Miami Picks

Chicago Soul Underground "WMC 2008 Sampler" (Mtima Muziki Records CD Promo)

Chicago Soul Underground is a new house production group from the city where house began, composed of DJ Pap and Matthew Kerr. This sampler includes six wonderful productions, kicking off with the laidback "Back in the day" featuring a heartfelt vocal by CB over a deep and soulful musical backing. "On the dance floor" is on a serious funk soaking tip and features sexy male vocals alongside wicked keys that guarantee to keep the crowd moving, while "Sexy McSax" gets deep and features sensual female vocal together with a beautiful jazzy saxophone to create a sexy feeling. "Hal's back" slows down the tempo for some relaxing jazzy house vibes created by a beautiful orchestration. "Surrender" is a laidback and groovy affair featuring the sweet voice of Kenya that is accompanied by melodic chords and sweet percussion. Lastly there is "On the run" with Lauren Ritchie providing passionate vocals over a fierce yet soulful funk flavored backing groove. Top quality stuff !!

Michael Canitrot "Feel the spirit" / "I can love again" (CD-R)

This two track sampler features with Johnny Sanders, Yolanda Graves and Jay Sebag three exceptional vocalists that contribute their part to these productions by Michael Canitrot to make it a remarkable, not to be missed package. "Feel the spirit" is a relentlessly stormin' track featuring mesmerizing keys that together with the uplifting vocals create a contaminous vibe you can't resist to dance to and raise your hands. "I can love again" is a slightly smoother but nonetheless captivating track featuring outstanding vocals and keys that guarantee to set the dance floor on fire.

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Phunk Farmers Music "Various Productions" (Unsigned CD-R)

Here we've got some hot, currently unsigned production courtesy of New Jersey's own Bruce Jeffers (aka Phunk Farmers Music). "Ridin'" is a deep and smooth yet fiercely groovin' track featuring beautiful laminar chords and lovely keys alongside lovely flute and guitar, while "The music" features a sultry vocal by Schaheda Fischer and great piano over a funk soaking groove that is built around thumpin' beats. Lastly there is "Dark horse", a deep'n'funkily stompin' track featuring wicked spheric keys and melodic chords by Brockett Parsons.

Duce Martinez featuring Stephanie Cooke "Could this be love" (from the "Miami Sampler '08" on MN2S Records CD Promo)

In our Miami (P)Reviews we praised Joi Cardwell's "People make the world go round", and with no doubt this track produced by Duce Martinez could be heard all over in Miami. But Duce Martinez has some more hot tunes ready to drop, with "Could this be love" featuring Stephanie Cooke already doing the rounds as part of the "Miami Sampler '08" on MN2S promo. "Could this be love" is on a laidback tip and has a wonderful organic touch to it, with Stephanie Cooke providing a heartfelt vocal that is supported by a marvelous acustic guitar, lush keys and classic strings. This one has timeless stamped all over it!

Alex and Reverend P featuring Jocelyn Mathieu "Lion in a cage" (Funk La Planet Records CD Promo)

Alex Finkin and Reverend P follow up their successful collaboration with Jocelyn Mathieu on "Fight for love" with "Lion in a cage", a captivating track built around a smooth percussion enriched tribal groove that is enriched with mesmerizing keys and features a passionate vocal by Jocelyn Mathieu. The remixes are courtesy of Jon Cutler who turns the track into an absolutely irresistible gem that features lush keys and chords over a relentless groove, with the dub being stripped down while going deeper and becoming slightly electronic.

Various "Original Drum 4400 WMC '08" (CD-R)

Right in time for the WMC, Neter S finished some more of his unmistakable makeovers. The sampler features four tracks, with Teena Marie's magnificent love song "Romantica" (from her 2006 album "Sapphire") given a marvelous interpretation that takes the song straight to the dance floor while keeping the original flavors alive. Eric Benet's ballad "My prayer" (from the 2005 album "Hurricane") is a beautiful blend of a deep and smooth groove with the original acoustic vibes, with the same being true for "Get up again" by Dawn Robinson (from the 2002 album "Dawn") while not going as deep as "My prayer". Also included is the recently reviewed "Feelin' who you are" by Peven Everett.

