The Pick of the Week reviews for 2004.
December 31, 2004
Kenny Bobien featuring Ann Nesby "Spread love" (Soul Groove Records 12" Promo)
I can't think of a better way to close the year down than with this wonderful production featuring an inspirational and uplifting vocal performance by lead singers Kenny Bobien and Ann Nesby (with background vocals by Dawn Tallmann, Michelle Weeks, Stephanie Cooke and Maurice Lauchner). Produced by Louie Vega (one half of Masters at Work), "Spread love" will catch your attention as soon as you hear it. The sweet percussion loaded groove topped with wonderful jazzy keys and the outstanding vocals won't get out of your heads for a long time.
December 19, 2004
Blvd. East "Paradise" (Deepa Grooves Records 12" Test Pressing)
The label that brought us the wonderful "All that I am" by Lefunken featuring Mina is having more bombs to drop. "Paradise" by Blvd. East is on a laidback tip with mellow percussions leading the way for the sweet steel drums and jazzy keys that create a warm and melodic feeling while the spheric keys add an extra touch of ambient, making this beautiful track perfect for after hours play. Louie 'Lou' Gorbea adds some more deepness to it on his remix which will take you on a journey into laidback sounds.
December 12, 2004
Louie Vega featuring Blaze & Raul Midon "Sunshine" (Sacred Rhythm Mix)(Vega Records 12")
This is a strictly limited edition, one-sided 12" on orange vinyl featuring just one version, but what a beautiful one that is. Joaquin 'Joe' Claussell turns out anthemic and spiritual reworking of this wonderful song, making it a timeless masterpiece featuring a marvellous instrumentation and a splendid break that brings the percussion and congas to full effect. Running at sixteen minutes, this is pure bliss for your soul.
December 5, 2004
Kiko Navarro featuring Marcel "M.U.S.I.C." (Bubble Soul Records CD Promo)
Spain's Kiko Navarro blesses us with the slamming "M.U.S.I.C." which features spoken words by Khaimar's own Marcel. The original edit is best described as being a totally groovy affair full of jazzy vibes with a killer saxophone solo and lovely guitar featured alongside the organ ride - check the extended break for the sweet vibes. The 'Acid Dub' blurs together cool percussive beats with organ stabs and synth sweeps, creating an uplifting dancefloor shaker. The 'Jazzy Music Dub' is on a similar vain, but uses jazzy keys and guitar licks instead of the synth sweeps.
Pascal Rioux featuring Mr Day "Don't outstay outside tonight" (Parts 1 + 2)(Rotax Records CD Promo)
French label Rotax present this midtemp production which combines classic soul with a digtised funky groove and the sweet and soulful vocals of Mr Day. The original is based on a funky bassline and guitar and is added with jazzy keys, creating a soulful and laidback groover. Bruno Hovart aka Patchwork delivers two remixes for the first 12". His 'Deep Remix' gives the song a lucious and mellow feeling based on a deeply rumblin' groove, keeping the funky vibe alive. In contrast, the 'Evergreen Remix' is coming with a true live vibe, with a fabulous guitar leading the way. Daphreephunkateerz (better known as Dirty Jesus from Paper Recordings) provides the remixes for the second 12", two fat and bangin' slices of electro boogie taking you back to the 80's with its retro-future funky feeling.
November 28, 2004
Exclusive Preview: Sueno Soul featuring Gosando "My latin woman" (Newlite/POJI Records CD Promo)
Exclusive Preview: The Singletons "Seasons of change" (Sueno Soul Remix)(Verity/Jive Records CD Promo)
These two tracks are taken from Sueno Soul showreel samplers I recently received. "My latin woman" is an uplifting latin house track with a bouncey groove, guitar and male spoken words creating an irresistible groove you can't resist dancing to. The Singletons are a gospel group that are already being compared to the likes of The Winans after having released just one album. Sueno Soul take care of their song "Seasons of change" and pay rendition to it with their interpretation that keeps the spirit of the original alive and takes it straight to the dancefloor.
Exclusive Preview: Stacy Mallory "Never be another love" (B-Soul Remix)(CD-R)
Already a Pick of the Week a fortnight ago, this song makes it to the spotlight again. DJ Pope delivers a fabulous reworking of the Stacey Mallory production that gives the marvellous vocal performance by Ty Black and background vocals by Viola Sykes and Trezmonk a perfect place to grow. Pope's interpretation is even sweeter than the original and comes with a groovy beat that is smoothly thumpin' and surrounded by mellow percussion and melodic keys. Around the middle of this fourteen minute extravaganza, a jazzy piano comes in that will take you to a journey into soulful dance music.
November 21, 2004
Glenn Underground "Mental black resurrection" (LifeLine Records 12")
Can't remember exactly when I first heard this song, but it must have been in late 2003. "Mental black resurrection" has been long awaited since then, and Life Line are the lucky ones to release it. This is a stunning journey into jazzy percussive house on a deep vibe with athmospheric keys and shuffling beats leading the way. The dub version is a bit more minimalistic and features a sublime piano that gives the song a jazzier, lighter feeling.
