Here we go with Part One of the Miami 2006 Reviews. Part two will follow over the weekend.

Various "WMC & M3 Miami 2006 7" Promo" (GotSoul/Steal Vybe Records 7" Promo)

This limited 7" promo coming on orange vinyl  includes the 'Dub Fu Edit' of "A E I O" by Jesse Outlaw featuring Bill Beaver, a groovy track featuring sweet percussion alongside a lovely guitar and male vocals that together create an irresistible vibe. The flipside features an unreleased edit of "Brazilian ski" by Steal Vybe, an organic track featuring a great instrumentation giving the track a laidback jazzy vibe with a latinesque edge - the full version can be found on the "Jazz Kitchen Four" compilation released on S2S Records in Japan.

Various "Vega Records Miami 2006 Sampler EP" (Vega Records 12" Promo)

The yearly forecast from the Masters at Work camp is divided onto various vinyl and CD samplers. 'Little' Louie Vega gives us a 12" featuring edits of the massive "Da Bump" by Mr. V featuring Miss Patty, a raw house cut featuring wicked beats and vocals. "Gbagada, gbagada, gbogodo, gbogodo" is taken from Luisito Quintero's longplayer "Percussion madness" (out now in Japan, to be released in the USA in may) and features Francis Mbappe. This is a groovy Elements of Life styled track topped with african vocals. "Sunshine, goodtime" by Anane is a mellow affair written by Kevin Hedge & Josh Milan (and produced by Louie Vega) featuring sweet percussion and a lovely guitar. Lastly thre is "Josh's jam" by the team of Kevin Hedge, Josh Milan and Louie Vega, a jazz house track featuring a wicked organ solo.

Various "Jamsteady Volume 9" (Bootleg 12")

Volume nine in the Jamsteady series is here, featuring a laidback and bumpy interpretation of "Free yourself" by Fantasia Burrino courtesy of Osunlade, a thumpin' Casa Mena remix of Common's "Go" that takes the hip hop original straight to the dancefloor, and finally there is a Lost Heroes remix of "Let me love you" by Bunny Mack, a disco classic from 1979 (released on Rokel Records) that is given a superb re-rub preserving the incomparable vibes of the original.

DJ Pope featuring Adrian Moore "Each one teach one" (POJI Records 12" Promo)

"Each one teach one" by DJ Pope features the Fertile Ground background singer Adrian Moore on vocals. The 'B-Soul Vox' is a stripped down affair with a raw edge that is based on a socca beat and features a wicked organ alongside the wonderful vocals. As a contrast, the 'B-Soul Funk Mix' uses a four-to-the-floor beat and funky guitar to create a straight funky-house groove. Lastly there is a Charles Dockins remix (on the vinyl as an edit, the full version only available as digital download at Traxsource) that is firing things up to give it more of a peak hour appeal, including lovely effects and breakdowns.

Jimmy Dear "Look into my eyes" (ChaCha Project Records 12" Test Pressing)

Jimmy Dear, long time bass and guitar player for Roy Davis Jr., is responsible for "Look into my eyes", a moody affair in its original form that featues lamiar keys, a lovely guitar solo and male vocals over a deeply groovin' beat. Franck Roger is responsible for the remix, keeping it deep while giving the track a more kicking feeling and adding warm melodic keys. His dub adds the laminar keys from the original, giving it a spaced out vibe.

Steal Vybe "And there it was EP" (Steal Vybe Music Records 12" Test Pressing)

On the latest Steal Vybe offering "And there it was EP", you'll find a versatile collection of four tracks that should include something for every taste. First up is "Obahseena (a new song)", a mellow jazz house track that features an incredibly hot piano arrangement along flute riffs. Next up is "Budakass", a rhythmic and organic house track featuring a techy bassline, strings and deep keys. The flipside is kicked off with "Kuado (another rhythmic journey)", a deep house track driven by an outstanding jazzed-out organ that is placed over a storming groove. The EP closes down with "Inertia (rise of the sunflower)", a journey into lush house grooves created by stellar chords and a deep bubbling groove.

Glenn Underground "Indians & bagpipes" (GotSoul Records 12" Test Pressing)

"Indians & bagpips" is a rendition of deep house music different from what you usually hear. Glenn Underground combines the deep and moody house grooves and vibes he is known for with the sounds of bagpipes and other indian influences to create a journey that expands the common house grounds. Ricardo Miranda takes the track even deeper, adding extra percussion and focussing on the groove and spheric keys while pushing the the indian elements to the background.

