July 18, 2014

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Wankelmut and Emma Louise - My Head Is A Jungle (MK Remix)

German producer Wankelmut released this single featuring Australian singer Emma Louise last year and it went on to be a top 10 hit throughout much of Europe. It is a fun Dance/Pop track in its original version. There were additional remixes by MK which transformed this into a 90s handbag House anthem with plenty of happy piano elements. The remix is in MK's signature style with his distinct beats and trademark vocal cut ups. This takes the song to the next level. A radio edit of the remix is about to be released in the UK so this can do better the second time around as MK's sound has made a huge comeback in recent months.

-Pre-order the single here (iTunes)
-Listen to the original here (YouTube)
-Watch the MK remix video here (YouTube)

Grade: A

July 10, 2014

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VELO - Twink

VELO's new single is about this specific type of man that many find attractive. It is a beat-driven circuit track in its original version. David Lee Rotten's mix is a techy Electro House one, while Naked Highway's is more mainstream with some Electro elements. Wayne Numan's mix is the best of the bunch containing the right balance of melody, Electro elements, and drama.

-Watch the music video here (YouTube) NSFW
-Purchase the single here (iTunes)

Grade: A

July 7, 2014

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John LePage feat. Niki Haris - Not Enough

This is indeed a remake of the Melanie Williams song of the same name from the mid 90s which was remixed by Junior Vasquez and Love To Infinity. Niki Haris delivers a fantastic vocal performance. She remains true to the original, though she did put her own spin on some of the notes. The main version produced by John LePage and Brian Cua is in a similar vein as the classic Love To Infinity mix of the Melanie version. It's a modern take on handbag House. There are additional remixes by Julian Marsh, NovoGain, Peter Brown, and Tony Moran with Warren Rigg. Julian Marsh's happy Hi Nrg inflected House mix is uplifting and pretty. NovoGain's big room, peak hour mix is anthemic. The soft yet moderately anthemic Peter Brown mix has an Ibiza House feel. Tony Moran and Warren Rigg's mix is also for the big room and circuit floors. Theirs is uplifting as well. Overall, every remix is wonderful, however, the NovoGain and Moran & Rigg ones are the standouts.

-Listen to clips and purchase here (iTunes)

Grade: A

July 4, 2014

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Barry Harris - Toronto World Pride Set

Barry Harris, best known for his work with Chris Cox as Thunderpuss from 1997 until 2003. During their time together, they produced chart-topping remixes with their distinct tribal, big room sound with melodic elements for many heavyweights of the music industry including Amber, Britney Spears, Cher, Christina Aguilera, Donna Summer, Enrique Iglesias, Janet Jackson, Jennifer Holliday, Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, Shakira, Tamia, and Whitney Houston. Both Barry and Chris have continued to produce ever since they split in 2003.

Earlier this week, Barry released an extract of one of his live sets for Pride containing a number of brand new reworks and updates to some of the songs that him and Chris had remixed as Thunderpuss. Many of the new mixes contain elements from the original mixes they did, but they also contain contemporary sounds as well.

Part of or full tracks included in the set:
Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azaela - Problem
Barry Harris feat. Pepper MaShay - Dive Into The Pool
Barry Harris feat. Pepper MaShay - I Got My Pride
Britney Spears - I'm A Slave 4 U
Chad Jack - Gag On It
Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mya & P!nk - Lady Marmalade
Ed Sheeran - Sing
Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX - Fancy
Katy Perry - Birthday
Kon Kan - I Beg Your Pardon 2K14
LeAnn Rimes - Can't Fight The Moonlight
Madonna - Don't Tell Me
Madonna - GHV2 Megamix Part 2 ("Ray Of Light", "Deeper And Deeper", "Music")
Mary J. Blige - No More Drama
Queen - We Will Rock You
Simone Denny + Barry Harris - Drama Queen (Texting U)
Suzanne Palmer - Hide U
Tamia - Stranger In My House
Whitney Houston - It's Not Right But It's Okay

Listen and download here:

July 2, 2014

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Stonebridge & Crystal Waters - Be Kind

Two icons of the 90s club scene have united for this new single. This is everything one could expect from such a duo. The Dance/Pop production is clubby enough for the clubs and has the Pop sensibilities needed for a crossover, and of course, there are Crystal's always warm and inviting vocals delivering the amazing hook. There is a full package of remixes as well, and most of them are in a similar vein as the original, however, the S69 Classic mix is pure Disco bliss with the sax solo and uplifting keys and strings.

