In the Spotlight: Alleviated Records

Image Alleviated Records, established in 1985 by celebrated dance music producer and singer Larry Heard, is one of our favorite House Music labels. Their debut release was the now classic "Mystery of love" by Loosefingers (later changed to Fingers Inc. when released on DJ International Records to become a worldwide hit). Probably their most known release is "What about this love" by Mr. Fingers from 1989. This track instantly became a favorite on dance floors all over the globe.
 
 The label is responsible for many more classic such as "Shine" by Kriss Coleman or "Prove it to me" by Ron Wilson. The label went inactive in 1991, but gladly returned a couple of years later with some great releases. Since late 2007, most of their catalog is available in digital format through DanceTracks Digital. Check out our special mix show showcasing some of their best releases to date.

Short Reviews May 1, 2008

With so much fresh music being put out at the moment, we are not able to consider everything for our weekly updates that covers each featured release in detail. For this reason - and whenever time permits - we will try to close the gap with a new format called Short Reviews. And of course these reviews will be accompanied by a mix show that will also feature alternate versions of previously reviewed releases.

So let us welcome you to the new Short Reviews on Spirit of House !!

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Reviews April 27, 2008

Picks of the Week

Urban Dance Institution "I miss U" (Original Mix)(UDI Records CD Promo)

Urban Dance Institution, the project created by Slovenian DJ Dekky a couple of years back, returns with the masterly orchestrated and performed "I miss U", with Shola Phillips providing a passionate vocal over a smooth funk flavored groove that is enriched with jazzy keys, flute, horns and classic strings. The result is simply wonderful, with a groove and vocal hook that will catch you instantly. The Groove Junkies are on remix duty, intensifying the vibe by using a funked-up, deeper groove and wicked synths that together with the original orchestration and vocals creates a relentless feeling.

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Reviews April 20, 2008

Picks of the Week

Liquid People presents Danism featuring Sean Williams "Trouble in paradise" (Tony Records CD Promo)

The label information reads: "Trouble In Paradise" is a pure testament to the roots of R&B flavored vocal house - we couldn't have said it better. This is the kind of vibe we feel has gotten lost and forgotten in recent times, with an inspirational and uplifting vocal full of passion provided by Sean Williams, while the musical backdrop brings back memories of the classic club sounds from the early 80's - groovy and funky, beautifully orchestrated (just listen to those delightful chords), soulful yet powerful. Both a vocal and dub version of this well received treasure are included in the package.

Next are the modern interpretations. The up and coming TJ Inc. (Jacko aka Giacomo Berarducci, Tony Loreto and keyboarder Antonio DiMauro) transform the song into a deep, slightly dark anthem that is fuelled with dramatic strings, lush chords and a marvelous organ. This one is absolutely resistless, guaranteed to set the dance floor on fire. One step further goes the 'Conan TIG Dub', twisting the song into a tougher affair perfect for the bigger rooms and peak time play.

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In the Spotlight: Tony Loreto

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Every now and then, a new star is born and shines bright, but many of those stars disappear as fast as they emerged. Certainly this is not the case with Tony Loreto, a young Italian producer and DJ currently living in Switzerland who has become a household name in the house music scene in recent months thanks to some of the most sought after remixes he has put out with a consistency and quality rarely found these days. There are no limits of genres for Tony Loreto when it comes to remixing songs and adding his own distinctive touch and sound to them as you can judge with him remixing the likes of Terence Trent D'Arby, Mary J. Blige, Stevie Wonder, Sting and also house classics such as "Motherland" by Tribal House or "No smoke" by Koro Koro to name just a few.

Tony Loreto also released the highly acclaimed "The Spirit EP" on Tony Records and most recently various high caliber remixes such as "The meaning of love" by Andy Tamashi and "You remind me" by Kenny Carvajal featuring Swaylo (the result of a collaboration with Abicah Soul), with many more production and remix projects in the pipeline.

Don't miss to check out an exclusive interview with Tony Loreto at our partner site InDaMix Worldwide as well as our exclusive mixshow showcasing some of his production and remix work.

