Reviews November 19, 2006

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Dennis Ferrer "The world as I see it" (KingStreet/Defected Records CD / Digital Download)

Dennis Ferrer has been one of the driving forces in soulful house music in the past 15 years, with many of his productions and remixes becoming classics. With "The world as I see it", he releases his debut albom that features a selection of recent single releases as well as brand new material, having written and produced (with the help of Selan on "I can't imagine" and Mia Tuttavilla on "Touched the sky") all the songs. The album covers a wide range of genres of house music flavors, ranging from r&b inspired tunes like "I can't imagine", "Touched the sky" and "How do I let go" to deep underground grooves such as "Underground is my home" or the afro-beat ridden "Run free" and "Change the world". But that is not all, there are also the tracks that took the world by storm: "Church lady" and "Son of raw", with "Transitions" and "P 2 Da J" being the next possible crossover monsters. A wonderful album not to be missed. Digital downloads available at Dancetracks Digital.

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Reviews November 12, 2006

Michael Procter "Rise up" (MyChan Records CD Promo)

Image Michael Procter, one of the true legends of house music returns with a slammin' release that he wrote, arranged and produced by himself. And of course, this exceptionally gifted singer does bless us with his unmistakable voice that is full of emotion and soul. "Rise up" is an uplifting song full of energy, with Fabio Bacchini delivering an incredibly funky interpretation that features a marvellous interpretation. On the dub, he is firing things up, creating an absolutely relentless vibe that will take dancefloors by storm. Santiago Cortes delivers a deepeer and smoother interpretation that is spreading a more laidback vibe while keeping the uplifting feeling alive. This track is exclusively available over the internet for the time being.

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In the Spotlight: Tortured Soul "Introducing" (R2 Records CD / Digital Download)

Image Tortured Soul had their first success with the release "I might do something wrong" back in 2001 when the bands only member was John-Christian Urich. Ethan White (keys & backing vocals) and JKriv (bass & backing vocals) joined John-Christian Urich (drums & lead vocals) and the success continued with the singles "Fall in love" and "How's your life". The release of their debut longplayer "Introducing" was just a question of time, and it is a shame it did not get the recognition it deserved upon its initial release in 2004 (on the rather unknown Purupose label) as Tortured Soul showcase their experienced musicianship, blessing us with their soulful music that has influences from soul, afro, samba, house and more. Thanks to UK based R2 Records this gem just got re-released, for the first time not only on vinyl, but also on CD and as Digital Downloads available at Dancetracks Digital.

Reviews November 5, 2006

Picks of the Week

Claude Monnet presents Torre "Panache" (Purple Music Tracks Records CD Promo)

French producer and DJ Claude Monnet presents "Panache" by Torre, their debut for Purple Music. "Panache" is a piece of modern cosmic disco that combines a funktified groove with a hypnotic bassline and electronic elements to create an infectious, 70's styled disco-house track that is absolutley relentless. The dub takes the track to a slightly more elecrtronic level. A second dub will be available digital download only. With all the hype around electro house going on at the moment , this one clearly stands out and takes the genre to a new level.

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Reviews October 29, 2006

Picks of the Week

SUMO featuring Clarisse Muvemba "Lovebeat" (HEYA Hifi CD Promo)

"Lovebeat" is taken from SUMO's brilliant album "The danceband" and features a magnificent vocal performance by Clarisse Muvemba. The groove on the main version is nothing than just resistless, enriched with wonderful keys and a vocal performance that adds a touch of jazz to the song. Innocent Sorcerers rework the song into a soulful piano driven broken beat groover, while Karizma adds his trademark beats and some wicked keys to create a deep and moody dub. SUMO themselves deliver an outstanding dub that takes you back to the good old days of disco, being full of percussive elements and effects, with the keys adding the flavours of the new millenium. Not to be missed.

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In the Spotlight: "Pleasure Club's Finest Two" mixed by Andreas Thiessen (CKP Records CD)

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DJ Andreas Thiessen is the host of the Pleasure Club events and has also released a couple of successful singles under the aliases Pleasure Bar (on the highly acclaimed german dance label Milk & Sugar Records) and Timbalestics.

For the second time, he presents the mixed compilation "Pleasure Club's Finest", a selection that describes the vibe and athmosphere he creates in his sets by combining soulful deep house with balearic grooves, enriching them with some sligthly darker and tribalistic tracks to create a soulful and twisted flow of melodies and grooves.

Reviews October 22, 2006

Picks of the Week

KC Jackson "All things praise" (Grooveland Music Records CD Promo)

With only two releases out yet, Grooveland Music has already gained lots of respect in the community thanks to their addiction to quality music. Their third release is courtesy of young producer KC Jackson who presents a beautiful song with preacher vocals over a percussion loaded, funktified groove. e.deep delivers a soulful interpretation that uses phat beats and a rumbling bassline topped with jazzy keys and a magnificent saxophone. The Beat Brothers (J Wagner & Wander A) use great guitar licks and spacey keys to give the track an old school funky and laidback feeling, while Bradford James' reworking is on a deep and moody tip featuring jazzy keys that give it a relaxed feeling.
 

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In the Spotlight: Markus Enochson "Night games" (Sonar Kollektiv Records CD / Digital Download)

Image Markus Enochson has made himself a name over the past few years for being a very versatile producer who crosses the boundaries of traditional genre distinctions to create his own unique sound with both his own releases on various labels (MAW, Ricanstruction, Crash and Flamingo Disco to name just a few) and remixes for other artists such as Kenny Bobien, Charles Webster and not to forget  his massive remix of Koop's "Summer sun". After releasing the 12" "Got to let you know" a couple of year ago on Sonar Kollekiv, the same label brings us his longawaited debut album "Night games" where Markus takes us on a musical journey that proves that the boundaries within dance music have become increasingly eroded and are merging with each other - think of a fusion of broken beats, electro and traditional house to name just a few of the album's influences. Various vocalists such as Demetreus, Masaya, Caroline and also the legendary James Ingram are featured. An inspiring album that invites you to discover the broad range of today's dance music. Digital downloads of the album are available at Dancetracks Digital.

