die', 'Cody Laser', 'Lethal Response' and spit out amazing remixes. I listened to this one constantly for over a week'.









I recently had a chance to ask a few questions of Jesse Bishop, aka "Street Cleaner." The synthwave vigilante had some definitive, interesting answers for me.

Q:Tell me about your style in your own words, and about what music influences you as an artist.

-I've always been into music, Electronic music. In the late 90's I cut my teeth in the Impulse tracker / Fast tracker Gabber scene. Then moved into chiptunes. I found that the music I appreciated and remembered most was from Video Games and 80's movies. I worked on video game arrangements for a while then finally got a chance to score a ream video game, Aeternum on Xbox and PC. After that project I felt I owed it to myself to also write the soundtrack to an 80's movie (My other passion in life) and wrote the soundtrack to an action/noir vigilante film "Street Cleaner" about a law abiding detective by day, and masked baseball bat wielding vigilante by night. I drew a lot of influences from, well, movies. My Ipod is FULL of 80's movies soundtracks. It's practically all I listen to.

Q:What equipment and/or software do you use? also, what is the creative process like for you when you sit down to work on music?

-I parted with a pretty decent collection of hardware about 5 years ago. I kept my Korg MS2000 and my guitars (Namely, Ibanez HRG1), but found that I can be a much more productive artist with VSTs and other plugins. I'm embarrassed to say, but I still use an old version of FL studio 8. But you know, I've spent to much time with it, I'm afraid to leave it. I know it inside and out. 

Outside of strictly music, what aspects of 80s retro culture influence you or stick out in your mind? 

-The true artistic nature of the 80's. People weren't afraid to take risks. If you look at movies like Manhunter and Blade Runner, They are both standout artistic perfection that in no way had a predecessor. Terminator, The Keep, Akira, Lost Boys, Gremlins, Beetlejuice, American Werewolf, THE LIST GOES ON! All great artistic endeavors that took risks.. Not like the 'Play it safe' bullshit of recent history. Studios would rather give Adam Sandler another 50 million then take a 20 million risk on a potential visionary.

Q: Outside of synthwave/retrowave music, what kinds of music do you enjoy? What other genres?

-Video game music. I listen to game music about as much as anything else. Knowing the sound chip limitation of some of the older game consoles and hearing what these guys were able to make them do just makes my jaw drop. Street of Rage 2 and Gunstar Heroes are prime examples. It's almost as if the physical limitations unlocked limitless potential. 

Q: Just recently, you released "Payback," which was a superb album. What's in the works now? What does the future hold for Street Cleaner?

-I've got a few Irons in the fire right now. The most important of which is a new video game soundtrack. I've already started work on a game that is being developed for PS4 and Steam. It's a much more energetic outrun style game that will be done under the Street Cleaner moniker. I look forward to bridging the gap between Synthwave/Outrun and Game Music. 


Tune in next time, true believers!!!

Bryan Eddy

Bryan Eddy (sometimes Ronnie Future) lives in the central region of North Carolina. He studied Criminology/Criminal Justice at a money mill tech college and is an avid reader/curator of true crime and serial killer non-fiction. He first discovered RetroWave music by being exposed to it around 2011, and jumped directly into the plasma pool. He has not surfaced since. Bryan is an avid fan of horror films from the 70s and 80s, as well as most of the music from that era. He also enjoys tabletop RPGs and occasionally writes material for those as well.


Interview - Dead Astronauts

Hello! First I wanted to thank you so much for taking the time to answer some questions. The NRW community loved your album and would love to learn more about you. 

 Hayley: The pleasure is ours! We're thrilled to be here.

 Jared: Likewise, we are both followers of NRW, so honored to be a part.

 Let’s start basic: Who are the members of Dead Astronauts and how did you form?
H: Dead Astronauts is made up of Jared and I. He approached me a few years ago through Soundcloud to do some vocals on DA's very first single, Favorite Lover, and immediately after asked if I wanted to be a permanent member of the band. We were still experimenting with different roles and debating if we needed another person on board, but we ended up sticking to just the two of us since we seemed to work so well together. Soon after, my role as vocalist turned into vocalist and producer, and it hasn't changed since.

J: Yeah we had struggled for a bit with another producer early on, but it didn't seem to be the right fit. Hayley took a stab at producing "In Disguise" and it worked out nicely. Although I do a bit of the production, I just normally serve to help direct some of it, Hayley has all the technical aspects of it nailed down.