Patrick Green "Flora del mar" (SofiTone Records CD Promo)

SofiTone Records is the brand new label by Patrick Green who in person is responsible for the first release. His "Flora del mar" is a jazz house track that features a jazzy piano line alongside an outstanding tenor sax courtesy of Ray Romar and spheric keys over a stormin' groove. Fredric D'Inca delivers the 'Pashaa Summertime Mix', adding sexy vocals from Ebony Diaz to the track while the groove is turned into a smoothly thumpin' percussion enriched affair, while Eddie Matos is responsible for the deeply rumblin' dub version. Also included is an acapella of the sexy vocals.

Phil Hooton "Revelations" / "Afro phunk" (Phuture Rhythms Records CD Promo)

Phuture Rhythms is the new label from Phuture Sole Records that will focus on releasing soulful tracks. The first release is a hot two tracker courtesy of Phil Hooton. "Revelations" features a fantastic trumpet solo and wicked jazzy piano line over smooth beats that are enhanced with sweet percussion, creating a journey into laidback and mellow jazz house grooves. The second track "Afro phunk" features a jazzy saxophone and female vocal chants over a tribalish backing groove, creating an irresistible vibe on the dancefloor.

Amel Larrieux "Sacred" (Deepsouljah Remix)(CD-R)

I picked up this hot remix of Amel Larrieux' "Sacred" by Deepsouljah during my trip to Toronto. The original is an acoustic song just featuring a guitar and Amel Larrieux' incomparable voice, here in the Deepsouljah remix enriched with a truly deep bassline groove, sweet percussion and warm melodic keys that alltogether create a laidback journey into deep and sexy house grooves.

Carolyn Victorian "Sunshine (give me peace)" (Whasdat Music Record CD Promo)

Maurice 'Pirahnahead' Herd started his own label Whasdat Music whose premier release is "Sunshine" that is written by the trio of Diviniti, Pirahnahead and Carolyn Victorian who also performs the song. The original mix is driven by a deep bassline and features beautifully arranged organs, keys and lush harmonies together with an uplifting and passionate vocal by Carolyn Victorian. Minx' provides the 'Queen Beats Remix' that comes complete with an extra dose of funky flavors, using a slightly electrofied groove as base for the vocals and warm keys. The 'Bonus Beats' of the original mix conclude the package.

280 West featuring Diamond Temple with Ray, Goodman & Brown "I never knew" (Phuture Sole Records CD Promo)

280 West return with the uplifting "I never knew" that feautres a sensual and soulful lead vocal performance by Diamond Temple, with background vocals provided by Ray, Goodman & Brown. Driven by an irresistible yet smoothly stompin' groove, "I never knew" features a wonderful horn section, a classy electric guitar that adds a funky touch and marvellous jazzy keys, with the horns and vocals giving the song an uplifting feeling. The dub version lets the instrumentation doing the talking, giving them lots of room to shine, while the reprise stripps down the beats to leave it to the vocals and keys to create a laidback feeling. A timeless production that grows with every listen, taking you on a journey into soulful heaven.

Various "KingStreet / NiteGroove Miami 2006 Samplers" (KingStreet/NiteGrooves Records CD Promo)

KingStreet and NiteGroove have been around for a long, long time and are responsible for many classics - and with the samplers they gave out this year, the lists of classics will be extended. One of the highlights is "What it feels like" by Joi Cardwell vs Quentin Harris, a track featuring the trademark Quentin Harris sound including irresistible keys and a driving groove, with Joi Cardwell adding a soulful edge to it. Mr. V remixes the Johnny Dangerous classic "Beat that bitch", adding an irresistible bumpin' groove and wicked keys alongside fresh vocals by himself. Check the dub for a deeper experience. DFA take on janapese artist Mink and give "Glory of life" the remix treatment, delivering an uplifting interpretation on a soulful tip that features melodic chords and a jazzy flute. "How do I let go" by Dennis Ferrer is a laidback track featuring harmonic keys and a sensual vocal by Karlton Brooks over a smooth yet deep groove, while Kerri Chandler serves us more of his unique deep house medicine in form of "The sun's coming up" that features a wonderful harmonica solo alongside a jazzy piano and male vocals. The last pick from the KingStreet/NiteGroove samplers is the Frankie Feliciano remix of the Lil' Louis produced Rain "Give it up" that takes this classic to higher gournds with a deep rendition.

