The Pick of the Week reviews for 2001.
December 23, 2001
Bobby D'Ambrosio "Here I am - The Collection" (Definity Records Triple-Album)
This album has been awaited for a long time, and finally it dropped this week with lots of beautiful music.For instance, take "Special" with featured vocalist Lola Robinson, a very melodic song with jazzy keys and a deep groove. Ther is an instrumental reprise version of it in form of "Tears of joy". "Betcha wouldn't hurt" and "In the spriit of love" feature both Alicia Hill on vocals. The first is a cover of a Stevie Wonder written classic with warm keys over a bumpy groove while the later features some wicked keys over a driving groove. Much more pearls can be found on this album. For example, take "Thinkin' of you", a track Bobby did together with Davidson Ospina.
Brother Talipharaoh "God will take U back" (Bumpin' City Records 12")
A spiritual garage production by DJ Don Juan and Darryl Sanders that features Brother Talipharaoh on vocals over a classic and deep New Jersey style garage beat. Different variations to be found on this 12", including a lovely instrumental version on the flip.
December 16, 2001
Colonel Abrams "Don't give me a love that I can't use" (K. Sirrah Records 12")
This is the kind of record that brings the marvellous vocal capabilities of Colonel Abrams to full effect. A deeply bumping, fierce groove with warm keys and strong background vocals are the perfect playground for the Colonel to sing his hear out.
December 9, 2001
The Monkey Brothers featuring D'Ongley presents "Some of what U got" (YellOrange Records 2x12")
The original is an upbeat r&b track that gets the wonderful rework treatment from Louis Benedetti. Jazzy keys over a punchy house groove together with gospel background vocals great an uplifting vibe on the vocal mix while the dub he uses some vocal adlibs over a driving tech-house groove. Definitely one of Louis' best remixes to date. TC delievers to dub mixes: the first is a on a tribal-ish minimalistic tip while the second brings the organ to full effect over a bumpy house groove.
December 2, 2001
Boss Très... Jazz II presents Muro "Bohemian" (Yellow Records 12")
Bah Samba with a remix that I heard more than six month ago for the first time. A soulful jouney into laidback sounds with a beautiful instrumentaation. Flute, guitar, bass, trumpet and flugel horn - all can be found on this marvellous production.
November 25, 2001
Fertile Ground "Let the wind blow" (Flamingo Discos Records 12")
If you miss the sun in these cold days, let the balearic grooves blow from your speakers. Already reviewed as part of the "Flamingo Discos Summer Edition" in September, here is now the full 12" with mixes by Ian Pooley using smooth and uplifting latin beats coupled with jazzy keys and the lovely voice of Nayasha. Gucciman provides a soulful and deep excursion on his which has got a laidback feeling to it.
November 18, 2001
Third Ministry of Faith featuring K.T. Brooks "Joy to the world" (Sfere Records 12")
Gospel house music at its best. The wait for this marvellous piece of music has definitely been to long (I heard it first at the beginning of this year). It is a Dennis Ferrer and K.T. Brooks production coming in two versions: Dennis Ferrer goes for an uplifting take that comes straight out of the church with the wonderful jazzy keys. Kerri Chandler adds a truly stomping groove to it to make it a floorfiller.
November 11, 2001
Anthony Flanagan "Your embrace" (MadHouse Records 12")
Kerri Chandler with his latest production is bringing us back the soulful and sweet vocals of Anthony Flanagan. Its o ne of those wonderful deep bubbling grooves with laidback keys.Anthony's voice is absolutely irresistible!! And then ther is a the organ loaded instrumental on the flip as well as the 'Anthapella'.
November 4, 2001
Alistair Colling vs Tortured Soul "When you find your love... hold on" (Jon Cutler Mixess)(Central Park Records 12")
This is an absolutely wicked record coming from our friends at Central Park Records. Jon Cutler delievers maybe his best remix to date with a a wicked broken groove that harmonies perfectly with the killer trumpet, warm keys and smooth vocals.
