August 27, 2014

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Tony Moran & Deep Influence feat. Jason Walker - Ball Of Confusion

This was previewed several weeks back and it was quietly released yesterday. This song is indeed a partial cover of the classic by The Temptations. Jason Walker puts his own spin on it with his signature falsetto style. He sounds fantastic. The peak hour production by Tony Moran and Deep Influence is fierce and uplifting. The song works best in its longer form with the additional vocals whereas the radio edit just feels like it's over too soon. The dub is basically the instrumental of the longer version with a handful of vocals. The beatapella is just the vocals and the drums. This is a strong release overall.

Purchase the single here (iTunes)

Grade: A

August 18, 2014

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Amy Grant - In Motion (The Remixes)

The Christian/Pop artist's highly anticipated remix album was released today. It was announced late last year that this was in the works. A handful of some of her biggest hits were selected for this collection and they were remixed by an A-list team of remixers. Every remix is produced in an uplifting style that maintains the emotional and spiritual message of the original songs. Some of the songs will take some getting used to with the club-oriented productions. This is another rare case where every remix is well-produced and suits the songs. The remixes of "Say Once More", "You're Not Alone", "Better Than A Hallelujah", and "Stay For Awhile" (both of them) are outstanding, though every remix is excellent. The only downside of this collection is that 90% of the main tracks are radio edits and not full length or mixshow length.

01. That's What Love Is For (Chris Cox Radio Edit) (3:12)
02. Stay For Awhile (Tony Moran Radio Mix) (4:08)
03. You're Not Alone (Guy Scheiman Radio Edit) (3:46)
04. Every Heartbeat (Moto Blanco Radio Edit) (3:24)
05. Better Than A Hallelujah (Mark Picchiotti Gospel Radio Edit) (3:47)
06. Find A Way (Ralphi Rosario Big Room Radio Edit) (3:37)
07. Baby Baby (Dave Aude Radio Edit) (3:57)
08. Say Once More (Hex Hector Radio Edit) (3:32)
09. Out In The Open (7th Heaven Radio Edit) (4:04)
10. Stay For Awhile (Tony Moran Destination Mixshow Edit) (6:45)
11. Mega Mix (DJ Andy 7th Heaven Medley) (8:49)

-The album can be purchased in physical formats including CD and vinyl on Amazon
-The album can be purchased digitally on Amazon and iTunes

Grade: A+

August 11, 2014

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Amber Dirks - One Last Time

This is the latest single from the Dance diva and the subject is one final intimate encounter before the relationship comes to an end. This relatable subject is handled in a tasteful manner. The main QUBIQ versions are big room-oriented, however, they could fit into mainstream sets as well. Griffin White and The Popstar's remixes are full blown peak hour stormers. The latter is harder while the former is synthier. All of the mixes are great.

-Watch the music video set to the QUBIQ radio edit here (YouTube)
-Purchase the digital EP here (iTunes)

Grade: A
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Jared Jones feat.Tascha Johnson - Get Up! (It's The Weekend)

Just released is an essential, feel-good song that will make you want to dance this weekend. It features the soulful vocals of Tascha Johnson and the mainstream yet big room production by Jared Jones. The main version's style recalls that of the Soul Seekerz, except it is a bit harder. Additional remixes are by Jadin Recks, Jared Jones, Jeff Morena, Matt Moss, Naked Highway, Oliver Watts, Sean Niles, and Sudad G. Jadin Recks delivers a techy-tribal mix with lots of cool vocal effects. Jared Jones' remix is in line with MK's classic production style that has recently been revived. Jeff Morena's electro mix is totally twisted with all its loops and manipulations. Matt Moss provides a softer, Deep House treatment. Naked Highway delivers the usual 80's leaning electro mix which is lots of fun. Oliver Watts' bass driven tribal mix will be perfect for peak hour. Sean Niles' Dance/Hip Hop fusion recalls early 90s Booty House with Freestyle elements. Sudad G's mix closes out the package in a hard yet Deep House style. All versions of the song are top notch with Jared Jones' remix being the best of the bunch along with the Naked Highway one.

-Purchase the digital single here (iTunes)

Grade: A
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LeAnn Rimes - Dance Like You Don't Give A...Greatest Hits Remixes

The Country star has had a string of chart hits throughout her nearly 2 decade career. A number of her singles were remixed for the clubs and she had success on the Club Play chart. An album consisting of both previously unreleased and released mixes was released last week. It is completely unmixed and features remixes of some of her biggest hits as well as a few other selected singles that didn't quite get the attention they deserved. Every single one of these remixes is melodic and is a good match for the original song. The highlights include the remixes of "Gasoline And Matches", "You've Ruined Me", "Can't Fight The Moonlight", "I Need You", "How Do I Live", "Strong", "Nothin' Better To Do", and "Headphones." This is an outstanding collection of remixes.

