Secret Disco: Cheesy Robot Music

The Secret History of Disco Book devotes a good amount time exploring the influence of electronic and synthesized sounds in the development of disco. Briefly mentioned are a list of French “cheesy robot” musical acts that might’ve influenced disco composers like Cerrone and Giorgio Moroder. Looking up these tunes, I was taken with the pop pre-new wave sound of the genre. I also finally realized where bands like Stereo Total got their influence. They always seemed derivative of something else but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.


Elli et Jacno – Main dans la main 1980

Here’s some French pop reveling in all it’s cheese and fluffy bleepy quirkiness. It’s the stuff of my cotton candy dreams!
The sound cuts out halfway through, you can watch another version of the song here but I prefer this clip as it highlights Elli’s unique dancing style.


Lio-Banana Split (1979)

Oh those French! Always getting cute young girls to sing about bananas and lollipops! I must admit Lio’s outfit is would be coveted in this day and age. For the whole clip (bad quality) go here.


Stereo Total – Les Chansons d’A

One of my favorite bands of the 2000s/the aughts/the zeros/the new millineum has been Stereo Total. Some of the music does border on kitsch but I always felt they were referencing or paying homage to something else and they have been, the music above. They’ve described their influences as Chanson, Gainsbourg etc. but now I realize they are the current day Elli et Jacno with a little Les Rita Mitsouko thrown in.


Hot Butter – Popcorn (1972)

An early example of synthesizers and robot beats.
If you were an early visitor to my homepage, you might have noticed I had a whole page devoted to this song, complete with three downloadable mp3 versions. Someone else actually created a webpage devoted to this song as well.
Random fact: popcorn is my favorite snack. “It’s an Aztec thing, you wouldn’t understand”

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