Joe Rizla "Night rhythms (sumting here)" (Black Keys Music Records CD Promo)
Joe Rizla "Afro rhythm" (Black Keys Music Records CD Promo)
Joe Rizla "Suite 809" (Black Keys Music Records CD Promo)

Joe Rizla is hitting hard with three lovely releases coming your way soon. "Night rhythms (sumting here)" goes deep with its hypnotic groove, chords and female vocal chants, guaranteed to mesmerize the dance floor. The 'Strip Down Mix' removes the chords for a more minimalistic vibe, while the 'Loop Out Mix' is a lovely alternate take with melodic chords. "Afro rhythm" is a deep track built around a smooth, afro flavored groove that is topped with lovely keys and a jazzy saxophone. Lastly we got "Suite 809", a laidback track featuring a beautiful jazzy saxophone over a smooth percussion driven groove.

Eddie Nicholas "Groovin" (Harley & Muscle Remix)(Slaag Records CD-R)

Here we got a little taster for Eddie Nicholas upcoming album on Slaag Records, with Italy's dynamic duo Harley & Muscle taking on the "Groovin'" classic and turning it into an uplifting and smooth anthem that keeps on deeply groovin' from the beginning to the end, with wonderful melodic keys and a marvelous organ ride accompanying Eddie Nicholas passionate vocals.

DJ Dealer "Joyride - Part 2" (Look-At-You Records CD Promo)

This is the 2nd part of Look-At-You's #100 release, showcasing five more track from DJ Dealer's album project" Joyride". As with part one, its all about serious track that are guaranteed to cause damage on the dance floors with old-school influences perfectly melted with present-day grooves and sounds, with the overall vibe being raw, rough, mesmerizing and deep - just the way it used to be in the glory days of house music. Featured artists include newcomer Derrus, Lisa Millett and Inaya Day.

Rachel Claudio "Freedom" (Remixes)(Jaffa Music Records CD Promo)

Last summers smash hit "Freedom" by Rachel Claudio gets a welcome 2nd life with new mixes by Halo & Jamie Thinnes and the Dolls Combers. The Halo & Jamie Thinnes remixes are all about a simple yet very effective, deeply thumpin' groove that is enriched with wicked keys and chords that altogether create a hypnotic feel. The Dolls Combers give it a classic, funk oozing reworking on a laidback vibe that is beautifully orchestrated.

U.F.X. featuring Rose Marriott "Make me love again" (Equal Records CD Promo)

Hailing from Naples/Italy, U.F.X. present the soulful, 70's styled "Make me love again" featuring a beautiful vocal performance by Rose Marriott alongside a deep'n'funky live bassline, jazzy piano and lovely guitars on the 'Original Mix'. The 'Club Mix' is powering things up with heavily thumpin' beats while maintaining the funky foundation. The 'Classic Mix' is on an old-school house tip that can't deny its funky roots. Instrumental versions and an acapella complete the package.

Greg Kozo featuring Orlando Vaughan "1975" (Gordon & Cardell Records CD Promo)

Brought to you as an exclusive in our Miami Preview, the full promo package of "1975" featuring a passionate vocal by Orlando Vaughan is now available. The 'Miami Exclusive Vocal Mix' has been reworked into a more powerful and electronic affair and is now titled 'Original Mix'. Greg Kozo goes for a hypnotizing and pumpin' vibe on his 'Club Mix', while the 'Dub Mix' is an electro flavored rub. Tom Da Prato and Greg Kozo team up for dub re-work of the 'Club Mix', while Tom Da Prato on his own delivers a more laidback and groovy interpretation. Lastly there is Evan Pryce contributing a smooth big-room interpretation.