October 28, 2001
Mr. Joshua presents Espiritu "In praise of the sun" (Eternal Records Acetate)
Masters at Work produced and remixed this hot number that comes in a laidback fashion with lots of percussion and warm rhythms and the subtle vocals of Espiritu. This acetate just holds the main 'MAW Mix' and the 'Quintero Beats', but I guess more mixes can be found on the forthcoming promo copies.
Don't miss to check the reopened and redesigned Masters at Work website with lots off information.
October 21, 2001
Stephanie Cooke "Everythign" (King Street Records 12")
This track was given out to a few lucky ones at the same time that the Louie Vega mixes of "Here with my best friend" were promoted at the Winter Music Conference, but it took until now that is finally available to all of us. Doug Smith &Richard Payton take the original r&b song into clubland by keeping the soulful vibe of the vocals alive over a deep and fierce groove added with cool keys and wicked sax.
October 14, 2001
UBP featuring Bobby Pruit "We are one" (Part 1)(SoulFuric Records 2x12" Promo)
UBP featuring Bobby Pruit "We are one" (Part 2)(SoulFuric Records 12" Promo)
After a much to long break, Urban Blues Project are finally back with a truly hot package you shoudn't miss at any risk. The three disks hold a variety of mixes ranging from the soulful vibe of either the 'UBP Classic Mix' or the 'Jazz-N-Groove R-N-B Vibe' to pumped up 'Hands Up' mixes to the rockin' Aston Martinez mixes. The package is completed by various acapella variations.
October 7, 2001
1050 East and Alma Horton "Count on me" (Diaspora Records 12")
The orignal version is a laidback jazzed up grooving track with Alma Horton's vocals giving it the extra kick. Sweet Abraham goes for a deep ride on the flip with a deep bubbling bassline and beautiful keys with a touch of jazz.
September 30, 2001
Jody Watley "Saturday night experience" (Giant Step Records 12")
What a return for Jody Watley with a team of the hottest remixers around these days. Ron Trent giving us one of his magic U.S.G. style arrangements with an extra touch of jazzy keys to generate a laidback groove. Blaze can do no wrong at the moment. With a killer sax and jazzy xylophone they take the song to another level. Simply beautiful to listen to and dance into the morning...
September 23, 2001
Mondo Grosso "MG4R" (Sony Music Records Japan Triple-Album/CD)
Currently only out in Japan on triple-vinyl or on a single CD, it is an expensive purchase if you can find a copy. "MG4R" includes remixes of their latest album "MG4". For the house heads, there are the Shinichi Osawa remix of "Don't let go", the Ananda Project remix of "Now you know better" and the Jazztronik remix of "Samba do gato".
But the track getting the most attention right now is with no doubt the Blaze remix of "Star suite". Once you hear it in all its glory you can feel the uplifting vibes of this song. A beautiful instrumentation along with a perfect arrangement make this an absolute standout cut. You can enjoy it for over 11 minutes on the CD version and nearly 17 minutes on the vinyl version.
September 16, 2001
Africanism "Block party" (Yellow Records 12")
DJ Gregory with the latest installment in the Africanism series, a slamming track with a rocking horn solo and cool keys. DJ Spen & Karizma supply the remixes, but unfortunately only the dub is provided on the 12".
September 9, 2001
Jask featuring Jocie "Beautiful" (SoulFuric Deep Records 12" Test Pressing)
Jask is bringing us a warm and melodic production that features the haunting vocals of Jocie over a deep and laidback groove with an extra guitar that gives it a perfect summer vibe. Brian Tappert & Marc Pomeroy deliever a pumped up version on the flip.
September 2, 2001
Shaun Escoffery "Days like this" (DJ Spinna Mixes)(Oyster Music Records 12" Promo)
I have been on the hunt for these DJ Spinna remixes since a friend of mine sent me a sample out of a DJ mixset. A bumpy, laidback groove added by the great keyboard work of Thickla and a killer trumpet gets topped with the stunning vocals by Shaun Escoffery to create an outstanding piece of music.
