The Album Reviews for 2004.
December 31, 2004
Franck Roger "In my mind" (Straight Up Records CD Promo)
"In my mind" is Franck Roger's first ever album release, and it does feature all his releases from 2002 up to 2004 that have been released on various labels worldwide including KenLou Records (USA), Versatile Records and Straight Up Records (both France), Crash Records (Canada) and Needs Records (Germany). Franck Roger got his big breakthrough at this years Winter Music Conference in Miami where he presented some of the best of this years vocal productions featuring his partner and lead singer Chris Wonder. These vocal bombs are balanced with his deeper side where he brings us some slamming tracks. As this is a mixed CD, this is a perfect listenting pleasure.
December 19, 2004
Blaze presents Underground Dance Artists United for Live "Keep hope alive - Revisited" (Victor Records CD)
Only released a couple of weeks ago in the USA on KingStreet Records in its original form, our friends in Japan are a step ahead with this revisited edition featuring extended versions as well as brand new remixes. The extended versions can be found on the double-album on KingStreet Records while this CD also features the Dennis Ferrer remix of "Most precious love" featuring Barbara Tucker, the Agora Ryhthm remix of "Be yourself" featuring Joi Cardwell, both a vocal and dub version by Kiko Navarro of "Spread love" by Byron Stingily where the vocal version takes you back to the past with its funky disco vibes. Blaze themselves deliver a wonderful reworking of "Keep hope alive" giving the song a sweet, timeless vibe.
November 14, 2004
Salsoul presents "The Definitve 12" Masters Vol. 2" (SUSS'd Records 2xCD)
SUSS'd Records have put out another six 12" singles this year which makes now a grand total of 36 featuring classic Salsoul releases. While volume one in this CD series featured the a-side mixes of the first 18 releases, volume two presented here features the a-side mixes from the second 18 releases. Includes are gems like "Helplessly" by Moment of Truth, "Nice n'naasty" by Salsoul Orchestra, "Everyman" by Double Exposure, "Hit'n'run" by Loleatta Holloway, "Love thang" by First Choice, "Moment of my life" by Inner Life and "Dancin' and prancin'" by Candido.
Salsoul presents "Disco Funk Flavas 2" (SUSS'd Records 2xCD)
This is another CD series continued by SUSS'd Records, this time focussing the multifaceted funk-based anthems in the history of Salsoul Records. 24 tracks are featured here including "I'm funkin' you tonight" by Bunny Sigler, "Dance dance dance" by Claudio Barry, "Let's turn it out" by Skyy, "Sadie (she smokes)" by Joe Bataan, "Seconds" by Salsoul Orchestra, "(Just because) you'll be mine" by Instant Funk and many more.
Salsoul presents "Mixed with Love - The Walter Gibbons Salsoul Anthology" (SUSS'd Records 3xCD)
Salsoul presents "The Salsoul Acappellas" (SUSS'd Records 2xCD)
And yet we've got two more hot CD releases with classic Salsoul stuff for you to check out. First is the triple-CD release featuring an anthology of Walter Gibbons. All his big and timeless mixes are here - "Ten percent " and "My love is free" by Double Exposure, "Hit and run" and "Catch me on the rebound" by Loleatta Holloway (the later in both vocal and instrumental versions), "Nice n'naasty" and "It's good for the soul" by Salsoul Orchestra, "Just as long as I got you" by Love Committee and much more. Secondly is "The Salsoul Acappellas" double-CD. This is something for the collectior, DJ and producer who wants to play around with the original vocals and background vocals from many of the Salsoul classics.
October 17, 2004
Blaze presents Underground Dance Artists United for Live "Keep hope alive" (KingStreet Records Double-Album/CD)
Big props to Blaze for this project, a charity record that will help "Lifebeat" in its fight against AIDS. Blaze haven choosen the cream of garage singers - Kenny Bobien, Barbara Tucker, Ultra Nate, Arnold Jarvis, Byron Stingily, Joi Cardwell, Dawn Tallmann, Michelle Weeks, Darryl D'Bonneau, Keith Thompson, Sabrynaah Pope - for this project which brings you an oustanding collection of songs by the individual artists as well as the gospel flavoured "Keep hope alive" that finds them united in a big choir.