Listen to the original here (YouTube)

Grade: A
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Kiesza - Hideaway

This is the Canadian singer's debut single. It recently topped the UK singles chart and has quickly become a favorite all over the world. It has begun to get some buzz in the U.S. and is being sent for adds on CHR/Pop radio in July. It features a quirky uplifting vocal over a lush bassline driven handbag House instrumental. It could easily have been produced in the 90s and discovered just now, yet it's still very current. This is poised to be a worldwide smash.

-Watch the music video here (YouTube)

The song will be available for purchase in the U.S. on July 8.

Grade: A

June 18, 2014

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Aiden Jude - Tonight (NovoGain and 6KU Remixes)

This Electro/Trap vocal track has taken clubland by storm during these last few months. The main vocal sections of the song sung by Nafsica are the most identifiable parts and they lend themselves well to being adapted and remixed in other production styles. The definitive remixes for this song have been done by NovoGain & 6KU. The the hooky vocal takes center stage and is supported by a throbbing peak hour production. A DJ friendly radio edit and instrumentals are included as part of this package.

The original can be streamed and purchased here (Beatport)

Listen to the club mix here:

Grade: A

June 13, 2014

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Santana and Wyclef feat Avicii and Alexandre Pires - Dar um Jeito (We Will Find a Way)

To herald the arrival of the FIFA World Cup, several festive songs have become the anthems of the games. Other songs composed specifically for the World Cup by Pitbull & Jennifer Lopez with Claudia Leitte, Shakira, Ricky Martin, and Aloe Blacc have also become quite popular. This one by the legendary Carlos Santana with Wyclef Jean on lead vocals, production by Avicii and additional vocals by Alexandre Pires ends up being a rousing, tribal anthem that is sure to get people up on their feet and into the mood. It's a positive and universal song. There are a number of club mixes of the song, however, Cutmore's is the best as he stays close to the original making it a little dancier.

-Watch the lyric video here (YouTube)
-Purchase the song here (iTunes)

Grade: A

June 4, 2014

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Cherie Lily - Body (The Remixes, Part 2)

This is the second set of remixes for the sexy workout song. The Carry Nation, Dani Toro, Nick Bertossi, and Nick Harvey provide the new mixes. The Carry Nation delivers a bass heavy peak hour mix. Dani Toro's mix is tribal, but it has some cute 90s Handbag House elements. Nick Bertossi's mix is percussion driven with all sorts hard drums and buildups. Nick Harvey's main mix on this second package is different from the ones he did previously. It's harder. His Instradub is really hot too. Overall, every mix is great.

Listen to clips and buy the mixes here (Beatport)

Grade: A
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KAPTN - La La Land

This is the followup to "Ricky Ricardo" which got some buzz and moderate airplay last year. The new single is in a similar vein as prior singles, however, this one is based around a prominent sample from Green Velvet's international hit "La La Land." The new lyrics are a great match for the sampled ones. Coupled with the colorful music video, this one will easily be a viral hit and finally introduce KAPTN to the masses.

-Watch the music video here (YouTube)
-Download the song here (KAPTN's official site)

Grade: A-

May 27, 2014

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Thaea - Vox

This is the debut artist album from the modern Opera singer. This album provides a golden opportunity for the public to discover the versatility and power of Thaea's voice. She shines on every single song, delivering soaring operatic vocals on some songs and then singing traditionally on others. Produced by NovoGain, the productions have a modern yet timeless feel. The lyrics are thoughtful and relatable.

"Vox Occulta" serves as both an intro and the first song. The dramatic symphonic opening while Thaea vocalizes is stunning. Soon the uplifting big room Trance production comes in. "Dancefloor (Surrender To The Sound)" and "Dance Until I'm Free" are contemporary Dance/Pop confections. The former has operatic vocals. "Here As One" is another dark operatic cut. "On My Own" has a slight Rock feel. It could easily be an acoustic ballad. "This Is Your Chance" is a powerful uptempo. "Will Be True" is a gorgeous midtempo Pop track with a slight Dance element. "I Feel It All Over" and "Good Enough" are the only true non-Dance songs on the album. The latter is structured like a dramatic power ballad with lots of strings. The album closes with two remixes by NovoGain. The remix of "Dancefloor" is a longer take on the album version. It feels a bit harder. The "Dance Until I'm Free" remix is also in a similar vein. Overall, this is an incredible album with every track being single-worthy.

