DISCO MAGIC UK was born in 1992, when SEVERO LOMBARDONI, the owner of DISCOMAGIC SRL in Italy, contacted me with a proposal.
Lombardoni had wanted to set up a UK division for his company but did not want to invest vast amounts of money in doing so.
He knew from some of his Italian competitors’ experiences how expensive that would be.
Lombardoni believed that having a direct presence in the UK for his Company (other than just on import) would attract more International Artists and Producers to Discomagic Srl itself.
I had known Lombardoni since 1986 and met him occasionally when I was in Italy.
He had licensed some of the records I was producing here in London and visited my studios a few times when he was in the UK.
In January 1992 one of my labels, High Density Records, had signed a distribution deal with DISCOMAGIC SRL in Italy and we started meeting and calling each other more often.
(High Density Records was renamed Renegade Records in Italy because there was already an Italian “High Density Records” unrelated to me).
So at the beginning of 1992 Lombardoni made me a proposal:
If I set up my own company and called it DISCO MAGIC UK, he would give me full access to his catalogue, without me having to pay any advances upfront.
Although Lombardoni made it clear that he was not prepared to invest any money in my company (and did not want any shares), he would give me 90-days credit to manufacture the records in his Italian record factory and use his original stampers for the pressings.
Everything else was at my own expense, including pressing, sleeves, labels, transport from Italy to the UK, paying Mechanical Rights, etc…..and a monthly fee to Lombardoni for “A&R services”…fair enough! 😀
A curious fact was that, because I was paying Mechanical Rights to the MCPS here in the UK, but pressing the records in Italy, the agreement I negotiated with the SIAE (the Italian copyright society) was that DISCO MAGIC UK records COULD NOT BE SOLD IN ITALY unless they were transported to the UK first and THEN shipped back to Italy as IMPORTS.
This made DISCO MAGIC UK releases VERY EXPENSIVE in Italy! 😀
See our other posts for detailed info and pictures on our 1990s releases