Reviews March 13, 2005

Picks of the Week

Exclusive Preview: Milesart Orchestra "Better Times EP" (Ibiza Soulstice Music CD Promo)

Ibiza Soulstice Music is the brand new label by Joan Ribas Ferrer. The first release is a four track EP by the Milesart Orchestra featuring music inspired by 70's soul, jazz and funk grooves. "Something coloured" comes with a stompin' beat, deeply funkin' bassline (think of "Papa was a rolling stone") and sweet melodies on top. "Funkoff (deep love to Isa)" is a fantastic afterhours track based around a deeply stormin' groove and features a jazzy instrumentation together with a funky guitar. "Gotta make you move" starts with a lovely intro before the drivin' groove kicks in and the jazzy saxophone, funky guitar and soulful vocals create an irresistible feeling. Lastly we've got the title track "Better times", a midtempo groover spreading a laidback feeling through the jazz-funk vibes.

King Britt presents Scuba featuring Lizz Fields "Our time" (Slip'N'Slide Records CD Promo)

Slip'N'Slide Records have just started a new compilation series called "Jazzmental" with King Britt presenting the first selection that includes his own production "Our time" which features r&b singer Lizz Fields. She delivers a soulful vocal performance over a deep bassline and piano driven groove added with sweet percussion, strings and melodic keys on the 'Funke Mix' while the 'Sunrise Mix' is stripped of the beats and percussion. The remix included is courtesy of Mikale Nordgren under his Tiger Stripes moniker and comes with smoothly stompin beats, superb flute and afro elements added to the original instrumentation, giving the track an irresistible feeling.

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Reviews March 20, 2005

Picks of the Week

The BackRoom featuring Kimara Lovelace "Here I am" (Soul Groove Records 12")

"Here I am" is one of those songs that has a melody that won't get out of your heard for a long, long time to come, courtesy of the production team of Backroom Productions. The music is based around an irresistible groove and features a delightful George Benson like guitar, warm melodic chords and sweet percussion, creating an infectious vibe. Add the wonderful and passionate vocal performance by Kimara Lovelace, and you've got a soulful and timeless garage production, perfect for the summer season ahead.

WMC Preview: Michelle Weeks "Be thankful" (Purple Music Records 12" Test Pressing)

In 2002, Jamie Lewis and his Purple Music family brought us "The light", in 2005 they bring us "Be thankful". It has the same energy that made "The light" one of the standout tunes three years ago, with Michelle Weeks proving why she is undoubtly one of house music greatest. It's the irresistible piano together with the unmistakable vocal that are layed over a fiercely stormming groove on this track that will conquer the attention of everyone who hear this track. Simply irresistible.

WMC Preview: Nikos featuring Nita "Let's stay together" (Under My Skin Records CD Promo)

For his latest release on Under My Skin Records , DJ and producer Nikos has choosen to do a cover version of one of his all time favorite songs: "Let's stay together" by Al Green, a timeless soul classic. With the help of a gifted group of musicians who provide the live instrumentation including sax, flute, bass, drums and percussion, this new interpretation brings the soul directly to the dancefloors with its smooth vibe and an electrifying vocal performance by Nita Hutton whose voice is soulful and breezy, giving the song an inspirational and passionate feeling.

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Reviews April 3, 2005

The WMC 2005 Picks

John Kumahara featuring Martino "Paradise in the Sahara" (Kenny Carvajal Remix)(Iwanai Records CD Promo)

This was the first release back in june 2003 for Iwanai Music that now returns with a simply fantastic reworking by Kenny Carvajal who takes the track to a higher ground, expanding the organ and keys provided by Martino to a new dimension, with the pulsating percussion underlining the late nite vibe of this production. The original version will also be included on the release.

