June 30, 2010

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Junior Vasquez - Junior's Nervous Breakdown 2: Demented

After last year's successful Generation Next comes Junior's newest mixed CD. This is the second CD he has done for Nervous Records in this particular series. The last was released nearly a decade ago and was filled with many of this productions at the time. This one features only a single production with his name attached to it. The mix begins with some darker tribal songs but the light, soulful vocal-oriented cuts arrive very soon. There are several sections which alternate between the dark and the light. The flow between these sections is smooth. Junior is known for his multiple hour sets which span across multiple genres. Transferring that aesthetic into a 60 minute mix can be challenging, but it works perfectly here. All of the tracks bring something special to the set, however, some of the highlights include the Joe Salcedo track which is the namesake for this compilation, and the new Inaya Day track. All of the vocal-oriented cuts are beautiful. Overall, this is a great mixed CD. This will be released on August 17.

01. Male FX – Intro
02. FX – Siren
03. Nick Harvey – Junyork featuring Junior Vasquez
04. Junior Vasquez – X-tatic (JMBW & Joel Dickinson Saturday Mix)
05. Honey Dijon – Walls Down (Tom Stephan Remix)
06. Honey Dijon – Noise Violation feat Paul Alexander (Masi & Mello’s Beatz 2 Da Brain Remix)
07. Kid Massive – Doesn’t Matter feat Elliotte Williams N’Dure
08. Lisa Millet – Bring Me Down (ATFC remix)
09. Laidback Luke & Gregor Salto – Step By Step feat Mavis Acquah (Abel Ramos Remix)
10. Lisa Pure – Can’t Say No (Tommyboy Dub)
11. Oscar G – Your Love feat Tamara Wallace (Jaimy Remix)
12. Jonny Montana – I Don’t Want To Lose You feat Stephanie Cooke (The Str8jackets Mix)
13. Joe Salcedo – Demented (Joe’s Demented Drumm Loop Mix)
14. Alyson Calagna & Jose Spinnin – Ahora feat Micah and Ash Ruiz (Jason Chance Remix)
15. Tom Sawyer – Alone featuring Ana Herrero (Benny Royal Mix)
16. Inaya Day & Antoine Dessange – Joy (JMBW & Joel Dickinson’s Club Mix)
17. Dawn Tallman – Feel It (Todd’s House Is A Feeling Mix)
18. DJ Mike Cruz Presents Inaya Day and Chyna Ro – Movin’ Up (Jonny Montana Remix)
19. Kim English – Supernatural

Grade: A

June 29, 2010

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Christina Aguilera - You Lost Me

This is the second single off of Bionic. It is a classic Christina ballad. It's a beautiful, emotion-filled song which showcases the Christina that many had fallen in love with all those years ago. The album version is dark and has a sparsely produced, yet layered production allowing for the vocals to be the main focal point. There is a new radio mix of the song which adds a beat to in an effort to make it more radio-friendly. This version feels very forced as the beats feel very artificial.

Listen to the radio mix here (All Access)

Grade: A (for the original, album version)

June 24, 2010

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Sarah McLachlan - Loving You Is Easy

This is the lead single off of her first proper studio album since 2003's Afterglow. "Loving You Is Easy" is a nice uptempo. It's a welcome change to hear something 'happy' from her, even though she does those moodier, introspective tracks so well too. She sounds fantastic on this. There are some dance remixes of this by Brad Walsh and Dave Aude. Brad takes things in an electro/synth-pop direction. It has a cute 80's throwback feel. Dave opts for a chilled, uplifting sound. Both mixes are wonderfully executed.

Listen to the original here (YouTube)
Purchase the digital single with remixes here (Sarah's store on Sony Digital)

Grade: A+
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Dennis Ferrer - Hey Hey

This song has been at the top of many DJs' charts for the last several months. It has been a sleeper hit in the U.S. clubs and was massive internationally. Now "Hey Hey" is going to be released by the legendary Strictly Rhythm label in the U.S. The production is minimal with hints of electro and deep house. The lyrics are very catchy, and the vocals by Shingai Shoniwa of The Noisettes are so addictive. There are many remixes of this. Some of the notable ones include the Riva Starr Paradise Garage Mix which clocks in at over 12 minutes and has a Donna Summer and Giorgio Moroder "I Feel Love" styled production. Another is the Crookers Remix which adds a swing beat to it. There is also a new mix for the U.S. release by Friscia & Lamboy which is electro/pop-oriented.

