February 26, 2010

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Amanda Wilson - U Sure Do

Amanda Wilson quickly made a name for herself after performing the vocals on several of the Freemasons' singles and with some other producers in recent years. "U Sure Do" is a solo track from her. Originally recorded by Donna Allen in the 80's, and then covered by a number of artists including Strike in the 90's. Amanda's version can be thought of as the best of all those. The production is disco/house-oriented. Her vocals are top notch. So far only the Club Edit has been made available. This song will work best in a longer mix.

Grade: A

February 25, 2010

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Jipsta - Nasty Boy

He's back with a brand new single entitled "Nasty Boy". This song is pretty sexual, just as some of his previous releases were. This song gets its inspiration from the Vanity 6 classic "Nasty Girl". It has some circuit-oriented mixes by Alexander & Mark VDH, Cajjmere Wray, Jamie J. Sanchez, and Manny Lehman. Alexander & Mark VDH's is very drummy. Cajjmere Wray's is a little synthier. Jamie J. Sanchez's begins a little lighter and then becomes harder and darker. Manny Lehman provides a big room mix with nice synths and drums, as can be expected. All are pretty good though.

Grade: A-

February 18, 2010

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Vernessa Mitchell - Love Is The Message

Nearly several years in the making, Love Is The Message, a collection of singer Vernessa Mitchell's club-released singles from 1995 through 2010 is finally available. All singles released during that time are represented with one version per song. In most cases, the main version or the popular remix, when appropriate was chosen. Assembling a tracklisting that would satisfy each and every fan was going to be a nearly impossible task, but this is pretty close. All versions are full length. Several have never been released digitally. In addition to the older singles, the new song "Rise!" is included (see separate review here).

01. Reap (What You Sow) (Junior's Sound Factory Mix) 12:29
02. This Joy (Razor & Guido Remix) 10:45
03. Issues (Junior's Earth Anthem) 13:05
04. Higher (Junior Vasquez Marathon Remix) 10:26
05. Trouble Don't Last Always (feat Barbara Mitchell - Twilo Mix) 7:47
06. Serious (Junior's Earth Anthem) 12:50
07. Took My Life (Chad Jack's Club Remix) 11:34
08. Accept Me (Junior's Massive Club Mix) 8:53
09. Love Will Find A Way (Junior Vasquez Club Mix) 8:43
10. Rise! (feat Barbara Mitchell - Jerome Farley Floor One club Mix) 9:20

Overall, this is a great collection. Cheers to everyone who helped to make this collection a reality!

Purchase here (Juno)

Grade: A+
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Kevin Aviance - Gimme More

This song originally came out in 2007. There were hundreds of remixes of Britney's original and dozens of covers. Now this song gets an update by legendary performer Kevin Aviance. In the main version, Kevin stays true to the original but adds his own additional style and flare by altering just the right lyrics. There are some remixes by Nick Harvey and Billy Waters & John Michael vs. TWB. Nick provides his usual hard, driving tribal mix. With the warped synths and just the right amount of elements of the original, it's really fun. There are all sorts of things happening throughout the mix that keep it fresh from minute 1 to almost 11. The Dubstramental by Nick is great as well. The Billy Waters & John Michael vs. TWB Drama mix does indeed have plenty of 'drama'. Also hard and dark, this one has grittier, sleazier synths. This is equally good. Both mixes are really well done. An acapella is also included for your remixing pleasure.

Purchase the digital single here (Masterbeat)

Grade: A

February 9, 2010

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Kim Zolciak - Tardy For The Party (Remixes)

Some love her, some hate her. She is best known for her outrageous behavior on BRAVO's Real Housewives Of Atlanta and this song which came out last year. The original was Dance/Pop-oriented and could be thought of as a poor man's "Don't Stop The Music" at best. However, "Tardy For The Party" is turned into a floorfiller with the recently completed remixes by Tracy Young. Tracy takes an otherwise blah track and actually make it pleasant. The production is solid. It's big room, circuit-oriented while remaining accessible. Kim probably won't be conquering the music industry anytime soon, but at least she'll be remembered for this little ditty which was improved upon tremendously by Tracy.

