Picks of the Week

Jessica Williams "Faith, friendship & love" (Paradax Records CD Promo)

Paradax Records is one of those small labels that can do no wrong, each and every one of their releases is dope. Their latest offering "Faith, friendship & love" features  the soulful voice of Jessica Williams and continues this tradition. The 'Main Mix' by Aaron Arce is driven by an ultra funky bassline and features laminar keys together with sweet percussion, creating a funky house jam. Soulato take the track really deep on their dub, adding a wicked organ line to it. Lars Behrenroth provices both a vocal and dub, giving it a slight techy edge but always keeping it soulful. For an eletrofied interpretation, check the Frankie Medina remix, while Teddy Q's reworking is a funktified, percussive groover. The last mix is courtesy of Artie G. Dorian who delivers a stormin' affair with wicked keys. An oustanding package that should not be missed!

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Stephanie Cooke "Lovers' holiday" (WestEnd Records 12")

Stephanie Cooke wrote this wonderful song that is lifted from her upcoming longplayer debut for WestEnd Records. The production is courtesy of Blaze who take a sidestep from their signature sound as it has a mellow latin house vibe to it, featuring bossa and carribean elements, all packed into a laidback midtempo groover with Stephanie Cooke sweet and soulful vocal performance sitting on top.

Cassio Ware, Chip E & The O.G.'s "I wanna see you freak (like dis)" (Remix)(DopeWax Records 12")

Last years "I wanna see you freak (like dis)" by Cassio Ware gets a new life with brand new mixes by Kenny Dope who licensed it for his DopeWax label. The track features vocal samples from the legendary Chip E classic "Like this" that are placed against the bassline from the ESG classic "Moody" and wicked synth lines, with the result being an underground old-school styled house anthem.

Manoo & Francois A "Traffic EP" (Buzzin' Fly Records 12" Promo)

Manoo & Francois A, the underground dons from Lyon in France, follow their much acclaimed "6 in the morning" / "A new life" two-sider with the "Traffic EP" that is bringing to you two raw deep house tracks. The title track "Traffic" is spreading a hypnotic vibe through its syncopated stabs, having an orchestral-ish arrangement to it. On the flipside is "The deep", a groovy track based on an extremly thick bassline and featuring a moody electric piano to create an irresistible feeling.

Runner Up: Jay 'Sinister' Sealee presents Vik Brooks "I just wanna be" (Ralf Gum Remixes Part 1 + 2)(ATAL Records CD Promo)

Last years massive "I just wanna be" is back with slammin' new mixes by Ralf Gum & Cris P, to be released over two separate 12". Ralf Gum & Cris P deliver a set of hot reworkings that are based on fierce beats and a funky bassline, topped with sweet percussion and wicked keys, not to forget to mention the stunning vocal by Vik Brooks. While the 'GoGo Music Vocal' is a very harmonic and melodic affair, the various included dub versions focus on creating an irresistible feeling on the dancefloors, something they achieve with ease.

Juke Joint "Baby don't cry " (Charles Dockins Remixes)(Look-At-You Records CD Promo)

Originally released in december 2004, Juke Joint's "Baby don't cry" which features the vocal talents of Earl Bennett, is back with brand new mixes from Charles Dockins. These new mixes give the track a unique sounding with a jazzy edge, featuring a lovely guitar over a smoothly stormin' backin track that comes complete with a heavily rumblin' bassline. The mixes available include vocal and dub versions as well as the 'Loop Science Mix' featuring cool effects.

Geoffrey Williams "Somewhere on a beach" (Oyster Music Records 12" Promo)

Geoffrey Williams is a songwriter, producer and vocalist (amongst others, he was responsible for writing "Days like this" for Shaun Escoffery). He returns to the scene with "Somewhere on a beach", a dreamy summer track in its original form. Phil Asher is responsible for the remixes that feature cool rhodes from Mark de Clive-Love and guitar licks from Chris Franck over a smoothly bumpin groove, creating a laidback vibe.

Staci "Trouble" (Slaag Records 12")

The Lefunken team of Duron 'Dipp' Tarik & Tyrone Payton is back with a phat production, following up Staci's hit release "Games". "Trouble" is a thumpin' garage production, featuring a wonderful vocal performance by Staci and a wicked organ together with melodic keys. The 'Groove Daddy Variation' on the flip replaces the organ with electronic keys, creating a groovily bouncin' underground affair.

Runner Up: Groove Junkies featuring Kathy Talbot "Catch your shine" (MoreHouse Records CD Promo)

After dropping the bomb "Feels like home" at this years Winter Music Conference, the Groove Junkies present the follow up "Catch your shine" featuring vocalist Kathy Talbot. "Catch your shine" is an uplifting production featuring a passionate yet soulful vocal performance together with jazzy horns and harmonic keys over a fiercely stompin' funktified groove, with the mixes offering some great breakdowns and buildups. For an intensified affair, check the 'Soul Excursion Dub' that is adding some extra pepper to create an irresistible feeling, making it perfect for peaktime play.

Ultra Nate & DJ Spen presents Jada "If you should ever be lonely" (Code Red Records CD Promo)

Jada has been featured as vocalist on a couple of MuthaFunkaz produced releases (including "Rock the bells"), she now gets a release on her own. Produced by DJ Spen & the MuthaFunkaz, "If you should ever be lonely" is an uplifting production based on a deeply stompin' groove that is enriched with jazzy melodic keys and a lovely guitar, with Jada providing a sensual vocal performance. The dub version toughens things up, replacing the keys and only using the chorus from the vocals.

Various "Code Red EP" (Defected Records 12")

Defected Records licensed some goodies from Baltimore based Code Red Records that are produced by DJ Spen and Karizma. The EP is kicked off by "Arabian nightmare" by KW Griff, a track featuring flavors from eastern music together with old school Detroit-ish string stabs over a bumpin' backing track in true DJ Spen style. The flip features the massive "4 the love" by DJ Karizma with DJ Spen on vocals, together with "Gabryelle vs 4 the love", combining DJ Spen's speech from "4 the love" with the music of "Gabryelle" by DJ Technic.

Bongoloverz featuring Ursula Cuesta "La esperanza" (SoulFuric Trax Records CD Promo)

Hot on the heels of "The power of music", their successfull debut for SoulFuric, the Bongoloverz return with "La esperanza (hope and faith)" featuirng latin artist Ursula Cuesta who provides a sultry, sexy vocal performance. The original version is driven by a wicked latinesque piano line that is laid over a percussion loaded groove, while the 'Guitarra Dub' features a flamengo style guitar and vocal snippets, while stripping the piano line. Inlcuded as a bonus is the accapella.

Classic Reviews

Cajmere featuring Dajae "Brighter days" (Cajaul Records 12"/2x12", 1992)

A timeless classic produced by Cajmere, featuring Dajae on vocals. The double-pack features remixes by Louie Vega, Todd Terry and Darryl James.

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