Picks of the Week

Raw Artistic Soul "What about love" (GoGo Music Records CD Promo)

 Image After releasing two oustanding EPs, the debut album from percussionist, producer and remixer Phil Kullmann and his fourteen singers and musicians strong Raw Artistic Soul collective is here. It covers contemporary grooves from all over the world, combining sounds from various cultures including spanish, yoruban, shona, bemba and english. The album continues what the EPs started by bringing you lush percussive rhythms, beautiful voices and warm music soundscapes.

Phil Kullmann shows his versatility on this longplayer, with new elements and influences to be discovered on each song, letting his Raw Artistic Soul Collective express their musical skills and the love for music. Words can't really describe what a treat this is, but simply said with this album you've got a masterpiece in your hand.

Watch out for the third EP coming soon including "Felipes dubstyle" and S.U.M.O. remixes of the title track "What about love".

Stephanie Mills "Free" (Louie Vega Mixes)(Expansion Records 12" Promo)

These Louie Vega mixes of "Free" are simply outstanding with the irresistible vibe they are spreading, featuring the incomparable voice of Stephanie Mills and a wonderful instrumentation including sweet percussion, lovely strings and guitar together with wicked keys. And with great and versatile set of mixes included (vocal, acapella, instrumental, dub), two copies are needed for mixing them back to back. Essential tune, one not to be missed.


More Reviews

Instant House "Awade" (The Lost Dance Tracks Takes)(ReRa Records 12")

"Awade" was originally relased back in 1993 and was a the second huge club hit for Instant House (the first one was "Over" back then. The original release on Jungle Sounds Records is hard to find right now. This limited 12" release features two 'lost' versions that showcase perfect the raw and percussive vibe of this track.

Franck Roger "Right make it right" / "Olinga" (RealTone Records 12")

"Right make it right" is a yearning soulful garage production featuring vocalist Mani Hoffmann. Franck Roger's original version comes with a funky bassline, tight afro percussion and melodic keys, creating a warm feeling. Osunlade gives it a smoothed down, very soulful outfit, featuring sweet percussion and a deeper bassline. "Olinga" is a wonderful jazzy latin house instrumental with laminar keys and a jazzy piano, creating a laidback feeling.

Dazzle Drums "Out of the cage" (Birdland Mix)(NiteGrooves Records 12")

South african producer Kei Sugano returns with a unique two tracker of soulful electronic house music. "Out of the cage" features tribal-ish drums, topped by  moody and synth-heavy melodies. The 'Birdland Mix' is on a spaced-out tip, wth a touch of an ambient edge, whle the 'Skyblue Mix' on the flipside has a more minimal vibe, using dubby Detroit-styled keys riding over hypnotic percussion and dstinctive riffs.

Nadirah Shakoor "Just a breath away" (Yoruba Records 12")

Through his Yoruba imprint, Osunlade serves a great production featuring former Arrested Development member Nadirah Shakoor on vocals. The original combines a deeply storming groove with spheric keys and jazzy elements, while the 'Hi-Perspective Mix' gives it a different outfit featuring a broken beat styled bumpin' groove and jazzy-funky instrumentation. The 'Soulful Dub' keeps the jazzy and funky flava and underlays them with a deep house groove. Franck Roger provides a smoothly stompin', percussion driven reworking with melodic keys on top.

Mateo & Matos "Lots in thought EP" (Large Records 12")

Eddie Matos and John Mateo once more unleash an EP featuring great tracks that will move the dancefloors. "Comin' your way" features an electro bassline and techy keys together with a smoothly bumpin' tribal groove, added with dubby vocal samples. "Something I wanna say" is a dubby groove with a funky edge, having a Chicago feel to it, while "Lost in thought" is a techy afterhours cut.

Steal Vybe featuring Rich Medina "Spiritual life" (Quentin Harris Remix)(SpaceKat Records 12")

The already magical "Spiritual life" by Steal Vybe and Rich Medina has been given the remix treatment by Quentin Harris, who gives this spoken word track an irresistible feeling based on a driving groove based on deeply stompin' beats, that serves as playground for the keys, jazzy piano and spoken words. These mixes simply take the song to another level.