Bobby & Steve featuring Pete Simpson "In my heart" (ZooGroove Stereo Records CD Promo)

The team of Bobby & Steve and James Ratcliff returns with this soulful production that features Pete Simpson on vocals. "In my heart" is an uplifting, smoothly stormin' production with a funky edge thanks to the guitar riff and bassline, enriched with warm melodic keys and a sensual vocal performance by Pete Simpson. DJ Spen & the Muthafunkaz provide the remixes, adding their magic touch to the song that is firing things up. With additional keys and an organ ride that adds a gospelish touch to it, these remixes take the song to another level.

Greg Kozo featuring Yuanist Woods "What and where" (Place Blanche Records CD Promo)

French label Place Blance Records have a bomb in their hands with "What and where" by Greg Kozo that features vocalist Yuanist Woods. "What and where" is an uplifting production featuring a catchy piano line, irresistibly funky bassline and wicked guitar riff. The 'Club Dub Mix' is a bit rougher as the funky flavors are taking center stage, while the 'Dub Mix' is on a deeper afro vibe. DJ Fudge provides a slamming remix that is driving from beginning to the end, keeping it funky all the time and letting it spread a positive and uplifting vibe on the dancefloor.

Soul Creation featuring Kenny Bobien "Through the rain" (GotSoul Records 12" Test Pressing)

Jose Burgos & Deuce Martinez aka Soul Creation are behind this wonderful production that has been available on CD-R to a lucky few for over a year. Gladly GotSoul Records picked this beauty up to give it a release soon. "Through the rain" features the incomparable Kenny Bobien on vocals whose performance is full of passion and emotion, layed over a deeply stormin' groove that is enriched with sweet percussion, hot guitar riffs, funky bassline and irresistible piano line. The release incluces a 'Soul Scat Dub' that showcases the falsetto vocals and and guitar from the song, while the 'DubFu Beats' is an adventure into the beats and percussion.

Various "Defected Miami 2006 Sampler" (Defected Records CD Promo)

This sampler from the ever consistent Defected camp features a selection of upcoming releases. Kicking off is the hypnoticly stompin' Ferrer & Sydenham remix of Copyright's gospelish "He is" that features singer Song Williamson on vocals. Next up is the incredible Dimitri from Paris remix of "The way you love me" by Ron Hall & the Muthafunkaz featuring Marc Evans, featuring the one and only Vincent Montana Jr. and running at almost ten minutes - soulful heaven at its best. "It's over" by Jamie Lewis featuring Michael Watford is included in its original form as it has been picked up by Defected - watch out for remixes coming soon. Kathy Brown presents a cover of the Chantal Curtis classic "Get another love" that stays true to the original in the funked-up Warren Clarke mix. Another track licensed by Defected is "The cure & the cause" by Fish Go Deep featuring Tracey K, included here in the Dennis Ferrer remix. "Discopolis" by Lifelike & Kris Menace, "Ballistica" by Danny J Lewis and the just released "Bring me love" by Copyright featuring Imaani complete this hot sampler.

Various "UK Basic Miami 2006 Sampler: Friends Re-United EP" (UK Basic Records CD Promo)

This three track EP presented by UK Basic features productions from Lars Behrenroth, John Kumahara and Reelsoul. "Inflection" by Lars Behrenroth is a deep track featuring sweet percussion and wicked percussion that together with the laminar keys act as playground for the jazzy saxophone play of John Juster. John Kumahara goes for a bit of a darker edge on "Lost" that cannot deny influences from classic Chicago house sounds. Lastly there is "Music" by Reelsoul that sees them going deep and raw when needed, featuring a thumpin' groove and jazzy keys alongside laminar chords - let this one take you back to the basics of house music.