Watch the music video here (YouTube)

Grade: A
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Krys Justice - All Night Long

R&B singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Krys Justice is ready to take the world by storm with his album appropriately titled Juggernaut. "All Night Long" is an uptempo, dance-oriented R&B track. In terms of both the vocals and the production, the song calls to mind the work of other established artists such as Usher and Akon. The hook in particular is really strong, however, the whole song has a really nice, natural flow. This could be a big floorfiller. The Stratman Remix is a house/electro mix which makes the song even more club-friendly. Overall, "All Night Long" is a fun song which should hopefully open many doors for the up and coming singer.

Purchase the original version here (Amazon)
Purchase the Stratman Remix here (Amazon)

Grade: A

June 23, 2010

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Prayer - The Power Of Goodbye

Yes, this is a cover of the Madonna song from her Ray Of Light album. The original never really had any proper official dance mixes, although there were some mixes done which were done in a similar vein as the original. There were several dance-oriented cover versions released as well. The vocals on this particular cover are just okay. It would be very difficult to come close to achieving the perfection that was Madonna's original vocal. The main version's production begins much like the original version, but then it builds up into a hard Cascada-esque jumpstyle production. The Giorno Jump & Run mixes are also similar. The Gordon & Doyle feat Players 69 and Steve Stio mixes are a bit slower and more electro/house-oriented. The vocals do not sound that great at that particular tempo.

Purchase the digital single here (Juno)

Grade: B-
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Judy Torres - Stay

The former Freestyle era diva is back with a brand new single after last year's "Hell No." "Stay" is a pleasant song which beautifully showcases her voice. The lyrics are really nice. She reunites with Valentin and Giuseppe D who have remixed some of her other singles. The main version by Valentin have that euphoric Euro sound which was characteristic of his productions. However, there is a light electro/house feel too. Giuseppe D's mixes are in a similar vein as well. Both versions are really great.

Purchase the digital single here (iTunes)

Grade: A

June 21, 2010

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Soul Seekerz - Dancing On The Ceiling

This is a remake of the Lionel Richie classic from 1986. Featuring some pleasant female vocals, this is a nice update. The main versions are piano-driven and are funky/disco house-oriented. There are additional versions by Nu Addiction which are a bit heavier. These lose the light airy disco vibe of the main mixes. These are bit more electro-tinged. The light pianos are deeper and harder. Overall, the main versions are the standouts.

Grade: A-

June 17, 2010

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Offer Nissim - Pride All Over 2010

This is a new continuously mixed compilation showcasing some of his recent productions and remixes. It begins with two new Epiphony tracks including "Mr. Charming" and "Boxing Ring." "Mr. Charming" sounds like the darker cousin of their earlier hit "Out Of My Skin" while "Boxing Ring" has some electro influences. Next is Offer's remix of "Why Tell Me, Why" by Anita Meyer which is based on the original. He beautifully turns the light Disco track into a club anthem. Following that is "The One & Only" with Nikka is a pretty, uplifting but dark track. Suzanne Palmer's cover of Melba Moore's "You Stepped Into My Life" is up next. It features additional vocals by Maya Simantov. It's mostly instrumental except for the few vocal samples and occasional breaks with Maya's vocals. The electro-tinged production with buildups and breakdowns is really fun. The next two tracks are in other languages including Greek and Turkish, respectively. Shlomi Saranga's "Essi" is a dark, moody track with some emotion-filled vocals. "Yeni Beni (Out Of My Skin)" is a cover of Epiphony's "Out Of My Skin" sung by a male vocalist. Some Epiphony vocals are used too. Ivri Lider's "F*** Off Berlin" is next. It's rather dark as well. It must be mentioned that it's not a song bashing the city of Berlin. Following that is a twisted techy-tribal update to Flickman's "The Sound Of Bamboo." Two more classic songs in other languages come next. The French "Nuit Magique" by Lara Catherine and the Hebrew "Adaa'in Kan" by Shoshana Damari. Both are really stunning. The latter is really haunting and dramatic. The compilation closes on a positive note with "Freedom To Y'all" by Mickiyagi. The unexpected 'symphony' break in the middle is a lovely touch. Overall, this is a good compilation. The mixing could be thought of as 'segueing' as each track does blend seamlessly into each other, but only for a few seconds at the end. The standouts include the Epiphony, Suzanne Palmer, Shoshana Damari, and Mickiyagi tracks.