DJ Oji & Una vs. Dr. Bob Jones and The Interns "Soul underground" (POJI Records 12")
What a combination we've got here! DJ Oji and songstress Una get a fabolous reworking by soul aficionado Dr. Bob Jones and his Chilli Funk cohorts The Interns. Their groovy and soulful garage interpretation is isnspired by The Interns "Soul food", a classic in its own right. Oji himself does a re-interpretation of the original version with a definite underground feeling spread by the bubbling groove and lovely guitar. Also included are bonus beats and an acapella to play around with.
November 14, 2004
Exclusive Preview: Stacey Mallory featuring Ty Black "Never be another love" (CD-R)
"Never be another love" is the latest production from New Jersey producer Stacey Mallory and features the sweet and soulful voice of Ty Black. Simply said, this is garage music at its best with a marvellous vocal performance by Ty Black, coming deep from his soul, with the background vocals provided by Viola Sykes and Trezmonk. The music is on a laidback vibe featuring a smooth groove, sweet percussion and jazzy piano that are spreading an uplifting feeling.
November 7, 2004
Jungle Wonz "Bird in a guilded cage" (Skylax Records 12")
We're going old-school this week with bringing a true classic back to your attention... Skylax is a new label that will focus on releasing hard to find rarities along with remixes from todays hottest and most in demand producers. The label kicks off with the 1993 Marshall Jefferson produced Jungle Wonz classic "Bird in a guilded cage" being re-edited by none other than the 'King of Edits' Danny Krivit. He takes all the remarkable parts from the original and enhances them. Also included is the original from 1993, edited by Johnson & Johnson and a dub version.
October 31, 2004
The Soulplanet Jazz Ensemble "Gotta be love" (Soulplanet Records 12")
Celebtrated Soulplanet Jazz Ensemble from Los Angeles deliver their finest release to date with "Gotta be love". This is pure soulful heaven that touches the soul with the marvellous vocal performance by Ilayali over a percussion loaded groove with a latin edge that also contains an extra dose of funkiness, together with a jazzy flavour brought in by both piano and flute solos. The included mixes cover both traditional 4/4 house as well as jazz-latin house.
October 24, 2004
Lefunken featuring Tyrah "Angel" (Space Kat Records 12")
Finally out after only being available as limited two-track test pressing in mid-2003 on Eclectic Records, "Angel" comes in three mixes. The 'Original Mix' features the music from the demo version which featured a different vocalist, Ambrosia. This mix features an outstanding piano and lovely guitar. The 'Lefunken Mix' is on a deeper vibe with spheric keys replacing the piano, spreading a laidback vibe. Tyrone Francis & Quentin Harris provide the 'T & Q Butterz Mix' which gives the song an even smoother vibe with jazzy keys and mellow bumpin' beats.
Keith Rivera aka DJ Messiah "Chase my blues" / "This fire" (Haus'Flor' Records 12")
"Chase my blues" was one of my picks from this years Winter Music Conference. Gladly this wonderful song made it to vinyl and is released on Working Underneath' own label Haus'Flor Records. The 'Underneath Mix' features the soulful vocals of DJ Messiah over a laidback, broken beat dreiven groove with both jazzy and melodic keys, creating a mellow vibe. The 'Original Mix' comes with a drivin' four-to-the-floor beat, spheric keys, extra vocals and some effects.The flipside featrues "This fire" which is on an underground tip in the 'Original Mix' with a deep thumpin' groove and moody keys. The 'Underneath Mix' has a jazzier vibe thanks to the piano and comes with smoothly stompin' beats.
October 17, 2004
Jill Scott "Golden" (Sir Piers Remix)(White Label 12")
The first single from Jill Scott's excellent new album gets reworked by Sir Piers in marvellous style here. His re-interpretation is a true soulful gem that pays tribute to the fantastic vocal performance by Jill Scott and wrapps it inside a wonderful live instrumented musical outfit consisting of jazzy keys, funky bass, orchestral section and a fierce groove. These mixes have a timeless yet modern vibe, making them something special in todays short-lived music industry. There is an excellent selection of mixes included (extended, radio, dub, reprise) for your pleasure.
Connie Harvey "Thank you lord" (SoulFuric Records 12" Test Pressing)
"Thank you lord" was originally released on Bassline Records back in 1994 and is one of Victor Simonelli's finest moments. Thanks to Soulfuric, it is back with a splendid set of remixes. The Audiowhores take care of the soulful yet dynamic and powerful vocal performance by Connie Harvey and back it up with a smooth bassline, silky keys, buttery guitar and classic strings. Check their 'Musicapella' for a full dose of these sweet vibes. Jazz'N'Groove deliver a slammin' dub with pounding beats, synth stabs and a cool guitar that is guaranteed to rock the dancefloors.