August 26, 2001
Solu featuring Kimblee "Fade" (SoluMusic Records CD Promo)
What a way to kick off a new label. Simply a beautiful piece of music with lovely mellow groove right for both the main floor as well as the loung. Kimblee adds her sexy vocals to it, alongside the wonderful orchestral keys. The 'Rewind Mix' takes it to another level with its serious breaks and the even deeper bubbling groove. And there is also "So high" by Sambo featuring Erin B, a laidback midtempo groover with a melody that won't get out of your head for a long time.
The 12" will be out in early september. Miss at your own risk...
August 19, 2001
Blvd. East featuring Da Familee "Never knew" (Next Moov Records 12")
One of my favorites from this years Winter Music Conference, finally availabe to all of us. When I heard Jovonn drop it, I knew this one will blow up once it gets released. A killer production with a fierce groove, stunning vocals and beautiful keyboards, full of energy and keeping it real to the underground where house and garage are coming from.
August 12, 2001
Jamiroquai "Little L" (Blaze Remixes)(Columbia Records CD Promo)
In addition to the mixes by Bob Sinclar and Boris Dlugosch, here are the Blaze remixes. Their mixes are the most soulful ones yet. They keep the original, disco-ish vibe and feel alive while adding a soulful and bumpy house groove. Listen to the jazzy saxophone - just one description: wonderful.
August 5, 2001
MJ Cole "Tired games" (MAW/NuYorican Soul Mixes)(Talkin' Loud Records 2x12" Test Pressing)
Around for a while now, but hard to find beacuse Talkin' Loud only pressed a limited amount of these test pressings, and the sad thing is that there is no word of a release date yet. Kenny 'Dope' Gonzales and 'Little' Louie Vega bring us a selection of classy mixes. There are NuYorican Soul stylished mixes and the club mixes with a deep bubbling groove and the usual great keyboard works.
July 29, 2001
Kenny Bobien "How I feel" (Remixes)(Purple Music Records 12" Promo)
One of two Kenny Bobien 12" this weeks, this one coming from the very successfull Swiss label Purple Music Records run by Jamie Lewis, an in-demand DJ and producer. He is responsible for the remixes which use a deeply bumping house groove with cool keys and Kenny's gospel-ish vocals on top. Also included is the original album version by Spen & Karizma.
Marty Thomas "Resurrect me (lift me up)" (WestEnd Records 2x12")
A favourite at the famous Shelter club in New York for some time now - listen to it and you know why. Timmy Regisford with Blaze has created an outstanding remix with a fierce and driving groove topped by Marty Thomas' stunning vocals and killer keys. Also included are mixes by Hex Hector who gives it a more progressive edge that might get it radio play in the US.
July 22, 2001
USG featuring Se'vere "Have I lost you" (Prescription Records 12")
After having several solo projects, Ron Trent and Anthony Nicholson are back united as USG. This one brings back the memories of the first 12" releases on Clairaudience Records since it is on a similar vibe. Simply beautiful...
Watch out for the album "Sankofa: the Retrospect" that is coming soon.
July 15, 2001
Roland Clark "Speak to me" (Estereo Records 12" Promo)
Remember "I get deep" from August 2000 on Shelter Records? "Speak to me" is like part 2 of it with additional lyrics and slamming mixes by Boyd Jarvis and Frankie Valentine. Deep underground house music.
July 8, 2001
Anthony Nicholson "Revolution" (NiteGroove Records 12")
Taken from the fabulous "Abstract Afro Lounge III" compilation, this is an Anthony Nicholson production with lots of percussion and a spacey keys that give it a slight ambient feeling.
July 1, 2001
Negrocan "Aquela esquina" (Grant Nelson Mixes)(Swing City Records 12")
What a follow up to their previous smash hit "Cada vez". Grant Nelson delievering the first set of remixes (more to follow soon) which are on a similar vibe to this mixes of "Cada vez" and bring the magic piano to full effect.
Mixmaster featuring Isabel Fructuoso "Latin Session (Asi-Asi)" (Edel Records 12")
'Mixmaster' Constantino Padovano and Stonebridge together with vocalist Isabel Fructuoso bring you this outstanding latin house production where you can feel the brazilian fire even when it's raining. You might remember Isabel's wonderful voice from last years "Pasilda" by Afro Medusa where she was the featured vocalist. Check it out, or you'll miss the slamming percussion breaks.
