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.

Reviews March 9, 2008

Picks of the Week

Exclusive Preview: Dario D'Attis feat Kaysee "He loves me" (Unreleased CD-R)

Swiss DJ and producer Dario D'Attis presents the captivating "He loves me" featuring a passionate vocal performance by Kaysee over a deeply rumblin' backing groove that gives the track a resistless feeling, with the wicked chords and catchy keys intensifying the vibe to the climax. The two dub mixes (one with, one without vocals) take the track to deeper grounds, letting the thumpin' beats, keys and chords create a relentless vibe.
 

Groove Junkies "MoHo WMC 08 Album Sampler" (MoreHouse Records CD Promo)

Its about time that the ever solid Groove Junkies release their debut artist album titled "In the Zone", and this sampler will give you a first glimpse at what to expect. Kicking off is the current Groove Junkies single "Work it out" (that has taken over dance floors and chards all over the world), followed by DJ Meme's classy Philly Disco flavored remix of the 2006 smash "Dr. Feelgood" that is all about the uplifting vibe and passionate vocals. Next is "In the zone" which showcases a new side of the Groove Junkies as they go for a darker, tech flavored sound on a broken beat tip, spiced with hypnotic vocals, dramatic strings and wicked keys - this one is absolutely relentless and captivating, sure to take dance floors by storm. Lastly there is "Pulled me through" featuring Solara, a signature Groove Junkies production featuring sexy vocals over an irresistibly stormin' funktified groove.

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In the Spotlight: Fanatix "This Thing Of Ours" (BBE Records CD-R)

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The wait is over!! Aaron Ross and Neil Pierce finally drop the long awaited full length album of their Fanatix project by the end of April on BBE Records. It features various illustrious guest such as Alex Mills, Sara Divine, Sterling Ensemble, Kadija Kamara, Dionnne Mitchell, Shaun Escoffery, Tonya Renee and Lady Alma that all contribute to this masterpiece. We've already praised "Open your eyes", the first single to be lifted from the album - now after having listened to all tracks for a couple of times, it must be admitted that Aaron Ross and Neil Pierce are at their best here, delivering soulful house of the highest caliber.

Independent if you listen to the vocal or instrumental tracks of the album - they won't get of your mind for a long time to come thanks to the soulful yet resistless grooves, passionate vocals and masterly orchestration, and the spirit and uplifting energy of the tracks are guaranteed to take you to a higher place. One of the best albums in a long, long time, one that has timeless classic stamped all over it.

Reviews March 2, 2008

Picks of the Week

Ralf GUM featuring Diamondancer "All this love for you" (GoGo Music Records CD Promo)

While Ralf GUM's artist album "Uniting Music" has been given a May release date (to be reviewed on Spirit of House soon), we can enjoy his collaboration with Detroit based poetry artist Carolyn Ferrari - better known as Diamondancer - on "All this love for you", a track where she gives us her personal view of her first decade in house music. Ralf GUM's original is a hypnotizing affair featuring fierce chords over a relentlessly swingin' groove that is guaranteed to get the dance floors packed. The remixes are courtesy of Rocco who adds his unique style to the track, turning out a soulful tech-house masterpiece on his 'Main Mix', while his 'Spoken Mix' is on a slightly deeper, more laidback late night / early morning vibe. With various instrumentals and beat versions included, this one is not be missed.

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Reviews February 24, 2008

Picks of the Week

Exclusive Preview: Ayro vs Spinna "Bounce" (Groovia Sound Project Records CD Promo)

Right in time for the upcoming Winter Music Conference, Groovia Sound Project have a wicked release by Ayro (aka Jeremy Ellis) ready that first will be available on limited edition vinyl only, with a digital release following later. "Bounce" in its original form is a wonderful broken beat flavored track featuring outstanding vocals alongside phat spaced-out keys that make this something special. DJ Spinna delivers one of his trademark deeper-than-deep interpretations that is absolutely irresistible with its fierce stormin' groove and the marvelous keys that accompany the vocals.