October 10, 2004
Martha Wash "You lift me up" (Purple Rose Records 12")
One of house music true divas and voices, Martha Wash, makes a long overdue return to the dancefloors on new label Purple Rose Records. "You lift me up" is a gospel house record that is spreading an uplifting vibe through the power of the magical voice of Martha Wash together with the fantastic background choir. The background music consists of an irresistible piano, a killer ogan solo, funked-up bass, drums and percussion that give the song an old-school feeling. "You lift me up" is an outstanding production full of energy and positive vibes that has all it takes to become a timeless classic.
October 3, 2004
Hanna Hais "Rosanova" (Atal Records CD)
Singer Hanna Hais is presenting the deeper side of house music on her longplayer here, with the sensuality being expressed through her sweet voice and the french language that harmonizes nicely with the featured songs. Her first cut "Il parlait pas francais", released in 2002 and produced by Larry Heard, is featured here as well as her collaborations with Matthias 'Matty' Heilbronn in form of "Parfum chic" (released on 12" earlier this year), "Doucement", and "Bel amant". Austrian DJ and producer Sergio Flores is behind her current single "Rosa nova" and "De toi a moi" while we have Ralf Gum working on "3 notes pour dire je t'aime" and Mikale Delta on "Je ne veux plus etre ta reine". The final two tracks "Je sens" and "Desire" are produced by her longtime friend Christoph Kardek. "Rosanove" is a great house music album featuring ten strong tracks with a sensous vocal performance by Hanna Hais, with the french langauge making it different and letting it outshine its competitors.
September 26, 2004
Soularis "Soaring" (Refunkt Records CD Promo)
Refunkt have secured a sure shot winner here, produced by Jonathan Dunn & Greg Fenton, better known as Soularis. "Soaring" features the lush and sweet vocal performance by new diva Yvonne Shelton over a deeply stompin' beat that is enhanced with smooth percussion and a cool guitar riff, with the melodic keys giving the song a warm soulful feeling. The dub version is driven by a funky bassline and comes with straighter beats, with the guitar adding an extra touch of blues to the song, while the melodic keys keep it soulful.
September 19, 2004
Mustafa Akbar "Sign of the times" (POJI Records 12")
For the latest release on POJI Records, DJ Pope teams up with singer and songwriter Mustafa Akbar to produce a political conscious song. DJ Pope blends the vocal stylings of Mustafa Akbar with a hot combination of live drums, funky bass, percussion, trumpet, jazzy keys and a wonderful flute solo to create a beautiful piece of soulful house music with a real message. This production is both very inspirational and uplifting - a thing missing in lots of todays dance music.
September 12, 2004
Steal Vybe "The morning comes project"(Steal Vybe Music Records 12" Test Pressing)
Steal Vybe present the second release on their own label. The project kicks off with "Gloria", a house fusion that comes with a cuban-afro twist featuring a blend of flute, piano, rhodes and organic percussion together with sweet vocals over a smoothly bumpin' four-to-the-floor beat. "Azuza" is an instrumental track with a big synth solo and warm keys accompanied by wicked snare kicks, creating an irresistible vibe with a bit of a dark edge. Finally there is "Quanda amanh vier (morning comes)", a brasil fusion with a light 4/4 kick that is spreading a jazzy vibe, featuring a lovely flute and digital strings together with wicked keys.
September 5, 2004
Raw Artistic Soul "The One Cultural Groove - EP 1" (GoGo Music Records 12" Promo)
GoGo Music Records celebrate their 10th release, one that gets better and better the more you listen to it. Raw Artistic Soul is the brainchild of producer, remixer and live artist Phil Kullmann who has put together a collective of fourteen international singers and musicians. They cover different cultures that they share to create inspiring music in form of "The One Cultural Groove - EP 1". The musicians bless us with a wonderful instrumentation including guitar, percussion fender rhodes, trumpet, flugel horn, trombone, flute and more - the result is simply breathtaking.
The first song "Nawella" is a traditional South African spiritual chant sang in the mother language of Bemba. The afrocentric rhythms and guitar echos harmonize perfectly with the vocal chants and create a mellow and laidback vibe that is spreading an uplifting feeling. The second song "Pa el bembe" features the cuban voice of Edisney Portales Vega whose distinctive voice together with the improvisations of latin flutist Domingo Patricio is topping the raw energetic drumz. This is is simply irresistible already in its original form and gets reworked by Ralf GUM & CrisP into a dancefloor extravaganza.
August 29, 2004
Exclusive Review: Jill Scott "Golden" (Redsoul Remix)(CD-R)
"Golden" is taken from Jill Scott's brand new longplayer "Beautifually Human: Words and Sounds Vol. 2". The song is on a midtempo tip in its original form with jazzy keys over a smoothly bumpin' beat, with Jill Scott's unmistakable voice giving the song that little extra. Dave Wearing reworks the song by adding sharp beats and giving the song a few lovely tweaks. This is a great interpretation for the dancefloor by Dave Wearing that keeps the original vibe alive.