Reviews April 13, 2008

Picks of the Week

WMC Aftermath: Jephte Guillaume featuring Wiltrud Weber "Blue and deep" (Tet Kale Records CD Promo)

If you have been in Miami and had the chance to hear this outstanding piece of music, you know why this production made it straight to our Pick of the Week spot. On "Blue and deep", Jephte Guillaume combines operatic singing courtesy of Wiltrud Weber with his incomparable orchestrations that are full of acoustic and organic arrangements, with a resistless percussion and drum drenched groove leading the way for wonderful melodies and the masterly performed vocals. It may be different and sound unexpected, but with its spirit and the uplifting vibe, this one must be considered an innovative masterpiece. Beside the vocal version, there is also a 'Deepstrumental' that strips most of the vocals to create a more intense feeling. Expect a whole album from the collaboration of Jephte Guillaume and Wiltrud Weber in the near future.

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Miami Reviews Part 2 April 7, 2008

Miami Picks

Jersey Maestros featuring Renee "He's so real" (Unsigned CD-R)

"He's so real" is a brand new production by the Jersey Maestros that yet has to be picked up by a label, but we are sure it is just a matter of time as it features a passionate vocal performance by Renee which gives the track an uplifting feeling, with the musical backdrop being smooth yet fierce, built around deeply thumpin' beats that are enriched with sweet percussion, warm melodic keys, jazzy horns and a lovely funky guitar riff, altogether taking you on a journey through soulful house at its best.

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Miami Reviews Part 1 April 6, 2008

Miami Picks

Chicago Soul Underground "WMC 2008 Sampler" (Mtima Muziki Records CD Promo)

Chicago Soul Underground is a new house production group from the city where house began, composed of DJ Pap and Matthew Kerr. This sampler includes six wonderful productions, kicking off with the laidback "Back in the day" featuring a heartfelt vocal by CB over a deep and soulful musical backing. "On the dance floor" is on a serious funk soaking tip and features sexy male vocals alongside wicked keys that guarantee to keep the crowd moving, while "Sexy McSax" gets deep and features sensual female vocal together with a beautiful jazzy saxophone to create a sexy feeling. "Hal's back" slows down the tempo for some relaxing jazzy house vibes created by a beautiful orchestration. "Surrender" is a laidback and groovy affair featuring the sweet voice of Kenya that is accompanied by melodic chords and sweet percussion. Lastly there is "On the run" with Lauren Ritchie providing passionate vocals over a fierce yet soulful funk flavored backing groove. Top quality stuff !!
 

Michael Canitrot "Feel the spirit" / "I can love again" (CD-R)

This two track sampler features with Johnny Sanders, Yolanda Graves and Jay Sebag three exceptional vocalists that contribute their part to these productions by Michael Canitrot to make it a remarkable, not to be missed package. "Feel the spirit" is a relentlessly stormin' track featuring mesmerizing keys that together with the uplifting vocals create a contaminous vibe you can't resist to dance to and raise your hands. "I can love again" is a slightly smoother but nonetheless captivating track featuring outstanding vocals and keys that guarantee to set the dance floor on fire.

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Miami (P)Reviews March 23, 2008

Picks of the Week

Toni Granello featuring Linda Lee Hopkins "Lift him up" (MapDance Records CD Promo)

MapDance Records turn up the heat with this gospel house anthem by Toni Granello that features an outstanding gospel tinged vocal performance by Linda Lee Hopkins. The beautifully orchestrated original is a smooth yet fiercely stormin' affair built around thumpin', funk soaked groove, with the vocals creating an uplifting feeling. The dub intensifies the funky vibes for an even more captivating feel. The remixes are courtesy the MuthaFunkaz who turn out an absolute masterpiece in form of their deep, funktified mixes that feature masterly played keys, with their dub replacing the lead vocals with an incredibly sexy horn section, inviting you to praise the lord yourself.
 