How would you describe your music? What genre or genres would you classify yourselves as?
H: Hmm, that's a tough one. We're definitely 80s inspired, but it shines through in some songs more than others. I think it's somewhere between neo-80s synth pop and coldwave. But then there's songs like our remix of Unhappy Woman that totally goes against that, ha ha. Our sound definitely shifts shape a little bit each time we work on a new track. Our music is usually dark, vocal, and fairly danceable.

J: I use to want to fit us into a specific genre, but I like how we've been able to sort of mutate these different sounds to become a mash-up of a few genres. I like the diversity in that because we can explore the darker side of things on one song, and then the next get into this synth-pop sort of vibe.

Who would you say are your biggest influences musically?
H: I think that some elements of Joy Division, New Order and Depeche Mode have definitely influenced our sound. Junior Boys, too. Both Jared and I have similar taste so it's bound to come through at some points, although it definitely changes here and there. 

J: Hayley said it.

What is your recording set-up?
H: Jared and I both record everything in our respective "home studios" (I use quotations because mine is literally a Blue Mic in front of my computer). I work on the production in Logic, usually while chatting with Jared in Skype and broadcasting the audio for what I'm working on. When he needs to record, I upload a little bounced instrumental file to our Dropbox, he records, sends me his files, and we continue on like this. It sounds like a lot of steps, but it all happens pretty simultaneously. Sometimes he'll have vocal ideas along with a basic skeleton of a track, and I will rework the track around his vocals.

J: Computer, Blue mic, Sennheisser HD 380 Pros, M-Audio speakers, Ableton, and FL Studio. I'm far from pro at this music thing, but man I do enjoy it. 

What is your songwriting process?
H: Jared is pretty much the go-to guy for that. He usually has lyrics ready that he wants to use, so I build a track around it - although the opposite happens quite often too. Every now and then I will come up with a few lines to add to the tracks, but for the most part they are based around Jared's writing. The man has a stockpile, I tell you!

J: Like Hayley said we normally toss ideas back and forth a few times. They are either built off an instrumental idea that Hayley had, or a vocal idea that I had, but again, at times it works differently. I remember for "In Disguise" I had a beat, bassline, and this eerie bell sound laid out with some vocals, sent them to Hayley, and what I got back was this georgeous, polished song. If it could work that seamless every time... we'd have 4 albums by now.

What is the origin of the band mascot, Persephone?
H: Persephone was a brainchild of Jared and Glenn Arthur. Maybe I'll let him answer this one. 

J: I had used the Persephone character in a number of personal (illustration) pieces years back, so the character just stuck with me. I'd approached Glenn Arthur about re-envisioning her, and he came up with this darker side of her I hadn't seen yet. The crystal antlers, partial skull mask etc. were all these additions unique to the Dead Astronauts version of Persephone. We fell in love with her, and I'm hoping she'll stick with us through the years as DA.

The way your band embraces art and animation makes it seem as much a media project as a musical project. Was this an intentional direction that you have taken?
H: Definitely! Both Jared and I work in visual fields (Jared with Illustration, myself with photography) so it's always on our mind when thinking about what we can do with our band. Since we're so far away from one another geographically, it's a little tricky to do live shows - so we have to add a little something extra. It's been great to collaborate with artists who are so talented, even when we were just starting out and no one really knew who we were, ha ha.

J:Yeah we really wanted to make listening to our music an overall "experience". Naturally that would be achieved through a live show or music video, but since we are fairly new to this, we had to start out a bit more simple. We were both surprised when so many artists agreed to take part in the project, I think there are over 30 now. We owe them a lot.

In less than a month the physical copies of your Constellations have sold out. I still stand by it as one of my favorite releases of the year regardless of genre. Did you anticipate Constellations to be as well received as it has been?
H: Aw, thank you so much! I was definitely pleasantly surprised - I honestly didn't know what to expect. Most of our fans knew us from collaborations with artists like Perturbator and DJ Ten, who are so unbelievably talented and ooze the 80s, so it was intimidating since the album is pretty different from some of those sounds. It felt like this secret project Jared and I had been working on for years without very much insight into how people might receive it. I am so thrilled that people seem to like it though, especially since looking back there's always things you want to change, ha ha. I think we're excited to move forward and see where our next projects take us.