August 22, 2004
Lonesome Echo Productions "Sweet dreams" (Blaze Remixes)(Disorient Records 12")
Gladly Disorient Records picked up the fantastic longplayer from Lonesome Echo Productions that was only available as japanese import for a long time. Finally released on 12" outside of Japan is one of the standout cuts from the album, "Sweet dreams", that gets the remix treatment from Blaze who take Byron Stingily's trademark falsetto vocal performance to an upifting level on their soulful reworking that comes with lush keys, orchestral strings and live funky bassline.
August 15, 2004
Loosefingers "When summer comes" (Alleviated Records 12")
This is the second installment in the Loosefingers series presented by Larry Heard. This three track EP features two tracky acid selections on the flip titled "Acid bounce" and "Transmission X". But the highlight is "When summer comes", a mellow and smoothly grooving track on a midtempo tip with warm melodic keys and sweet vocals, and a great alto saxophone solo. This song is right in the steps of the timeless classic "What about this love".
August 8, 2004
Soul Creation vs Gemna featuring Tyrah J "It's your life" (Soul Groove Records 12" Promo)
This is the first of two new releases from Soul Groove, with Soul Creation acting as producers and featuring keyboard maestro George Mena. "It's your life" combines a strong vocal performance from Tyrah J with a bumpin' bassline, thight beats and wicked keys on the 'Club Mix' while the 'Samba Mix' brings the latin influences to full effect. Shaheer Williams provides both a vocal and instrumental version with a soulful vein featuring superb strings laying the ground for a deeper take on the song.
One Touch featuring Colin Corvez "Ready" (Purple Music Records 12" Test Pressing)
Behind One Touch are swiss producers and DJs Roberto de Carlo and Mirco Esposito who team up with singer Colin Corvez for "Ready". The main mix is on an uplifting vibe driven by stompin' beats and funky bassline, topped with melodic keys, orchestral strings and cool guitar riff. Colin Corvez delivers a powerful yet soulful vocal performance coming deep from his heart. The alternate mixes (vocal and dub) give the song a twist with sharper beats and a more prominent place for the guitar riff, ripping the orchestral strings and letting the keys grow.
August 1, 2004
Frankie Knuckles featuring Nicki Richards "Matter of time" (Definity Records 12")
Taken from his longplayer "A new reality" released a couple of weeks ago, a "Matter of time" god remixed by the godfather of house himself in form of the 'Chicago Style Mix' that is build around a moody, deeply stompin' groove that is added with both jazzy and spheric keys. The 'Organic Dub' uses lots of filtering and echoing effects. The Groove Junkies deliver two remixes, featuring flute and sax together with Nicki Richards vocal performance over a bumpin' groove.
July 25, 2004
Chez Damier & The Cru present "The Gathering Vol. 1" (Atal Records 10" Promo)
This is the first of two 10" of on Atal Records in this series titled "The Gathering". It features the groovy "Go" by The Urban Crew featuring Jocelyn Winston on vocals. The music is on a jazz-funky tip featuring live bass, percussion, wicked guitar solo and an oustanding vocal peformance. The other track included is "Warfare" produced by Ron Trent and Anthony Pearson, a track with an unbelievable deep rumbling bassline that is topped with percussion and wicked keys that create an irresistible vibe. This track is on a classic underground tip and is spreading a hypnotic, almost anthemic feeling. Part two of this series will be featured next week.
July 18, 2004
Hanna Hais "Rosa nova" (Atal Records 12" Promo)
On friday March 6, the day before this years Winter Music Conference started, I met austrian DJ and producer Sergio Flores who gave me an exclusive preview of his upcoming productions. When he played "Rosa nova", I instantly fell in love with this song which features sweet and sexy vocals over slammin' beats. The song comes on a latin vibe with an extra french touch to it - listen to it yourself. And as Hanna Hais is singing in french, you will feel like you're in Paris... The 'Scientific Soul Sax in Rio Dub' features an outstanding sax play by Thomas Kugi over a stormin' groove - this mix is spreading an irresistible vibe that is set to tear the dancefloors apart.
July 11, 2004
Dimitri from Paris featuring Omar "Strong man (for real)" (Discograph Records 12")
This is the first single from Dimitri from Paris' second album "Cruising attitude" which finally got released in europe after being only available in japan for quite some time. Featuring uk soulmaster Omar, "Strong man (for real)" is a soul-funk tune in its orginal form that gets transformed into a dancefloor tune by Matthias 'Matty' Heilbronn who comes up with an uplifting rework with lovely guitar, percussion and wicked keys while Dimitri from Paris teams up with Bibi for an old school house rendering.
