released late summer of 1998, 20 years this week to be precise. This track absolutely "floored" us when any DJ would put the needle to the record. I can remember the key notes playing, the sound almost felt like it was coming from up in the air somehow. Every DJ at clubs, raves & festivals were throwing down some mix version of Universal Nation in their sets, or as some people at first were calling it "The Real Anthem." 20 years later, I can honestly say the original is and always will be a masterpiece through and through and still holds up, somewhat today. For my money nothing compares to what Oliver Lieb did to the track with a rare honorable mention of a remix by Easton in 2008. Every other version from Corsten to Guy Barone pales in comparison to the Lieb, Easton and of course the original. "Proceed with visual attack formation." I've heard so many people have some strange ideas about the lyrics to that vocal clip from the 80's film The Last Starfighter. The funniest was one girl thought it said "proceed to the nearest emergency exit" She actually thought there was an emergency and was panicked. Great times, great music. M.I.K.E. where did you go? Come back to trance progressive. The renaissance is coming and you were the king.
Universal Nation was indeed one of the most memorable tracks ever in the trance scene and even further... MIKE did a nice masterpiece, and the tune is still fresh in everybody's memory. The amount of remixes afterwards even boosted the track. Now 10 years later, Banshee/Bonzai is holding a contest where you can remix of their classic tracks. Universal Nation is one of them, I'm curious what people will do with a 2008 version.
"Universal Nation" was probably the stand out track of the year 1998 for loads of people. I've always liked the deep drive that 'pushes' the melody on this epic slammer. It feels as if the artist (officially named Dirk and not Mike at that time) had something to get off his chest, a tune from the gut. And that's exactly what was the case the evening this track was produced. Dirk had a big argument with his girlfriend and in the heat of the moment when emotions got a bit too strong he took off to the studio in order to cool down and to get some things straight. A few hours later Universal Nation was all set up. The rest is history.