Synthwave Sunday: Waveshaper, “Hardware Passion”
But if you’re really into the stuff I’ll bet it’s the TONES that really grab you and fire you up, especially if you’re old enough to have played NES when it was a current gaming system (but even if you’re a youngin’ who looks back wistfully at a time you never got to experience first hand). Those razor-sharp analog keyboard sounds, the buzzsaw bass, the hard-hitting beats — any synthwave tune worth its weight in tape has lots of ear-candy to latch onto.
Chief among those aural delights are synth drums, those percussive, descending tom fills that have no business in any other kind of music and every business in synthwave. Good god, synth toms done right just get me going like nothing else; they make the hair on the back of my neck stand up, pitch a stiffy tent in my pants and force my body to gyrate uncontrollably. They’re fucking glorious and I can never get enough.
Swedish synthwave artist Waveshaper — who comes more from the dance/pop side of Synthwave (see also: Mitch Murder, Dance with the Dead) as opposed to some of the more metal-centric synthwave stuff we’ve covered in this space — is just as serious about synth toms as you and I. His new single “Hardware Passion” makes its writer’s intentions known with a bombastic, descending tom fill to kick things off in the very first second of the song, and if that doesn’t cause you to scream to the high heavens in delight then nothing will. There are plenty of other percussive goodies throughout the song, too: marimbas, cowbells, claps, and yeah, oodles and oodles of sweet, glorious synth tom fills. Even some of the lead keyboard tones are percussive on their own. Thankfully “Hardware Passion” isn’t just the synthwave equivalent of a shredder wank-fest, though; it’s a catchy as fuck song with hooks for days.