This month's playlist is an ode to space exploration and the way its representation in music throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.
Through this selection of songs, we are able to see how the perception of space has evolved in the collective human imagination. Space and science-fiction used to be playful back in the 80's as demonstrated by the first two tracks. The pair is rife with kitsch electronic noises, synthesizers, vocoders or powerful, epic orchestrals à la Star Wars.
The first track perfectly captures the excitement and feeling of adventure that used to accompany space. It is the opening theme of children's show titled “Battle Of The Planets”. Following this, the minimal-wave track, “Moderne”, whose name is somewhat ironic as today it sounds completely vintage. With that said, it still embodies the 80's futuristic sound, the pinnacle of the drum machine and electronic-only bands. “La lune” by L'imperatrice is a nod and an ode to this, bringing back the cosmic groove with those lunar synthesizers and funky bassline. Then came the 90's and 00's with a different vision of space, much more psychedelic and ethereal. It no longer felt like a vision of hope, it was now a place where you would drift forever, lost in time, the time of disillusion was ushered in. In “Cosmonaute” by “Klub des Loosers” space is isolating, a place where you would go to avoid human contact and mend your broken heart.
By this time we began to see space's representation in pop culture changing, most of the movies taking place in space of this period were pessimistic or catastrophic. However, hope is not lost. Today, for the first time, we can see the image of a black hole. Humanity and science are progressing and without a doubt, we shall continue to go further and further. And when we think about space, we think about some of humanity’s greatest advancements and most triumphant moments. That's what the track “Go” from “Public Service Broadcasting” is about; the whole history of spatial conquest, a story of excitement, fear, and wonder. The closing song delivers it perfectly, alternating upbeat moments and deadly silences… In the end, I believe we should look forward to the future. Space exploration is only just getting started and many more exciting moments are to come - as long as we keep our hope.