1994 -1998: Worldwide success for Italian Euro Dance

The new Euro Dance wave in 1994 struck the dancefloors and radio's with melodies again. A big part of the cake was done by the Italian labels. Artists like Corona, Alexia, Double You, Whigfield and Da Blitz topped the sales charts all around the world. The old times of the 80s relived: many labels were publishing dozens of releases each month. Because of the new technological possibilities it was more easy to create a track and if you use the same drummachines, synthesizers and effects you could make a track similar to a hitrecord. If one track out of the big pile they produced each month became a worldwide hit, then the style was copied very soon. Examples of these style influences are the Whigfield sound and the Corona style. Another big hit from that time that has all Italo ingredients is Playahitty- "The summer is magic", a project by Stefano Carrara, Emanule Asti and Fabio Carniel. Most important distribution companies in the years were Discomagic, Expanded Music and Dig It International, they now gathered through their years of experience a good worldwide distribution network.

The new attention for the dance music also led to different styles. We name a few:

•          Italo dream house;

The song that is the basis for this musical stream is Robert Miles with the song Children. The track is completely instrumental and is build around a piano riff. This led to numerous records in that style. Well known labels who produced a lot of this kind of music are DBX Records, Inlite Records and Subway Records. DJ's and artists that are involved in this genre are Robert Miles, DJ Dado, Gianni Parrini, Bobby Flexter and Roland Brant,

 

•          Italo hardcore;

Happy hardcore In 1992/3 a new phenomena was introduced in the music world: hardcore or in Dutch "gabber". This music style was invented in the Rotterdam area in Holland. Typical is the high BPM more than 160 even up to 250 BPM. The kick has gone into overdrive with a lot of distortion and the main theme is usually a sample from a movie or a funny sentence. The music style became very popular all around the world from 1993 - 1997 and also reached Italy. Some DJ's made their own versions and music in this genre. The Stunned Guys were the best known hardcore DJ's in Italy and different labels put on their records special hardstyle versions to satisfy the hardcore/gabber appetite. Plastika Records did a lot of hardcore versions on the b sides of their records, often called Frankfurt Mix because this kind of music style was also very popular in Germany. But Italians are not Italians if they didn't had their own interpretation: the mixed it with some melody. Luca Pretolesi, aka Digital Boy, mixed high BPM with happy melodies, a sort of happy hardcore. Rexanthony and Ramirez are other groups that adopted the hardcore style. Labels that produced records in this style are DFC Records, D-Boy Records and Do It Yourself.

 

•          Italo progressive house;

For most foreigners a strange name for the musical genre, because outside Italy it was not considered a different genre. But the Italians called it this way. It differs from Eurodance because it had different elements. The obligatory rap or rapper vanished and the melodies became more mellow. Labels that produced a lot of progressive records were Next label, Extreme Records, Trance Records, DFC Records, Media and BXR Records, Discomagic, Out Records and Do It Yourself. DJ's involved in this style are Gigi d'Agostino, Molella and Mauro Picotto. A group that also had international success was Datura, formed by two former members of the group Gaznevada and already started with this new style around 1992. Gigi d'Agostino did very well in the 2000s with several hits, since Media Records closed down he went on with his own record company still creating music and touring as a DJ.

 

•          Italo dance;

This dance style survived after the Euro Dance wave, it was full of other combinations than the usual female vocalist/male rapper style. The music and melody was in many cases still very happy but it was a good crossover between popmusic and house music. In this period some new record labels appeared. The most important ones for this kind of music were Back and For, Dee And Gee, Time Label (not Time Records), X-Energy, Do It Yourself and DWA Records. The Italo Dance style was the strongest and dominated the projects coming out of Italy the next decade. It seemed like the millennium change did something to the Italian producers, lots of records were created at the end of the 90s. The most important labels of this period were Time label, X-Energy Records, DJ Movement, DWA Records, Volumex Records and Dee & Gee Records. For the Euro Beat sound the labels Delta Records, Time Records and A.beat-C Records were the most influential.