Diva Down Entertainment featuring SuSu Bobien "Praise always" (Gotta Keep Faith Records CD Promo)

Gospel house anthem alert here, with a wonderful mix package that completely satisfies. Gotta Keep Faith have a real beauty in their hands with this production by Diva Down Entertainment which features an uplifting and inspirational gospel vocal by SuSu Bobien. Spiritual Blessings contribute a smoothly thumpin' interpretation, with their fired-up dub going deeper. The Dolls Combers smooth things down on their take for a more laidback feeling, while Ciappy DJ & Davide Murri serve a groovy jazz-funk flavored version. Lastly wee see Alex Dimitri a mesmerizing vocal remix that is guaranteed to have you singing and raising your hands thanks to the marvelous piano and relentless groove. His dub is a hypnotizing deep and funky affair perfect for peak time play.

Various "Miami VIP Sampler 2008" (Soulmagic Records CD Promo)

Soulmagic return in a big way with this sampler that showcases their two forthcoming releases. First up is "Free your mind" by the duo of Mikkel Wendelboe & Sensual Soul who team up for this soulful and funky gem that features a sensitive vocal by J-Sun over a laidback and smooth, funk flavored backing enriched with classic strings and melodic keys. Morten Trust contributes the dub that is firing things up to make this a peak time favorite. "Everything" by Morten Trust is next, featuring Danish Disco diva TeeBee who supplies an uplifting vocal on this smooth and funky feel good anthem that is beautifully orchestrated. The dub keeps things soulful an deep while emphasizing the funky elements.

Reel People featuring Dyanna Fearon "Butterflies" (Martin Faltin's Fly Remix)(CD-R)
Reel People featuring Angela Johnson "Can't stop" (Martin Faltin's Remix)(CD-R)

Here we have two lovely remixes by Sweden's Martin Faltin of two Reel People songs taken from their 2003 long player "Second guess". Both "Butterflies" and "Can't stop" are given a subtle makeover that preserves the original vibes and flavas while smoothly transforming them for the soulful house dance floors. Simply the way it should be done. Nuff said.

Alicia Keys "No one" (Geoffrey C Mixes)(CD-R)

One of the WMC traditions (at least for us at Spirit of House) is receiving some slammin' remixes by the mighty Geoffrey C. This year is no exception, with the man taking on Alicia Keys "No one" and turning out two massive remixes that take the song to the soulful dance floors, with a smooth yet deep groove leading the way for melodic chords and the Alicia Keys's unmistakable vocals. The 'Fool Around Mix' is slightly more aggressive, with the deeper beats and captivating synths creating a more powerful vibe.

KT Brooks "Real love" (Chris Perez Mix)(from the "WMC 2008 Demo" on Groove Element Records CD Promo)

The "WMC 2008 Demo" sampler by Groove Element features short clips of upcoming material by Chris Perez (including remixes he has done for Manchildblack and Yoshihisa H's "Heaven" which sadly has been overlooked by many - including us - despite being released on Asante Records back in December 2007), but the real highlight is the so far unreleased Chris Perez remix of KT Brooks "Real love" which is pure soulful bliss, featuring KT Brooks on top of his game, with the musical backing being smooth and beautifully orchestrated including a classy piano.

Formation Soul featuring Naomi Thompson "Enjoy" (Centric Music Records CD Promo)

Formation Soul follow up last years magnificent "Bossa sun groove" with the uplifting "Enjoy", a masterly orchestrated and performed jazz-funk production with a latinesque touch featuring a passionate vocal performance by Naomi Thompson in its original form. Greg Kozo adds his unique electro tinged touch to the track on his take, while Alex Martinez takes the track to deeper, more laidback grounds. The 'No Sweat Remix' gives the track an electro rub perfect for the bigger rooms. Lastly Redsoul is pumping the beat up on his 'Jumbo Remix' that is fused with old-school electro flavors.

