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Fashwave: The Synth Music That’s Been Co-Opted by the Alt-Right

Here’s a musical genre we could do without: fashwave.

At first glance, you might think that the “fash” part of the name has to do with “fashion.” Instead, it’s short for “fascist.” The music is early-80s hard technopop (think Laibach and Front 242 soundalikes) mixed with fascist imagery.

For some reason, members of the alt-right have adopted/co-opted this type of synth music as their very own. The Guardian goes deeper.

It didn’t take long for the fascists to come out of the woodwork. On Tuesday, Buzzfeed published a long piece by Reggie Ugwu, looking at how a variant of instrumental electronic music had become the favoured soundtrack of the “alt-right”, the US-based far-right movement. Within hours, a website whose strapline declares it is “destroying Jewish tyranny” had picked up on the piece.

“The Jew-owned Buzzfeed blog has done an article about how fashwave has become the musical soundtrack of the alt-right,” the piece said. “The fact that sites like these are covering this sort of thing reveals how the alt-right and anything associated with it is quickly becoming the trendy counter-culture of this era. There is no question about this. We have become the cool ones rebelling against a tyrannical system. This will become more and more alluring to the younger generation who is coming of age as time moves on. Especially considering we live in societies polluted with political correctness and all sorts of nonsensical bullshit.”

Actually listening to “fashwave” – the fash from fascism, obviously, the wave from synthwave, the musical style it derives from – suggests the desire to be “the cool ones” is genuine, albeit unlikely. The few makers of actual fashwave tend to produce music that’s clunky and derivative, while the best tracks on fashwave playlists come from pre-existing synthwave artists who have done nothing to associate themselves with fashwave, other than make records that members of the far right like.

Continue reading. And if you’re wondering what we’re talking about, it’s this. There’s also more at The Daily Stormer.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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2 thoughts on “Fashwave: The Synth Music That’s Been Co-Opted by the Alt-Right

  • As a Synthwave producer I can tell you that this makes me sick because these idiots are actually casting a dark shadow over a genre that we’ve tried hard to bring to light (no pun in tended, although that kid of worked out well). They tend to grab tracks we label as Outrun (because of the more aggressive nature of the style) without telling the artist. It’s hard to like your own track after seeing it combined with that garbage.

    • According to George Orwell, we are either ALL “Fascists” or NONE of us are, but it can only be one of these two.

      Quote from George Orwell…

      * * * * * *

      “It will be seen that, as used, the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless. In conversation, of course, it is used even more wildly than in print. I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox-hunting, bull-fighting, the 1922 Committee, the 1941 Committee, Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek, homosexuality, Priestley’s broadcasts, Youth Hostels, astrology, women, dogs and I do not know what else.”

      “Yet underneath all this mess there does lie a kind of buried meaning. To begin with, it is clear that there are very great differences, some of them easy to point out and not easy to explain away, between the régimes called Fascist and those called democratic. Secondly, if ‘Fascist’ means ‘in sympathy with Hitler’, some of the accusations I have listed above are obviously very much more justified than others. Thirdly, even the people who recklessly fling the word ‘Fascist’ in every direction attach at any rate an emotional significance to it. By ‘Fascism’ they mean, roughly speaking, something cruel, unscrupulous, arrogant, obscurantist, anti-liberal and anti-working-class. Except for the relatively small number of Fascist sympathizers, almost any English person would accept ‘bully’ as a synonym for ‘Fascist’. That is about as near to a definition as this much-abused word has come.”

      “But Fascism is also a political and economic system. Why, then, cannot we have a clear and generally accepted definition of it? Alas! we shall not get one — not yet, anyway. To say why would take too long, but basically it is because it is impossible to define Fascism satisfactorily without making admissions which neither the Fascists themselves, nor the Conservatives, nor Socialists of any colour, are willing to make. All one can do for the moment is to use the word with a certain amount of circumspection and not, as is usually done, degrade it to the level of a swearword.”

      ~ George Orwell, Author of the Classic Book, “1984”

      * * * * * *

      George Orwell: ‘What is Fascism?’
      First published: Tribune. — GB, London. — 1944.

      — ‘The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell’. — 1968.

      Machine-readable version: O. Dag
      Last modified on: 2015-09-24

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