Picks of the Week

Jonny Montana presents Claude Bain "Seasons" (Camio Records CD Promo)

On "Seasons", Jonny Montana teams up with Toronto soul singer Claude Bain to present a magnificent production full of soul. The mid tempo original is a soul-funk tinged, laidback affair on an old-school tip that is beautifully instrumentated, with a lovely guitar, sweet synths and great jazzy keys and sax accompanying the passionate vocals by Claude Bain. The Dolls Combers up the tempo for a funkier affair that keeps things soulful while giving the track a lovely retro touch. Melchyor A combines the main parts of the original with one of his relentless funk soaked grooves, while Soulchild goes deeper on his percussion loaded interpretation.

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From the Vault: Various "AM:PM WMC 98 Sampler" (AM:PM Records 2x12" Promo)

As you could read earlier this week in my Blog, I recently got remembered of this 2x12" promo which includes a rather rare Heller & Farley remix of Ann Nesby's "Witness" clocking in at 14 minutes. A true gem - not to say an anthem, a masterpiece.

Review March 29, 1998: The Winter Music Conference '98 is over only for a few days now, and AM:PM is presenting an awesome sampler of their upcoming releases. It kicks off with the Soul Solution produced Reel Soul featuring Carolyn Harding "Let it rain", a sure club hit. It is followed by Joey Negro featuring Carolyn Harding "Movin' on", mixed by Joey Negro himself in UK style. This is followed by Soul Station "One good reason" remixed by K-Klass, and it's a commercial progressive UK house remix. Debbie Pender "Movin' on" remixed by Full Intention is next. This song has been picked up from Azuli Records and will get more remixes before it gets released. Also featured is Ladysmith Black Mambazo which has already been promoted on 12" (see 12" reviews for details). The winner cuts are an unreleased mix of Voices of Life "The word is love" by Steve 'Silk' Hurley which is the so long missed instrumental version. The package closes with the 'Roachin Da Bassbin Mix' of Ann Nesby's "Witness". This mix is courtesy of Pete Heller & Terry Farley in their trademark dramatic house style.

Wil Milton "Taina's dream" (Blak Ink Records CD Promo)

With "Taina's dream" taken from his forthcoming album "Just chillin'", Wil Milton presents something a little bit different from his recent releases. The album version is a beautiful mellow production on a laidback chill-out tip, featuring lovely melodic chords, sweet guitars and a jazzy muted trumpet. The 'ChillOut Mix' slightly intensifies the vibe by strengthening the groove, while the 'Gravity NYC Mix' takes the track to the dance floors with a smoothly thumpin' groove. The 'Gravity NYC Stripped Down Mix' gets rid of the chords to give the track a deeper touch, while the 'Harp Mix' is all about the beats and a cool harp hook to create a hypnotic feel. Also included is a beats version.

Yotam Avni featuring Harold Brandon "Sign it away" (Consortium Muzik Records CD Promo)

Yotam Avni teams up with vocalist Harold Brandon to present the beautiful "Sign it away", a deep production on a laidback tip featuring a touching vocal courtesy of Harold Brandon alongside warm chords over a moody backing. The 'Groovilicious Mix' keeps the vibe deep while intensifying the beats and drums for a groovier feel, also coming your way as a hypnotic dub. Monte Carlo Method contribute a wonderful deep melodic, retro flavored version to the package with an orchestral edge to it, while Abicah Soul serves one of his trademark deep reworkings. Lastly we see Andy Tamashi going for an atmospheric vibe on his deeper than deep take.

Exclusive Preview: Eddie Nicholas "Wishin'" (CD-R)

Eddie Nicholas was so kind to send us an unreleased production from his catalog. "Wishin'" is mixed by Mark Thompson (you might remember his name from classics such as Adeva's "In and out of my life" or Gary L's "Time to party" from the late 80's) and brings the deep and ruff underground vibes from the early days of house back to the dance floor with its bubblin' groove and  the lush synths that together with Eddie Nicholas emotional vocals create a captivating feel.

Exclusive Preview: Natty "July" (Masterbuilders Remix)(CD-R)

Natty's "July" (taken from his album "Man like I") is a pop-reggae song in its original version that has been given a wicked makeover by the Masterbuilders who take the song straight to the soulful dance floors by using a deep and funktified yet chunky and dirty groove as playground for the Natty's sweet vocals and phat keys that altogether create a cool summery vibe.

Various "August 2008 Sampler" (D#Sharp Records CD Promo)

D#Sharp Records heat up the summer with a couple of slammin' releases to drop in the next few weeks. "Whats your freedom" by Joe Flame is a deep resistless floor banger featuring wicked synths and lyrics courtesy of songwriter and poet Mercades over a deeply rumblin' groove. Dani follows up the successful releases of "You make my day" and "Unconditional" with the "Reload" EP featuring a selection of deep underground tracks that feature her unique spoken word style. Next is "Lifted" by Joe Flame, a deep and spiritual production coming your way in a variety of flavors from soulful to deep to peak time. Lastly there is "Does your wife now" by Asia Lynn released earlier this year, now reworked by the mighty Geoffrey C who takes the track to way deeper grounds who uses a deeply thumpin' groove and wicked chords to create a mesmerizing vibe.

Kenny Thomas "Keep the fires burning" (DJ Meme Remix)(Soul Fi Records CD Promo)

Last years massive "Keep the fires burning" by , the debut release for Soul Fi Records, gets a welcome makeover by Brazil's DJ Meme that is guaranteed to take over dance floors by storm. DJ Meme takes Kenny Thomas' cover of the legendary Gwen McCrae classic to new heights by combining the sultry vocals with an irresistible disco-house flavored orchestration that includes classy strings and a beautiful piano over a fiercely stormin', disco-funk soaked groove. The reprise version is simply wonderful, being all about the vocals, strings and piano.