Trina Broussard "Joy" (Quentin Harris Remix)(Restricted Access Records 12")

"Joy" by Trina Broussard is the latest of Quentin Harris' remixes that are legally suspect. He uses his trademark formula to create a great piece of New York garage soul that features an electro bassline, strings, sweet melodies and welcome twists and turns.

Mikiel "Say it ain't so" (Slaag Records 12")

"Sait it ain't so" is the first releasae for Mikiel who worked as background singer in various New York clubs. Produced by E-Wonder, this production features dark chords and laminar keys together with Mikiel's voice over a deeply stormin' groove with smoothly stomping beat.

Groove Junkies featuring Diane Carter "Feels like home" (MoreHouse Records CD Promo)

After the massive success with "Music's gotcha' jumpin'", Groove Junkies are ready to drop the next bomb titled "Feels like home" featuring a powerful vocal performance from Diane Carter that is full of passion. The 'GJ Classic Mix' is full of soulful moments and is based on a smoothly stompin' groove that comes with a deeply funkin' bassline and is topped by a lovely instrumentation including guitar, jazzy keys and strings. The 'GJ Soul Excursion Dub' is firing things up with an even funkier and tougher groove, coming with extra keys and a wicked guitar riff that create an irresistible vibe perfect for peaktime play.

Various "Jamsteady Vol. 8" (12" Test Pressing)

Here we have Osunlade taking care of "Emotional rollercoaster" by Vivian Green and serving a wonderful version for the soulful heads that makes full use of the marvellous vocal performance by Vivian Green. He underlays the sexy vocals with a smoothly bumpin' groove with sweet percussion and wicked keys, creating a laidback vibe.

India Arie "Nature" (PJR & BW Remix)(CD-R)
Usher "Yeah" (PJR & BW Remix)(CD-R)

You might remember PJR & BW from their lovely reworking of the "Law & Order Theme" presented at last years Winter Music Conference,  now they are back with two phat reworkings. First is "Nature" by India Arie that keeps the acoustic vibe of the original and combines it with a smooth percussion loaded groove. Second is "Yeah" by Usher featuring Lil John & Ludacris, coming with a percussivley bumpin' groove and warm keys.

R Kelly "Love street" (Harness & Spencer Remix)(CD-R)

David Harness and Charles Spencer have teamed up a couple of times already, with "Love street" by R Kelly being one of those collaborations. The song has been given a respectul reworking for the dancefloors by keeping the soulful and laidback of the original alive, with a thumpin' beat added to create a driving four-to-the-floor feeling.

David Harness "Moments in Harness" (CD-R)

It has taken some time until the Art of Noise classic "Moments in love" gets a reworking for the dancefloor. None other than David Harness is responsible for it, and he preserves all the memorable elements from the original and combines them with fierce percussion and sharp beats.

Various "Go!" (GoGo Music Records CD)

GoGo Music has been founded in 2001 by Ralf Gum and has released a dozen singles since then, with the next release just a couple of weeks ahead. "Go!" is a compilation selected and mixed by Ralf Gum in order to present what kind of music he's into as well as the labels philosophy of music. Featuring works from Ralf Gum himself, Raw Artistic Soul, Deep Bros, Seek, Roberto De Carlo and artists like Dawn Tallmann, Concha Buika, D'Layna and Inaya Day, "Go!" is a wonderful compilation of soulful house music brilliantly mixed.

Hanna Hais "Rosanova" (Atal Records 2xCD)

 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. If you missed this album first time around, you should not miss it this time, especially as it now comes as a double-CD featuring remixes and dubs that have been so far unavailable or only released on vinyl.

Classic Reviews

Instant House "Awade" (Jungle Sounds Records 12", 1992)

"Awade" is a classic, raw percussion driven track produced by Joe Claussell, Tony Confusione and Stan Hatzakis.