Grade: A-

June 16, 2010

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John LePage featuring Debby Holiday and LFB - Heaven

This is another diva anthem. Featuring circuit diva Debby Holiday, "Heaven" is a pretty, happy, and uplifting song. The main versions are circuit-lite oriented. Jamie J. Sanchez takes things in a harder direction while maintaining the pretty vibe of the original with the addition of lush piano keys. Wayne G's mixes are also in a similar style. These are much more piano-driven. Finally is Jeff Poirier's dub which is really hard and fast-moving. There are plenty of vocal loops and and buildups and breakdowns. Overall, all are really great.

Purchase the digital single here (Masterbeat)

Grade: A
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Jamie J. Sanchez featuring Ria Spencer - Lift Me Up

2010 is still shaping up to be the year that the diva anthem returned! "Lift Me Up" is a positive song with a light spiritual aspect (it can be interpreted in a religious way as well much in the way of Vernessa Mitchell and Sabrina Johnston's work). Singer Ria Spencer's vocals are quite lovely. Jamie J. Sanchez's main version is circuit-oriented with a touch of electro. Ranny and Bryan Reyes's mix is a bit harder. Manny Lehman's is really hard and big room-oriented. Ria's vocals work a lot better on this particular version. All versions are good, but Manny's really shines.

Purchase the digital single here (Masterbeat)

Grade: A

June 15, 2010

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Tony Moran presents Ultra Naté - Destination

This is a special collaboration between the legendary NY-based remixer/DJ/producer and the singer-songwriter diva. "Destination" is also the name of the main Pride event Tony Moran will be DJing at this year. This song is basically the 'theme' for the event. It is a hard, floorfilling anthem featuring Ultra's signature vocals. She delivers a great performance, as can be expected. The production is hard and driving with a slight Eurodance flavor. This is a wonderful track.

Grade: A

June 9, 2010

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Tim Letteer featuring Zhana - Broke Free

2010 is shaping up to be the year of the diva anthem. "Broke Free" is a song which can be added to this growing category. Featuring the soulful and powerful vocals of Zhana, this song is really great. The original has a big room feel, but is very accessible. Tim's Dark mix is a bit synthier and more suited for peak hour play. There are plenty of additional mixes by Chad Jack, Nick Harvey, Reed McGowan with Warren Rigg, Michael Hades, and Jamie J. Sanchez. Chad Jack offers an electro-flavored circuit mix. Nick Harvey's mixes are hard, dark, and driving. Reed and Warren's circuit-oriented mix is both soulful and hard at the same time. Michael Hades's mix is minimal and best for an afterhours set. Jamie J. Sanchez's mix is also hard and circuit-oriented. Overall, all the mixes are great, however, Nick, Reed with Warren and Jamie's mixes are the standouts.

Purchase the digital single here (Juno)

Grade: A
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Solange - I Told You So (Remixes)

This is the 6th single from the Sol-Angel & The Hadley Street Dreams album era. This is a club-only single at this time. It is a smooth midtempo with an old school feel in its original version. Solange's vocals are great. There are remixes for this by Razor N Guido, DJ Escape & Tony Coluccio, and Mike Rizzo. Razor N Guido offer some circuit-oriented mixes which will take listeners back to the early part of their career, sonically speaking. Their production goes so well with the song, transforming it into a rollercoaster of sound for the dancefloor. Their Duhb mix could be thought of as a whole new production as it bears little resemblance to their main mixes. This is quite a fun ride with its straight out of Twilo references including "Wer*Ship" and "Your Child." DJ Escape & Tony Coluccio offer something tribal/electro oriented, but it's a bit darker and minimal and doesn't really go anywhere. Mike Rizzo's mixes have an 80's electro/pop feel which works well. Razor N Guido's are the best of the bunch.

Grade: A+

June 7, 2010

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Kimberley Locke - Strobelight (Remixes)

Now that the original has been out for a couple of months, the highly anticipated remixes have been finally released. The remixes are by DJ Renegade, Donni Hotwheel, Ray Roc & Gabe Ramos, and Tony Moran & Warren Rigg. DJ Renegade's mixes could be thought of as a harder, edgier version of the original. Donni Hotwheel's main and D.H.O.T. are in a similar vein but have a lot of build ups electro-tinged portions. The radio edit of this mix condenses it all down succinctly. Ray Roc & Gabe Ramos' versions could be thought of as the middle ground of the last two mixes. Tony Moran & Warren Rigg turn this into a dancefloor anthem. Some of the disco elements of the original are retained but are worked to perfection to fit their signature big room sound. Overall, all are quite good.