J: "Not knowing what to expect" was a big thing for us. Being artists, you always have that nagging feeling in the back of your head that what you are doing isn't good enough. I think it hit us half way through the album, maybe even sooner, that we wanted to make music we were proud of, music we would listen to, something that was unique, no matter the public's reaction. I think we achieved that. Both Hayley and I are proud of the album. Like anything, looking back there are things we'd do differently, but overall we are very happy with both the response we've received from the public and of course the overwhelming support for the album. Also, it was a big surprise to see you enjoyed the album so much. I stumbled across the review one day and remembered reading it twice over with a smile on my face.

What are your favorite non-musical things to do?
H:  An obvious one for me is photography - I haven't been updating my site very much, but I've been doing a lot of work recently that looks at identity and different subcultures. On a less pretentious note, I have rekindled my love of sewing, ha ha. Recently that's translated into working on cosplays. If we're getting real casual, an ideal night for me involves some friends, a cat, some gin, Super Smash Bros, Settlers of Catan and really stupid videos on the internet.

J: Besides time spent with my wife and 2 dogs (Apollonia and Persephone), I'm a Footwear Designer and Graphic Illustrator/Designer by day, freelancer illustrator by night, and "musician" anywhere in between. Besides those though, I'm an avid video gamer, Lego builder, classic anime robot collector, and all round space travelling mega playboy... yeah that last one is a lie, I'm more like an intergalactic lumberjack.

What’s your favorite Dead Astronauts song?

H: Probably Parallel Universes. My favorite track right now is actually one we're working on that we haven't finished yet. ;)

J: Honestly, I love the simplicity of "The Ocean Owns Your Body", but that's kind of cheating because it's a bonus track, so official album, I'd have to say either "Parallel Universes" or "Taking Control". Taking Control mainly because it holds a special place in my heart as I wrote it for my brother.

Check Dead Astronauts out on Facebook, Twitter, and their website.

- Joey Edsall

Joey Edsall

Joey Edsall was born and raised near Scranton, Pennsylvania. He has always immersed himself in art, being an avid fan of film and music and an amateur creator of both. In addition to the electronic production aspect of music, he is the lead guitarist of Scranton-based post-hardcore band Give Us Your Bones. It was his love of film that initially drew Joey to NRW and the unique sounds of the genre, through modern classics like Drive and retro classics like Big Trouble in Little China. He is also a middle school English teacher. Email:


NRW Gets to Know Futurecop! in an Exclusive Interview!

Manzur Iqbal of Futurecop! talks 'Fairy Tales' and his new Burger Joint venture with NRW 

by Rhys Pearce: 

RP -  Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today, I understand things must be pretty hectic for you at the moment. How are you guys and what you been up to?

MI - We are good, it’s been a great experience making the music of this album, think it took about 2 years to do it, but it’s probably the most eclectic and deep thinking record we have made, so far. We have also been busy opening our first Burger joint, Cafe & Cake room in English town called Alderley Edge in Cheshire, UK called Tomfoolery at 34.

RP - How has the reception been for the new record, 'Fairy Tales' so far?

MI - Good I think, we have had great comments from fans, which is heart-warming. Also its good to see we have gained other fans who are new to synth-esque type music.

RP - You collaborated with alot of cool people on the new album, can you tell us a little about 'Futurecop!'s' recording process and how you choose who you would like to work with?

MI - Yeah sure, well we make all the instrumental before hand. Think we made around 35 songs and then chose the tracks that best fit the concepts and ideas we want to portrait. From then it’s a search for the right singers, usually we start with the people we know, then move to searching via Bandcamp. For the album and each song we have a very in-depth story and ideas written up for it, which we pass over to the singer, who we give the freedom to come up with the lyrics. It’s funny because its quite deep yet at the end we tell all singers to be very vague, so people can relate it to their own life or environment. I think it’s important to get people working on the project to really get their heads around the the ideas, which can be hard as the ideas are something you either love or hate plus we had more time to think deeply about it, unlike a singer just coming on board.

RP -  Together with Luke Thompson of Canopy Films you've released a batch of videos to accompany some of the songs featured on the new record, can you expand on how this idea came about and what your inspiration was behind the videos? 

MI - What we liked about Luke’s work was that it was more cinematic and he really got the whole 'lost summer' atmosphere and his shots would film symbols as well as a story, which viewers could see and hopefully relate too. One of the ideas behind the album was the idea of human equality, how we are all the same when we are born and to really understand people and the things they have gone through socially, before judging them. So we wanted to capture feelings through symbols that everyone has felt as children. I think it was more to do with that than the actual story. The story was by myself, and follows kids from the 60s and 90s and again displays equality for kids in all time periods. The ending has a nice twist, that really shows how life can move in mysterious and beautiful ways and how adults can really learn from their youth, to be better people. Anyway you will understand once all the videos are released. There are 6 in total and the 4th one (Mermaids) will be released this Friday.