July 4, 2004
Exclusive Preview: 280 West featuring Diamond Temple "Fly" (Phuture Sole Records CD Promo)
Those of you that have been attending the Phuture Sole & Slaag party at this years Winter Music Conference might remember "Fly" as it was performed live. The song is produced by Mark Mendoza and features the magic voice from Diamond Temple (remember his performance on "Love's masquerade"?). It is a timeless production with a fantastic vocal performance by Diamond Temple and background vocals provided by none other than Kenny Bobien over a smoothly groovin musical track featuring live bass, brilliant organ and marvellous harmonica that will take you on a journey into soulful dance music that just cannot be any better. With remixes from Blaze and Joe Claussell still to come, this will be one of the tunes of the year.
June 27, 2004
Cerrone featuring Jocelyn Brown "You are the one" / "Hooked on you" (Remix)(Purple Music Records 12" Test Pressing)
Purple Music bless us with this wonderful release full of classic vibes not just for the old school heads. First are the brand new Jamie Lewis mixes of "You are the one" which are a perfect combination of classic disco sounds with an up to date four-to-the floor groove and irresistible keys - and there is a wonderful break to. Dimitri from Paris reworks "Hooked on you" and adds a 70's funky groove underneath the original piano and keys to create a true retro feeling that is further enhanced by various discofied sounds.
June 20, 2004
Patti Labelle "New day" (DefSoul Records 2x12")
"New day" is taken from Patti Labelle's comback longplayer "Timeless journey". The original already being a gem in its own rights, this double-pack features various slamming remixes. Quentin Harris comes up with a steadily bumpin' groove topped with wicked keys, giving the song a laidback feeling. Darryl James with the help from Fred McFarlane does a great guitar driven remix with deeply stormin' beats and jazzy keys. 'Little' Louie Vega delivers both a vocal and dub version in a Dance Ritual style coming with a warm and organic touch, featuring a fantastic organ ride, jazzy piano, drums by Kenny 'Dope' Gonzales and percussion by Joe Claussell.
June 13, 2004
Black Mamba "The Underground Jungle" (Naked Soul Records 12")
DJ Pap follows his recent success of "Africa" (which is out on Smooth Agent Records) with this lovely EP. "Magic bells of Ituri" is a stompin', percussion loaded tribalish track with both spheric keys and bells, that alltogether create a hypnotic vibe. There is a variation in form of "Magic drums of Ituri" that stripps the keys and bells. "We R the music makers" also creates a hypnotic vibe, but it is on a more laidback tip, spreading a chilled-out feeling. If there wasn't enough, there is the irresistible "Black Mamba's Theme", a percussion driven track with both jazzy and melodic keys.
June 6, 2004
Louie Vega featuring Blaze "Love is on the way" (Vega Records 12" Promo)
It has been a long time since Louie Vega and Blaze collaborated on "Elements of life". But now the wait for the follow up is over as "Love is on the way" is to be released shortly. Not much words are needed to describe this beautiful piece of music: smooth percussion added with Blaze's incomparable vocals, melodic keys and a George Benson-ish guitar solo create an uplifting feeling with a groove that will keep your feet moving and won't get out of your head.
May 30, 2004
DJ Jorj "Till I see the sun" (Curious Records 12" Test Pressing)
Australian producer DJ Jorj is back on Curious Records with an "Elements of life" styled production with a true live instrumentation including a marvellous piano solo that is spreading a jazzy vibe all over the song, being topped with sweet and soulful female vocals. Simply the perfect vibes for the summer, with the 'Original Mix' being on a mellow and smoooth side while the 'Club Mix' fierces things up a bit.
May 23, 2004
Seek "Everafter" (GoGo Music Records 12" Test Pressing)
Originally out in late 2000 on Giant Step Records, this song demanded to be reinterpreted to bring its timeless vibe to the soulful danceflooors. Ralf Gum & CrisP come up with a soft and mellow reworking with sweet guitar melodies. The second vocal mix on the 12" is courtesy of Roberto de Carlo and is a perfect example of soulful dance music with jazzy instrumenation and classic strings, spreading a soulful vibe. His dub version focuses on the funky bass and strings to create a peaktime vibe. The second dub by Benny Pecoraio & Ralf Gum is on a grooy tip with a real funk flava to it.
Franck Roger & M'Selem featuring Chris Wonder "No more belive" (KenLou Records 12" Promo)
Franck Roger, the rising star from this years Winter Music Conference unleashes the next bomb in form of "No more believe" which he produced together with Olivier M'Selem. Featuring the vocal talents of Chris Wonder who supplies a marvellous performance showcasing his talents, "No more believe" is a wonderful production with a smoothly bumpin' groove that is added with laidback percussion and jazzy keys creating warm harmonic melodies.
May 16, 2004
Kiko Navarro featuring Concha Buika "Mama calling" (Curious Records 12")
Kiko Navarro presents the irresistible "Mama calling" that is driven by an infectious groove full of african inspired drums, guitar, thumpin' bass and harmonic melodies, all hooked together with an irresistible soulful vocal performance from Concha Buika and complimented by a spoken word vocal by Marcel from KhaiMar.