Reviews October 15, 2006

Picks of the Week

Jenny Morrisson "Brand new life" (Deep Haven Music Records CD Promo)

"Brand new life" is produced by Blvd East (the duo of James Rivera and Christian Perez) and features a soulful and passionate vocal performance by Jenny Morrisson. It is is an inspiring song that comes in a variety of mixes, with the original being an uplifting affair built around a driving thumpin' groove that is topped with wicked keys. Blvd East smooth it down on their remix to give the song a more laidback feeling, while Fuzion (George Mena & Franke Estevez) deliver a groovy remix that lets the vocals shine alongside great keys.

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In the Spotlight: Quentin Harris "No politics" (Pony Canyon/Un-Restricted Access 2xCD)

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Quentin's longplayer "No politics" is finally here after having been expected to drop earlier this year, and for the time being it is only available as Japan import. Beside "Hate won't change me" featuring Byron Stingily and "Let's be young", the album features all new material with vocals provided by Colton Ford, Jason Walker, Lavonz, Georgia Cee, Cordell McClary and Monique Bingham. Among the songs is a cover of the After 7 classic "Can't stop" and a collaboration with Haldo. The biggest surprise is "Beautiful black women come from Brooklyn" featuring Monique Bingham where Quentin goes for a leftfield downtempo affair while the other songs stay in Quentin's tradition of uplifting and fierce house grooves. Also included are the new instrumental tracks "Haunted", a highlight of the album and the brand new 12" release, and "Moist groove". As a bonus, this japanese release includes a three track bonus CD including an extened version of the of Haldo collaboration and the instrumental tracks "House" (the flipside to the "Haunted" 12") and "Episodes #3 (the lost episode)".

Reviews October 8, 2006

Picks of the Week

Raw Artistic Soul featuring Wummi "Oya O" (GoGo Music Records CD Promo)

Image "Oya O" is taken from the forthcoming longplayer "You got rhythm too" (to be released in spring 2007) and stays in the tradition of outstanding musicianship from mastermind Phil Kullmann and his Raw Artistic Soul ensemble, making you want for more of their beautiful music. Phil's main mix is a wonderful smooth yet resistless afro house track featuring an incredible yoruban vocal performance by Wummi, with a brilliant saxophone solo (there is also a digital download only 'Alternative Main Mix' that replaces the saxopohone with a marvellous flute). His reprise is a mellow affair perfect for chilling, while the digital download only 'Afro Dub' gives it a deeper, more laidback afro house feeling. The remixes are courtesy of Alix Alvarez who spices things up on his rework using phat beats and an added ultra-deep bassline. For all the heads, there is is a fierce 'Bonus Beats' version as well as a digital download only instrumental of Alix Alvarez' remix availabale.
 

Lucillia "The sun goes down" (Barcoda Records CD Promo)

Barcoda (the label run by Central Avenue aka Andy Lee) have licensed the beautiful "The sun goes down" by London based artist Lucillia, a track written by Fernandes & Jalil. "The sun goes down" features a sexy vocal performance by Lucillia and comes in a great variety of mixes. The 'Central Avenue Main Mix' is a powerful yet soulful affair with a melodic instrumentation that is spreading an uplifting feeling, with the accompanying 'Central Avenue Dub' firing things up to turn it into a peaktime favorite. The 'Seven Hills Soul Mix' is smoothing it down, with a beautiful jazzy piano leading the way, while the 'Soulbasics Mix' is on a deeper vibe and is based around sweet percussion that give it a mellow vibe. Lastly there is the '4Luv Mix', a great smooth and soulful mix with a warm instrumentation.

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Reviews October 1, 2006

Picks of the Week

Balage "Love We Left Behind EP" (Hermosa Records CD Promo)

First Balage gave us the wonderful "Got you on my mind", now he comes up with an exceptional four track EP not to be missed! The title track "Love we left behind" features spoken words by Louis Hale and the soulful voice of Dolores Peterson over a steadily groovin' backing music that will keep you dancing. On the "Impressions", it's all about the music, more precisely about a wonderful guitar solo combined with a laidback, latin infused groove. Next is "Thank you" featuring the incomparable Dolores Peterson who delivers an emotional vocal over a deep and sweet, almost chilled-out groove. On "How do we get to here", Balage teams up with Louis Hale who graces us with his soulful voice while the music is infectious yet soulful and organic. Words can't really describe what treat we got here - simply one of the best records of the year with each of the four tracks having the class to be released on its own. A remix package of the EP is in the works, involving the likes of Bongolovers, Richard Earnshaw, Justin Michael, Roberto De Carlo, Macam and Solo.
 

Juke Joint featuring Yvonne Brown "Gotta get up" (Tony Records CD Promo)

Juke Joint aka DJ Dealer and DJ Sensé team up for the resistless "Gotta get up" which features singer Yvonne Brown who adds a passionate vocal to the song. Their original is a funky house gem on a classic vibe, featuring great strings and infectious keys. This already great club track was handed over to DJ Spen for a remix, and the result will blow you away!! The beats are kickin', the guitar by Ivrin Madden is of the hook, the keys by Gary Hudgins are unreal - and Yvonne Brown sings her heart out. A killer remix that will take dancefloors by storm. And then the vocal and instrumental dub mixes by DJ Spen are the perfect complement to the package.

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