‘A Retrowave Compilation’ is inspired by the San Junipero party in Los Angeles and New York. There’s 17 tracks that will for sure have you moving beginning to end. Including some of the best Synthwave/Retrowave artists like Robert Parker, Sellorekt/LA Dreams, Morgan Willis, Shyguys, Ace Buchannon and many more. Without a doubt, it will be the summer compilation of the genre. We caught up with co-founder Samuel Valentine to ask a few questions to get the inside info…
Interview Meikee Magnetic
How and where was San Junipero conceived?
San Junipero started in September 2018 after me and my partner Tom from GBH Events had been doing our Darksynth event NIGHTWAV for over a year in NY and LA. A lot of people who came to that event had mentioned how they wanted a Retrowave event in NY and no one else was doing anything with that style of music. I was doing the Darksynth party but i was also heavily into Retrowave music. I’ve worked nightlife for 15 years in NY and I thought this kind of music would be perfect in a nightlife setting, the sounds were great to get people dancing. I liked it more than other styles of dance music out there because it approaches music from a more cinematic perspective. Its connection to the 80s in sound and visuals while also staying modern was perfect to start an underground scene in NY different to everything else being offered in Nightlife . So we had to come up with a name, I called my partner and told him San Junipero would be the perfect name for the party. It’s inspired by the Black Mirror episode by the same name. That episode was a perfect representation of the aesthetic and feeling of Retrowave music and it used nightlife as a way to tell the story. I liked the idea of being able to live forever inside a computer, living in your favorite era, forever young and having fun. That’s the feeling this music brings to me, it’s like we can live in a different era, travel there every time you listen to this genre and it gives you that feeling that you just don’t want the party to ever end. Wishing you could stay forever at this moment in time when it’s all fun and good times accompanied by great music and fashion surrounded by people who all feel the same. A place free of judgement, which is what I thought the show episode portrayed well. It’s a story about two women of different backgrounds falling in love inside this perfect digital world of their choosing. The name also has meaning beyond the show, the Juniper word is derived from the Latin word Juniperus which is a combination of Junio, which means young and Parere, that means produce. “Youth Producing” seemed like a perfect fit as the party is trying to bring the young people out to enjoy the sounds of an era they didn’t get to live in. An era that has been romanticized for its music, fashion and cinema. If given the choice most of us would go back to for the good times. In the 80s, there seemed to be no creative boundaries when it came to music, cinema and fashion. It was a mix of ideas working together to create a magical decade. San Junipero brings this to you without having to live in the past, it’s a modern take on the nostalgia and it keeps you dancing without worry for hours. Strictly Retrowave, we are purists so get an unfiltered dosage of the music you listen to on YouTube channels, but out of some loud club speakers surrounded by people who share the love for it.
How has the scene at Echoplex in Los Angeles grown and why do you think that is?
The scene in California has been very kind to us. My partner works with this promotional company Laffaire Musicale and Orlove Enterteinment, and we had already done NIGHTWAV with them so we thought we should bring this NY Party to L.A. I didn’t expect much at first since we were coming from New York to a new town. From the first party to the last one we just did, it’s been packed front to back with people who couldn’t get enough of this sound, people who looked the part and danced the part. The scene keeps growing because of word of mouth, people come and love it. Then they tell all of their friends, post videos and pics online, plus we grab peoples attention thanks to working with some amazing artists on the flyer artwork like Andrew Tremblay (STRNGR), Adam Carini (Graphicmercenary) Protski, Heavy Hand Illustrations and so on, all original artwork made specifically for the event and those flyers help the party get traction before people even know what it is. My DJ’s and I we do our homework to make sure we always showcase not only the best of the main artists in the scene, but the best of the underground artists no one has heard of yet. The music is so important, that’s what really has grown the scene, being able to go to a club and hearing 5 hours of straight all killer, no filler tracks mixed in a way to keep you going non-stop till the end helps solidify the Retrowave scene as something that’s here to stay.
The SAN JUNIPERO Retrowave event is making it’s San Francisco debut Saturday August 31st at the Rickshaw Stop. Tell us a bit of what we can expect:
You can expect to have a night to remember, a night full of joyful modern sounds inspired by the best of the 80s without sounding outdated. Expect to dance all night and leave the party wishing closing time had never come. From the minute the music kicks off you will be wrapped in a world of music and retro beats that will make you forget all things outside the establishment’s door. Expect to see people letting go, getting out of their heads and into their bodies. All in all expect lots of fun memories to be made. CLICK FLYER BELOW FOR FULL EVENT INFO:
Right now we have a lot of stuff coming, we got the whole year booked with parties back-to-back of both NightWav and San Junipero, after we come to San Francisco we are looking to take it to other major cities and keep spreading the sound to as many ears as we can get. We also just released a Compilation album called “Synth Junipero – A Retrowave Compilation” which is out on Lazerdiscs Records right now and plan to release a couple more. We will be doing some new merch with the amazing art our artist provide us, and we got a couple more Synthwave events in the plans with different themes. Basically the plan is to keep people dancing as long as we can and give artists a larger fan base by spreading their music through the DJ mixes we record and post on our Nightwav Soundcloud page. Hopefully make a little difference in how this music is perceived and making sure it stays cool and that it doesn’t get water down by modern pop music trends.
What does Dark Beauty mean to you?
Finding the beauty in things others fail to, it’s class, it’s exciting it’s entering a world some try to shut out. Finding out it’s a seductive wonderland that opens your mind to new wonderful things you would have missed out on if you didn’t have the courage to peak into the darker side of things. Dark Beauty is best explained as life itself. We are all here on this giant rock waiting for our days to end, yet we find ways to color over that dark canvas and paint it with joy, humans are great at finding beauty in the dark, and we do it well. Rather than seeing it as a negative thing, we see that we have been given a chance to be whoever we want to be, so forget about the expiration date. Lets make this beautiful and worthwhile, lets play where others don’t dare step in, lets make it ours and let’s make it amazing. Like San Junipero the episode is a dark thought that the future could come to having to choose between disappearing eternally after death or making a complicated moral choice to live forever digitally. We choose the night cause only in the dark can you see the beauty of the stars, we choose forever. If you come to our party you’ll see the choice ain’t that hard. We choose San Junipero, and we choose to never end the party and you will to after a night with us. We provide the perfect soundtrack to that dark dream of eternity the soundtrack to a future we dream about but hasn’t happened yet…