May 9, 2004
Exclusive Review: Stacey Mallory "Sax meets funk" / "Afrikan soul"(CD-R)
Here we go with some exclusives only available to us at the time speaking. DJ Stacey Mallory presents his latest productions (we can't reveal the labels who picked them up yet, but we will let you know as soon as possible) which hopefully will be out soon. "Sax meeets funk" is a superb groovy track with a deeply stompin' bassline, smooth percussion, melodic keys and wicked jazzy saxophone. Around the middle, a jazzy organ solo is kickin' in that takes the song into even higher grounds. "Afrikan Soul" is based around a funky groovin' bassline that is added with tight beats, percussion, wicked keys and a live played jazzy piano that is simply irressistible.
May 2, 2004
Exclusive Review: Alicia Keys "You don't know my name" (Original Drum Remix)(CD-R)
Remember the Original Drum remix of "Relax your mind" by Boys 2 Men featuring Faith Evans we exclusively brought to your attention about a year ago? They are back with a fantastic reworking of the Alicia Keys smash hit "You don't know my name". This reworking takes the song to a whole new level and simply outshines all the other house mixes you might have heard. This remix is driven by storming beats that are topped with the marvellous piano, wicked keys and Alicia's outstanding vocal performance, creating an irresistible vibe. With varous versions to choose from, it is a shame they won't get released.
April 25, 2004
Black Mamba featuring Sarundzayi "Africa" (Smooth Agent Records 12")
Chicago's Smooth Agent label drops a soulful release by Black Mamba aka DJ Pap that pays tribute to the motherland of Africa. His original mix is on a smooth tribal-ish tip featuring jazzy keys and a native spoken word vocal and voices from lions and monkeys. Remixes are courtesy of Sean Smith and Kenny Carvajal who both add a unique future soul touch to the song. The standout on this 12" is the Kenny Carvajal mix with it's lush melodic keys over a smoothly bumpin' groove.
April 18, 2004
Roy Davis Jr. "Moving up" / "Water for thirsty children" / "Melodies from heaven" (Nice+Smooth Records 12")
This 12" is a taster for Roy Davis Jr. forthcoming longplayer "Water for thirsty children" (see the Album review section). "Moving up" sees Roy going for a funky house track with a monster bassline that is topped with a sublime harp and spoken words and vocals by Marcellus. The flip holds "Water for thirsty children" that opens with a spoken word intro by Marcellus before the jazzy elements take over. "Melodies from heaven" is another jazzy groover featuring Roy himself on vocals.
April 11, 2004
WMC Aftermath: Hugo Madrid "Twisted Madrid" (Upskirt Records CD-R)
Hugo Madrid had a few tracks out on Upskirt Records already and now he presented the "Hugo Madrid Miami Showreel 2004" at this years Winter Music Conference that includes this absolutely outstanding track. "Twisted Madrid" features a deep rumbling groove topped with melodic laminar keys and an absolutely wicked guitar riff, creating an irresistible vibe you can't resist dancing to. Two versions to choose from with the 'Sax Dub' featuring an extra jazzy saxophone and straighter beats compared to the 'Instrumental' version. One not to be missed.
April 4, 2004
WMC Aftermath: Patrick Green featuring Big Brooklyn Red "Sexual healing" (CD-R)
Patrick Green comes up with this marvellous production that features the smooth voice of Big Brooklyn Red. "Sexual healing" is on a very melodic tip, featuring smooth percussion, warm keys and a wonderful guitar that together create a truly harmonic vibe on a laidback but groovy tip. While the 'Deep Jersey Vox' brings out the beauty of Big Brooklyn Red's vocal performance, the 'Dubstramental' is all about the music and showcases the beautiful arrangement and instrumentation. Let's hope this beauty is soon to be picked up by a label.
March 28, 2004
WMC Aftermath: B Crew "Peacemaker" (Tony Records CD-R)
Tony Records, formerly known as YellOrange Records, have a bomb in their hands with the uplifting "Peacemaker" by the B Crew, featuring various female vocalists. Here we have exclusively the David Harness mixes for preview. His 'Tribal Mix' is built around a deep storming beat that is added with smooth percussion, a funky bassline and warm melodic keys while on the '4/4 Mix' he goes for a traditional four-on-the-floor beat and brighter keys.
Jaque "Love will save the day" (Jellybean Soul Records 12")
One of my Whitney Houston's favorite songs gets a remake that is taking the song to a whole new level. Marlon D turns it into a marvellous underground house track featuring Jaque on vocal with keys by both Albert 'Sterling' Menendez and Dennis Ferrer that is full of soul with and comes with a deep rumbling groove that is added with warm melodic keys and an absolutely wicked organ that builds and builds. A great set of mixes is included so you can work it back and forth.