Gene Douglas featuring David Walker "Almost heaven" (Almost Heaven Records 12" Test Pressing)

David Walker has worked as background voice for Mariah Carey, and here he teams up with Gene Douglas for a wonderful production. The original is on a classic vibe with a laidback feeling to it, featuring warm melodies over a mellow groove. Simon Grey takes it to a different territory on his mix, turning the song into a jazzy broken beat track, while Noel Pix is adding more punch to it with a sweet pumpin' groove. Frank Wichmann & Gary Lanziere take it to the underground on their tribal groove driven, electro-ish dub version. Finally Sebastian Wunder delivers a deep house groove with warm melodic sounds.

Blaze featuring Ultra Naté "Wonderful place" (Remixes)(SuSu Records CD Promo)

What a strong remix package SuSu have prepared for this great song featuring the wonderful Ultra Naté. Bobby & Steve together with James Ratcliff give it a soulful makeover with smooth percussion, lovely jazzy flute and groovy beats. Fanatix give it a deeper edge on their take, with phat beats and spaced-out keys. Their dub takes it even deeper and has an underground vibe to it. H&H come up with a bumpier affair with a funky bassline, cool guitar and disco-ish strings, adding a feel-good vibe to the song.

Kenny Carvajal featuring Swaylo "You remind me" (Phuture Sole Records CD Promo)

After giving Kenny Carvajal a five star rating for his remix on "Paradise in the Sahara", we have to admire his production skills. On "You remind me", he teams up with singer Consuela 'Swaylo' Ivy for a timeless production, with a vocal performance full of passion, coming striaght from the soul. The music is based on a smooth groove and comes complete with a marvellous jazzy piano and guitar solo that together with the melodic chords create a wonderful feeling.

Jully Black "Stay the night" (83 West Remix)(Universal Records CD  Promo)

Canadian singer Jully Black will soon be dropping her debut album. "Stay the night" is the first single lifted, coming complete with a remix by 83 West taking the song straight to the dancefloor with sharp beats, a deeply rumblin' bassline and spheric keys that get accompanied by jazzy keys, giving the song a late night vibe.

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Reviews April 10, 2005

Picks of the Week

Raw Artistic Soul "What about love" (GoGo Music Records CD Promo)

 Image After releasing two oustanding EPs, the debut album from percussionist, producer and remixer Phil Kullmann and his fourteen singers and musicians strong Raw Artistic Soul collective is here. It covers contemporary grooves from all over the world, combining sounds from various cultures including spanish, yoruban, shona, bemba and english. The album continues what the EPs started by bringing you lush percussive rhythms, beautiful voices and warm music soundscapes.

Phil Kullmann shows his versatility on this longplayer, with new elements and influences to be discovered on each song, letting his Raw Artistic Soul Collective express their musical skills and the love for music. Words can't really describe what a treat this is, but simply said with this album you've got a masterpiece in your hand.

Watch out for the third EP coming soon including "Felipes dubstyle" and S.U.M.O. remixes of the title track "What about love".

Stephanie Mills "Free" (Louie Vega Mixes)(Expansion Records 12" Promo)

These Louie Vega mixes of "Free" are simply outstanding with the irresistible vibe they are spreading, featuring the incomparable voice of Stephanie Mills and a wonderful instrumentation including sweet percussion, lovely strings and guitar together with wicked keys. And with great and versatile set of mixes included (vocal, acapella, instrumental, dub), two copies are needed for mixing them back to back. Essential tune, one not to be missed.

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Reviews April 17, 2005

Picks of the Week

Doctor M "Park Jam" (Dancers DelightSeries)(Needs Records One-Sided 12")

Behind Doctor M is Needs' very own Marek Bartkuhn who presents this fantastic production that cleverly injects parts of the Montana Sextett classic "Who needs enemies" to create a boogie-esque disco-house extravaganza that features a funky groove, crunchy beats, bubbling bassline, spheric keys and hot guitar licks. The result is an absolutely outstanding track with reminisces to the good old days of disco that will make your feet move.