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Reviews February 17, 2008

Picks of the Week

Exclusive Preview: Fanatix featuring Dionne Mitchell and Sterling Ensemble "Open your eyes" (BBE Records CD-R)

It has been quiet around Fanatix for some time, but they are ready to return in a big way with a full length album to drop soon on BBE Records. The first single from the album will be "Open your eyes" featuring the Sterling Ensemble and Dionne Mitchell. "Open your eyes" is a powerful yet soulful production based on a deeply thumpin' groove that is enriched with relentless keys and chords alongside an outstanding vocal performance by Dionne Mitchell, altogether creating an uplifting and irresistible vibe you can't resist to dance to.

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Reviews February 10, 2008

Picks of the Week

Groove Junkies featuring Wendy Brune "Work it out" (MoreHouse Records CD Promo)

What a way to kick the new year off!! With "Work it out", the Groove Junkies open up 2008 in a truly big way, presenting a sure shot winner that will be a DJ favorite for a long time to come. With Wendy Brune, the Groove Junkies present a highly talented vocalist that you might not yet be familiar with, but we are sure we will much more from her in the future. The 'Main Mix' is a feel good vocal anthem, with Wendy Brune providing passionate vocals over a smooth yet fierce, funk soaked groove that is enriched with some hot keys and horns. The 'Funk Fusion Dub' is all about the funky elements, dropping some of the vocals while adding a wicked organ ride. M-Sol aka Mike Hirsch contributes the remixes, with his 'Afro Vox' using a smoothly thumpin', slightly afro flavored groove as base for the vocals that are accompanied by lush strings and wonderful keys. M-Sol's 'Deep Dub' takes the track to the underground with a deeper, darker edge, with the spacey synths creating a resistless vibe. The package also includes various instrumentals, a reprise and a beats version. One not to be missed.

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Reviews February 3, 2008

Picks of the Week

Doobie J featuring Yvonne Yanney "Mellow heart" (Citrus Sound Records CD Promo)

With "Mellow heart", Citrus Sound present a wonderful production by Doobie J that features an outstanding vocal by Yvonne Yanney. The original is beautifully orchestrated, with a smooth yet fierce groove leading the way for a lovely guitar, melodic keys, jazzy horns and the passionate vocals. Domenico Navarra contributes a masterly crafted latinesque interpretation that gives the track a laidback feeling, with the orchestration being top-notch as used from this producer, while Jonny Montana gives the track a timeless reworking featuring jazzy keys, classy chords and a wicked organ ride over a deeply rumblin' groove.
 

Exclusive Preview: Glenn Underground & Daisy Villa "Rize" (Need 2 Soul Records CD Promo)

Up and rising UK label Need 2 Soul have a beauty in their hands with this production by Chicago legend Glenn Underground that features Los Angeles' lounge soulstress Daisy 'DAI' Villa on vocal duties. "Rize" is a signature Glenn Underground production that is built around a vintage, deep soulful groove that is topped with masterly performed keys and lush vocals courtesy of Daisy Villa. The 'CVO Re-Touch' is an almost ten minute long journey that gives the song more of a mysterious touch with its deepened grooved and eclectic chords and keys.

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Reviews January 27, 2008

Picks of the Week

KT Brooks and Libby Jones "You are wonderful" (D#Sharp Records CD Promo)

Joe Flame and his D#Sharp label kick 2008 off in a big way with the incredible "You are wonderful", a masterly produced vocal production featuring outstanding vocal performances by both KT Brooks and Libby Jones. Coming in none less than six equally brilliant versions (including remixes by Jaysun and Louie Balo), "You are wonderful" is all about the spiritual vocals and the infectious grooves that create an uplifting and resistless feeling that will catch you with every listen.
 

Joe Rizla featuring Natasha Koss "Just one night" (Black Keys Music Records CD Promo)

Joe Rizla follows up the wonderful deep house vocal production "Sunday afternoon" with the next bomb titled "Just one night", again featuring Natasha Koss who delivers a beautiful sweet vocal over a deeply stormin' backing groove that is enriched with marvelous jazzy keys and chords, altogether creating an irresistible vibe. Beside vocal and instrumental versions, there is a magnificent reprise (the 'Bassapella') included in the package.

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