Dario D'Attis featuring Lisa Millett "Dollars" (Original Demo Mix)(CD-R)

While being in almost every DJ's CD case with the massive "He loves me" (featuring the highly talented Kaysee on vocals and to be released by MapDance Records), Dario D'Attis works on the follow up "Dollars" which features the legendary Lisa Millett on vocal over a smoothly stormin', funk soaking backing groove that is enriched with classic strings and warm melodic keys, with Lisa Millett's powerful yet soulful voice adding a feel good vibe to the track.

HT Zero "Session 201" (FastFWD Records 12" Promo)
Sandman "Latin fire EP" (FastFWD Records 12" Promo)

It was refreshing to see that there are still labels that give out vinyl's in Miami instead of CDs (we even got a MP3 stick with music this year !!). FastFWD Records is based in Orlando/Florida and presents two lovely releases. First up is "Session 201" by HT Zero (aka Harold Turner) from Detroit/Atlanta which got a helping hand on production from Kai Alce. "Session 201" is a deep melodic track that is all about the lush chords and rhodes solo over a smoothly stormin' groove. The flip features "Ky's Groove", a rougher take on the track that is pure underground deepness. "Latin fire" by Sandman is a fierce Bossa house track driven by an outstanding piano that gets to full effect in the extended Kai Alce remix that brings out all the details and beauty. "Burn what the..." is a down tempo Latin groover perfect for chillin'.

Various "Miami 2008 Sampler" (Deeper Shades Records CD Promo)

This sampler features the first two releases ("Yes smoke" by JoJo Flores & Joe DiPadova and "The dance" by Gyasi which we previously reviewed) as well as the upcoming third release "I miss the things" by Lars Behrenroth & Sinan Baymak. As you would expect, "I miss the things" is pure deepness and a musical bliss, with the main 'Summer in Hamburg Mix' kicking off in a classic reprise style with just sounds of the sea and sultry female vocals before the mellow groove and lush chords come in to create a laidback feeling. Joe Di Padova & Shea Marshall slightly fire things up on their take that keeps the vibe soulful and gets deeper, with some added jazzy flavors for your enjoyment. Lastly there is the deep and electrofied 'Sinan Dub Remix' perfect for those peak time moments.

Eric King "2getherness" (Whasdat Music Records CD Promo)

This beauty has already been promoted last year at the WMC (and reviewed by yours truly), and we truly hope a release will follow soon. "2getherness" is a beautiful production written by the team of Pirahnahead, Diviniti & Eric King which features wonderful vocals alongside a great instrumentation that give the track a true organic feeling seldom found in house music. The 'Keyapalla' part of last years promo CD is no longer included, instead there is a new dub based on a solid 4/4 groove that strips the vocal (with the exception of the vocal chants) and a deeply rumblin' version by DJ Minx that is all about the vocal chants and melodic chords.

Hanna Hais "Doucement" (Matthias Heilbronn Remixes)(ATAL Records CD Promo)

ATAL Records unleash another hot package of previously unavailable remixes, this time by Matthias 'Matty' Heilbronn who produced and remixed "Doucement" that comes your way in various vocal and instrumental versions (extended, album and radio) and also an acapella. It's all about the musicianship here, with Matty providing drumz and percussion while Albert 'Sterling' Menendez contributes the keys on this smooth and melodic song that features Hanna Hais sweet vocals (did you know she's a DJ know?), with the overall vibe being on a laidback tip.

Teddy Q Zamora presents "The house" (CD-R)
Bernhard Harris "World affair" (Teddy Q Zamora Mix)(CD-R)

California based DJ and producer Teddy Q Zamora presents two lovely tracks here, with "The house" being a smoothly groovin' track featuring warm melodic chords and jazzy keys alongside wicked spoken words over deeply thumpin' beats that are enriched with sweet percussion, with the result being a fierce yet laidback track. Next is his remix of Bernard Harris "World affair" that is built around a deep funktified groove that serves as playground for Bernard Harris' soulful vocals, lovely keys and jazzy horns that altogether create a captivating vibe.

