February 26, 2015

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Ty Dolla $ign feat. Charli XCX & Tinashe - Drop That Kitty

This unlikely collaboration of a rapper, a Dance/Pop siren, and R&B songstress may sound strange, but it all somehow works on this Stargate and Cashmere Cat produced club banger. It is super sexy with its hypnotic beat and synths. Charl XCX chants the naughty hook while Tinashe sings the bridge. The overly autotune rap is surprisingly tame for a song about this subject. Overall, this is a fun song that should be everywhere in the next few months.

Listen to the song here (YouTube)

Grade: A-
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Calvin Harris feat. HAIM - Pray To God

This is the 6th single from the Scottish DJ/producer's latest album Motion. Pop/Rock trio HAIM provides the vocals on this rousing song. The song does not deviate that much from the group's own material but it has a slightly harder edge that is characteristic of Calvin's usual. There is an alternate remix co-produced by Calvin Harris and Mike Pickering (formerly of British Dance/Pop group M People). The remix is cut from the same cloth as M People's brand of mainstream yet underground House music in the mid 90s. The song lends itself well to that style of production and is a joy to listen to. Part of the alternate hook from the bridge is brought out in the remix and used as a loop. This is brought out further in the extended version.

-Watch the music video for the original here (YouTube)
-Listen to the Calvin Harris vs Mike Pickering remix here (YouTube)

Grade: A

February 25, 2015

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Tony Moran feat. Martha Wash - Free People (Vol 1)

The legendary big voiced diva has teamed up with Tony Moran once again for another uplifting club track. The main version produced by Tony Moran and longtime collaborator Warren Rigg is big room-oriented with big synths. Martha's vocals are fantastic. The first of two volumes of remixes has been released and features an all star lineup including Antony Reale, Cruelty, Funky Junction, Giuseppe D, The Noisemakers, Rene Ablaze, Splashfunk, Laera & Jeyjon, Victor Dinaire & Bissen, and Yinon Yahel. Antony Reale & Funky Junction deliver a big room-oriented House mix which feels like a meatier Freemasons remix. Cruelty provides a 90s Rave meets Handbag House remix. Giuseppe D's piano-heavy is especially hard-hitting and beautiful. The Noisemakers mix is in a soft House style. Coming out of left field is Rene Ablaze's epic big room Trance remix which uses only a limited amount of vocals. Splashfunk, Laera, and Jeyjon's mix is also piano-heavy. Victor Dinaire & Bissen deliver something techy. Yinon Yahel's mix is dark and dramatic. Overall, Giuseppe D and Rene Ablaze's mixes are the best of the bunch.

Listen to clips and purchase here (iTunes)

Grade: A

February 13, 2015

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Novaspace feat. Drea Delacruz - Gravity

The Swedish producer/DJ has a brand new single out. It is in a similar vein as earlier singles. The Electro/Pop track has a stellar vocal by singer Drea Delacruz. The big room production will make this one a floorfiller in the coming months.

Listen to the song here:
Grade: A

February 12, 2015

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Amor Kismet - Radar

This is the debut single from the sister trio. It is a delightful throwback to 90s House music with Pop sensibilities. They showcase their gorgeous vocals over the lush piano-laden production. This one is super catchy and has the potential to be a big hit in the clubs and eventually cross over to radio.

Listen to the song here:

The group has an EP which can be previewed here (YouTube) and the songs can be heard in full here (Soundcloud)

Grade: A

February 4, 2015

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Madonna - Rebel Heart (Review)

The highly anticipated 13th studio album from the Queen Of Pop is slated to be released next month, and there are rumors it may be moved up to next week to coincide with her Grammy Awards performance on Sunday.

Madonna began work on this album last year. She was very active on Instagram throughout that year documenting her process with many collaborators including Alicia Keys, Avicii, Diplo, Kanye West, Mozella, Nas, Natalia Kills, Nicki Minaj, Ryan Tedder, Toby Gad, and many others.

Nearly a week before Christmas, a number of unfinished demos and work in progress versions of songs from the album leaked online forcing Madonna and her team to release the first 6 songs as 'instant downloads' when fans pre-ordered the album on iTunes. The lead single "Living For Love" was one of the songs to be released then. A full remix package has also been released and a music video is in the works. The album was originally envisioned as a concept project with two discs each containing a particular them with one being "Rebel Heart" with the more socially conscious and emotional songs and then "Unapologetic Bitch" with the more playful and light-hearted songs. That concept was abandoned due to the leaks and it is now one album going back and forth between the themes.

Here is a track by track writeup.

February 3, 2015

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Deborah Cox - Kinda Miss You

This is the lead single from the R&B and Dance diva's new album Work Of Art due later this year. It is a lovely fusion of all the styles Deborah has showcased in the past. It has the soulfulness of her R&B work with the accessibility of her club-oriented material. It begins with a "Rumour Has It" style marching band beat before a short dropout change into a "Latch" style beat that continues after that. Deborah sounds fantastic. It's a cute and catchy song that is just waiting to crossover. This will lend itself well to club remixes.

Listen to the original here:

Purchase the song on iTunes here

Grade: A

January 17, 2015

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Whitney Houston - My Love Is Your Love (Audio Assembly Remixes)

This was the title track from the late R&B powerhouses 1998 album. It was a big hit on all formats, most notably on the club charts with the fantastic remixes by Jonathan Peters and Thunderpuss. This song remains a favorite by many to this day and was the inspiration for last year's hit "I Got U" by Duke Dumont which included some lines from the song re-sung by a new vocalist. 

