Space Disco is a fusion genre that is thematically focused on ideas of humanity and its advances in the future, and also the exploration of outer Space. The style became popular in the 1970’s in Europe, having received some influence from the US. Later, the genre spread to Eastern Europe, although, despite its burgeoning popularity, some acts performing the genre had trouble playing the music as authorities often deemed the music ‘inappropriate’ due to clothing choices among other things. As such, this forced some artists to performing purely at free events where they had free creative control of the music and also costumes. Consequently, the style of music began to change, and ended up becoming almost entirely instrumental and orchestral.
Glam Rock was a primary influencer of the genre, and such, equally flamboyant costumes were worn. Silvers and whites were common colours, as they were deemed as being ‘futuristic.’ Clean lines and shapes such as cubes were again commonplace, as many artists tried to replicate ‘robots’ in some way, both in dress and also in movements. Movements would be sharp and angular to reflect the mechanics of robots. Lasers and computer screens would be included in stage shows, to further convey the Space theme. The science-fiction literary genre was also crucial in the development of this musical genre, particularly as many lyrics were based on ideas from such literature. A theory regarding the rising popularity of the genre is the coinciding popularity of the Stars Wars films and franchise, which brought the concepts of Space and Aliens to mainstream interests.
Commonly used instruments were Vocals, Keyboards, Synthesizers and drums. Synthesizers were essentially the key to this genre, as they were capable of creating man-made sounds and interesting effects, and were also relatively new technology of the time. Arpeggiators were frequently used on synthesizers, ultimately playing a repeating sequence of notes that went up or down by a certain number of semitones at a time, thus creating a melodic pattern, but a pattern that still sounded ‘synthetic’ and ‘futuristic.’ Vocals were typically similar to that of the pop-genre, and lyrics would be quite simple and catchy.
Unfortunately, Space Disco has dwindled significantly in our society, and is essentially extinct. It is unlikely to be heard unless in a special revival club night playing 70’s and 80’s hits. This is largely due to the changing times. Now, we are in the ‘future’ regarding what people thought in the 70’s, and we can see that life is not all robots and aliens and spaceships, and thus, we don’t relate to the music, so it is redundant to us in our everyday lives. However, I think it is a fun genre to listen to, and can tell us a lot about how society was in the 1970’s, and such, will always remain a valuable genre.