Hippie featuring Farrah "Always" (Demo Mix)(Unsigned CD-R)

Legendary producer and DJ Hippie Torrales presents a demo of a currently unsigned production that is based around a deep'n'smooth groove that is oozing with its funky flavors, with Farrah providing the passionate vocals that are accompanied by warm melodic keys, altogether creating a laidback feeling.

Various "Beppe Gioia WMC 2008 Sampler" (CD-R)

Italian DJ and producer Beppe Gioia has put together a lovely little sampler that includes his current release "Milo" (out on promo on Unified Records), a soulful deep house cut featuring a lovely instrumentation that comes your way in four tasty variations. The hypnotic "Ivory" will be released through SofiTone Records later this year and features some hot accordion play and great chords over a deep and smooth, percussion enriched tribal groove, with the 'Deep Mix' taking the track to deeper territory with added laminar chords. Lastly there is Beppe Gioia's take on Quentin Harris' "My joy" which is a mash-up with Lisa Macks' "Where do we go", with the result being a refreshing smooth and jazzy interpretation.

Various "Un-Official GFK Miami Sampler '08" (Gotta Keep Faith Records CD Promo)

Can you believe it? The "(Official) GFK Miami Sampler 2008" consisted of two parts with a total of 18(!!) tracks. Now there is an additional "Un-Official GKF Miami Sampler '08" with another 11(!!) tracks. With no doubt the biggest promo package we ever got since we cover the Winter Music Conference... The first highlight is "Confused mind" by Monsieur Cedric which features Japanese vocals by Mii in the wonderful Dolls Combers remix that is all about laminar chords and a marvelous piano solo. Ciappy DJ & Davide Murri present the laidback latin-house cut "Winds of Victoria" featuring a beautiful jazzy sax. Msadler & Arnaud D team up with singer MJ White for the lovely deep house cut "Sweet innocence", while DJ Rico under his Deep Y'All moniker presents the deep'n'funky track "Electronic love". "We'll overcome" by Spiritual Blessings who present Lisa Mayer is the second highlight as this is pure uplifting vocal house on an old-school tip thanks to D3 who is responsible for the mix. Mr. Fuzz presents serious deepness with "Deep house cooking" with Maurizio talking about cooking, while DJ Floy's remix of "Love is good" by Benoit B is on a groovy deep house tip. Steve Paradise is featured with "Um belo dia de sol" featuring Vera Medina and "Love me" featuring Kiara S, two lovely vocal house tracks. Back to Mr. Fuzz who goes deep again on "Muito bem", before Raf'N'Soul complete the package with the stompin' "Man on the prowl" featuring vocals by Tony Marino.

Various "2008 Preview" (Muted Trax Records CD Promo)

Here we've got a fierce and diversified four track EP by the relatively new Muted Trax record label run by Mike Dominico. First is the energetic "Body bangin'" by Mike Dominico featuring Sarah Coe on vocals over a tough, slightly progressive backing. Next is "Cause I'm a woman" by Muted Soul smoothes things down, with a funktified groove serving a playground for sexy vocals courtesy of Jesse King and melodic keys. Watu Wote present "Come out", a Latin flavored production featuring singer Wendy Starland alongside lovely guitar and keys. Last but not least is "Nothing" by Mikee Deep, a marvelous deep house track featuring captivating vocals by Lugo and mesmerizing chords over a deeply rumblin' groove.

David Harness "The rhythm" (Thread Records CD Promo)

David Harness launches his own label with Thread Records, with the first release being a sure shot winner. "The rhythm" features a sexy male spoken word over a simple yet very effective and hypnotizing tribal groove that is enriched with catchy synths. DJ Spen & the MuthaFunkaz contribute a funktified broken-beat styled interpretation that is all about pounding beats & drumz and spoken words, while Tedd Patterson gives the track a tougher outfit perfect for bigger rooms on his tribal makeover. Lastly Scott Wozniak and Master Kev go deep on their interpretation that sees Scott turning out a really phat organ ride.

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