March 21, 2004
WMC Special Feature
Franck Roger featuring Chris Wonder "Something about you" (Crash Records 12" Test Pressing)
Franck Roger & M'Selem present Chris Wonder "Reason" (Straight Up Records 12" Test Pressing)
Franck Roger featuring Chris Wonder "If I" (Sunny Side Recods 12" Test Pressing)
Franck Roger & M'Selem featuring Chris Wonder "No more believe" (from the "Miami 2004 Sampler" on MAW Records 2x12" Promo)
Franck Roger must be one of the discoveries of this years Winter Music Conference for those who didn't hear of him before (he had releases on Straight Up, Versatile and Needs Records before). Beside just being a DJ, he also produces wonderful music and presented not less than four vocal recordings, all featuring the soulful voice of the very talented Chris Wonder. "Something about you" has been picked by up Dino & Terry for their Crash label and comes on a smoothly bumpin' tip with lovely guitar and warm keys. Dino & Terry provide the remixes which are on a mellow tip with a jazzy edge and extra rhodes on the dub. "Reason" will be released on the french Straight Up Records and features a fierce groove together with jazzy keys and rhodes solo by M'Selem on the main version while the dub heats up things a bit with extra keys and phatter beats. Sunny Side Records will release "If I", a soulful song with r&b styled vocals and warm, harmonic melodies. Shade of Soul turn it into a soulful broken beat vibe. Finally, "No more believe" will be released on KenLou Records later this year. This production is based around a percussion based groove and has got a warm and laidback vibe to it.
Concha Buika "Perfect place" (Underground Collective Records 12" Test Pressing)
Underground Collective have picked up this wonderful Kiko Navarro production. Concha Buika delivers an outstanding vocal performance that gives this song that little extra that makes it special. Kiko's original version features Concha's voice over a smoothly bumpin' groove that is added with a warm instrumentation including jazzy keys. DJ Chus is firing things up on his mix with a more aggressive groove and catchy keys. Soulplanet Jazz Ensemble did completely reproduce the music on their rework and give it a true live sounding vibe on a soulful tip.
Woking Underneath "WMC 2004 Promo Sampler" (CD-R)
John Crockett & Charles Gatling aka Working Underneath present a sampler of some work in progress. "Chase my blues" features Messiah on vocals over a laidback, broken beat driven groove with both jazzy and melodic keys, creating a mellow vibe. "Merriment of being" features Libby Jones over a smoothly humpin' groove that is added with smooth percussion and warm keys. "Grows and grows" features Cassio Ware over a driving groove that is added with moody keys in an acidic vein. The next three songs all featue Vanita on vocals: "Don't wanna be set free" features a funky bass along a bumpin groove and laminar keys while "Quietly" is on a more techy, Detroit-ish vein. "Testify" is an uplifting track with nicely floating groove and warm melodic keys.
Kosmik DJ "Spirit of luv" (CD-R)
An as of yet unsigned track with a really deep groove, driven by a deep rumbling bassline, that is topped with a great organ solo and laminar keys. The kind of sound that can only emerge out of the New York underground. The dub strips it down to the deep groove with its deeply rumbling bassline.
March 4, 2004
No regular "Pick of the Week" this time, instead we feature some tunes that we think will be big at the Winter Music Conference. More WMC Previews can be found here.
WMC Preview: Cerrone featuring Jocelyn Brown "Hooked on you" (Purple Music Records 12" Test Pressing)
Jamie Lewis comes up with a truly hot set of vocal and dub mixes of this Cerrone classic that features the legendary Jocelyn Brown on vocals. The smooth and deeply bumpin' groove that is added with wicked keys, jazzy piano and a classic, disco-ish arrangement are the perfect playground for Jocelyn Brown who adds her magic voice to the song. Sure to be in the box of many DJs around the world for the coming months.
WMC Preview: Ralf Gum & Inaya Day "What I like" (GoGo Music Records 12" Test Pressing)
For his latest release, Ralf Gum and CrisP have choosen vocalist Inaya Day, known from many club anthems. On "What I like", Ralf Gum supplies the unmistakable drums and his production skills while CrisP brings in the live instrumentation and harmonic work. Their mixes are very uplifting, with a warm and melodic feeling. Sugar Beat turn the song into a more loungey affair that is very groovy, spreading a laidback vibe. 2 Soundz aka Klasarius and Ralf-e, provide a bass driven, almost minimalistic dub which stripps down the vocals.
WMC Preview: Moses McClean featuring Roger Black "Let's be free" (Phuture Sole Records CD Promo)
Right in time for the WMC, Phuture Sole have this gorgeous production by Mitch Moses & Vince McClean that features Roger Black who delivers a wonderful vocal performance. The original mix is based around a stompin' beat where Roger's voice rides along the warm keys and piano. Kenny Carvajal smoothes things up on his mix with added percussions and guitar, creating a more laidback and relaxing vibe.The 'Don Kasino Mix' sees Mitch Moses & Vince McCelan giving the song a more underground vibe with darker beats and acidic keys.
