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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Reviews June 12, 2005

Picks of the Week

The Kolai Krew "Take it back" (Thaisoul Music Records CD Promo)

DJ and producer Jask is kicking off his brand new label Thaisoul with this production by The Kolai Krew (Nicolas Laget & Taha Elroubi) that has been released back in late 2003 as part of "EPiology Vol. 2" on Sahara Records. "Take it back" is bringing back the music from the disco era with its combination of oldschool disco, funk, soul and jazz grooves that get topped with Maria Rochelle's sultry vocals and freestyle vibes by MC Krayola. The result is a ultra cool flashback of the past that will make your feet move with its uplifting feeling. Don't miss to check the bonus 'Tribut Shout Out DJ Tool' and the 'DJ Tool-A-Pella' that pay tribute to the DJ community. Jask remixes will be available soon.

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Reviews June 19, 2005

Picks of the Week

Kerri Chandler "Large 100"  (Large Records 12")

Chicago's leading house label Large Recrods are celebrating their 100th release with two outstanding tracks by legendary producer Kerri Chandler who - without any doubt - delivers something special. "Return 2 acid" is a hypnotic track with phat beats and keys, where the 808 acid line is creating an irresistible feeling, bringing back memories of the acid era of house. The flip features "Planet sonic", an electro cut influenced by Afrika Bambaataa lengendary "Planet rock". A release that couldn't be more appropriate to celebrate 12 years in the business and 100 classic releases.

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Reviews June 26, 2005

Picks of the Week

The Reese Project featuring Paul Randolph "This means that" (SuSu Records CD Promo)

In 2002, Paul Randolph promoted this beautiful track at the Winter Music Conference, but it took more than three years for it to get a full release. suSU Records picked it up and combine the original mixes with brand new ones from Bobby & Steve & James Ratcliff. The original vocal is on a soulful tip with a bumpy groove with a classy piano solo and a bubbling live bass, while the original vocal dub is on a moody vibe. The remixes turn it into a soulful garage song, coming in two different flavas: the 'Urban Groove Full Vocal' comes with wicked keys over a smoothly stompin' groove, while the 'Vocal Sax Mix' is on a more mellow vibe, featuring a lovely saxophone.

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Reviews July 3, 2005

Picks of the Week

Joaquin 'Joe' Claussell "Un.Chained Rhythums Part 1" (Sacred Rhythm Music Records 12" Promo)
Joaquin 'Joe' Claussell "Un.Chained Rhythums Part 2" (Sacred Rhythm Music Records 12" Promo)

Joaquin 'Joe' Claussell returns in a big way with this two limited 12" on his new label Sacred Rhythm Music, availably only as expensive Japan import but it is worth the money you've got to pay for it. It's all about spiritual vibes here, featuring all live instrumentation, ranging from melodic chill out tracks over hypnotic drum grooves to the two standout tracks "Mafungo" and "Maringa". "Mafungo" is an incredible percussion driven track featuring an outstanding saxophone with male chants, while "Maringa" features a wonderful jazzy piano line over a deeply stormin', smooth percussive groove. There will be a US release of "Mafungo" coming soon with more releases to follow.

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Reviews July 10, 2005

Picks of the Week

Cassio Ware with Working Underneath "Grows and grows" (Haus'Flor Records CD Promo)

Working Underneath return with "Grows and grows" that features the incomparable vocal talents of Cassio Ware. This project comes in four different flavors, kicked off by the 'jEzus bAkflip Hi-Tech Mix', an uptempo affair for peaktime play based on a thumpin' groove with sharp drums and techy keys. Next is the 'Underneath Mix', a deep house interpretation in classic New Jersey style spreading a warm feeling. The 'Miss-Me Mix' features a sexy spoken word vocal over a deep, percussively stormin' groove featuring melodic keys. Finally, the 'Grimy Blue Skies Mix' comes with laminar keys and jazzy piano over a smoothly stompin' groove, spreading an irresistible vibe. A great package with something for everyones taste.

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Reviews July 17, 2005

Picks of the Week

Exclusive Preview: Stacey Mallory "My rhythm" (CD-R)

While "What is housemusic..." will be released on Jellybean Soul Records soon, Stacey Mallory has the next bomb ready to drop. "My rhythm" is a wicked instrumental track based on a deeply rumblin' bassline, phat beats and sweet percussion. On top of it are jazzy keys, an organ solo and a fantastic piano line that create an irresistible feeling. This is one of those rare tracks with a groove that won't get out of your head for a long time to come.
 

Jon Cutler & Michael Watford "Watcha gonna do" (MN2S Records CD Promo)

New York based DJ and producer Jon Cutler delivers a killer vocal production that took this years Winter Music Conference in a storm whenever it got played. Featuring the legendary Michael Watford on vocals, "Watcha gonna do" comes with a raw edge in its original form that is a fierce yet smooth stomper featuring melodic keys and a wonderful vocal. Reel Soul rework it into a deeply thumpin' groover with laidback keys that lets the soulful vibe take center stage, while Kings of Soul accentuate the bass and add some sweet guitar licks and a magical flute, creating a funkier interpretation.

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