These days it isn't much of a thrill as to where a record label and its releases are generated from. With the internet being a global community nowadays, the excitement of the import release on vinyl has long since vanished from the buzz of a record shop worker and customer alike.
However back in the early to mid 1990's the weekly delivery of obscure and more overground dance music 12" singles that were arriving from Europe was one of the weeks highlights. Here at Waxadisc we have already covered the Disco House classics that originated from northern Europe and its now only right that the southern area is paid its due with the classic Italian label that was responsible for some of House musics most celebrated tracks in the guise of UMM Records. (Underground Music Movement) in its entirety.
A label that was born in 1991 in Naples Italy, it was widely respected by DJ,s of all styles as a leading player in the House music scene. The power of U.M.M was so great that it had the capacity to license tracks from New York and the U.K for its European customer base with tracks that are now worldwide household hit records. They released deep house, Dream Piano house, Disco House, Euro house etc . The label did not limit itself to one style, they could carry their weight in all sub genres and did so for many years. Here below is a selection of five of the labels most impressive releases. Enjoy.
E.D.N. DONT MAKE ME WAIT. 1992
Written and produced by one of the labels main players called Visnadi, which one it is I am unsure as there were two by tha surname, but both were part of the Alex Party production team a year or so later after this release. A beautiful dream house affair with the lush ambient pads and the Peech Boys vocal hook make this one of those lost records from that period of House music which sadly these kind of tracks are overlooked in favour of the more bigger hits from that era. However this record hits the spot for that years production techniques and is considered by Waxadisc a true Italian classic.
K.G.B, DETROIT 909 1991
A lush dream house affair with some solid beats and all the elements of a early 90's underground masterpiece. Deep organ hooks and warm pads that are smoothly blended with the classic house bass sound and a swirling arpeggio and you have a track that captures that early 90's aesthetic of Italian house music.
ANTHONY WHITE. LOVE ME TONIGHT 1993
Progressive Disco House number that borrowed the vocal hook from an American R&B track which also came out in 1993. This track is a smooth and mysterious composition that rocked many dance floors no matter what genres the club played. It was a firm staple in both funky and prog circles with its Fretless bendy bass line and its creepy strings combined with Whites strong high pitched vocals that make this the superb track it still is to this day.
BLAST FEAT VDC CRAYZY MAN 1994
One of the main production teams at U.M.M were the Fathers of Sound. The duo would go on to produce and remix many tracks with the label. Here they produced quite possibly their biggest piece. In early 1994 this came out and was quickly snapped up here in the UK by MCA Records, who at that time were one of the best major labels for Dance music. The track eventually went into the top 30 in the UK charts. Not bad going for a progressive track that was 9 minutes long, but edited for chart play of course. Here the full mix is a deep and dark affair which has a strong rasping vocal which is dark and raw in its deliverance and reminiscent of the singer Seal. A great track still to this day.
HARDRIVE DEEP INSIDE THE FULL WEATHER REMIX 1993
Originally a Strictly Rhythm release by Louie Vega, this found its way over to Europe on the U.M.M label with some solid Progressive remixes. The Full Weather mix has a thunderous bass line that rolls over the Barbara Tucker sampled vocal hooks with an equal measure of assertiveness. Its unusual to have Prog House remixes of a garage classic that work and in this case U.M.M got it right with this one. This version was made famous by John Digweed for the journeys by D.J's album in early 1994, and it has since become a firm classic from that era.
ALEX PARTY READ MY LIPS 1993
Late 1993 and this track was an absolute stormer across club land. It had the perfect combination for an instant hit. The organ bass line combined with the higher organ lead line, a happy uplifting vocal snippet that states having a good time and some solid beats to complete the mixture. This was followed by a second part called "Do It Right" which also came out on U.M.M and was more underground but of a similar style. Of course Alex Party went on to have a huge chart hit with this and a succession of other singles throughout the mid 90's. But this one was where it was at in 1993, giving the label a massive profile and also giving the major labels a reason to keep their eyes on what was coming out on U.M.M.
So there are 5 U.M.M classics from Italy during the labels hey day of the 1990's. The imprint released so many great records and many were licensed from American labels that were already hits here in the U.K on other labels. But the legacy of U.M.M lives on with a resurgence of dream house records that you can find being made by modern producers, that keep the spirit alive of some of U.M.M records early 90's tracks.