RP - You've played shows in the US as well as in the UK, do you feel the current retro synth scene differs greatly in these countries?

MI - I am not really sure, it’s quite diverse, so it’s hard to know what to call it or more importantly what they call it. I think the scene is very creative and so everyone is always trying to look different to the current brand. I personally think of us as electronic artists, yes we have our core influences from 80s, 90s, dreams, nostalgia etc but we are open to making any type of music, we want this freedom, it allows no barriers to our thoughts, plus Futurecop! is a personal project, therefore as a growing band we are always changing in our ideas and enhancing our original core ideas. Currently we are interested in spirituality and religious history. So you never know what will the next record will be like.

RP - The whole retro synth movement has really blown up over the last couple of years and many new artists have emerged, do you have any advice to any kids out there just starting out in the scene?

MI - Sounds cheesy but stay true to yourself, don’t listen to anyone who tells you about changing or doing something that will get you fans, money, views or massive tours. MUSIC IS NOT ABOUT VIEWS, it’s touching people’s hearts. Be yourself and you’ll get true fans. Age old saying; quality not quantity.

RP - What's currently in your Walkman? Any recommendations for the NRW readers?

MI - This is a funny one, I'm actually a fan of discovering old music that is new to me. Or anything that touches the heart I guess. So lately I'm into Goo Goo Doll’s old stuff, Lisa Gerrard, Danny Elfman’s Edward Scissorhands soundtrack, Queen, Rusted Root, Enigma, REM, Bryan Adams, Bruce Springsteen, Pavement, Heart, Lemonheads, Joan Osborne, Funeral for a Friend, Deftones, Jean-Jaques Goldman. A lot of love ballads too. New bands I'm into are Rise Against and Angels & Airwaves

You can also check out our label 'We are the future Records' for some great music from the likes of New shack, Hats, New Arcades, Timecop1983 and Exiles.

RP - What's the plan for Futurecop! in 2015?

MI - Besides opening the new burger joint, we want to get into making movie scores plus singles, remixes and new videos from the album. Stay updated on our social media to hear more.

RP - I understand you're a big fan of the late great filmmaker, John Hughes? - Of which character from any of his films are you most like and why?

MI - Oh it changes all the time, I feel like I'm like 10 different people in one body sometimes. However deep inside I'm the male version of Allison Reynolds, the basket case. 

RP -  Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today and I hope you have a great Christmas and New Year!

MI - Thanks and we wish you a great Christmas too and a Happy New Year. Thank you for supporting us and especially the upcoming and new artists. 

'Fairy Tales' by Futurecop! is out now.


Void Vision - Sub Rosa (2014)

Mannequin Records (2014)

Review by Sam Haine –

            I’ve been following Void Vision as a fan since 2007/2008. From the days of seeing an earlier incarnation performing at Digital Ferret when it was a full band and observing with time the evolution into the stripped down eargasm it is today. Even as I write this out, hanging on my wall is Void Visions “In 20 Years” 7in single that I purchased after seeing a performance down in the L.E.S. So, it’s no surprise that I am excited to finally be able to sit and listen to the new full length album just released on Mannequin records entitled “Sub Rosa”.

Shari Vari, the one woman femme fatale of symphony is here at full power with ten tracks worthy of either the dance floor or the bedroom and both. She is a multi-talented artist with an exceptional and unique vocal capability. Her music isn’t wishful thinking to an earlier time; instead it is possessed by it, and pushes it forward without cliché or pretention. It is synthesized foreplay, both liberated and consolidated.

The opening song, “One” with its pulse that will cause you to sway like a virgin on the dance floor just before Shari’s vocals both seduce and hook you in. “Everything is Fine” continues the momentum and relishes in the atmosphere and the tension that the production creates. “The Hidden Hand” is damn near poetry in motion as well is “Sour” with its imagery of a love affair broken. “To the Sea” is probably my favorite track, both on record and performed live. The song itself immediately makes me dream of a couple dressed for a black tie affair dancing in a slow almost tango like waltz on a moonlit beach. “Slow Down” is an instrumental track that invokes both the darkness of Depeche Mode and the suspense of early Dario Argento films. If love were a fist it couldn’t be better defined than it is in following track “Vulgar Displays”, before all bets are off and burned away with the liberating “The Source”. Included is an extended version of “In 20 Years”. And the journey ends with the hypnotic and haunting kiss off, “Queen of Hearts”.
If you ever have the opportunity to see Void Vision live I recommend it.
Void Vision -

Shari Vari - synths, drum machines, textures, programming, vocals, recording, mixing.
Hayden Payne (Phase Fatale / Dream Affair) - programming contribution on 'In 20 Years'.
Adrina Marie - violin on 'To the Sea' and 'The Source'.
Alison Rigby - violin on 'One', and 'Queen of Hearts'.
Wes Russell (Hot Guts) - guitar textures.





















