January 31, 2012

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DJ Pornstar - Don't Wanna Wake Up

This is the debut single from adult film actor Dominic Pacifico. The club-oriented track is very fun, and energetic. The vocals are heavily autotuned and manipulated giving them a computerized feel which actually works well here. There are plenty of remixes including the original, Matt Consola & LFB, Cristian Poow, and SpekrFreks ones. The original is a delectable radio and club-ready Electro-House production. Matt Consola & LFB's mixes are harder and darker but maintain the vibe of the original. Cristian Poow's mix has that 80s synthpop with a bit of circuit feel. The SpekrFreks mix is in an Electro/Dubstep style. The original and Matt Consola & LFB's mixes are the best of the bunch. Overall, this is a solid release.

Listen to clips and purchase the single here (Beatport)

Grade: A-

January 27, 2012

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Kris Allen - Vision Of Love (Remix)

Mostly known for his Adult Contemporary fare, it appears that he may be broadening his horizons into Dance music. The album version of the song has not surfaced yet, however, a remix by Finnish duo Maison & Dragen has. The big room, Electo-House remix is uplifting as it is hard-hitting. Kris's vocals are fantastic. He sounds perfectly at home on a production of this sort, although, he could probably do great with any genre. It is not known at this time whether this is a single or will even be appearing on his upcoming sophomore album.

Listen to the song here (YouTube)

Grade: A-

January 26, 2012

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Saint Etienne - Tonight

Nearly 7 years have passed since their last major release. There were a couple of singles here and there from their hits collection, and one-offs. The lead single from their new album, "Tonight" is an Electro/Pop track that bears all the hallmarks of their urbane brand of Dance music. Sarah Cracknell's vocals are sublime as can be expected. The production is a little more modern than their usual reflecting the current state of Dance music (depending on who is asked, that may or may not be a good thing). Overall, this is a great song.

Listen to the song here:

Grade: A

January 17, 2012

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Xoe - Getaway

Get ready for singer-songwriter Xoe. Although she is new to the Pop music scene, she has been singing and performing for quite some time. "Getaway" is an edgy Electro/Dance/Pop number that is radio and club-ready. Evoking the style of Ke$ha, she both raps and sings on the song. Super catchy, the song's hook will be in your head for hours after a single listen.

This song only showcases a small part of her vocal abilities. She tackles ballads, Rock, and some more Dance/Pop effectively as evidenced by several of her videos on her channel. "Stuck On Repeat" is also a very fun track with a cute video.

Listen to "Getaway" and download it here: (this download was kindly provided by the artist)

Grade: A-
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Fader Lima - Ghost In The Machine

Newcomer Fader Lima is set to unleash her brand of music known as "Intuitive Pop". It is really hard to describe this genre as it draws upon so many styles. "Ghost In The Machine" immediately brings to mind the sound that has been characteristic of Sade's work throughout their illustrious career, however, this is a bit more uptempo. The Sade comparisons don't end there as Fader's vocals are just as smooth and beautiful as Sade Adu's. The divinely sung lyrics are so captivating.

Listen to the song here:
Ghost in the Machine by Fader Lima

Check out Fader's other songs on her SoundCloud. "J'Attends" and "Emergency" call to mind the work of Everything But The Girl and The Ananda Project.

Grade: A

January 15, 2012

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Gladys Knight - I Who Have Nothing (Remixes)

This song was originally released by Ben E. King in 1963 and has since been covered numerous times, most notably by Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones, and Sylvester. The Empress of Soul, Gladys Knight is the latest artist to cover this. Gladys handles the song effortlessly sounding amazing. The R&B midtempo with a hint of Electro production on the main version is pretty good. In addition to the original, there are some remixes by Leon Sylver, Lil Cee, Monikr, Paul Thomas, Red Top, and Tony Moran.

January 14, 2012

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Avicii - Levels

Although this song was released in late October, the Etta James-sampling track has been getting a lot of attention internationally during the last couple of months. It has been the basis for Flo Rida's current single "Good Feeling." Almost entirely instrumental, the uplifting piano-driven main version has a vocal drop featuring some vocals from the beginning of the legendary Etta James song "Something's Got A Hold On Me" right in the middle. The combination of the hypnotic instrumental and that unexpected vocal drop is just magical. Full instrumental versions are also available for those who want to enjoy the song just like that. Overall, this is an excellent song.

-Watch the music video here (YouTube)
-Purchase the Edit version of song with vocals here and the full EP with extended versions, instrumental and remixes here (iTunes)

Grade: A+

January 13, 2012

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Hayla - I'm Free (Remixes)

This is the debut single from the Middle Eastern beauty. "I'm Free" is the perfect showcase for her impressive vocals. One minute she is whispering and cooing softly, the next she is soaring and harmonizing. The lyrics are rather lovely.

There are many remixes of this by Ralphi Rosario, Mixin Marc & Tony Svejda, Mike Rizzo, Super Stylers, Dave Matthias, Klubjumpers, Massi & De Leon, and DJ Bam Bam. All of the remixes' productions beautifully complement the vocals. They are all in an uplifting vein. The Dave Matthias one is a little more hard-hitting and is the highlight of the bunch.

Grade: A
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Alexandra Burke feat Erick Morillo - Elephant

This is the latest single from the former UK X-Factor winner. She teams up with House luminary Erick Morillo for this club-oriented song. Lyrically, the song is rather deep. She sings about how there are unresolved issues in her relationship with her man. The vocals are pretty good, however, they have been unnecessarily autotuned into oblivion despite Alexandra having a rather good voice. The production is very Electro with certain sections feeling a bit too busy. The album version is a lot more polished and lighter than the first-previewed Sympho Nympho remix that was just way too noisy. Overall, this is really good.

Listen to the song:

January 6, 2012

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Jasper Forks - River Flows In You 2012

Originally by Yiruma in 2001, this instrumental piano track was turned into a club track by Jasper Forks in 2010. In addition to the main instrumental version and remixes, a vocal was added. The song has been revisited again. The Avicii-esque song is a stunner in both its older and new versions. The production has been tweaked slightly on the new version. An additional remix by Steve Smart & West Funk was done as well. The piano elements are retained but the production has an electro edge and is more suited for the big rooms. Now all this new mix needs is the vocals from the 2010 version. The 2012 main version is beautiful and perfect.

-Listen to the 2012 version here (YouTube)
-Purchase the 2012 version here (Beatport)
-Listen to the Steve Smart & West Funk mix here (YouTube)

Grade: A+

January 2, 2012

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Scissor Sisters - Shady Love

This is the first single off of their upcoming 4th album. This uptempo Electro/Pop track calls to mind early 90s Hip-House as rapper Azealia Banks is featured quite prominently on the verses with the Sisters themselves singing the hook and chorus (like on those he raps, she sings types of songs). The underlying production has all the hallmarks of the Scissor Sisters' music, however, the rap feels a touch out of place within that context (although Azealia is a pretty fierce rapper). The song is a grower.
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