June 24, 2001
Towa Tei "Funkin' for Jamaica" (BMR Mixes)(EastWest Records 2x12")
Towa Tei covers the Tom Browne classic, and Boris Dlugosch & Michi Lange deliever the remixes. It was out a couple of weeks ago on limited japanese 12", but gladly EastWest Germany put it out now so everybody can get their hands on it. The BMR mixes are hot as hell with a wicked groove and should make the dancefloor burn.
June 17, 2001
Lucy Pearl "Without you" (Liquid People Remix)(Virgin Records 2x12" Promo)
Absolutely wicked remixes by Dan Smith aka Liquid People to be found on this 2x12" promo. A deep bubbling groove with wonderful warm keys and the smooth vocals on top, coming in a variety of mixes to choose from. They invite you to play around with them and stretch this song to the max in your set.
June 10, 2001
2nd Shift presents "An Evening in the Listening Room" (Seasons Records Double-Album)
An eight track album with lots of delightment music included. The full vocal version of "It's been a long time" can be found here as well as all new productions from JT Donaldson and Tim Shumaker. They bring us a selection of nice laidback and mellow groovers.
June 3, 2001
Fusion Groove Orchestra featuring Simon Green presents "The dream"(Curious Records 2x12" Test Pressing)
Fusion Groove Orchestra are back with truly slamming record full of lovely vibes, lots of instrumentation - keys, bass, guitar, horn section, trumpet, trombone, tenor and alto sax - over to the beautiful vocal supplied by Yasang, Simon Green, Angie Brown and Yasmin James. Not forget to mention the selection of mixes ranging from the full vocal over a deep dreamy dub, bumped up mixes to the acapella.
May 27, 2001
Various "The YO-Sampler" (YellOrange Records 12" Test Pressing)
Just three of the upcoming releases from YellOrange are featured on this limited sampler (see my Upcoming list for the other titles). First off is "Let the past rest" by 4:20 presents Farid Unique, produced by Mustafa Shabbar and Leon Roberts. A fierce groove with one of the best guitars heard in ages sitting on top, not to forget the lovely keys. "Ain't nothin'" by Who's that? featuring Jackie Kemp takes it deeper with a stomping house groove. "Twistin' turnin'" by DJ Oji & Sande is one hell of a deep, bubbling groove with Sande providing the vocals.
The whole sampler is proof that the people at YellOrange (and especially Tony Humphries) know what is rocking on the dancefloors.
May 20, 2001
Kerri Chandler "Creative Violence" (MadHouse Records 12")
Kerri 'Kaoz 6:23' Chandler once again surprises us with an absolutely outstanding release including four killer tracks. "The steel drum song" is based around steel drums and a live strings while "Stay" uses vocal by Errik Lancher over a deep bubbling groove. Flip the record around and you get "Reprise tha dred" which is driven by a mad organ. Finally, there is the mellow "Tha monk".
May 13, 2001
Cerrone "Gimme love" (2001 Remixes)(Sound of Barclay Records 12")
Taken from the forthcoming "Cerrone by Bob Sinclair" album, this is a slamming update of the Cerrone classic that should rock your dancefloor with an unstoppable funky groove.
May 6, 2001
Various "SoulFuric Spring Sampler" (SoulFuric Records 2x12" Promo)
SoulFuric present four of their upcoming releases on SoulFuric Trax and SoulFuric Deep on this "Spring Sampler": "The pleasure" by Thaisoul Orchestra, "Latino directions" by Hardsoul, "Deepstar" by Deepstar and "The guitar track" by Cleptomaniacs that are all stand out productions in their own right.
April 29, 2001
Soulswitch featuring Meli'sa Morgan "Believe in yourself" (2001 Remix)(CD Promo)
All I can say about these new mixes: they are absolutely slammin'!! Cato Jones and DJ Cameron, the people behind this production that came out on YellOrange Records 2x12", bring us stomping new dub mixes thate come in both vocal and instrumental flavours, with vocals that haven't been used on the initial release. At this time, no release for these mixes is planned, but Soulswitch already work on the new single.
