January 28, 2010

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Jay Williams - Could This Be Love

Best known for the songs "Sweat", "Look Me Up, and "Testify" during the 90's, Jay Williams is back with a new song entitled "Could This Be Love." He doesn't stray too far from the introspective and uplifting songs he has become known for. Jay's vocals are great as usual. The main Classic versions are indeed very classic sounding. They could easily pass for something from the 90's during the heyday of classic, soulful house. Gomi maintains a similar vibe throughout his mix, as do the 1200 Warriors on their slightly minimal mix. On the three different JW mixes, the sound is a little tougher on the Vintage Soul mix, more tribal, circuit-oriented on the Tribal House mix, and full on dance/rock hybrid on the Electro Headbanger mix. Overall, there's a little something for everyone. The Classic and Gomi versions are standouts.

Purchase the CD maxi at Perfect Beat, digital single at Amazon

Check him out on his website

Grade: A-

January 22, 2010

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Vivian Green - Beautiful

It has been nearly four and half years since there has been new material from Ms. Green. The lead single off of her upcoming third album is entitled "Beautiful." The midtempo, slow jam has a nice old school feel while remaining current. It calls to mind songs like Beyonce's "Halo", Mariah Carey's "We Belong Together", and Alicia Keys' "No One." This isn't a re-hash of those songs, but there are very light traces of all three. Not a bad thing.Vivian delivers a great vocal on this one. "Beautiful" is indeed beautiful.

Listen here (YouTube)

Grade: A

January 19, 2010

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Billy Waters, John Michael and TWB on Derek and Romaine

Note: Normally this blog is dedicated to just reviews and previews of what's coming up, but now this blog will also serve as a platform for up and singers, remixers, etc. in addition to the reviews.

Rising stars Billy Waters, John Michael DiSpirito and Thee Werq'n B!tches have quickly made a name for themselves with their remixes during the past year. Thee Werq'n B!tches had already been doing remixes and DJing for several years. Billy had been DJing for a couple of years too. As a team, they have worked together to make produce some fantastic remixes for artists such as Karen Young, Eddie X presents Niki Haris, Zelma Davis, Whitney Houston, and many more. And that is all just in the last year! They have also completed a number of private mixes of some select club classics. Most notably, the legendary Junior Vasquez is a big fan of them and their work and has frequently featured their productions in his sets.

Last week, Billy, John Michael, and TWB made an appearance on the Sirius/XM Radio show The Derek & Romaine Show to discuss their background, how they came to work together, and of course, their productions. Clips of several previously released and upcoming remixes were played. 

Here's a recording of the segment. (Mediafire)

January 13, 2010

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The Gemini Show - Miss Cleo

In the early part of the 2000's, the advertisements featuring apparent psychic Miss Cleo (Wikipedia) were hard to escape. A few years after that, this song sung from the point of a disgruntled customer questioning Miss Cleo's abilities was made. A hilarious music video began to make the rounds on the internet some time back and now some remixes of the song have been made. Nick Harvey's mix is big room and circuit-oriented. There are some light teasings of the club classic "Can You Party" peppered throughout the mix. It's fun. He uses all of the vocals to good effect. Thee Werq'N B!tches also delivered a mix in a similar vein, however, this has some really fun electro blips and bleeps as the instrumental hook. Both mixes are really good. There are some others, but these two are the best ones so far.

Watch the video here (YouTube)

Grade: A
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Sun - Fancy Free (Remixes)

First reviewed on 9/28/09

Nearly three months after the initial release of the song come the remixes. As has happened with earlier singles, there are plenty of them. Dave Aude, Digital Dog, DJ Escape & Johnny Vicious, Mike Rizzo, Wawa, Pete Tong & Paul Harris, and 3 Amigos provide the remixes (so far, there could even end up being more later on). Dave Aude and Mike Rizzo both maintain the swing beat of the original. Both could easily pass as clubbier versions of the original. They don't stray too far from that and they sound great. Digital Dog's is their standard funky house mix. The bassline is killer. DJ Escape & Johnny Vicious provide a big room treatment that works pretty well. Wawa's is somewhat electro/funky house-ish like the Digital Dog one, but this has a fresher feel. Tong & Harris opt for a lighter, more soulful sound. Very pretty. 3 Amigos go in a minimal, afterhours direction. There's a little something for everyone.