Purchase at Masterbeat

Grade: A-
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Amy Weber - Something Kinda Ooh!

This is the latest single from the model, actress, and former WWE Diva. It is a cover of UK group Girls Aloud's song of the same name. It is a great opportunity to introduce the song to the rest of the world. Amy's vocals are pretty good, however, they lack the passion that the original had. Remixes by Tracy Young, DeMarko!, and Klubjumpers make this dancefloor ready. Tracy and DeMarko!'s are big room-oriented. DeMarko!'s is harder and just works better overall. The Klubjumpers mix has a Eurodance feel with some Rock thrown in. This is in a similar vein as the original Girls Aloud version. All are good, but the DeMarko! one is the standout.

Purchase the CD single here (Perfect Beat)
Purchase the digital single here (Amazon)

Grade: A-
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Various - Just Dance Volume 3

This is the third installment of the compilation series. Featuring an assortment of remixes of Pop, R&B, Rap, and Alternative songs, plus some Dance thrown in for good measure. There are only a couple of exclusives, most notably the Jason Nevins remix (one of them) of Mariah Carey's "H.A.T.E.U.", which has not been released previously. Continuously mixed by Mike Rizzo and Joey Arbagey, they mix together 16 songs in just 68 minutes. The tracklisting is pretty good, except for a minor misstep with the Akcent song at the end.

1-Rihanna Feat. Jeezy -Hard-(Jody Den Broader Club Remix)
2-School Gyrls-Something Like A Party-(Ralphi Rosario Club 1)
3-Mariah Carey-H.A.T.E.U.-(Jason Nevins "Loves U" Mix)
4-Taio Cruz Feat. Ludacris-Break Your Heart-(Wideboys Club)
5-MANN Feat. Jason Derulo-Text-(Chew Fu 'He-Mann' Fix)
6-deadmau5 Feat. Rob Swire-Ghosts N Stuff-(Vocal Mix)
7-Mr. Hudson-Supernova-(Dave Aude Club)
8-Shiny Toy Guns-Major Tom (Coming Home)-(Adam K & Soha Remix)
9-Chicane Feat. Natasha Bedingfield-Bruised Water-(Michael Woods Full Vocal)
10-Ludacris-How low-(Groove Police Club Mix)
11-Utada-Dirty Desire-(Mike Rizzo Club Mix)
12-Kim Sozzi-Secret Love-(Stellar Project Remix)
13-Inna-Love-(Club Version)
14-Robbie Rivera Feat. Fast Eddie-Let Me Sip My Drink-(Chuckie Remix)
15-Tiesto Feat. C.C. Sheffield-Escape Me-(Extended Remix)
16-Akcent Feat. Lora-That's My Name-(That's My Name 2010)

Purchase the compilation digitally and physically on June 8 (Amazon)

Grade: B+

June 5, 2010

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Vengaboys - Rocket To Uranus

It has been nearly 10 years since they last released a single. After multiple announcements of a new single, "Rocket To Uranus" is here. Don't judge the song by it's title--it's not about what it sounds like. Danski and Delmundo, who worked on their material during the 90's have co-written this song with the group, as well as several others. This song could have easily been on one of their albums. The production has a strong "I Feel Love" influence. Vocally, it's similar to their older material. Gossip blogger Perez Hilton makes a brief appearance on the song, speaking a single double entendre line. For what it is, it's a fun guilty pleasure.  The music video is set to premiere on June 6.

Preview the song here (YouTube)

Grade: B

June 2, 2010

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Michael Bublé - Haven't Met You Yet (Cutmore Remixes)

Although this song became a single nearly a year ago, it has just recently been remixed. There have been a few other remixes done for his earlier singles. Cutmore provides the remixes this time around. His mixes are beautifully done. The piano-driven house mixes call to mind some of the masterpieces Frankie Knuckles and David Morales were known for creating during the 90's. Michael's vocals sound wonderful already and they go so well with the production. Cutmore did a brilliant job on this.

Watch the remix video here (YouTube)

Grade: A+
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Boyzone - Love Is A Hurricane

This is the second single off of their album Brother. This is the first single to not feature the vocals of member Stephen Gately. It is an uptempo pop/rock song, written by Gregg Alexander. Lyrically and vocally this is pretty good. There are remixes for this by 7th Heaven. The song translates really well into a remix. The uplifting production coupled with the great vocals yields an excellent result.

Watch the original music video here (YouTube)
Watch the 7th Heaven remix video here (YouTube)

Grade: A-
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