October 10, 2004
Blaze "The Prologue LP" (Public Service Records Double-Album Promo)
Publice Service is a new offshot from Ibadan Records that kicks off with the elementary "The Prologue LP", featuring eight of the finest and rarest from the early period of New Jersey legends Blaze. It kicks off with "We all must live together" which is followed by "So special", both taken from their highly acclaimed "25 years later" album release on Motown Records. This is followed by "Starudst" and one of house music' true classics "If you should need a friend". On the second disk, you'll find "We just started" featuring singer Lachandra, "Mystery", "Reachin'" and "Don't turn your love".
October 3, 2004
Blaze "The Instrumentals Project" (Papa Records CD)
Legendary New Jersey garage producers Blaza aka Kevin Hedge and Josh Milan present an album full of instrumental bliss. No vocals here, just the music speaking for itself, mixing up house with broken beats, jazz, funk and afro-beat - and you even get some sweet ambient vibes. A special release for the soulful heads.
September 5, 2004
Tortured Soul "Introducing" (Purpose Records Double-Album)
"Introducing" was released around june this year and is the debut longplayer from the Tortured Soul trio consisting of John-Christian Urich, Jason Kriveloff and Ethan White. Beside the well known singles "How's your life" and "Fall in love" there is lots of new material where they showcase their organic music with influences from afro, samba, jazzy house and more. There is lots of soul in this proejct not least to the soulful vocal performances by John-Christian Urich.
August 15, 2004
Various "20th Anniversary Collection" (Trax Records Triple-CD)
Trax Records are celebrating their 20th anniversary with this triple CD package. The first two CDs are mixed by Maurice Joshua & Paul Johnson and feature more than thirty classics from the Trax catalog. The third CD is unmixed and features twelve selected classics from the Trax catalog including the timeless "Can you feel it" by Mr. Fingers, "Move your body" by Marshall Jefferson, "Baby wants to ride" by Frankie Knuckles, "No way back" by Adonis and more.
July 25, 2004
Pound Boys "Tales from the boogie" (Look-At-You Records 3xCD)
"Tales from the boogie" is a triple CD collection covering the Look-At-You catalog that features over fifty releases today. The first two CDs are unmixed and feature nine tracks each while the third CD features a non-stop mix. Featured are both productions and mixes from the Pound Boys as well as productions and mixes from other producers like Audiowhores, Blaze and more. "Tales from the boogie" is a well deservied retrospective.
July 11, 2004
The Sunburst Band "Until the end of time" (Z Records CD)
Dave Lee has to be called a veteran dance producer under his Joey Negro guise, and here he has regrouped The Sunburst Band for their second longplayer "Until the end of time". Here, Joey Negro goes for a full dose of dance grooves from the yesteryear, with contributions adding to the authenticity of the 70's legendary disco era by soulstress Linda Clifford and the first ladies of Chic, Norma Jean Wright and Lucy Martin. Another featured well known vocalist is Taka Boom. The result ist a modern interpretation of classic disco, boogie and funk.
May 16, 2004
Louie Vega "Elements of life" (Vega Records Quadruple-Album)
A few weeks after the CD, the vinyl box set finally hits the stores. In addition to the CD, this box set also includes "Dubombo" and "Canto Para Chango". The box set comes with great covers that feature liner notes, pictures and lyrics.