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Reviews April 24, 2005

Picks of the Week

Kenny Bobien "Set them free" (SoundMen on Wax Records 2x12" Promo)

We haven't heard from SoundMen on Wax in a while, but now they are back with fantastic Jephte Guillaume remixes of Kenny Bobien's "Set them free", a beautiful cover version of this timeless Sting written song. Jephte Guillaume takes the song to a whole new level with afro beats giving a smooth tribal edge to the song, percussion, melodic keys that create warm melodies and a jazzy saxophone, everything perfectly underlining Kenny Bobien's unsmistakable voice. There is a wonderful instrumental version featuring just the chorus and the marvellous saxophone solo that will take you on a journey. Also included are bonus beats, acapella and an alternate vocal version that got stripped of the beats.

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Reviews May 1, 2005

Picks of the Week

Kenny Carvajal featuring Carla Prather "First time" (Crash Records CD Promo)

Chicago based Kenny Carvajal has established himself both a producer and remixer over the past two years, and he is responsible for two of this years highlights from the Winter Music Conference. With "First time", Kenny Carvajal has another original production ready to conquer the hearts of soulful house music lovers. "First time" features the wonderful voice of Carla Prather who delivers an outstanding emotional performance over an irresistible groove that is added with a lovely guitar and exceptional organ ride alongside laminar keys and a deeply groovin' bassline, the result being a timeless piece of soulful dance music not to be missed.

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Reviews May 8, 2005

Picks of the Week

Marlon D "Love is key" (Jellybean Soul Records CD Promo)

 Image Marlon D has been around in the New York club scene for a long time, starting as a promoter and DJ before stepping into production. Today he is running both his own Underground Collective nights and Underground Collective record label, and he is responsible for some classics of recent years: "Keys of life" and "Love will save the day" by Jaque, "I appreciate" by Maxine Inniss and "The UC anthem". The recently released "Affection", a taster for the album, got radio airplay and reviews worldwide and has entered several global dance charts.

Now the time has come for Marlon D to release his debut album on Jellybean Records, run by the legendary John 'Jellybean' Benitez. Featuring some of the hottest singers in the house community today - Stephanie Renne, Caroline Peppers and J.R. Morrison - this album will further strengthen Marlond D's reputation for being a versatile producer of soulful house music. It includes instrumental tracks as well as vocal productions featuring the sweet and soulful voices of aforementioned artists, all of them including great keys and grooves destined to rock the dancefloors.

"Love is key" is a brilliant varied debut album not to be missed that will be released both on CD and vinyl. Also watch out for the 83 West remix of "Affection" to be released soon on 12".

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Reviews May 15, 2005

Picks of the Week

Blaze presents Underground Dance Artists United for Life "Keep Hope Alive" (SuSu Records 2x12" Test Pressing)

Already released in Japan and the USA, this wonderful album now gets a UK release on SuSu Records. The double-pack vinyl sampler comes complete with exclusive remixes and brand new tracks alongside the in demand Dennis Ferrer remix of "Most precious love" featuring Barbara Tucker. "Not far away" and "What makes the world go round" are new productions, the later featuring the soulful voice of Stephanie Cooke, both being on a laidback and mellow vibe, featuring the unmistakable Blaze sound. "Spread love" featuring Byron Stingily is featured in a brand new and slammin' Will Milton remix, whle "Hiya luv" featuring Kenny Bobien is remixed by Phil 'The Medicine Man' Hooten and "A wonderful place" featuring Barbara Tucker is included here in the 'Bobby & Steve & James Ratcliff Afro Remix'. The package gets completed with the original version of "Be yourself" featturing Joi Cardwell and the 'Roots Vocal Mix' of the title track featuring Dawn Tallmann.

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Reviews May 22, 2005

Picks of the Week

Exclusive Review: John Legend "Ordinary people" (Original Drum Remix)(CD-R)
Exclusive Review: Mario "Let me love you" (Original Drum Remix)(CD-R)

Original Drum Productions have been handing out a showreel featuring snippets of their recent work at this years "Winter Music Conference", including these two songs. "Ordinary people" by John Legend has been remixed many times already by the likes of Karizma, Jihad Muhammad and 83 West, but this reworking is my favorite so far. It is based on smoothly stompin groove and features melodic keys that harmonise perfectly with the reminiscent piano of the r&b original. Mario's current smash "Let me love" gets a new interpretation in two different flavors. The 'Bes Scroll' mixes use deeply stompin' beats together with a wicked set of keys and xylophone solo to create an irresistible vibe, while the 'Shetshet File' mixes feature a jazzy piano alongside melodic chords over a fierce groove, creating an intense feeling.