Remember This… Celebrity Crushes

          Remember the time before you discovered nudie magazines or what to do with it if you had it? Remember watching the television from your bowl of Coco Puffs and seeing a woman that was set apart from the others on screen. Remember how sometimes you’d watch that program just to see that chick again? Who cares if it was just a Jordache jean commercial? Who cares if they were only comic book characters? You would think about that person after the credits rolled. You would find her spontaneously appearing in your dreams. They fascinated you and in some indirect way you coveted them- you cut out pictures from magazines and taped them to your wall and you followed their careers in entertainment. They stole your heart, wore your ring and kept your varsity jacket over their shoulders. It was love. Until you found the next crush or discovered the lurid and treacherous game of real life relationships and sex.
            We are talking about the childhood crushes here. No, not Sally or Tamika from across the street. I mean the broads, ladies and dames of entertainment. The hot members of the X-MEN, the sexy actresses from your favorite movies, even the ladies of cable television; yes, even MTV’s Kari Wuhrer and Gadget from the Rescue Rangers. I am talking about the crushes that nocturnal waterfalls are made of.
            I can’t speak for each and every one of yous specifically. I can only try to reach as far back into my own memory and pluck the celebrity crushes that made me blush as a kid. Starting with:

Julie BrownI was maybe 7 years old when Just Say Julie was airing on MTV and I couldn’t keep my eyes off the screen. I guess I’ve always had a sincere attraction to redheads, not a fetish, and Julie Brown was my first. You may have noticed the easter egg I left in part 4 of this column, her music video for “The Homecoming Queen Has Gun” from her first album Goddess in Progress. She is a comedian, writer and actress who has helmed a number of television series and appeared in such films as Clueless, the cult classic Shakes the Clown and writing, producing as well co-staring in Earth Girls Are Easy. Her first appearance in a feature film was the 1981 slasher film Bloody Birthday. 

Demi Moore I had a crush on her when she first walked onto Moon Lighting as a cameo. I had a crush on her in One Crazy Summer. She broke our hearts in The Seventh Sign. She made your mom cry in Ghost. She was Nothing But Trouble and killed it in Mortal Thoughts. It’s not a perfect filmography but Demi Moore has been in a lot of good and great films. Hands down and without a doubt one of the hottest women of the era and still hot and holding it down today. Possibly my longest lasting crush alongside Jennifer Connelly.

Cassandra Peterson Jet black hair, dressed to kill and drives a 1958 Ford Thunderbird, I’m either talking about a pimp or I’m talking about the Mistress of the Dark Elvira. I remember one time going to the video store with my mom and picking out Neil Jordan’s The Company of Wolves on VHS... or was it Children of the Full Moon? I had no idea what the movie was about or who was in it, all I knew was that on the cover it said Elvira’s something, something, something, and there was this very buxom ivory pale woman on the cover with her hair up in a beehive and I just knew I had to see what was on that VHS. To this day I still have no recollection of what movie was actually on the tape but, Elvira will remain a part of pop culture. Elvira’s Mistress of the Dark (1988) is one of those movies that I will watch whenever it comes on.

Jennifer Connelly I didn’t know about her scenes from The Hot Spot till years later when I was leaving my teens and for many years I didn’t need to. All it took was seeing her in Career Opportunities, The Rocketeer, Dark City, and I was sold. 1996’s Mulholland Falls is a very slept on noir and 2000’s Requiem for a Dream is the closest thing to a genuine real world horror movie as you’ll get. For some of you followers, she was half of maybe the first mainstream on-screen lesbian kiss we had seen (Higher Learning 1995). She is the recipient of the 2002 Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance in A Beautiful Mind. If Gary & Wyatt could use their weird science to create Lisa, then my genie would look like Jennifer Connelly.

