September 28, 2010

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Taylor Dayne - Facing A Miracle (Remixes)

This was the official song that this years Gay Games VIII this past Summer. It brings dance diva Taylor Dayne back to the scene after a short break. "Facing A Miracle" is a midtempo synth-pop track in its original version. Although some of the lyrics may seem a bit cliche initially, Taylor's vocal delivery makes them more powerful.

There are some alternate versions and remixes for this by SoundFactory, Audio Assembly, and DJ MichaelAngelo & Gabriel Gates. The Pop Up Symphonic mix is a bit dramatic while the Electro African Groove mix adds some ethnic flavor.

SoundFactory's mixes are dark and anthemic. The club mix meanders a bit, and is rather busy at times, while the radio edit is more concise, keeping all the good parts. The key change feels a bit forced in the club mix. The dub bears only some resemblance to the vocal mix.

Audio Assembly's mixes have a milder, subtle production, allowing for the vocals to truly shine. The drums are really great. Additional DJ/production tools including an acapella are available too.

Finally, there's the DJ MichaelAngelo & Gabriel Gates mix. It's a Eurodance-styled mix with hints of trance, calling to mind Valentin's work. Overall, the whole package is really solid.

-Purchase the original and alt mixes here (Amazon)
-Purchase the SoundFactory mixes here (Juno)
-Purchase the Audio Assembly mixes here (Juno)
-Purchase the DJ MichaelAngelo & Gabriel Gates mix here (Juno)

Grade: A/A- (it's somewhere in between and A and A-, like a 97.5%)
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Vibelicious and Dean Boudreau - Love Sick

This is the latest collaboration between producer/remixer Vibelicious (a.k.a. Jared Jones) and singer Dean Boudreau. "Love Sick" is a modern electro take on 80's synth-pop. It has that same aesthetic that many of New Order and Erasure's classics had both in terms of production and mood. Dean's vocals bear a striking resemblance to Darren Hayes. He sounds great here. This is a great track. Additional remixes will be coming soon.

Purchase the original version here (iTunes)

Grade: A-

September 24, 2010

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DJ Paulo - Deep In Your Diva

Known for his energetic tribal brand of house music, DJ Paulo is back with a new track entitled "Deep In Your Diva." For the most part, it is an instrumental with some fun vocal samples intercut in between the various synths and rhythms. Although it lacks a formal vocal hook, this one is still plenty catchy. This track is based on DJ Paulo's own private remix of Beyonce's "Diva" from last year. It's basically the same instrumental without Beyonce's vocals. Overall, this works much better as a separate track. .

Purchase the main version here (Masterbeat)

Grade: A-

September 22, 2010

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Ryan W - Untouchable

This is the followup to his last single "Oceans." "Untouchable" has that right amount of attitude in both the lyrics and Ryan's delivery. The main mixes by Nick Harvey are his usual big room, tribal fierceness. His Plastic House mix is quite good. There are additional mixes by Razor N' Guido and Streamweaver. Razor N' Guido's mixes are much darker than Nick's versions. Their Duhb version is particularly notable with it's classic references. Streamweaver's mixes are slightly trancey with the soaring synthwork. Every version on this package is great.

Purchase the digital single here (Beatport) or here (Amazon)

Grade: A

September 19, 2010

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Duck Sauce - Barbra Streisand

Duck Sauce is a collaboration made up of Armand Van Helden and A-Trak. Their current single "Barbra Streisand" got significant attention earlier this year at the Winter Music Conference. The quirky, semi-instrumental samples heavily from Boney M.'s "Gotta Go Home." There are a few added vocals. This song has little to do with the legendary Barbra Streisand aside from the name. It's an interesting track overall, however, the original Boney M. track is certainly worth checking out as that is a bit more exciting than this. If any good can come from this, it's a great way to introduce Boney M. to a whole new generation.

-Listen to the Boney M. original here (YouTube)
-Listen to the Duck Sauce track here (YouTube)

Grade: B
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Ralphi Rosario and Abel Aguilera vs Tamara Wallace - C'mon Get Funky

This is their second major collaboration after the track "Lookin' 4 Men" a couple of years back. "C'mon Get Funky" is a straight up, fun song that is perfect for the clubs. Tamara's vocals playful while being soulful. The lyrics a tad cliche, but they're nice. The "where'd you learn to funk like that?" line which is used as an alt hook throughout the song is taken straight out of the underground disco classic "Come On And Do It" by Poussez. The main version by Ralphi Rosario has a disco-tinged circuit sound with strings and plenty of horns. There are additional mixes by Ralphi with Abel (as Rosabel), Mark Picchiotti, and Maurice Joshua. The Rosabel mix is the hard, tribal stormer that one would expect from the duo. Both the club and dub are fun. Mark and Maurice both go in a disco/house direction. Mark's has some electro sounds as well. Maurice's piano-driven mix is very classy and soulful. His mix truly embodies the classic disco aesthetic. Overall, all versions are great, but the standouts are the Ralphi and Maurice treatments.

