One of the leading exponents of a wave of Italian house music that flourished on the dancefloors of the late 80s and early 90s, Black Box comprised three Italian studio musicians (Daniele Davoli, Mirko Limoni and Valerio Semplici), collectively known as Groove Groove Melody.
Based in the Reggio Emilia area of northern Italy, the team made use of Katrine (Catherine Quinol) as a frontwoman for the black box project. Semplici was a clarinet teacher and played in the Music Orchestra in Bologna. Davoli was a well-known Italian club DJ (known as DJ Lelewel), largely at the Marabu Starlight Club and responsible for the hit single “Grand Piano”, another prime example of “Italo-house”, while Limoni was the computer and keyboard whizz kid of the trio.
The Groove Groove Melody team was established as one of the top production outfits in Italian dance music, churning out more than a dozen singles a year in their native country. Among these productions, the British music industry spotted “Ride On Time”. The single became the first of a series of Italian house records to crossover to the UK charts, staying at number 1 for six weeks in 1989, and becoming the best dance-selling record of all time (still today).
The Groove Groove Melody team was also behind the production of Starlight’s “Numero Uno” reaching the 9th position in the UK single charts.
Under seven or more pseudonyms, they turned out numerous further records.
However in April of 1990, as Black Box, released an album called “Dreamland” which broke in the US charts as well as the UK the rest of the world, and featured the hit singles “I don’t know anybody else”, “Everybody everybody”, “Strike It Up”, and “Fantasy”, a revamp of the Earth, Wind And Fire hit. They were also responsible for, among other remixes, ABC’s 1991 comeback single, “Say It”.
In 1995 a second album called “Positive vibrations” was released, featuring the American singer “Charvoni”, and including the singles “Not anyone”, “I’ve got the vibration”, “Native New Yorker” and “Fall into my love”.
Although the trio has never officially split up, they stopped recording as Black Box, after the second album, and it seems they have taken different paths… will we ever hear from them again?
Chevron is back in the studio this year with Blackbox to bring us another great album.