 Nicole Lyn Late 90’s, I was flat on my back on the sofa watching boring Sunday morning television and Mighty Max had just finished. Flipping through channels with the remote clicker and I came across this odd random and out of place teen series on Fox 5. I couldn't figure out what the show was actually about but, I didn’t care I was sucked in and fixated on the main star, or one of the main stars, named Nicole Lyn, one of the most jaw dropping beautiful black women I’ve seen on film. I couldn’t stop watching the episode and before I knew it, it was over. These were the days before TiVo and some programs weren’t listed so if you missed it, guess what, you had to try and remember what time slot it aired and hope to see it again. I had OCD over this show for 3 weeks just to look at this chick. The series was called Student Bodies and was a Canadian production however; Fox only carried it for a few months in the States. In time I forgot about the show with the help of my ,then, limited attention span. A year or two later, Anne Rice’s The Feast of All Saints was premiering on Showtime as a mini-series and behold one of the main stars was the same Nicole Lyn from Student Bodies. It all happened again, only this time I actually watched the drama. Some time after, I moved on. Until now, when the flashbacks all of a sudden came back and with the help of the interweb I see she is still a bombshell and still acting as well as DJ’ing under the name Ms. Nix.

Honorable mentions: Gillian Anderson (X-Files), Sherilyn Fenn & Madchen Amick (Twin Peaks), Nicole Ari Parker (Boogie Nights), Julianne Moore (Hannibal), Kristy Swanson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Kathleen Robertson (Splendor), Melinda Clarke (Return of the Living Dead 3), Madonna (1982- 1991), Lisa Wilcox (Nightmare on Elm Street 4). 

So, who were your celebrity crushes? List 'em if you got 'em in the comments below or where ever. Beauty never fades and neither will that rewind button your pressing.  







The Official Akade Wear Logo was created by Josep Prat Sorolla aka Sepe Design

Yes folks,

We will be launching our very own clothing line dedicated to you guys, the supporters and contributors in the retro-synth revival community.


Akade Wear

Akade Wear is a brand that embodies the essence of the 80's genre/ culture/ generation fused in with today's culture and style. Very vibrant and bold colors, images and meanings. A brand to speak for the retro lovers of this generation and of the past generations.

 We want to give you the best in quality and choice. It will consist of purely vintage 80's/ sci-fi/ retro-modern inspired designs and merchandise.

We are very excited to announce this and can wait to reveal the EPIC designs we have for our lines and well as the revamped NRW logo which will be revealed soon...

We are preparing for a Jan 2015 launch.

Spread the word and stay retro!



Retro Movie of the Month


M.D. GEIST & M.D. GEIST 2: The Death Force
(1986, 1996)

            PROLOGUE: Contrary to popular belief, I like people. I really do… although increasingly bored by them. Look at the new Star Wars teaser [yes teaser not trailer] 88seconds of tease and the whole hen house has gone crazy; between people theorizing what they’ve seen, crying like jagoffs, or complaining about the new Sith lightsaber, saying things like “But it looks stupid!”, you know what’s dumb? – A friggin lightsaber. 

All things have fallen victim to the meme or the trend and displayed like a naked babe on threads. But let’s not get excited now and switch gears. It’s bad enough the NFL is now trying to be socially relevant with a partial roster of felons under contract. But I digress, let’s talk about anime. 

Anime was once the coolest thing to be into. You hunted it and you knew everything about it. Dark and dingy specialty shops where they had stacks of tapes with nothing to distinguish them apart, other than the strip on the side with foreign writing. They were real movies with mature subjects with action sequences that were damn near impossible to do in live action with the practical effects of yesteryear. You wanted Science fiction, Horror, Drama, Romance; well it was all there and often wrapped up into the same feature. Fast forward to today and the anime you get is full of cat ears, screeching music and a dumb down pandering to an audience that never expects much. However, there are exceptions in the modern age like Terror in Resonance, Death Note, MONSTER, Attack on Titan, the Ghost in the Shell franchise and some others but the soft stuff is running more rampant in the present.

            Today and ALL December on New Retro Wave, our retro movie of the month will be a Christmas double-feature. Yes, two retro films in 31 days. This month we are showcasing M.D. Geist, the nihilistic and dark depiction of our future that, who knows, could happen.

            MD-GEIST or MD-02 is a most dangerous soldier genetically engineered to be a killing machine and one of the units to go completely bat shit crazy. The government in an attempt to stop the carnage decides to freeze Geist in some sort of suspended animation (like Solo!) and lock him in a stasis pod orbiting around the earth. Yes, even in anime the government is stupid. They could’ve just destroyed him but, “Nooo, we’ll just keep them in the freezer till we need them again. What’s the worst that could happen?” Well MD-O2’s pod has just crashed landed on the planet and MD is awake in a new world in the midst of a new war. He takes up an uneasy alliance with a ragtag group of soldiers desperate to stop the Deathforce from activating destroying civilization and all organic life as we know it.