Buy the original version of "Fancy Free" here (iTunes)
Watch the music video here (YouTube)

Grade: A

January 6, 2010

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Vernessa Mitchell - Rise!

Nearly 5 years have passed since her last single "Love Will Find A Way" was released. Written by Steven Feldman, Jerome Farley, and Vernessa herself, "Rise!" is her brand-new single from an upcoming album which may serve as a greatest hits collection as there has been no proper album containing Vernessa's club-oriented material from the last 15 years. She is best known for her gospel/house singles including "Reap (What You Sow)", "This Joy", and "Higher" among others. "Rise!" is a rousing, hands-in-the-air anthem that doesn't stray too far from Vernessa's usual. Her vocal performace is passionate and powerful. The remixes are by Jerome Farley with Floor One, Del Pino Brothers, and Midnight Express. The main anthem and DJF1 mixes are circuit/tribal-oriented. The synths in both sets are really hard and rich. The Midnight Express mixes are a touch lighter, but still deliver the goods. This is a great song with excellent mixes.

The single will be released on February 9 on Continuous Cool digitally. Also, Vernessa will be making club appearances with Jerome Farley on his upcoming tour (in the U.S. in April) and then in Europe after that.

Grade: A

(post updated on January 9, 2010 with additional information)

January 4, 2010

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Airscape - L'Esperanza

It has been nearly 11 years since this Trance classic was released. A new mix by the duo themselves has been completed recently. They have jumped on the electro-house bandwagon that has been popular for the last couple of years now. Their mix bears some resemblance to the smash hit "Infinity 2008" by Guru Josh Project. Not necessarily a bad thing. The main synth riff that made "L'Esperanza" is used in the new mix. Several remixes from the original releases of the song are included on the single. The Tiesto, Armin Van Buuren and Original mixes are included. Even 11 years later, the original mixes still pack quite the punch. Also check out the Beam Vs. Cyrus and Svenson Goes To The Love Parade mixes. The latter is more in line with the remixes that Airscape did during much of the early 2000's.

Listen to the new S&G mix here
Listen to the Original mix here

Grade: B+ (for the new mix)/A (for including some of the original mixes)

January 1, 2010

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L2 - Boys Or Girls

"Boys Or Girls" is a campy, humorous song about a woman wondering whether a potential love interest is gay or straight. The description may make this song seem a tad off-putting, but it's done tastefully. There are remixes of this by Mike Rizzo, Tracy Young, Almighty, and Lenny Bertoldo. Mike's mixes are electro-pop oriented, easily fitting in on Pop radio. Tracy's mix is suited for a big room environment, but it's mild enough for house sets too. Almighty's mix is funky house-oriented, with a light euro nrg undercurrent. Lenny's mix is in-between and would fit into a wide variety of sets. All versions are well-done.

Purchase the digital single here (Amazon)

Grade: A-
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Blake Lewis - Heartbreak On Vinyl

The title track is the second single off of his second album. On this semi-melancholy uptempo, Blake sings about a lost love and a record store. The song has a somewhat strong 80's feel which is so appropriate. Lyrically it's very catchy. Vocally, Blake sounds really great. This one has remixes as well by Bimbo Jones, LA Riots, and Chew Fu. Bimbo Jones goes in a familiar direction, but maintains enough of the 80's feel. The LA Riots mix is a bit on the electro side. Chew Fu goes in a similar direction, but it's closer to the original. It's one of his most mainstream sounding mixes so far.

Listen to the song here (YouTube)

Grade: A-
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