The Pour Le Connaisseur reviews for 2000.
December 3, 2000
NuSpirit Helsinki presents "Makoomba Breaks Volume 1" (Guidance Records 12")
If you're into afro, then this one is for you. Two songs here, both running for over ten minutes, full of afro vibes with live instrumentation.
Wild Magnolias "Battlefield" (Spiritual Life Records 12")
Talk about music, talk about this record here. Joe Claussell touching it with his magic hands and creating a vibe that sounds like they've been jamming around in the studio. Just listen to the congas, the organ, the trumpet and the killer harmonica and you know what I'm talking about.
Slam Mode "Clouds" (Spiritual Life Records 12")
This is really something special and different. It is ambient house with a new age feeling, combined with that spiritual edge that this label is always giving us.
Montefiori Cocktail "Music of the World" (Shelter Records 12")
A surprising record for this label, but when you've talked to the people behind Shelter (both the club and the label), you know that it is all about the music and not about making money. The Crystal Waters classic "Gypsy woman" gets a superb remake on a midtempo tip with a jazzy groove. "Anamaria" is a lovely percussive groover with a jazzy sax on top of the deep bubbling house groove.
September 10, 2000
Shirley Bassey "Where do I begin / Light my fire" (Remixes)(EMI Records 12")
"Where do I begin" gets remixed by the Away Team and comes in vocal and instrumental versions. "Light my fire" gets re-edited by Kenny 'Dope' Gonzales with the focus set to the beats and drums.
July 16, 2000
Calyn "Life" (Joe Claussell Mixes)(White Label 12")
Like her previous single "Stay", this is a white label on a laidback and groovy tip with great percussive work, mixed by Joe Claussell.
July 2, 2000
Jill Scott featuring Mos Def "Love rain" (Hidden Beach/Epic Records 12" Promo)
Normally I wouldn't do reviews of r&b or hip-hop records, but this one is so good I couldn't resist. The killer version is the 'Coffee Shop Mix' which comes in a laidback and jazzy way on a smooth r&b tip with Mos Def making a guest apperance. The 'Head Nod Remix' is the one for the floors. Can't wait to here the complete album.
May 28, 2000
Larry Heard "Missing you" (The Remixes)(TrackMode Records 12")
A vocal midtempo groover by Larry Heard with a really jazzy instrumental on the flip.
April 16, 2000
Biala (aka Hiromi W) "Byakuya / Butterfly's Moment" (Flower Records 12")
Another expensive japanese purchase. First, there is "Byakuya" which is sung in japanese over jazzy old-school groove. East West Connection have remixed "Butterfly's Moment" and give it their jazz-funky treatment.
April 9, 2000
Sole Music "Sampler 2000" (Sole Music Records 12" Promo)
A three track promo sampler that was given away at this years Winter Music Conference (thanks to DJ Juan Sunshine for hooking me up with a copy). "Solevision" by Guiro featuring DJ Spinna and Grap Luva is a jazzy and laidback hip-hop groover. "Homecookin'" by Lazy Days is a vocal jazzy track. "New spaces" by Milton Jackson" is a jazzy house track with a groove beat.
M.T. aka Bayaka featuring Reinaldo Pineda "Mi Latino Americana Floor" (Life Line Records 12")
Bayaka is back with a jazzy groover full of soul and percussion, and a laidback organ.
March 26, 2000
The Voices of Urban Renewal (Guidance Records Triple-Album)
The spoken word movement presents the long standing relationship between poetry and music on this triple-album with the music encompassing jazz, funk, rhythm & blues, drum & bass, hip hop, house and world beat. Included are "Dis Poem" by Mutabaruka/Joe Claussell, "Jazz Funeral" by Chuck Perkins/Joe Claussell, "Circe" by Ursula Rucker/King Britt and much more.
February 27, 2000
Kyoto Jazz Massive "Eclipse / Silent Messenger" (Compost Records 12")
Both very jazzy, "Eclipse" uses a jazz-funky groove while "Silent Messenger" is using a drum'n'bass groove.
February 13, 2000
Masters at Work featuring Lilliana "Brazilian Beat" (Mr. Bongo Records 12")
Kenny Dope produced this track with a real brazilian lick and dope beats, 'Little' Louie Vega played the keyboards and Luisito Quintero is playing the percussion. Real music.
Hot Sauce 2 Album DJ Sampler (Chilli Funk Records 12")
Four tracks from the forthcoming "Hot Sauce 2" compilation. Both "Mint Sauce" and "Surgical Spirit" are by East West Connection, "Que Calor" is by Soul Camp and all those three are soulful and on the jazzy and funky tip. Finally, there is "Kurage (Daylight Mix)" by Su-Paka-Pooh which is licensed from Japans Flower Records (a 12" I never managed to get - please help). This is on an easy listening and laidback jazzy house tip.
February 6, 2000
Femi Kuti "Blackman know yourself" (Roots Remix)(MCA Records 12" Promo)
Femi Kuti put new life into afro-beat music. The Roots keep the afro feeling alive in their remix while they add their staple trademark beatz and some additional rapping.
Amel Larrieux "Infinite Possibilities" (Gianst Step Records Double-Album Promo)
This, the debut solo album for Amel Larrieux (she already had a gold album with the duo Groove Theory - remember the single "Tell me"?) , has lots of influences from jazz, hip-hop, gospel and funky r&b, with some slices of various ethnic styles. A total of ten songs proove her abilities to create soulful and fresh grooves with her vocie giving it the something extra to put her into a musical niche all her own.
January 30, 2000
Biala (aka Hiromi W) "Butterfly's Moment" (Flower Records 12")
A garage record coming from japan using female vocals on an easy listening tip, on the deeper side with jazzy keyboards. The dub concentrates more on the percussion, but is on the deep tip too.
January 9, 2000
Runner-Up for Pick of the Week Jephté Guillaume presents Jean Claude Lamarre "Rhythm of the Rain" (Tèt Kale/Life Line Records 12")
A haitian flavored, accoustic and percussion heavy instrumentantion gets topped with Jean Claude's haunting poem and excellent backing vocals to create an anthemic release, standing out of all other ethno-house releases at the moment.
Bayaka "Salia" (Flower Records 12")
DJ Mitsuru and Teruo produced this laidback groover with jazzy keys and jazzy flute. There is also a more powerful and percussive '2 AM Mix' that is more suitable for club play.
Calyn "Stay" (Joe Claussell Mixes)(White Label 12")
A US white label with a very laidback and groovy feeling, featuring japanese vocals and jazzy piano and the usual percussive work that can be found on Joe Claussell productions and mixes.
Monie Love "Slice of da Pie" (Mousse T. R&B Mixes)(White Label 12")
Mousse T. is not only a classy remixer for house records, he also knows how to drop a phat beat for r&b records. The song itself and the production of the mixes can easily stand up to the top of the line US productions, sounding very upfront.