April 22, 2001
Jay-J and Chris Lum pay respect to their "Roots" (Moulton Studio Records CD Promo)
"Roots" was given away in Miami at the Winter Music Conference and will be the third release for Moulton Studio Records, getting released in about eight weeks. Jay-J and Chris Lum produced this laidback groover with a deep bubbling groove to pay respect to all the people that influenced them in the past before they started doing house music themselves. Chris Lum himself provides the spoken words, with JoJo Haley singing the background vocals.
Jersey Street "Step into the light" (Glasgow Underground Records 12")
Jersey Street once again deliever an outstanding record! A serious old-school groove that will remember you of the 80's with superb keys, all put togehter by Weekender on their slamming mixes.
April 15, 2001
Brother Talipharaoh "Powersource" (Bumpin' City Records 12")
Tony Talipharaoh is the vocalist on this slamming garage tune that will catch you the first time you hear it. A deeply bumping groove with jazzy keys and a killer organ get topped by Tony's beautiful voice. These are pure garage vibes coming straight out of New Jersey, released on Bumpin' City Records out of Chigaco. It is great to hear Tony's voice again - I hope you remember the classic "Lift him up", a classic Blaze production, were teamed up with SuSu Bobien.
Warren Clarke featuring Kathy Brown "Over you" (Defected Records 2x12" Test Pressing)
Even though nobody could tell me what the tune of this years Winter Music Conference was, this record is for sure one of those that got lots of attention from everybody. With the original being tweaked into a stumping disco-ish house production, there are slamming remixes by DJ Spen & Karizma and ATFC. On a separate 12" test-pressing there are Cevin Fisher mixes for the progressive heads so this one is set to bust the charts everywhere.
April 8, 2001
DJ Pope featuring Ed Ramsey "More love" (POJI Records 12" Test Pressing)
POJI Records have a true gem in their hands with this release. A fierce and powerful groove full topped with Ed Ramsey's soulful vocals will hopefully give them the attention they truly deserve.
March 22, 2001
Blvd. East featuring Kaaye "Shout" (NextMoov Records 12")
A fierce and deep rumbling groove with stunning vocals and lovely keyboards are what it takes to make this an outstanind piece of house music.
Lovebirds "Feel the bird / Lovebirds" (Trracks of Interest Records 12" Test Pressing)
"Feel the bird" is an early morning epos on a laidback tip. "Lovebirds" was the b-side of their first 12" release and comes here as a full vocal version with Marie Tweeks from The Rurals on vocals. Sweet as chocolate...
March 18, 2001
Dennis Ferrer presents Anthony Flanagan "Wonderful people" (Metaphor Records 12")
Since I heard this for the first time last october when I was on vacation in New York, I couldn't wait for it to be released. An outstanding Dennis Ferrer production with Anthony Flanagan on vocals and a killer saxophone played by Mark Shim. Soulful garage music with irresistible background vocals. This groove won't go out of your head for a long time...
ThE 2 Of MaNy "I found you" (CD-R Promo)
After last years "Pas Or'dinaire" (a 'Pick of the Week' in June), "I found you" is the new production from ThE 2 Of MaNy featuring female vocals over a perfectly produced laidback jazzy groove.
March 11, 2001
Jerome Sydenham and Kerri Chandler present "Saturday" (Ibadan Records Double-Album)
Long awaited, now finally here. Eight tracks to choose from including the two 12" singles "Kò Kò" and "Àró", all produced by Jerome Sydenham, Kerri Chandler and Dennis Ferrer. Those three guys create deep grooves with a touch of afro that won't got out of your head for a long time.
March 4, 2001
Linda Clifford "Changin" (WestEnd Records 2x12")
A cover of the '78 classic by Sharon Ridley coming on a 2x12" with a classy selection of mixes. Tom Moulton, one of the most legendary remixers ever (he did remix many of todays disco era classics), kicks off the package with a cominbation of soulful house groove and classic disco-ish arrangements. Blaze are next with their Shelter interpretations. Finally, Southern Divide deliever a fierce mix with a latin flavoured piano.