May 9, 2004
Frankie Knuckles "A new reality" (DefMix Records CD)
"A new reality" is Frankie Knuckles first album in seven years. It is a mixture of house and soulful r&b that features familiar faces from the DefMix camp like Eric Kupper, Danny Madden, Peter 'Ski' Schwartz, Satoshi Tomiie, Terri Burus. The featured vocalists are Nicki Richards which is known for her smooth and sultry voice, CeCe Rogers and Jamie Principle. The first single to be taken from the album will be "Bac N da day" featuring Jamie Principle and comes complete with remixes by the Cleptomaniacs and David Morales.
Kenny Dope "Disco heat" (Mastercuts Records Triple-CD)
This triple CD features on the first CD a non-stop mix by Kenny Dope which he states is "one of many mix tapes that I do in my free time". All kind of disco classics are included like "Double Cross" by First Choice, "You got me running" by Lenny Williams, "New York moving" by Ahazz, "Soul on your side" by Rhythm Makers, "Groovin' you" by Harvey Mason, "Delirium" by Francine McGee, "Got to have your love" by Clyde Alexander, "Jazz carnival" by Azymuth and many more. A great selection mixed superbly and added with cool effects. The second and third CD are unmixed and feature the songs from the mix.
May 2, 2004
Blaze "Found love" (Mix-CD Compilation)(Slip'N'Slide Records CD Promo)
Blaze released their first production "Whatcha gonna do" back in 1986 when group was consisting of Kevin Hedge, Josh Milan and Chris Herbert. After a couple of now classic releases (including the "25 Years Later" album on Motown Records), Chris Herbert was leaving the group that had one of their finest moment with the production of De'Lacy's "Hideaway" in 1994. Even though Kevin Hedge has been djing since then, this is the first ever compilation album mixed by Blaze. It is a seamless mix that features some of the finest soulful house nuggets, including exclusive tracks not yet released. Kevin Hedge selected the songs and mixes them beautifully together with Josh Milan playing live keys on top of the mix, resulting in an exlusive mixed compilation. Think of "That's how much I love you" by Ambrosia, "Be yourself" by Joi Cardwell, "Love of my life" by Arnold Jarvis or "How deep is your love" by Blaze, and you can imagine what to expect.
April 18, 2004
Stephanie Cooke "Everything" (KingStreet Records Double-Album)
KingStreet Records release this new album for Stephanie Cooke featuring some of the best mixes from her past 12" releases together with new songs "Power of love" and "Alright", both produced by Big Moses and coming on a true garage tip. The other tracks are "Rain" (Dennis Ferrer mix), "Everything" (95 North mix), "I thank you" (Blaze mix), "Love's been right here" (Blaze mix), "Here with my best friend" (Louie Vega mix) and "Holding on to your love" (Big Moses mix).
Roy Davis Jr. "Water for thirsty children" (Nice+Smooth Records CD Promo)
Roy Davis Jr. is a leading figure from the original Chicago house musis scene who presents his new longplayer "Water for thirsty children" on the Canadian based Nice+Smooth label. THis latest work is some of his best to date, delivering his signature soulful groove while revealing a deeper side on this journey into urban music. Deeply moving soul, r&b, crossover jazz and house grooves are all to be found on this album that pushes the funk with guitars, bass, sax and trumpet riding along Roy's keyboard and drum work. In addition, Roy also performs most of the vocals, with additional vocals provided by J. Fury and Marcellus.
April 4, 2004
Salsoul presents "The Definitve 12" Masters Vol. 1" (SUSS'd Records 2xCD)
SUSS'd Records have put out 30 (yes, thirty) 12" singles over the past couple of month of classic Salsoul releases. This double CD features the a-side mixes from the first 18 releases. Inluced are gems like "Dreamin" and "Love sensation" by Loleatta Holloway, "Ten percent" and "My love is free" by Double Exposure, "Doctor love" and "Let no man put asunder" by First Choice, "Jingo" by Candido, "I got my mind made up" by Instant Funk, "Ain't no mountain high enough" by Inner Life, "Love is you" by Carol Williams and many more. It is simply a brilliant retrospective to the classic Salsoul catalog showcasing many of their hits.
