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Sovietwave is an aesthetic with a strong focus on 80's Soviet Union aesthetics crossed with the Synthwave aesthetic, dedicated more to the preservations of socialism as opposed to the hyper-capitalist utopia or dystopia often painted with Synthwave.
Origins and Overview
Emerging in the 2010's among Russian and ex-Soviet internet, Sovietwave is an aesthetic and genre of music drawing upon the phenomenon of Soviet Nostalgia prevalent in certain parts of the former Soviet Union, often, but not limited to, Russia. Sovietwave is characterized by the romanticization of Soviet Utopianism and its vast ambition to unite humanity under the Socialist banner and to take it beyond the stars, untainted by capitalist decadence and hatred. Therefore, Sovietwave features Cosmonauts, Soviet Propaganda replications and other aspects of Soviet Futurism in its artworks and designs.
Sovietwave is also notably melancholic, as quite a few music tracks tend to take on an ambient, lo-fi and mysterious style, lamenting the future that never came to pass due to the collapse of the USSR in 1991. Music is more likely to have a slower tempo than traditional Synthwave and New Wave to increase the sense of awe, but is much faster paced than Vaporwave's more dream like tracks. Sovietwave thus ponders on what could have been, a bright future where the workers have taken to the stars rather than be subservient to greed. Considering that many of the adherents to this aesthetic were often born after the dissolution of the USSR or were very young during it, much of the genre also draws on the feeling of nostalgia for a country and its vision that they never lived in, their only experiences with it being the nostalgia of their own parents who were likely Young Pioneer's believing in Marxist-Leninist ideology and philosophy.
While not all Sovietwave musicians are ideologically Communist, the aesthetic tends to be sympathetic to Soviet perceptions of the future as well as the music it produced, particularly in the New Wave Era. Sovietwave musicians are therefore occasionally fond of splicing tracks from Communist politicians into their music, whether or not they unironically agree with the sentiments of said politicians. In any case, the genre is consistently fond of replicating Eastern European New Wave music, if not outright remixing classic tracks.
Distinction from Laborwave
Sovietwave is not to be confused with the Vaporwave spin-off of Laborwave despite large degrees of overlap due to shared aesthetics of Communism and anti-capitalism. Laborwave is quite ironic and absurdist in its portrayal of Soviet and general Eastern Bloc nostalgia, while Sovietwave is almost entirely limited to the former USSR and is a more sincere form of nostalgia for the long gone Red Regime. Sovietwave tends to replicate Soviet utopian art earnestly, longing for the future that was promised, and is more fond of expressing awe at the might of the USSR, while Laborwave tends to make fun of such propaganda and grandiose expressions even if Laborwave adherents are unironically pro Communist. Furthermore, Sovietwave originated in the former USSR out of the general Russian internet's electronic Music scene with not all of it adherents being unironic Communists as opposed to Soviet nostalgics, while Laborwave's origins were across the entire internet's and the latter's adherents are more coherently Communist even if not Soviet nostalgic.
That said, there can be overlap, and Sovietwave can incorporate Laborwave's Vaporwave elements even though Sovietwave is more interested in grand myth of the USSR as a powerful entity.
Sovietwave is closely tied to lo-fi, ambient, new wave and synth-pop.
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