01. Gasoline And Matches (Dave Aude Remix)
02. What I Cannot Change (Kaskade Remix)
03. Crazy Women (7th Heaven Remix)
04. I Need You (Digital Dog Remix)
05. Help Me Make It Through The Night (Fear Of Tigers Remix)
06. Spitfire (Fagault and Marina Remix)
07. Can't Fight The Moonlight (Alias Remix)
08. You've Ruined Me (Dave Aude Remix)
09. How Do I Live (Cahill Remix)
10. Strong (Cicada Remix)
11. Nothin' Better To Do (Soul Seekerz Remix)
12. Headphones (Headspinners Remix)
13. Grace (LeAnn Rimes and The Crystal Method)

Purchase the remix album on iTunes here

Grade: A
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Tim Rex - Relentless (The Serving Ovahness 2K14 Mixes)

Originally released in 1998, the instrumental tribal track based on a repeated horn riff first got noticed by clubbers and DJs when Junior Vasquez would play it at Twilo. Elements of this track went on to be incorporated in many remixes by Junior and others. The song was re-imagined in 2005 as "Relentless (Was It Just A Game)" with singer Veronica providing vocals (of "Someone To Hold", "Let Me Go...Release Me", and "I'm In Love" fame). The original mixes which only released on vinyl were given a new digital release last month. Newcomer Serving Ovahness has given the song 2 hot and fresh remixes which retain the soul of the original but also update it slightly. The main version is darker and in line with the original while the Deeper one lives up to its name. Both are extremely well done.

Purchase the new 2K14 mixes by Serving Ovahness here (Beatport)

Grade: A

July 30, 2014

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Isabel Rose - Reflections (Remixes)

It's really tough to categorize the singer as she has embodied the styles of so many legends who have come before her. There is a certain theatricality and fabulosity she projects which recalls greats such as Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, and Liza Minnelli. Her current release is a cover of the song made famous by The Supremes. It was also the theme song to the show China Beach. This serves as the lead single from her upcoming album Trouble In Paradise. This cover is faithful to the original, however, it has a slightly more modern arrangement. The retro sound of it is perfect. Isabel's vocals are exquisite. There are some club remixes by Frankie Knuckles with Eric Kupper (as Director's Cut). These mixes are believed to be the final mixes Frankie worked on before he unexpectedly passed away on March 31. The duo deliver a lush, classic sounding production straight out of the early 90s, complementing the rich vocals.

-The remix video can be viewed here. (HuffingtonPost)
-Purchase the remix here (Amazon)

Grade: A
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Cedric Gervais feat Coco - Through The Night

French producer/DJ Cedric Gervais became a household name last year when an edit of his remix of Lana Del Rey's "Summertime Sadness" became a top 10 hit in the U.S., and nearly everywhere else. He had been known in clubland previously for his distinct Electro-flavored sound. The new single has a slight Country/Western flavor a la Avicii's smash "Wake Me Up!" fused with 90s handbag House. There are additional remixes by Chris Lake, CID, and Mednas. Chris Lake's noisier EDM production only keeps some of the original elements while making it edgier. CID's mix is best suited for the big room floors as is the Mednas one. The original ends up being the best of the bunch.

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

Grade: A
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Lorde - Tennis Court (Diplo Remix)

She broke out into the mainstream with her hit "Royals" last year and received a number of awards for it. The followup "Team" was slightly less successful than its predecessor. The new single "Tennis Court" has begun to pick up steam on CHR/Pop radio. The song is in a similar style as previous singles though this one feels a tad darker overall. The hook is incredible. Diplo has done a remix that is at a similar tempo as the original but it is dancier. It is funky and current.

-Listen to the original here (YouTube)
-Listen to the Diplo remix here (YouTube)

Grade: A
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Irina - Believe

This is the latest single from the Dance/Pop artist. It is as catchy as her previous releases. This one has a lovely summer feel. It recalls the Eurodance brilliance of the mid 90s that artists such as Alexia and Corona were known for with catchy, melodic earworms. The original could easily be played on Pop radio and the longer version would be perfect for the clubs and mixshows. There are nearly half a dozen remixes, but the best one of the bunch is the peakhour friendly NovoGain mix. The mix has some layered uplifting synths coupled with contemporary EDM influences. This is a great mix.

Purchase the original here (Beatport)

Grade: A

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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