Just as the Lifetime network biopic featuring re-recorded songs by Deborah Cox is to premiere, remixing team Audio Assembly has released 3 newly remastered mixes of this classic. They retain the essence of what made the Jonathan Peters and Thunderpuss mixes so memorable but they put their own unique spin on it. The longer, extended version nearly clocking it at 15 minutes features a gorgeous drop into a downtempo piano section. All 3 mixes are excellent.

Download and stream all 3 mixes here:

Grade: A

January 15, 2015

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Madonna - Living For Love (Remixes)

This is the lead single from her forthcoming 13th album Rebel Heart. The song is a return to her Dance/Pop roots. It's an uplifting song produced by Diplo about moving forward after a breakup. It features traditional House elements including a groovy piano hook and straight out of church diva backing vocals. There are plenty of remixes already by Dirty Pop, Djemba Djemba, Mike Rizzo, Offer Nissim, and Thrill. The Dirty Pop remix is an electro-drenched one with a limited amount of vocals. The Djemba Djemba one is close to the original however it strips down certain sections. His mix uses all of the vocals. Mike Rizzo's remix takes the concept of the original and turns it into a hands in the air floorfiller. Offer Nissim delivers a darker, big room full vocal take that is appropriately titled as it does bring the drama. Thrill's remix is techy and plays up some of the choir backing vocals but it lacks direction. Overall, Mike Rizzo and Offer Nissim's mixes are the best of the bunch in addition to the fantastic original.

-Listen to the original here
-Listen to the Dirty Pop remix here
-Listen to the Djemba Djemba remix here
-Listen to the Mike Rizzo mix here
-Listen to the Offer Nissim remix here
-Listen to the Thrill remix here

Grade: A

January 7, 2015

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Fierce Angel Presents Wayne G & Peyton - High

Wayne G and soulful singer Peyton have done a new remake of this song by the Lighthouse Family. It was a hit for them in 1997 and 1998 throughout much of Europe. It had a bunch of remixes, however the François Kevorkian one is the most well-known. Tony Moran also recorded and produced a cover version for his own sets with Nicki Richards and Zhana Saunders. An alternate edit of that was released on the Circuit movie soundtrack. A different mix was unveiled last year, however, a remix by Eric Kupper and Richie Jones was released on the newest Fierce Angel compilation. It is a lush, uplifting mix that is straight out of the Disco era. It's so pretty.

Purchase the Eric Kupper & Richie Jones mix here (Beatport)

Grade: A
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David Morales presents The Face feat Kym Mazelle - Lovin'

The legendary producer/remixer/DJ's latest release is a track based on the Disco classic "Lovin' Is Really My Game" originally recorded by Brainstorm. The production combines the flavor of the original but adapts it for today's dancefloors. Veteran clubland songstress Kym Mazelle performs the lead vocals. Only a selected section of the main vocal hook and the recognizable riff that has been sampled countless times throughout the years are used. This is one of the best new releases of 2015.

Listen to a clip here:

Grade: A

December 18, 2014

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Michael M & Edwin James - The Kids Don't Know

He is best known for the spoken word meets Electro-House track "Dear Diary" nearly a decade ago. His latest offering is in the same spirit as that one, but it's a clever and witty song discussing the halcyon days of clubbing and nightlife from the 90s and 2000s. One will find themselves agreeing with nearly every point brought up. The spoken vocals float atop a hypnotic Def Mix era Deep House production. It is a timely track given that clubs and clubbing have changed significantly during the last 10 to 15 years.

-Listen to the original version here (YouTube)
-Purchase the original here (iTunes)

Grade; A

December 15, 2014

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Aristofreeks feat Kathy Sledge - Keep It Movin'

This release has been getting the attention of DJs and clubbers alike during the last few months. It features the vocals of the legendary Kathy Sledge (of Disco and R&B group Sister Sledge). It is a rousing, uplifting track. The main versions are in a funky Disco/House direction. There are additional remixes by C-Rod, DJ Ting, Eric Kupper, John Rizzo, Mike Rizzo, Ranny, Razor N Guido, Serving Ovahness, Stingray, and The Degenerates. Every single mix brings something special to the table. The highlights include the Eric Kupper, Razor N Guido, and Serving Ovahness mixes. Eric Kupper delivers a Def Mix era throwback mix with lush pianos. Razor N Guido's darker mixes also utilize an organ-based hook that is further highlighted in their Duhb. Serving Ovahness delivers both a solo and collaboration mix with Alexander which make this into a peak hour circuit anthem.

Grade: A+

November 25, 2014

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Lisa McGlown - Rejoice! (Novogain Remix)

This is the proper clubland debut of the Gospel/Jazz singer-songwriter. She famously co-wrote the song "Reap (What You Sow)" recorded by Gospel artist Vernessa Mitchell. The song is notable because it was eventually remixed by Junior Vasquez and Joe Carrano and it led to Vernessa reaching a whole new audience with the remixed versions of her inspirational songs. The message of "Rejoice!" is powerful and beautiful. NovoGain has remixed this one into an anthem. It even incorporates some instrumental references to "Reap (What You Sow)". Lisa's vocals soar over the thundering production.

Listen to a preview of the NovoGain remix of "Rejoice!"
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Jenna Drey - Making Me Love Again (Remixes)

The Dance/Pop diva is back with another catchy song that is sure to be a classic. It is in a similar vein as her earlier hits. She sounds fantastic. All of the remixes on this package are in an uplifting big room style. Amy Alderman, Griffin White, Mission Groove, and QUBIQ provide the remixes. Amy Alderman's dark treatment is perfect for peak hour with the massive synths and drums. Griffin White's mix is a little lighter but it still packs a punch. Mission Groove's mix is on the techy side. It's better suited for the afterhours. QUBIQ's mix is very synthy and has a slight Hi Nrg feel. Overall, every remix is excellent!

Purchase the single here (Beatport)

Grade: A
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