Believe it or not, I've not published one of these "D" posts since February. Time flies right on by...
Today I present you with Unlimited Touch, an not-quite-disco outfit from New York that manifested itself twice, once from 1980–81 and again from 1983–84. (Artist/management disputes can be a pain!)
During U.T.'s first incarnation―in which they dropped an eponymous long-player―the group distinctly veered to the R&B side of the spectrum, utilizing straighter bass lines than most disco outfits, jazzy keyboard and synth hooks, and verse-chorus-verse stylings that sort of mimic the African-American songwriting of the 60s more than the 70s or 80s. In their post-first split/pre-second breakup period, the outfit drifted way more to the 80s synth-pop dance genre while still maintaining a pretty decent amount of soul and boogie funk. They just grew quite accustomed to goofing around with chintzy synth melodies and atmospheric washes that you'd be just as likely to find in, say, a Madonna song here or a Cyndi Lauper jam there. I don't think it's too much of a stretch to say that Factory's 52nd Street looked to them for inspirational cues around the same time...
Now for the songs! "I Hear Music In the Streets" (from LP1) is, hands down, the group's most famous jam; it's played at pretty much every disco party you'll encounter these days, and you may recognize the hook from Biz Markie's stop-the-East-Coast-West-Coast-drama flow "I Hear Music" and Faith Evans' "All Night Long." "Happy Ever After" is a smoother cut from the same album that has an undeniable R&B ballad tilt to it, epitomizing why Unlimited Touch is oftentimes dubbed a "post-disco" ensemble. "In the Middle" is the triumphant, sing-along finale to Unlimited Touch.
From LP2, Yes, We're Ready, I've got the electronics-heavy eight-minute boogie "Yes, I'm Ready" and the more sensual yet oddly wacky (hear those Y.M.O.-esque synth whirls?) "No One Can Love Me (Quite the Way You Do)."
A little after Yes, We're Ready, U.T. dropped the infectious "Reach Out (Everlasting Lover)," which served not only as their last release but also their first through-and-through jerky, robotic synth-pop effort. I'm not totally sure what happened to the rotating cast of characters that comprised the NYC outfit, but I think it's fair to assume more internal and external problems led to their final dissolution.
Unlimited Touch - I Hear Music In the Street
Unlimited Touch - Happy Ever After
Unlimited Touch - In the Middle
Unlimited Touch - Yes, We're Ready
Unlimited Touch - No One Can Love Me (Quite the Way You Do)