Raw Artistic Soul "What about love EP" (GoGo Music Records CD Promo)

Raw Artistic Soul follow up the release of their longplayer "What about love" with another hot EP including the album title track and "Felipes dubstyle". "What about love" features Mirta Junco Wambrug on vocals and is included here in an infectious, funktified extended version. S.U.M.O are responsible for the remixes, creating an irresistible groove featuring afro-styled beats and drums, guitar and slammin' keys on their rebounce, while the dub gets electronic with tough keys. "Felipes dubstyle", a driving track featuring rhodes and brass stabs over kicking beats, is included here in an extended version.

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Reviews May 29, 2005


Picks of the Week

Various "Motown Remixed" (Motown Records CD / 3x12")

 Image Motown Records are the latest in letting remix their back catalog, available on CD and three separate 12". Volume one of the vinyls is for the hip hop heads and features remixes of Jackson 5's "I want you back" by Z-Trip and "ABC" by Salaam Remi, Gladys Knight & The Pips cover of "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" reworked by The Randy Watson Experience and a remix by Futureshock of The Undisputed Truth's "Smiling faces sometimes". Next up is the 'club volume' featuring a slammin' DJ Spinna remix of the 70's soul-funk bomb "Keep on truckin'" by Eddie Kendricks, a bumpin' afro-house rework of Edwin Starr's "War" by King Britt and a DJ Smash remix of "Signed, sealed, delivered  I'm yours" by Stevie Wonder. The latest volume gets chilled and is kicked off with a brilliant atmospheric take by DJ Jazzy Jezz & Pete Kuzma on The Temptations' "Papa was a rollin' stone", followed by a Paul Simpson & Miles Dalto remix of Marvin Gaye's "Let's get it on" and a Groove Boutique reworking featuirng Roy Ayers of Smokey Robinson's "Quiet storm".

In addition to the above, the CD features five more tracks: Rare Earth "I just wan to celebrate" (Mocean Worker Remix), Diana Ross & The Supremes "My world is empty without you" (Tranzition Remix), The Temptations "Just my imagination" (Easy Mo Bee Remix), Smokey Robinson & The Miracles "The tears of a clown" (Hotsnax Remix) and Rick James "Mary jane" (DJ Green Lantern Evil Genius Remix). 

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Reviews June 5, 2005

Picks of the Week

Exclusive Preview: Joe DiPadova featuring Ryan 'RB' Brown & Tara Kimes "Papago morning" (CD-R)

From time to time, you hear a piece of music that blows you away, like "Papago morning" by Joe DiPadova did when I first heard it. This production features all live instrumenation including lead and rhythm guitar by Ryan 'RB' Brown, rhodes, bass, drums, congas and bongos, and on top of this comes a magnificent vocal performance by Tara Kimes. "Papago morning" is a very organic prodcution based on a funky foundation with the rest of the instrumentation adding a unique flavor to it, a wonderful combination of various styles of music, always sounding live and being full of emotion. Then there is the dub that features an additional trumpet and male vocal, being on a laidback tip, spreading a smooth mellow vibe. Simply wonderful music.

Steal Vybe featuring Stephanie Renee "It's real" (Z Records CD Promo)

Chris 'Cee Rule' Forman & Damon 'Mr. Dizzy Fingers' Bennett present this wonderful production featuring the incomparable voice of Stephanie Renee. Their original version of "It's real" is spreading an infectious organic vibe through the funky bassline, sweet percussion, lovely guitar and melodic keys, that serve as playground for the soulful vocals. Joey Negro is using a driving groove based on sharp beats to spice things up while keeping the organic vibe alive. While his club version is featuring the original instrumentation, the dub is having a west coast flava to it, replacing the original instrumentation with spaced out keys.

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