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

Stax (Abicah Soul) and Tony Loreto team up for this marvelous remix that takes this wonderful timeless song by Kenny Carvajal to a whole new level, with Consuela 'Swaylo' Ivy vocals being full of passion, coming straight from the soul. This new remix puts the vocals center stage, with the musical backdrop consisting of a deep yet smooth groove, incredible organ ride and classic strings fortifying the sultry feeling, and the added funky ingredients further strengthen the already infectious vibe. The instrumental lets you enjoy the full musical bliss. As a bonus, a beats version is also included.
 

Fudge featuring Mani Hoffman" Keep on" (2008 Remixes)(Stalwart Records CD Promo)

The 2005 soulful house classic from Stalwart Records gets a welcome makeover by the Layabouts and Rachel Claudio & Nicolas Vautier. First up are the Layabouts who deliver a wonderful energetic remix that keeps things smooth and soulful at the same time, with Many Hoffman's vocal adding the uplifting vibe to it. The dub mixes take the track to way grounds, letting the synths create a hypnotic feeling. Rachel Claudio & Nicolas Vautier contribute a fierce funk fuelled broken beat interpretation that should not be missed.

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Reviews March 16, 2008

Picks of the Week

Tone Control "Illusion" (Tone Control Records CD Promo)

Tone Control are Simon Finnegan and Marcus Harris who unleash "Illusion", the fourth installment for their own Tone Control label. "Illusion" features sultry vocals by James B. Coleman over a deep, slightly techifed yet soulful groove that is enriched with jazzy keys courtesy of Andy 'Touch' Fingers. The Rurals add their incomparable touch to the track, turning out a lush and groovy deep house interpretation, while Pablo Martinez contributes a fierce reworking full of punchy percussion elements and a moody bass, with wicked synths accompanying the vocals. Lastly there is the remix by Pedrosgroove (aka Ben Pedro) that takes the track to deeper grounds, giving it a slightly dark and techy edge.

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In the Spotlight: Ralf GUM "Uniting Music" (GoGo Music CD Promo)

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Ralf GUM and his GoGo Music imprint are known and beloved for the variety and mixture of styles on both their productions and releases. Now finally Ralf Gum unveils his long awaited debut artist album titled "Uniting Music" that brings together some of the most in-demand vocal artists such as Monique Bingham, Wunmi, Inaya Day, Diamondancer, Hanna Hais and Beate S. Lech as well as new talents in form of Rachel Claudio or Mike Avery to create a unique blend of soulful dance music coming your way as a deliciously arranged and mixed continuous play album, melting influences from soul, afro-latin, jazz, house and more, with guest musicians such as flute player Oliver Leicht and Raw Artistic Soul Brass Section adding their unique touch to the project.

A total of eleven tracks are featured on the album, all taking you on such a delightful journey of masterly performed vocals, dreamy melodies, groovy beats and hypnotic late night rhythms you'd wish it would never end, with the only imaginable option to be to listen to the album over and over again. Without any doubt: what we've said last week about Fanatix' long player applies for this one too: one of the best albums in a long, long time, one that has timeless classic stamped all over it.

In the Spotlight: Ashford & Simpson "Hits, Remixes And Rarities" (Rhino Records 2xCD)

Image If you look at 70's soulful r&b gems and lush dance grooves, you have to look at Nickolas Ashford & Valerie Simpson who recorded for Warner Bros. from 1973 through the early 80's, a period where they released such timeless songs as "Over and over", "Bourgie bourgie", "Found a cure" and "Stay free" to name just a few. Now Rhino Records released a 2xCD retrospective that rediscovers the best of those years. CD1 is all about the classic recordings, including many rare promo-only 12" mixes and other forgotten treasures. On CD2, selected classics get reworked by Tom Moulton, Dimitri from Paris, Paul Simpson & John Morales, Joe Claussell, Joey Negro and Tommy Musto who all breath new life into these marvelous songs while maintaining the integrity of them, turning out the spirit and inspiration these disco classics unleash with every play.

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