            I chose this film because for this holly-jolly Christmas I am completely over the illusion of civility that has gone well past the viral phase at this point. If it isn’t one social cause it’s another, if it isn’t one thing to be saved it’s something else. Meanwhile people are still arrogant neophytes; know it all’s and do nothings. Most of these angry and outraged people online have sense like Ted Striker has a drink. So here it is; here is a film and its sequel that throws all that into a wood chipper and stomps on it. Here is MD-GEIST and MD-GEIST 2 the Deathforce. Written by Rinju Sanjo and released in 1989 and 1996.

            Both movies are below, so just hit play and watch them back to back.  This Sam Haine saying, “Lock and Load and keep your finger firmly on the rewind button.”

- Sam HaiNe

This article is written by SamHaiNe

SamHaiNe is a writer, poet, troubadour and raconteur. The author of two spoken word albums as well producer. He is often seen performing in Philadelphia, PA, the surrounding Tri-state area, and the Southern United States. His writings and creativity often blur the lines between pulp, noir, splatter punk, gallows humor, black comedy and the Grand Guignol. He has released previous material under the pseudonym O-Ren Ishi. Currently at work on a new album and book centering on his new brainchild, Hainesville.

Futurecop! – Fairy Tales Album Review

Futurecop! – Fairy Tales

‘True Retro-pop Synthwave’

As most of you might have already heard, Manchester duo 'Futurecop!' dropped their new album at the end of November, entitled 'Fairy Tales' and its one that we've been looking forward to hearing at New Retro Wave. Much like its predecessor, 'Hopes, dreams & Alienation' released in 2013, the boys return with a host of guests from the likes of Timecop1983 & New Arcades to Twin Oaks & Highway Superstar. Here they stick with  a more vocal orientated approach in comparison to what we've previously heard in their earlier instrumental work. 

I began this review as I begin any other, sat comfortably, headphones plugged in and dressed head to toe in neon spandex. The record opens with 'Into your heart' Ft Hunz & Mosaik, a bitter sweet anthem that builds enough power to leave the hairs standing on the back of your neck. If there were one song that was meant to be played through earphones, this is it! The soaring dream like melody sucks you in immediately and sets the pace perfectly for the rest of the album to come.  Track 2 'Secrets' Ft JNS MSC is the first of the instrumental songs to appear, later followed by Till Eternity (I Miss you), Mermaids and Treehouse, all great snyth pieces that refamiliarize us with early Futurecop! and remind us just exactly why we fell in love with them in the first place. 

Just how talented these dudes are is clearly visible within these instrumental pieces and their effortless ability for creating such beautifully vast and sonic synth pieces, truly makes for a memorable listen. Complete with a wonderful assortment of vocal guests, Futurecop! has made ‘Fairy Tales’ a real solid ensemble piece and what they've delivered is a sincere exploration of youthful innocence, together with a diverse viewpoint of love and hope. Tracks like 'Sun is mine', 'Growing' and 'Eyes' are definite album highlights, although none of the 12 songs featured stop short of being damn impressive. With its accessible poppy haze and unquestionable mainstream potential, its quite easy to envisage the duo gaining  a great deal more attention in the future.

Together with the release of the album, Futurecop! have also created 6 original videos in collaboration with Luke Thompson of Canopy Films. The beautifully captured films add an extra visual layer and help bring a cinematic edge to the songs.  I strongly urge you to check them out and allow yourself to be swept away within Futurecop!'s nostalgic daydreams.

So while the winter weather begins to draw in on us, be sure to warm those retro hearts by adding a little Mancunian sunshine to your lives! Bravo Futurecop!.. Bravo.

8/ 10 

Rhys Pearce


Retro Gaming - Mega Man

Old games used to get overly serious and realistic art.

Arcade games and console games are fundamentally different in a lot of ways. While the hardware, game mechanics, and depth of narrative might be the most obvious, there is something at the core of the two that keeps them separated. Before going in depth with my retrospective review on Mega Man (1987), I’d like to first analyze the intention behind the design of an arcade game and a console game.

