Some might call the synthwave scene crowded. In a genre that's motivated by image, vibe, and nostalgia there's a lot of room for interpretation and overlap.

Standing out can be difficult.

As the scene grows and evolves, a handful of A-listers have started to make headlines and enter the mainstream eye. This year has been all about Power Glove. Having just been nominated for best soundtrack of the year by Destructoid, it's easy to say this year's mold-breaking Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon catapulted Power Glove into the top ranks of the genre. The game provided a perfect match aesthetically for one of the first times, particularly with such a mainstream commercial release (one of the tracks was eventually used in this Miami Vice sketch on Key & Peele)
However PG has been and remains one of the most dominant names in synthwave.

Personally, one of the first artists I came across after Mitch Murder and Kavinsky. Their sound explodes with energy and polish. After hearing Streets of 2043, Crypt, and Night Force I became a retrowave addict—Power Glove in part being a full blown gateway drug to a bottomless well of music.

It's hard to remember how much narrower this scene was a few years back with such a rich diversity of artists today such as Lueur Verte, Vanguard, Mega Drive, Trevor Something, and the similar-named but starkly different Power Cut. But Power Glove has been there for a long time, putting out small but dynamite-like tracks, remixes, and one very solid EP.

EP2 has been “coming soon” on Power Glove’s website since I first became a fan.

When it does drop, give it a listen. I doubt anyone will be disappointed, but there’s a lot of sophomoric expectation at this point. Expect some growth in sound. Changing tone and mood perhaps, but if executed well the kind of stuff that pushes and defines new boundaries within the genre. Pioneering.

The Australian brothers bios all simply say “Armed with only two POWERGLOVES, we are two lawyers sent back from the streets of future, post apocalyptic Los Angeles 2043. With a touch of romance and a ton of trouble, we're gonna get there...any way we can.”

With such an easily recognizable NES accessory name, it's easy to peg PG into a solely video game-influenced artist. True to some degree. Their above bio literally sounds like an NES game synopsis. But Blood Dragon's Terminator 2/Scarface/Carpenter-film influenced sounds (and the recent Motorcycle Cop) prove PG to be as versatile and dynamic as they are dedicated to legitimate structure. EP1 channeled early 90's, 16-bit arcade punch. Their work on Blood Dragon changes gears and remains just as focused and on-point.

Unmatched builds, precise mixes, and signature nostalgic samples. All blended with a master level of musical craft. Power Glove have listened to a wide array of electronic music, outside 80's and 90's revival, and it shows.

Kind of a ridiculous gauge, but on SoundCloud PG now has more followers than Mitch Murder.

It's telling though... what was once a niche and almost unnameable genre is now a flourishing, diverse arena of artists. Healthy growth provided by artists like PG, who may not be the most prolific, but whose dedication to craft allow the synthwave scene to become something bigger.

Article written by

Andy Chandler