Listen to the album here:

Grade: A

May 22, 2014

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Mariah Carey - Me. I Am Mariah... The Elusive Chanteuse

This is the 14th studio album from the legendary singer-songwriter. After numerous delays and changed release dates, the album will be released on May 26. The album is one of her most introspective since her Daydream and Butterfly albums released in 1995 and 1997. Those gave fans a window into the her troubled first marriage and her emotional state. This album also shows signs that all is not well with her current marriage, as illustrated on a number of the songs. While some of the songs are open for interpretation and could be hypothetical, but given how involved Mariah is with the writing of her songs, it's safe to assume that these songs could be at lease semi-autobiographical.

The album begins with the midtempo ballads "Cry" and "Faded" which seem to hint at potential trouble in her marriage. Things pick up with "Dedicated" which features Nas and "Beautiful" which features Miguel. "Dedicated" is a delightful throwback to late 90s Mariah. "Thirsty" is a campy Hip Hop club banger that is sure to be a fan favorite with all of its quotable lines. "Make It Look Good" and "You're Mine (Eternal)" also recall 90s Mariah. "You Don't Know What To Do" is a stunning, groovyy Disco/R&B cut which samples the underground classic "I'm Caught Up (In A One Night Love Affair)" by Inner Life & Jocelyn Brown. This is a borderline Disco/House track. It's the closest Mariah has come to Dance music since 2008's "I'm That Chick", and her own remixes. "Supernatural" is a sweet track with additional vocals by Mariah and Nick's adorable children. Things go Disco for one more song in the form of "Meteorite" which is an interesting critique on fame. It could be argued that this song is about American Idol. "Camouflage" is a dark song about hiding how one really feels. This could be seen as a companion to "Looking In" (from Daydream). "Money" is another ratchet uptempo. Things close on an almost church-like note with her cover of George Michael's "One More Try" and the rousing "Heavenly".

Overall, this album is her strongest since her comeback album The Emancipation Of Mimi. It is a cohesive collection of songs covering a variety of styles and sounds dating all the way back to her debut. Mariah's voice sounds stronger and fuller than it did on her last two albums. The songwriting is mature and deeply personal. There are no surprising disasters or missteps with this one.

Purchase the album here (iTunes)

Grade: A

May 14, 2014

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Jei - Jei (The Album)

The long-awaited album was released late last month. The tight 8 track set covers a wide variety of sounds and styles though one could call it mostly Deep House. The album opens with the minimal "Brave Myself". The long, sinewy intro leading into the vocals sets the tone and mood. The big room meets Deep House production of  "Paradise" is divine. Things slow down for a break with the moderately downtempo "I'm Ready." The Dubstep-influenced "Remember" has a fun 80s feel though it sounds current too. "Wishing" is dramatic and haunting power ballad. "Feel It" is a sexy tribal, deep cut with lush pianos. "Always Behind" is another great track with it's mid 90s Twilo sound. The album ends with an uptempo tribal remix of "Paradise". Overall, every one of the songs is single-worthy. Jei's vocals are enchanting. The album arrives just in time for the warm Summer months.

Purchase the album here (iTunes)

Grade: A

May 8, 2014

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Placidic Dream feat Tascha Johnson - I'm In Love

Soulful House music has been making a huge comeback during the last year. This new release is yet another one in that style. It features the warm vocals of Tascha Johnson. The main version is straight out of the Def Mix era. The additional mixes by Earl TuTu with John Kahn, Sandro Valentino, and Fry with Chizo all maintain the soulful elements of the original, however, each one adds a little something making it suitable for different types of dancefloors. Earl TuTu with John Kahn's mix is close to the original but a little meatier. Sandro Valentino's is more peak hour, but still on the lighter side. Fry with Chizo's mix is also peak hour-oriented. All 4 mixes are amazing.

Listen to clips and purchase here:

Grade: A

May 2, 2014

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Michael Jackson - Love Never Felt So Good

This is the lead single from the King Of Pop's second posthumous album entitled Xscape. The original song was  apparently written and recorded nearly 30 years back with Paul Anka but remained unreleased until now. A new version was produced specifically for the album. Despite having been updated, the song has a distinct sound characteristic of what Michael was doing around that time. An alternate remix version with additional vocals by Justin Timberlake, produced by Timbaland has also been released. The production on the remix is different. Justin's vocals do complement Michael's, however, there is an unfortunate noticeable difference in the sound quality that is distracting.

  • Purchase the original here (iTunes)
  • Purchase the remix here (iTunes)

Grade: B+
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