February 29, 2004
Steal Vybe "Dance 4 Life EP" (Steal Vybe Music Records 12" Promo)
Chris 'Cee Rule' Forman & Damon 'Mr. Dizzy Fingers' Bennett open up their own label with an absolutely fantastic four track EP that will blow away the minds of every person that is into soulful dance grooves. "A new beginning" is an instrumental track with wicked jazzy keys over a laidback, percussion led groove. "Climb" features both melodic and spheric keys over a smoothly bumpin' groove, together with Chris Forman providing the vocals. On "After hours", Stephanie Renee is the featured vocalist, together with add-libs from Chris Dockins added and a marvellous jazzy flute by Damon Bennett. This song is pure soulful heaven, featuring a sweet and sexy vocal performance by Stephanie Renee over the smooth groove. "Sueno" again features the vocal talents of Stephanie Renee, this time over a rougher beat that is added with jazzy keys and lovely guitars. The keys, guitars and Stephanie Renee's vocals create an irresistible vibe.
February 22, 2004
Exclusive Preview: Norma Jean Wright "Lift me up" (Look-At-You Records CD-R)
The next release on Look-At-You Records will feature Norma Jean Wright, singer from the legendary 70's supergroup Chic. It will be released on two separate 12" in late march, featuring three mixes by the Pound Boys and Brett Johnson each. Here we've got the 'Pound Boys Vocal Mix' which features Norma Jean's uplifting vocal performance over a stompin' and fierce groove that is added with jazzy keys and a marvellous saxophone solo. It is a powerful piece of music which spreads an uplifting vibe.
February 15, 2004
Mary J Blige "Ultimate relationship" (House Remix)(Bootlegg 12")
Mary J Blige gets once more a soulful house reworking of one of her beautiful songs. This time, it is "Ultimate relationship", taken from ther recent longplayer "Love & life". We don't know who is behind it, but whoever it might be did a great job. Based around Mary's sweet and sexy vocals is a deeply storming beat added with warm and melodic keys, creating an irresistible groove that keeps the vibe of the original (that is on an accoustic tip) alive.
February 8, 2004
TJM "I don't need no music" (Philly Groove Records 12" Promo)
Originally out in 1979 on Casablanca Records as b-side to "Put yourself in my place", this Tom Moulton produced philly classic is back with UKs 70's guru Joey Negro coming up with an uplifting, vibe filled edit that features additional percussive elements added to the kicking live drums of the original, making this an hands in the air anthem for the weeks to come. As the b-side serves up the original instrumental and Joey Negro's lunar beats, this is a perfect return for philly disco to the dancefloors.
February 1, 2004
Pushim "Like a sunshime, my memory" (Sony Japan Records CD)
This is another one of those beautiful productions coming out of Japan that is very hard to get hold of when you live outside of Japan. The original is on a dancehall tip with a Santana like live guitar and melodic keys. D.O.I. come up with a dub version of the original giving the drums more place to grow. 'Little' Louie Vega takes the song to the dancefloor with a completely new interpretation of the original that brings out the beauty of the vocals. Lots of live instruments including a jazzy flute, percussion and jazzy keys create an irresistible vibe.
January 25, 2004
Roy Ayers "Sugar" (Joey Negro Remix)(BBE Records 12" Promo)
BBE Records will soon release "Virgin ubiquity" which will feature unreleased Roy Ayers recordings from the period of 1976 to 1981. "Sugar" is one of this treasures that has been remixed by Joey Negro in a fantastic way keeping the jazz-funk vibe of the original alive while giving it a definite club appeal. The live instrumentation consisting of bass, conga, tenor sax, trumpet, guitar and xylophone creates a true live vibe that is underpinned with Joey Negro's fierce groove. Roy Ayers and Carla Vaughn provide the sweet and soulful vocals. A timeless piece of music.
January 18, 2004
Simon Grey featuring Abby Joyce "Prophecy" (Purple Music Records 12" Test Pressing)
Purple Music kick off 2004 very, very strong with this bomb produced by Simon Grey. "Prophecy" is a marvellously instrumentated production featuring the powerful yet truly soulful vocal talents of Abby Joyce who gives it that little extra with his performance. Funky bassline, both melodic and jazzy keys and smooth percussion together with an irresistible fierce groove make this an absolute winner on the soulful orientated dancefloors. Watch out for the jazz-funky breakdown that will take you to heaven. Both vocal and instrumental versions are included on this not to be missed 12".
January 11, 2004
The Moves "If you leave now" (Parts 1 + 2)(Central Park Records 2x12" Promo)
The label that brought us those wonderful Tortured Soul releases is back with another sweet and soulful treat for your ears. "If you leave now" is produced by Jason Kriveloff (bass player and co-writer/producer for Tortured Soul) and Lou Teti. They present a smooth and nicely floating production with Jason providing the vocals to it. The song is a soulful gem with warm keys and melodic harmonies. Alix Alvarez is responsible for the remixes and gives the song a full and powerful vibe that yet is very soulful.