Today on Hidden Gems we are going to talk about a style of music that played a huge roll in the late 70s early 80s that help shape the underground club scene all over the world but faded away into the early 90s but slowly making a comeback and that is Italo Disco.
The term “Italo” is an interesting story in itself. Italo was used as a prefix for Italian on pop music compilation albums in Germany as far back as 1978 with such albums as Italo Top Hits and Italo Super Hits. From the late 70s to the late 80s Italo Disco slowly pick up throughout Europe and had influenced mainstream music, especially in England and Germany with groups such as Pet Shop Boys, New Order, Modern Talking, and C.C. Catch took this and incorporating it into their music. By the late 80s, early 90s Italo Disco evolved into Italo house due to a lot of artists went on to experiment with harder beats and incorporating house sound and style into it. It also transcended to other parts of the world as well beside Europe, in Japan it became huge there and still is to this day. While in the USA and Canada it wasn’t popular, but it was influential in the early 90s in the night club scene and in the LGBT community.
What makes Italo Disco so different and yet help shaped the underground scene is the use of drum machines, synthesizers and voice codec, better known as a Vocoder which was used to modified vocals in Italo Disco. The way how to explain the sound of Italo Disco is a mix of Chicago House, Synthpop New Wave, Hi-NRG, and Euro Disco all into one.
While there is a small revival of Italo Disco, you can help but appreciate this genre of music that helps pave the way to create the modern sound in the club scene. If you want a small taste of what it was back in its heyday listen to this track that many have called the most underrated Italo Disco song ever and that is Faces by Clio.