February 25, 2001
Blaze Production presents James Toney Jr. Project "Natural Blaze" (Lifeline Records CD)
Ten years after the historical releas "25 Years Later" on Motown Records that - in my opinion - is still ahead of our time, and "Basic Blaze" from 1997 on Slip'N'Slide Records we get another masterpiece. When you listen to the album, you know it is all about the Blaze sound, coming here in a package fresh for the new millenium. "Elevation" which was released on 12" a couple of weeks ago is a masterpiece on its own, but believe me, this album has to offer more of them.
February 18, 2001
Mondo Grosso featuring Bird/Face "Life" (Sony Japan Records 12" Promo)
Hard to get hold of (I only could find a used copy which isn't in to good condition). The a-side has wicked house mixes with a cool guitar and features Bird on vocals singing in japanese while the flip has 2-step mixes featuring Face on vocals singing in english on a jazzy tip.
February 11, 2001
Shazz & Alexandre Destrez "Hermosa Maria" (Epic Records 12")
Jazzy vibes coming from France courtesy of Shazz featuring Alexandre Destrez who plays the piano on the 'Original Mix' and the rhodes on the 'Latin Hip House Mix' which also features a vocalist. Simply beautiful - I've been listening to it all day.
February 4, 2001
Shuffle Inc. "All I do" (Moulton Studio Records 12")
Jay-J and Julius Papp produced this cover version of the Stevie Wonder classic which features Gina Rene on vocals, Shan Kenner on guitar and Bill Williams playing keyboards. In contrast to the Cleptomaniacs cover that was released a few weeks ago, this one here is on a laidback, jazzy and soulful tip with a nice instrumental version on the flip.
January 28, 2001
James Ingram "Lean on me" (MAW Records 12" Promo)
A classic production by 'Little' Louie Vega and Kenny 'Dope' Gonzales. A soulful, mellow and laidback groove with a deep bass and nice organ, topped with James Ingram's outstanding vocal capabilities. On the flip, Todd Terry is giving it a different touch with percussions sounding a bit like Eric Kupper's "Havanna", and an extra jazzy touch after the break in the middle.
January 21, 2001
Kings of Tomorrow featuring Julie McKnight "Finally" ('Little' Louie Vega Remix)(Distance Records 2x12" Test Pressing)
The wait for these mixes to drop on vinyl was definitely too long. When the rumour got around that 'Little' Louie Vega will remix 'Finally' - the most played track of the album "It's in the lifestyle" - everybody was trying to get their hands on them. Now here they are, four in all. Louie keeps the vibe of the original alive on his vocal, dub and reprise mixes while he turns things around on the NuYorican Soul mix
There is an additional 12" test pressing around with mixes by Kevin Yost which makes this an essential triple pack to search for.
January 14, 2001
Dionne Warwick & Detroit Spinners "I don't need another love" (Arista Records 2x12" Promo)
I don't know wether this is an old song or something brand new, but that is not the point here. What does count are the uplifting house mixes by Joey Musaphia with a groove that won't go out of your head for a while. The other mixes included are by The Thieving Hoodlums (never heard of them before) and are on a classic, soulful house vibe.
The Reach "God is good to me" (New Generation Records 12")
Once again, New Generation Records brings us an outstanding garage production. The gospel vocals are layed over a deep bubbling, soulful groove. There is a cool selection of mixes by Mike LaBirt and Larry Rauson Jr. on this 12" with both a killer dub and sax instrumental.
January 7, 2001
Knee Deep featuring Kenny Bobien "If you love me" (R.O.I. Records 12" Test Pressing)
Can there be a better way to kick off a new year? A masterpiece with Kenny's soulful vocals over a smooth and melodic groove on the 'Classic Club', with an outstanding reprise version featured too on the a-side. The vocal and dub mixes featured on the b-side use more punchy groove with that special Knee Deep funky flava.