Salsoul presents "Disco Funk Flavas" (SUSS'd Records 2xCD)
This double CD attempts to explore the multifaceted funk-based anthems an experiments from across the history of Salsoul. Among the 23 tracks are "Make up your mind", "Are you single" and "Such a feeling" by Aurra, "First time around" and "Call me" by Skyy, "Getaway" and "Take some time out for love" by Salsoul Orchestra, "Make it last forever" by Inner Life, "Rapper dapper snapper" by Edwin Birdsong, "The bumble bee rap" by Bumblebee Unlimited, "Boogie's gonna get ya" by Rafael Cameron and many more.
Louie Vega "Elements of life" (Vega Records CD)
Louie Vega's ambitious "Elements of Life" project mixing fresh and organic house beats with latin and african music played by some of the greatest singers and live musicians has only been out in Japan for a long time. Finally it got a US release so it is widely available now. Included are the previously released "Cerca de mie", Brand new day", "Elements of life", "Nos vida", "Mon amour" and "Mozalounge" as well as new tracks. Later this year in summer, there will be a remix album following.
February 8, 2004
Various "Klubjazz 5" (Slip'N'Slide Records CD Promo)
Slip'N'Slide Records are known for putting out great compilations series like "Jazz in the House" or "Klubjazz" which we've got here in the 5th installment which showcases some of the finest jazz and latin house. It has been compiled by The Aloha Pussycats & Lewis Dene who haven choosen, among others, "Musical prayer" by Markus Enochson featuirng E-Man, "The sun will shine (Simon Grey Remix)" by the Black Beat Niks, "Baila (Dennis Ferrer Bergentine Mix)" by DJ Chus & David Penn featuring Caterina, "It's about time (Stripped Surgery Mix)" by Dr Bob Jojnes & The Interns featuring Snowboy, "Release" by Ursula Rucker & Louie Vega, "Sax in space" by Deep FM. Should be out by the end of march.
February 1, 2004
Various "The Master Collection" (Purple Music Records Double-CD)
Famous Swiss DJ and producer Jamie Lewis compiled this beautiful double-CD that features many of Purple Music's past and current hits that gave both Jamie Lewis and Purple Music a worldwide reputation for quality dance music. The compilation gets kicked off on CD1 by what must be considered the most successful Jamie Lewis production to date: "The light" that features Michelle Weeks on vocals. Over the already classic "For you" by Michael Watford to the more recent Lisa Millett "It's allright" and Simon Grey featuring Abby Joyce "Prophecy", all the big vocal releases from Purple Music are included. CD2 lays the focus to the more trackier side featuring tracks like "Independent moods" by Jamie Lewis & Louis Benedetti, "Moodbangers" and "Buddhas groove" by Tribal Fusion. A truly well done retrospective.
Tracklisting CD1: Purple Music
- Michelle Weeks "The light"
- Jamie Lewis featuring Michael Watford "For you"
- HiFi Mike "Stereo flavas" (Jamie Lewis Remix)
- Lisa Millett "It's allright" (Jamie Lewis Mix)
- Jamie Lewis featuring Chance "Streetlife"
- Soul of Switzerland "Home away from home"
- Billie "Come along"
- Whiplash & Turner "Don't go loose your pride"
- Michael Procter "Paradise"
- Simon Grey featuring Abby Joyce "Prophecy"
Tracklisting CD2: Purple Tracks
- Fantastic Plastic Machine "Love is psychedelic"
- Jamie Lewis & DJ Pippi featuring Kim Copper "Impress me"
- Delicious Inc. "Love me or leave me"
- Tribal Fusion "Buddhas groove"
- Delicious Inc. meets Sandy Rivera featuring LT Brown "Free call" (Remix)
- Moodbangers "Moodbangers"
- C&M present Parliament of House "Inside"
- Jamie Lewis & Louis Benedetti "Independent moods"
- Delicious Inc. "Poem"
- South Soul Orchstra "A day in Rio EP"