Spacesynth is a genre of music that had its beginnings in the early to mid 80’s. The genre evolved from the Italo disco scene (mainly synthy Italian 80’s music sung in English). Italo producers had forsaken vocals and supplemented the absence with vocoders and cosmic effects. At first the product sounded like instrumental Italo however soon the genre developed into a form of its own as more and more producers began to lend their talent to it.
Co-incidentally as this new evolution was occurring in Italy, in Holland the Dutch studio formation Laserdance (Erik Van Vliet and Michel Van der Kuy) were also experimenting with Italo influenced music without vocals. In fact the first track by Laserdance was of the same name and released in as a single in 1983. Interestingly enough this was produced by Erik Van Vliet and Belgium producer Fonny de Wulf.
With Van Vliet's vision and Van Der Kuys musical skill Laserdance went on to become the biggest and most influential exponent of the genre. Their first album "Future Generation" sold some 150,000 copies, which is by far the most successful. Having produced more than ten albums; to this day their legacy plays an important and influential role in how this music is created.
In Italy Koto produced arguably the first Spacesynth track in "Chinese Revenge", this success was followed by "Japanese Wargame" soon other artists such as Cyber People and Hipnosis followed suit with hits such as Droid, Pulstar, Polaris and Void Vision.In 1985 Koto released the landmark "Visitors" which to this day remains the biggest selling single of spacesynth, some 200,000 copies were sold. With such popularity the genre thrived through the mid to late 80’s.
However it was the influx of house and techno that eventually (like Italo) sent spacesynth underground and soon those wonderful melodies were only distant memories. Laserdance continued to produce albums however not to the same level of success. Interestingly enough against this trend we saw a mini-revival of the genre particularly with new acts such as Syntech, Proxyon, Trilithon and Daylight. However by the mid 90’s the genre was well into decline with Laserdance producing their last album with the Van Vliet/ Van Der Kuy partnership and only Daylight continuing with major production and even that is arguable whether that is pure spacesynth.