We’ve written about arcades before. The period from the late 70’s to the mid-80’s is known as the Golden Age of Arcade Video Games. As the popularity of arcade games decreased by the end of the decade, console games were experiencing a boom thanks in part to the Nintendo Entertainment System. Because of this shift, many old NES games feel more like arcade games.  The fundamental purpose of a console game is to provide you with satisfaction to justify your purchase of the game. Games are usually not very cheap, so designers try to make their product the most worthwhile for your money (ideally, at least). Arcade games, on the other hand, are all about taking your money in small sums (quarters), giving you a brief, enjoyable, and difficult experience, and then encouraging you to play again to go further and get a higher score.

Mega Man feels like an arcade game. It is so hard that it feels punishing at times and so addictive that you can’t stop coming back to it. The amount of trial and error inherent in the classic platformer makes the experience feel like learning a song. Through your failures and deaths you wind up developing something resembling a rhythm. You know  which screen is coming next or which flying penguin is going to dive on you. I wasn’t able to beat any levels on the first try, but on the attempt where I did beat them, it looked like I was an absolute professional.

Though the level design was difficult at times, there were several gems hidden throughout. As an avid player of the Mega Man X series, I knew that each boss gives you a new weapon to your arsenal. And I also knew that each boss weapon was super effective against another boss. They usually make sense, barring a few mix-ups (Ice > Fire? I guess that means… thunder on the ice guy? Okay.) For example, Elecman’s weakness is the weapon you receive from the truly epic Custman (my only reasoning is that scissors cut wires?). Elecman’s level is full of these small platforms with enemies on top that make avoiding them difficult. If you switch over to the Rolling Cutter weapon, you’ll notice that the odd trajectory of the attack fits the level design perfectly. The level becomes much easier if you use the Cutsman’s weapon to get through it. Ideally, by the time you reach the end of the level you will be pretty comfortable with using it.

I stand by what I said about completing each level being similar to learning a song. That said, Iceman’s level is like learning a song and then being expected to flawlessly improvise with someone else who is also improvising. Everything is typical Mega Man gameplay, and then this happens…

Those platforms shoot sideways. Okay, okay, annoying, but whatever it’s a challenge. Oh, but they also move in a completely random and erratic pattern. Well that just doesn’t sound fair. Oh, and one more thing, we’re going to throw some robot penguins at you for the last half of this part of the level. But wait, that might be too difficult. Let’s make sure the player has a platform to rest on halfway through. Good point, but we shouldn’t make it too easy for them. This is a video game after all, this is serious business, not Soviet Russia Handout Land. Let’s cover that platform in ice. Video game ice. Which science has proven is twice as slippery as regular old boring ice.


The other issue I have with this game is about rationing out lives. There is a checkpoint immediately before each end of the level boss fight. Should you die in the boss fight, you will respawn there with full health and one less life. The game is so difficult that many times I would reach the boss, look to see if I had an extra life lying around, and just let the boss kill me so I could tackle him with full health. That is just poor design. Also, your health replenishes with each respawn, but your ammo does not. This means a particular difficult stretch of a level will become progressively more difficult. The general difficulty of this game is also distributed oddly. It is very difficult in the beginning when you don’t have any special boss weapons, and especially difficult in the end (cough, Boss Rush). The middle portion of the game is by far the easiest. This uneven difficulty may be annoying for some players.

You can tell the designers were on to something when you play Mega Man. It has vibrant colors, an excellent soundtrack, and surprisingly rich and deep gameplay, with little secrets here and there. The game is pretty easy to find. I played the PS2 port from the Anniversary Collection, but you can also find it on the virtual console. Though Mega Man 2 is widely considered better than this game, this is the game that has lent its design to Mega Man’s character in the new Smash Bros., as well as the fact that one of the bosses from this game appears in the new Smash Bros.

Final Thoughts:
Favorite Song: Elecman Stage
Favorite Boss: Cutsman, I actually have a shirt with him on it!
Favorite Weapon: Magnet Beam, of course.  

Fun Facts: It’s Mega Man, not Megaman. I’ve been making that mistake for over a decade.

- Joey Edsall

Joey Edsall

Joey Edsall was born and raised near Scranton, Pennsylvania. He has always immersed himself in art, being an avid fan of film and music and an amateur creator of both. In addition to the electronic production aspect of music, he is the lead guitarist of Scranton-based post-hardcore band Give Us Your Bones. It was his love of film that initially drew Joey to NRW and the unique sounds of the genre, through modern classics like Drive and retro classics like Big Trouble in Little China. He is also a middle school English teacher. Email: