August 29, 2011

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Billy Waters - I Say

This is the debut release from remixer/DJ Billy Waters. Already known for having completed a number of remixes (as part of trio Audio Assembly and with other collaborators) during the last 2 years, it was only a matter of time before he would branch out into original productions. "I Say" is a dark, tribal peak hour track with a few manipulated male vocals sprinkled throughout it. This will fit well into circuit and afterhours sets. In addition to the main version and an instrumental, there are several DJ tools including beats, synthapella, and an acapella.

Listen to previews of all the versions:

Purchase the mixes in MP3 and WAV formats here (Juno)

Grade: A

August 26, 2011

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Kelly Clarkson - Mr. Know It All

This is the lead single off of her long-awaited 5th studio album Stronger. The lyrics to the song were released a couple of days back. They read like a mediocre version of "Miss Independent" (from her first album Thankful). However, when sung by Kelly and put to a Pop/Rock production, the result is actually pretty good. Vocally, Kelly sounds great. The production calls to mind the Bruno Mars song "Just The Way You Are". Overall, this is a decent song.

Grade: B+

August 25, 2011

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Lady Gaga - You And I

This is the 4th single off of Born This Way. The Mutt Lange-produced (best known for his work with former wife, Country chanteuse Shania Twain) Country/Rock/Pop midtempo was first performed live last year on tour prior to its inclusion on the new album. It drew many comparisons to the song "Speechless" from her The Fame Monster. This song really showcases Lady Gaga's brilliant songwriting abilities and vocals.

There are two additional versions which would help this on radio (the original is already stunning) by Mark Taylor and 10 Kings. The Mark Taylor mix calls to mind those Pop single mixes often created for Shania Twain's singles back in the day. It adds some additional elements including swing beat drums. The production aesthetic of the original is still there. The 10 Kings mix feels like it is cut from the same cloth as last single "The Edge Of Glory" with its 80s synthpop meets Eurodance sound. Both versions are pretty good with the Mark Taylor one being the better one of the two.

Some additional versions of the original radio edit have been made with Lady Gaga replacing the Nebraska references with other states for those particular markets.
  • Watch the music video here (YouTube)
  • Listen to the Mark Taylor mix here (YouTube)
  • Listen to the 10 Kings mix here (YouTube)
Grade: A+ (for the original)/A (for the Mark Taylor mix)/A- (for the 10 Kings mix)

August 22, 2011

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Gigi D'Agostino - I'll Fly With You (Goldilya Remix)

This song was originally featured on Gigi's album L'Amour Toujours back in 1999 under the same name. It became a worldwide hit a couple of years later. This new version by Goldilya manages to trend that fine line between the old and the new really nicely. The light trance/breaks original is transformed into a chilled piano-house mix. Certain instrumental hooks from the original and Tanzen Vision mixes have been replayed as a pretty piano. The gorgeous vocals sound as great as they did 12 years ago. This is a stunning update.

Purchase the new version here (iTunes)
The 1999 album version can be purchased here (iTunes) Note: It's track 2; It was released under the name "L'Amour Toujours" outside the U.S.

Grade: A-

August 13, 2011

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Joe Jonas - Love Slayer (Remixes)

This is the former Disney star's second solo single. After a midtempo, he is shooting for a club-oriented track to showcase his versatility. Vocally, Joe is surprisingly strong. The original is pretty club-ready, however, there are some remixes by Ralphi Rosario, Stephan Grondin & Alain Jackinsky, Static Revenger, and Jump Smokers which take the song to another level. Though Ralphi's mixes are in a similar vein as some of his recent mixes, this sound works perfectly here. The Stephan Grondin & Alain Jackinsky mixes are harder, and better suited for peakhour play. Their Vocal mix with early 90's rave pianos works better than the Tribal mix which feels a little too over-produced. The Static Revenger mixes have a tinny, gritty electro-house sound which somehow works. The Jump Smokers basically souped up the original version, making it a little more epic for the dancefloor. Overall, the Ralphi Rosario mixes are the best of the bunch.

Grade: A-

August 11, 2011

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Jennifer Lopez - Papi (Remixes)

This is the sexy new single from her Love? album. A Latin, club-oriented track in its original version, this gets a full package of remixes by DJ Kue*, Mixin' Marc & Tony Svedja, R3hab, and Rosabel. Mixin Marc & Tony Svedja's synthy big room mix feels like a souped up version of the original. R3hab opts for a heavy electro-house sound. Rosabel's piano-laden tribal mix is surprisingly tame, but pretty. Overall, the Mixin Marc & Tony Svedja mix is the best of the bunch.

*DJ Kue mix was not available at press time and was not reviewed.

Listen to the original here (YouTube)

Grade: A-

August 9, 2011

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Evanescence - What You Want

This is the lead single from their highly anticipated new album due this October. The soaring vocals of Amy Lee take ahold of the listener from the first note. The hook is simply incredible. The production calls to mind the sound of 80's hard rock. It has a classic feel. This has many of the hallmarks of the typical Evanescence sound that made many fall in love with their work.

