When an independent label starts up, the quickest way to garnering enough sales to stay afloat lies in finding some underappreciated niche of music, and then satisfying the demand among consumers in that market. Los Angeles-based Interhit Records has targetted the Eurodisco community with its releases and this compilation, the latest in the outstanding DMA Dance series, Volume 3.
Eurodisco (alternately called Eurodance, presumable to avoid upsetting people who have preconceived notions of disco) hasn't made much of an inroads in mainstream America. Probably the biggest successes of this style were Stock-Aitken-Waterman proteges Rick Astley and Kylie Minogue. And, although Minogue is experiencing a revitalization of her European and Australian career by hooking up with respected artists (collaborations with Nick Cave and a future one with the Manic Street Preachers), American audiences can collectively be heard to ask 'Where are they now?'
But, outside of this country - or inside some of the major city's clubs - Eurodisco is alive and well. Based in repetitive light keyboard riffs, running anywhere from about 115 to 140 beats-per-minute, and sometimes confused with 'Happy House' music, Eurodisco offers audiences a mixture of cover songs given the keyboard remix treatment (No Doubt's "Don't Speak" by Clueless and Joan Osborne's "One Of Us" by Outta Control being two of the more recent hits) and new songs which are easy to dance to but seemingly only appear in 12" vinyl racks in small quantities.
Interhit continues to compile these tracks - on this volume, 16 tracks clocking in at a healthy 70+ minutes - in a most timely fashion. Ten of the 16 tracks are making their American debut, and only three (Culture Beat's "Mr. Vain", Le Click's "Tonight Is The Night" and possibly Crush's "Jellyhead") would be instantly recognizable to American audiences.
The lack of availability of these songs is the major selling point here, and DMA Volume 3 includes top European hits, such as DJ Bobo's top 5 European hopeful ode to a peaceful world, "Pray". Many of the songs have their break into the marketplace in Italy, and acts such as Double You are proof of that. Best known for their Eurodisco covers (U2's "With Or Without You", KC & the Sunshine Band's "Please Don't Go"), the group teams up with Alexia to produce "Me & You", a cross somewhere between Real McCoy and 2 Unlimited.
Culture Beat's "Take Me Away" (which is only available in the U.S. through Interhit; an 8 track maxi-single is also commercially released) follows the driving, gotta-dance feel which made their 1994 Serenity album such a major smash. Don't forget Dr. Alban, whose "It's My Life" topped dance charts around the globe a couple years back, who returns with "This Time I'm Free", and JK's "My Radio", which harkens back to the dance club sound of the late 1980's. The collection wouldn't be complete without a new cover song, and this time, Interhit offers up Jackie O's take on Oasis' "Wonderwall"; the Gallagher-penned tune sees guitars being replaced by a pulsating keyboard backdrop, as Jackie's vocals last for a longer time and offer a more dynamic range than those in the original.
You don't have to be European to partake in this musical genre. Canada's Outta Control's make yet another appearance on the DMA series with "Sinful Wishes" (from the Outta Control full length; also available on an 11 version, 70+ minute! maxi-single) Featuring the talents of Barry Harris - formerly of Kon Kan - this song originally appeared on Kon Kan's Canadian-only Vida album. The guitars and male vocals have been replaced by a steady stream of keyboards and the diva-like sound of Kimberley Wetmore, and the resulting song is irresistible bliss to all fans of dance music.
Fans of Eurodisco, rejoice. Interhit's latest dance compilation will not only keep you dancing, but save you money from spending $100 or more on European imports.
Interhit is on the Web at http://www.interhit.com