Casablanca Comes To Australia

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Casablanca Records, the label whose golden era brought worldwide success to Donna Summer, Kiss, Cameo, Parliament and many others, has launched as a dance imprint in Australia.

The label’s modern-day presence in the US market is as part of the Universal Music Group label Republic, where its roster includes current favourite dance acts such as Chase & Status, Tiesto, Crystal Castles and Sigma. Casablanca announced at the end of June that it had re-signed the hugely influential producer-artist Giorgio Moroder, who was himself on the label in the 1970s and produced Donna Summer releases for the company such as I Remember Yesterday and Bad Girls.

Casablanca Records Australia has announced plans to sign local pop and electronic artists, and the first names on its roster are singer Vera Blue,  electronica producer Running Touch, producer/DJ Just A Gent and producer/songwriter Thomas Honeywill’s St Albion project. The label will be launched with a party in Brisbane on 8 September.

The original Casablanca was launched by the late industry maverick Neil Bogart soon after he left Buddah Records in 1973. After initial struggles, the company hit its stride with Summer, Kiss, Parliament and others, expanding into a movie company, Casablanca Filmworks, which made the 1978 disco vehicle Thank God It’s Friday! as well as Midnight Express.

By then, Bogart’s empire had attracted Polygram, which bought a 50% stake, and hits continued to roll in for artists as diverse as the Village People, the Captain & Tennille and Lipps Inc, of ‘Funky Town’ fame. The flamboyant Bogart died of cancer in 1982; its artists eventually became part of other Polygram labels or were dropped, but the Casablanca name was revived in 2000.

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