Purchase the song here (iTunes)

Grade: A
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The Wanted - Glad You Came

Shifting gears in the U.S., the UK boyband's current UK single is now the single set to be released in the U.S. after "All Time Low" was inexplicably canceled or failed to catch on--it isn't clear which of these is the real reason. It has an adds date of September 13 in the U.S. Beginning seemingly as a ballad, it jumps into an electro-pop synthy production with hard dance beats. The group's vocals are sublime. This one is slightly stronger than "All Time Low" and may have a better chance at catching on. So far, there are remixes by Alex Gaudino. His mix just ups the energy ever so slightly, toning down the pronounced synths from the original.

-Watch the music video for the original here (YouTube)
-Listen to the Alex Gaudino mix here (YouTube)

Grade: A

August 5, 2011

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Gloria Estefan - Wepa (Remixes)

The highly anticipated remix package for the Pharrell Williams-produced song has finally arrived! Gloria's song is reworked by long-time collaborators Pablo Flores and Rosabel. This release marks the return of Pablo Flores to remixing after nearly a decade away. There are many, many remixes by Ralphi Rosario, Rosabel, Pablo Flores, R3hab, Gustavo Scorpio, DJ Africa, Keisha Mai Ash & Tony Mardini, and Emilio Estefan & Tony Mardini so far.

Ralphi's solo mixes are straightforward circuit/tribal. The dub works a lot better here. Rosabel's mixes are the hard-hitting circuit anthem that this song is screaming for. Pablo Flores shows us that he's still got it with his Latin House mixes. They are in a similar tempo as the original and add a frenzied carnival feel. He delivers both an English and Spanish version. R3hab's gritty electro treatments leave much to be desired as it is a mostly instrumental take. Gustavo Scorpio offers up a chunky Latin-ized big room mix. The Klubjumpers electro/house mix also doesn't go very far. DJ Africa's simple tribal/electro mix is effective as well. The Keisha Mai Ash & Tony Mardini mix is a festive, drummy one. Emilio Estefan & Tony Mardini's tribal/electro mix has some well-timed electro breaks, but it just lacks cohesiveness.

Overall, the Rosabel, Pablo Flores, and Gustavo Scorpio mixes are outstanding with the Klubjumpers and R3hab ones being the weakest.

Purchase the digital EP featuring a few of the mixes here (iTunes)

Grade: A

August 2, 2011

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Michael M - Dear Diary (Riddler Mix)

The candid club track about the nightlife and all its trimmings is back again with a hot new mix by Riddler. It gets a fun rave-ish tribal/electro makeover. The unexpected piano dropout in the middle is lovely.  Michael's computerized spoken vocals are just as hypnotic as they were on the initial release nearly 6 years ago. Although mostly a vocal dub, this track will fit into a wide variety of sets.

This will be released on August 7 for purchase through Beatport.

Check out a preview of the mix here:
Dear Diary Riddler's Miami 2011 Mix by The Michael M

Watch the cute and funny music video of the original here (YouTube)

Grade: A-
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Sash! feat Jean Pearl - Mirror Mirror

German Dance/Electronic act's latest single "Mirror Mirror" utilizes the main hook from their 1997 hit "Ecuador". The production has that ubiquitous Electo-house sound characteristic of Dr. Luke and Klaas productions (particularly the "Infinity 2008" song). Pop vixen Jean Pearl provides the cutesy vocals. The song is a far cry from many of the vocal gems they cranked out during their glory days. The paint by numbers track could easily do well on U.S. radio if given the right push. There are over a dozen remixes on the single, with the significant majority sounding very similar. The Sash! Classic Style Edit is the only version that is even remotely close to the style that many used to love.

Watch the music video here (YouTube)

Grade: C
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Die Apotheka – Welcome To Apotheka

This is yet another unusual track. It takes a German language public announcement warning against drug use and puts it over an electro production. The largely instrumental track is hard and aggressive. Many sections of the instrumental call to mind Lady Gaga's faux German track "Scheiße" (let the mashups/medleys begin!). One could drop in or mix in that song with this one for a really wicked dancefloor treat. All 5 versions are relatively similar, with the dub containing just a few samples.

Listen to clips and purchase the mixes here (Radikal)
Get lossless WAV files from Beatport here

Grade: A-
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Consuelo Costin - Feel So Alive

After her first single "Naked" comes the much stronger followup with remixes by Almighty, Oliver Watts, DJ JST, Gustavo Scorpio, and Tony Moran & Warren Rigg. Consuelo finally comes into her element on "Feel So Alive." The Euro-house mixes by Almighty are uplifting and pretty. Oliver Watts' mixes are uplifting and lighter, being a good fit for Dance radio. The last three offer up circuit/big room treatments. DJ JST's is the hardest of the bunch with the hard drums and trancey synths. Gustavo Scorpio's is much lighter. Tony Moran & Warren Rigg's mix isn't quite the anthem some may expect, but it is lovely too. Overall, every mix is great! The Oliver Watts and DJ JST ones are the standouts.

Grade: A
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Jessica Sutta - Show Me (Remixes)

After the former Pussycat Doll's successful foray into clubland a couple of years ago with the hits "White Lies" and "Make It Last", she is back with a new single. The original is a playful electro/rock/dance song with Jessica's infectious vocals. A plethora of remixes by Alex Gaudino & Jason Rooney, Dave Aude, and Ralphi Rosario have been made for the clubs. Alex Gaudino & Jason Rooney deliver a set of bassline-driven electro-house mixes. Dave Aude opts for a piano-driven mix this time around. Ralphi Rosario has the essential circuit mix covered. All three sets of mixes are really well-done.

Grade: A-
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