Hardsoul featuring Shaun Escoffery "No man" (MN2S Records CD Promo)

Hardsoul delivered one of the most heard tunes in Miami with "No man", a sublimely gorgeous track on a soulful tip featuring the incomparable vocal talents from Shaun Escoffery alongside a great piano line. The dub reworks it into a tougher affair that is perfect for peaktime play. But it is definitely the Alix Alvarez remix that gets the attention here, delivering a soulful interpretation that perfectly blends the wonderful vocals with a deep rumblin' groove and marvellous keys - the result is an amazing remix that creates an irresistible groove that won't get out of your head for a while.

Julius Papp and Charles Spencer featuring Tonee Green "Keep this thing going" (City Deep Music Records 12")

Julius Papp and Charles Spencer team up with vocalist Tonee Green for the groovy "Keep this thing going", a track urging us to keep 'this thing' - soulful dance music - going on and on. The track features a steadily thumpin' groove that is enhanced with jazz-funky flavors that include a lovely piano line, melodic keys, sweet percussion, saxophone and a funky bassline, not to forget the spoken male vocal that is spreading the message.

Various "Tony Records Miami 2006 Sampler" (Tony Records CD Promo)

Now that Tony Humphries finally launched his new Tony Records label, we can await lots of great releases, of which some are presented on this sampler. "My brazil" by Haldo is a wonderful instrumental track featuring a marvellous instrumentation that has a latinesque edge to it, including an outstanding organ solo. "Jam jam jam (all night long)" by Stereo Daze featuring Black Shampoo is an uplifting track that features various reminisces to the good old days of funky disco music on the 'Deep Guitar Mix', while the 'Dub Mix' takes the track to a deeper edge, featuirng a rock guitar. Also included is "Sexy" by Ciappy DJ that has already been featured in the "Miami 2006 Preview Mixshows".

Hugo Madrid "The Colonel's comeback" (CD-R)

Not much needs to be said about this: it is a classy reworking of the Colonel Abrams classic "Trapped" by Hugo Madrid that takes this timeless song to a whole new level. "I'm going out of my head it seems I'm crazy for you, I'm going out of my head..." yes indeed, this happens when listening to this new interpretation!!

Kirk Franklin "Looking for you" (Juke Joint Remix)(CD-R)

This uplifting song samples the Patrice Rushen classic "Haven't you heard", so it was just a matter of time until sometime gives it a makeover and transforms it into a dancefloor stomper. The honors go to Juke Joint who underlay the song with a deeply rumblin' groove that ensures dancefloor madness whenever it gets played.

Various "Soultonic 2006 Miami Sampler" (Soultonic Records CD Promo)

Soultonic Records have secured rights on some goodies, of which they present three on their Miami sampler. "Take me to heaen" by Seminal Grooves is a warm uplifting production featuring a funky bassline groove and jazzy keys alongside female vocals, while "Anytime no more" by Jazz Sensation is included in the Jinks remix which is a catchy funky affair. Also included is the Dom Navarro remix of "After midnight" by H&H Soulsurvivors which has already been featured in the "Miami 2006 Preview Mixshows".

Hardsoul featuring Amma "Don't let love weigh you down" (Hardsoul Pressings Records CD Promo)

The first release on Hardsoul Pressings for 2006 is the label heads own "Don't let love weigh you down", featuring a seductive vocal performance of Amma. The main version has a classic touch to it thanks to the live string section that is layed ove a smooth groove consisting of a driving bassline, tight beats and melodic keys. Roog & Greg themselve deliver the 'Jacking Dub' that features wicked keys over a fiercely driving groove. Shik Stylko provide a remix with a beat not fo far away from a Todd Terry Project classic (guess which one it is on your own) and use a catchy piano riff to create a chunky feeling.

Flashback 2005: Dom Navarra "Beat of the drum" (UK Basic Records 12")

Why including a track from 2005 in the 'Miami 2006 Mixshows' you might ask. Well, there are various reasons: a) quality soulful music deserves to be heard again and again, and b) when it comes to showcasing the talents of an artist, the exhibit must be carefully choosen. And lastly there is c) (what happened here): a mistake by yours truly - my intention was to play a new production...

Ian Friday featuring Erro "Everything" (Instrumental Mix)(CD-R)

Ian Friday is back in top form as his sampler CD proves, that - beside this instrumental of "Everything" - unfortunately only includes short snippets of  his work. "Everything" is a laidback song featuring a wonderful instrumentation that gives the song a warm organic feeling, with the magnificent keys taking you on a journey into eclectic house. Can't wait to hear the other mixes.

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