Purchase the digital EP featuring the original plus radio edit, club, mixshow, and dub mixes by Tracy Young here (iTunes), here (Amazon), and here (Juno)

Grade: C- (for the original), A- (for the remixes)

February 8, 2010

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Nikki & Rich - Cat & Mouse

They describe their music style as "Alicia meets the Supremes while hanging out with Lauryn Hill listening to Outkast's "Hey Ya" remixed by Phil Spector." The duo's latest single "Cat & Mouse" definitely has that old school sound and is very catchy and fun. Nikki's voice has that classic quality to it and it's quite refreshing. Other songs from their upcoming album are in a similar vein.

There are remixes for this by Thrillers, LA Riots, Eddie Amador, Ian Nieman, Johnny Vicious, Klubjumpers, and WAWA. The Thrillers mix is in a similar vein as the original. It maintains the swingbeat from the original and has an electro/pop sound. LA Riots provide an electro mix that has just the right sleaze feel. Eddie Amador's is a bit more big room-ish with a hint of Electro. Ian Nieman's is similar but a little chunkier. Johnny Vicious' is a bit lighter and has an early 90's acid house feel, especially with those synths. Those are a nice touch. Klubjumpers' has a euphoric feel in addition to the core electro production. WAWA's is disco/funky house ish. The Wawa and Johnny Vicious mixes are the best of the bunch, however, all of the mixes are really good.

Buy the original version of "Cat & Mouse" here (iTunes)

Grade: A+
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Charice - Pyramid

Charice Pempengco first got attention for her big voice on a series of videos posted on YouTube. Hailing from the Phillipines, the singer went on to appear on programs both in her native country and all over the world. She most notably appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show several times. "Pyramid" is her latest single. It's Pop/R&B-oriented a la Jordin Sparks' "Tattoo". It's charming and cute.

There are remixes for "Pyramid" by Barry Harris, Dave Aude, Jonathan Peters, and Ruff Loaderz. Barry opts for a nice light circuit/house-styled mix. The piano keys and synths are really pretty. Dave's is much lighter and more discoey than his usual with plenty of pianos as well. Really good. Jonathan's mix is darker and harder. It feels more like a dub with all the cut up and looped vocals, plus those buildups and drops. It doesn't have all the vocals. It feels a bit messy and noisy during certain parts. But this may sound better on a club sound system. Ruff Loaderz go in an electro house direction.

Overall, the package is quite good.

Listen to a clip of Barry Harris' mix on his website.

Grade: A-

February 6, 2010

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Ministers De La Funk featuring Duane Harden - I Feel Love

This is not a remake of the Donna Summer classic. This is an uplifting slice of garage/electro/house that may soon become a classic. Featuring the vocals of Duane Harden who is best known for the songs "You Don't Know Me" (with Armand Van Helden), "What You Need" (with Powerhouse), and several others, it's always great to hear something new from him. His vocals are soulful and emotion-filled on "I Feel Love." The main mixes were released a couple of months back. These are much more vocal-oriented. The just-released Michael Gray & Danism and Stephan Luke mixes have just a few vocals. The main versions are really well-done. The Dronez dub is a bit more aggressive and fun. The new remixes would be better had more vocals been used. Overall, this is a great release.

-Listen to clips of and buy the main and Dronez mixes here (Traxsource) and the new remixes here (Defected's store)

Grade: A-

February 2, 2010

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Annagrace - Love Keep Calling

This is the followup to the Dance radio hit "Let The Feelings Go." Drawing upon some of the Trance/Pop sounds that made their work as Ian Van Dahl so memorable, "Love Keeps Calling" is a fusion of their former and current styles. It works well. Annemie Coenen's vocal performance is great. She sounds wonderful on any type of song though. The main version has the Trancey synths and light electrohouse beats. The Basto! Impression mix is a little milder and funkier. The Lucky Charmes & Tony Verdult mix could be thought of as a hybrid of the main version and the previously mentioned Basto! mix. Overall, this is a memorable, catchy release.

Buy the digital single here (iTunes)
Watch the music video here (YouTube)

Grade: A
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