Purchase the digital single here (Amazon), and at iTunes and Masterbeat

Grade: A-

September 18, 2010

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Thomas Anders - Stay With Me

Best known as the lead vocalist for German duo Modern Talking, Thomas Anders has a new solo single. His signature bright vocals are present here. He sounds just as fresh as he did during Modern Talking's heyday. The lyrics are simple and romantic. The original is dance/pop-oriented. There are remixes of this by DJ Vini, G.IL.V., and Danny Verde. DJ Vini opts for an 80's synthpop/electro-styled mix. The G.IL.V mix is a bit more big room-oriented, while Danny Verde's is somewhere in the middle. All versions are quite good, but the Danny Verde mix is the standout.

-Listen to the original here (YouTube)
-Purchase the digital single here (Masterbeat)

Grade: A-

September 16, 2010

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George Michael - I Want Your Sex

"I Want Your Sex" was the lead single off of his Faith album in 1987. A reissue for the album featuring a bonus disc of additional versions and songs, plus a DVD was to be released in late September, however that has been delayed until early next year. Some new remixes of the singles from the Faith album had been commissioned. The Freemasons remixed "I Want Your Sex." They transformed the already great R&B/Dance-Pop track into a massive floorfiller. It begins with an energetic, chugging intro and keeps building until it drops into a lower tempo, nearly identical to the original. Certain elements and sounds from the original are kept. This has the Freemasons signature sound all over it. After nearly 4 minutes at the lower tempo, it builds back up to the original higher tempo. This mix has the same sort of concept as their brilliant Kelly Rowland "Work" remix from a few years ago, which is perfect for this song.

Listen to some of the mix here (YouTube)

Grade: A+

September 12, 2010

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Edun - My Love Is Here For You

Best known for the smash hit "Put 'Em Up" in 2007, Edun is back with a new single. "My Love Is Here For You" is a lush chilled Dance/Pop song. Edun describes this song as a " love song, the kind that relates to everyone who is in love with someone but the other is afraid to love you back". The production, as well as Edun's vocals are top-notch. The remixes by Bassmonkeys toughen the song up just enough for the dancefloor. The soaring synths and electro-bassline (especially noticeable in the extended version) are great. This is another hit in the making.

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

Grade: A

September 5, 2010

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Inaya Day and BetBoyz - Higher Place

This is a collaboration involving singer Inaya Day plus Randy Bettis and David Boyd. Inaya delivers the goods as only she can with a soulful, yet stirring performance. All versions of this song are circuit-oriented. There are remixes by Randy and David, DeMarko!, Peter Barona & Hull, JMBW & Joel Dickinson, and Almond Brown. The main version by Randy and David is hard and driving. DeMarko!'s is much harder and more big room-oriented. Peter Barona & Hull's mix is very synthy. JMBW & Joel Dickinson's mix is a bit darker. DJ JST's is both darker and harder. The Almond Brown mix is minimally produced with just a little bit of everything. Overall, every version of this song is very good!

Purchase the digital single here (Traxsource)

Grade: A+

September 4, 2010

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Shakira - Loca

This is the new single off of her forthcoming bilingual album Sale El Sol. Both a Spanish and English version have been recorded. "Loca" is an uptempo Latin/Dance-Pop song, based on the song "Loca Con Su Tiguere" by El Cata. Dizzee Rascal makes a guest appearance on the song's English version, adding to the fun of the song. Shakira sizzles on this playful song. The Spanish version of the song works much better overall.

Listen to the English version here (YouTube)
Listen to the Spanish version here (YouTube)

Grade: A-

(credit to Sway at Pulse Music Board for the cover art)
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Tony Moran's Latin Rascal Tribute - Arabian Nights

The Latin Rascals were the duo of Albert Cabrera and Tony Moran. They were active during the mid 1980's, doing remixes and original productions. Released in 1987, "Arabian Nights" was an underground Freestyle classic. It has been revisited with some new mixes. The main XXL mix by Tony Moran and Warren Rigg turns the atmospheric dance track into a hard, driving floorfiller. Albert Cabrera offers a simple hipster dance/rock mix. Alex Cohen's mix is tribal as well, however not nearly as hard and Tony and Warren's mixes. Also included are the original Freestyle versions. Overall, this is a good update to the song.

Purchase the digital single here (iTunes)

Grade: A-

September 2, 2010

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DJ Dan - Fascinated

This is a remake of the Freestyle classic made famous by Company B in the mid 80's. Suzanne Palmer and Carol Jiani most notably recorded and released covers of this as well. This remake is really faithful to the original both in terms of production and vocals (that familiar riff is there too!). The main version could basically be thought of as a modernized version of the original. The Late Night mix loses a bit of the original flavor. DJ Bam Bam's mixes keep only a little bit of the original feel. Chew Fu however uses just the right amount. In addition to the original, Chew Fu's is the best of the bunch. Fans of the original must check this out.

Listen to clips and purchase the release here (Amazon) and here (Juno)

Grade: A
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