Picks of the Week

Bobby D "Optimistic" (SoulFuric Records CD Promo)

There are songs that will always be in our heads, no matter how old they are. "Optimistic" by Sounds of Blackness is one of these songs, dating back to 1991 when Gary Hines, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis unleashed this bomb. Three years ago, Bobby D'Ambrosio released a cover version of it on Definity Records, and now he unleashes an updated version of this timeless song once more featuring wonderfully performed vocals. His original version is a mellow and laidback affair with jazzy vibes, while Frankie C goes for an equally smooth funk-tinged interpretation that is somewhat reminiscent of the Sounds of Blackness original. Together with Brian Tappert, Bobby D'Ambrosio delivers a fierce reworking that keeps the soulful flavors while spicing it up for the dancefloors. Shik Stylko replaces the jazzy piano line with electrofied keys that get to full effect on his dub mix while on the club mix they emphasise the vocals. Lastly there is the stompin' 'Deliguori Dub Mix' that is driven by a wicked piano line.

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Miquifaye & Cafe Soul All Stars feat Mariana Rangel "Body music" (You Global Entertainment Records 2x12")

Anthony Nicholson uner his Miquifaye moniker serves the dancefloors with the lush "Body music". The 'Main Mix' is on a deep tip, featuring the trademark organic vibes of Anthony Nicholson. The 'Ambient Body Reprise' is a downtempo chill affair, while the 'Body Drumz' version is more beat infused. The 'Cafe Soul All Stars Re-Rub' features a full vocal courtesy of Mariana Rangel and various musicians such as Roy Ayers and Duke Jones, featuring a funky latin vibe. As a bonus, "Pier 69" from last years Cafe Soul All Stars longplayer "Love pages" is included.
 

Rita Quintero "Quiero saber" (DeepHaven Music Records CD Promo)

James Rivera & Christian Perez aka Blvd East are behind this fantastic production that features lyrics performed by Rita Quintero. Their version of the song is a deep and laidback affair with a beautiful instrumentation including marvellous keyboard play, lovely guitar and mellow beats, while Rita Quintero delivers a sensual and sensitive vocal performance. The 'Sterling' mixes fire things up with a smooth yet deeply rumblin' tribal groove serving as base for the vocals and warm melodic keys which give it an orchestral touch.
 

Edmon "O que vai ser" (You Global Entertainment Records 2x12")

"O qui ser vai" is sung in purtuguese by Edmon and is actually a cover of the Brian McKnight classic "What's it gonna be" that comes here enriched with spoken words by Nichelle Holiday and a lovley guitar. The double 12" features a great selection of mixes, with the Blaze mixes being very organic while Anderson Soares gives the song a laidback feeling on his take that features wonderful keys. Also included on this release is the beautiful original version.
 

Greg Kozo & Freakfaze featuring Karl The Voice "Dandy dancer" (Place Blanche Records CD Promo)

After their previous scuccess, Greg Kozo and Freakfaze team up once more to deliver "Dandy dancer" which features Karl the Voice on vocal duties, a track that nicely combines a funky house groove with electronic elements such as the keys, with Karl the Voice providing a passionate vocal. Rachel Claudio & Nicolas Vautier provide a bass-heavy broken beat version with jazzy keys, while Richard Earnshaw turns the track into an irresistible peak time stormer with great keys over a stompin' groove. Lastly there is Dom Navarra's reworking that takes the track to sweeter grounds with warm melodic vibes over deeply rumblin' beats, creating a laidback mood.
 

Fuzion featuring Wallace Gary "U (U got me)" (Blvd East Remixes)(Fuzion Records 12")

Blvd East (aka Chris Perez & James Rivera) deliver a hot remix package of the soulful masterpiece that features a passionate vocal performance by Garry Wallace. Their interpretations feature both wonderful keys and organ that harmonise beautifully with the vocals, with a fiercely stormin' percussion enhanced groove serving as base. You can choose between two equally great vocal versions and bonus beats. Digital downloads available at Dancetracks Digital and Traxsource.
 

The Layabouts featuring Siam "Alright" (ReelHouse Records CD Promo)

Leigh, Alex and Ben aka The Layabouts deliver a feel good anthem here titled "Alright" featuring singer Siam who delivers an uplifting vocal performance over a smoothly stompin' backing groove that is enriched with a lvoely guitar, deep bassline and warm melodic keys. The pumped up dub is the choice for bigger rooms, creating a hypnotic feeling with the wicked percussion elements and irressistible synth lines and hooks.
 

Hot Hands presents Karyna "Cuando me miras" (Ospina Digital Records 12")

"Cuando me miras" features a passionate vocal performance by Karyna, being a thumpin' latin house track with a tribalish edge on Davidson Ospina & Osca Poche's 'Main Club' that features a wicked piano hook, while their 'Deep Mix' is given a more releaxed vibe. DJ Meme provides a beautiful reworking that comes complete with horns and additional percussion that give the track a latin outfit with an orchestral  touch.
 

DJ Fudge "Mechouga" (SoulFuric Trax Records CD Promo)

DJ Fudge, one half of hot duo Afromento, delivers a stunning track that offers the same energy and resistlessness as his prior releases thanks to incredible synth lines and driving beats used. His 'Reconstructed Mix' is a soulful take which builds off the original version, enhancing it with jazzy keys and funky bassline. DJ Spen & Karizma are responsible for the remixes, injecting the track with their trademark sound and laying down somewhat tougher grooves while stripping down the track to its essential elements and adding additional vocal snippets that enhance the irresistible feeling.
 

Hot Hands "Ogun" (Deep Bass Records 12")

The original verson of "Ogun" is a combination of a stormin' tribalish beat with old-school drums reminiscent of the early days ofhouse and latinesque percussion and keys. Davidson Ospina & Oscar Poche's remixes give the track a laidback feeling with sweet percussion and laminar keys placed over deep'n'smooth beats, while Enrico Mantini delivers a thumpin' interpretation with phat beats, lots of percussion and latin inspired keys.
 

Exclusive Review: MKDVJC vs Hardsoul "My twisted life" (ToT MashUp)(CD-R)

The original of "Twisted" by the trio of Master Kev, David 'Vibes' Tobon and John Crockett aka MKDVJC is not even released, The Other Timmy aka ToT already delivers a hot mash-up of the resistless dancefloor shaker with Hardsoul's current smash "My life" that beautifully combines the strings and piano of "My life" with the synth lines of "Twisted", with Ron Carroll's vocals giving it a soulful touch.
 

Latin Bash featuring Dame "Meu piano" (Born to Funk Remix)(Ospina Digital Records CD Promo)

Born to Funk deliver a slammin' reworking of the Davidson Ospina and DJ Meme written "Meu piano" that features vocals from mystery artist Dame, giving the track an irresistible latin-tinged and funk-flavored  feeling that is created by a funktified bassline, wicked keys and clever hooks.
 

Classic Reviews

Luther Vandross "Are you using me" (MAW Remixes)(Virgin Records 12" Promo, 1998)

Masters at Work taking on Luther Vandross and delivering some phat remixes that never got an official release. While the UK promo only had one mix, the US promo featured five mixes.

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