March 31, 2013

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Sash! feat Sarah Brightman - The Secret (Remixes)

This was originally on Sash!'s 2002 album S4. It was done in the big room Trance style that was popular at the time. A newer chilled, contemporary version at a slightly lower tempo appears on Sash!'s Life Is A Beach album released last year. Sarah's vocals are absolutely beautiful. There are additional mixes by Al King, Bodo Turner, Iwara, and Jay Frog. All are pleasant and in a similar style with the Al King and Jay Frog mixes having more of an electro flavor. The Iwara mix resembles the original 2002 version and has a great balance between the old and the new.

-Listen to clips and purchase the new versions here (Amazon)
-the S4 album version can also be purchased here (Amazon)

Grade: A-

March 30, 2013

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Leah LaBelle - Lolita (Remixes)

This is the latest single from the rising R&B singer. The song is sensual and funky in its original version. Leah's vocals are intoxicating.

There are some remixes by Chris Cox, Sick Individuals, and Sidney Samson. The Chris Cox mixes have that dark anthemic quality that was characteristic of his work with Barry Harris when they produced together as Thunderpuss. The Sick Individuals and Sidney Samson mixes are produced in an aggressive Electro/House style and are on the noisy side. The Cox mixes are the best of the bunch.

-Listen to the original version here (YouTube)
-Listen to the main versions of the remixes here:

-Buy the remixes here (Beatport)

Grade: A- (for the original)/A (for the Chris Cox mixes)

March 29, 2013

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Phillip Damien - Pearls

The original song is from Sade's 1992 album Love Deluxe. It's a haunting, almost acapella song about a poor Somalian mother trying to gather rice to feed her child. While an unlikely choice for remixing into a dance song, Phillip Damien produced several amazing bootleg mixes using the album version that circulated on a white label 12". The remixes were never officially released, spawning a number of cover versions based on Phillip's bootleg mixes. Two new versions by Phillip with Michael Moog and Junior Sanchez have been released recently. Both have a current yet classic feel to them.

-Listen to clips and purchase here (Beatport)

Grade: A
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Hani - Must Be That Body Language

This is a hot new release from the New York producer/DJ. The laidback, deep house track is based on the bridge of Queen's "Body Language". The production is dreamy and hypnotic with the vocals beautifully floating in. The alternate Extra Sauce mix adds some tougher bass stabs, however, it does not deviate much further from the main version. Instrumentals of both versions are included as well in addition to a dub of the Extra Sauce mix.

  • Purchase the original versions here (Beatport)
  • Purchase the Extra Sauce versions here (Beatport)

Grade: A

March 28, 2013

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Depeche Mode - Soothe My Soul

This is the second single from their new Delta Machine album that was released earlier in the week. Production-wise, this bears a striking resemblance to their own "Personal Jesus." It has that similar swing beat and sleazy synthwork. Their live performances have played up the similarities. The song has a dark, sinister feel to it. This should easily be another hit for them.

Listen to the song and watch the music video here (YouTube)

Grade: A

March 27, 2013

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Offer Nissim & Asi Tal feat Maya Simantov - Breath

This is a new vocal track produced by Israeli producers Offer Nissim and Asi Tal with longtime vocalist Maya Simantov (she is credited with her last name on this release though she went by just her first name on earlier collaborations). Maya delivers a spectacular vocal. This is not as hard and progressive as some of the other tracks she has sung on previously, but this one has that dramatic flavor characteristic of those songs. With the right edit, this one could be a hit on Dance radio. The song is even more beautiful in its Acoustic version.

Listen to and download the original Offer Nissim & Asi Tal mix:

Listen to the Acoustic version:

Grade: A
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Offer Nissim feat Ilan Peled - Haw Haw

This has been a fixture of the Israeli DJ's sets for the last several months. It is a dark tribal track with an angry, foul mouthed male vocal lashing out at his lover. This track is in the same vein as Franklin Fuentes' work from the 90s, though it lacks the cute comedic moments that were routinely found in his work. The reverbed vocals mesh really well with the production. This is a fun track overall.

Listen to the song and download it here:

Grade: B+

March 26, 2013

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Roald - Moment Of Glory

This is a new release from the Swishcraft record label. They have been on a roll with their recent releases. This uplifting hi nrg/dance/pop track has a strong 80s flavor from the production to the vocals. 7th Heaven, Bright1, Cristian Poow, and Matt Consola & LFB provide the remixes. 7th Heaven's mix is very synthy and pretty. Bright1's mixes don't stray much from the original. Cristian Poow's mix is a tad darker. Matt Consola & LFB's mix is harder too but maintains the original's integrity. Overally, Matt Consola & LFB's mix is the best of the bunch but all of them are good.

-Listen to clips of all the mixes and buy the single here (Beatport)

Grade: A-
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Jessica Sutta - Again

The former member of girlband The Pussycat Dolls has been embarking upon a solo career with a series of collaborations with Dave Aude and Paul Van Dyk a few years ago as well as a few solo singles. Her latest single is an infectious Dance/Pop single that is her catchiest to date. It has the greatest potential to crossover on CHR/Pop radio and help her with her breakthrough.

Listen to the song here (Soundcloud)

Grade: A
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Robin Thicke feat T.I. & Pharrell Williams - Blurred Lines

The R&B crooner is back with a new party jam enlisting the help of T.I. and Pharrell Williams. The funky song is incredibly sexy and playful. This song has that je ne sais quoi that George Michael's late 80s/early 90s material had. Robin sounds amazing and rapper T.I. complements him with his verse. Pharrell's backing vocals and ad libs add further atmosphere to the frenetic track. This could be a potential dancefloor smash without the aid of remixes though this could be quite the floorfiller with the right old school House mix. This should be a smash into the Summer months.

-Check out the naughty music video featuring Robin, T.I., Pharrell, and plenty of hot dancers here (YouTube) [the video really helps you to get into the song as it embodies the fun aspect of the song]
-Buy the song on iTunes here

March 25, 2013

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Kristine W - Everything That I Got (Offer Nissim and Mr. Black Mix)

Several months after peaking at #2 on the Billboard Dance chart, this remix by Offer Nissim and Mr. Black has finally been made available to stream. This dub-styled mix centers around some of the spoken parts and a few vocal samples. It's an energetic mix that would get the crowd hyped up. It ends up being one of the best mixes of the song. It's a shame the mix never came out.

Listen to the mix here:

Grade: A

March 24, 2013

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CeCe Peniston vs Rosabel - Finally vs Let Me Be Myself (Danny Verde Private Mashup)

CeCe Peniston's club classic, especially in the form of the David Morales remixes has been remixed, sampled, and remade hundreds if not thousands of times in the two decades it has existed. You may be thinking, "Oh no! Not another update!" This mashup by red hot remixer/producer Danny Verde manages to successfully reinvents the song. Danny used the instrumental he produced for Rosabel and Tamara Wallace's "Let Me Be Myself" for the mashup. The result is absolutely amazing.

Listen and download here:

Grade: A

March 22, 2013

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Yinon Yahel feat Meital De Razon - Share The Night

This is the latest collaboration of the producer and vocalist. Meital's gorgeous vocals take center stage on this. The production starts off hard then softens for a moment, then it builds to a hard, progressive riff. The TLV Vocal is the hard version. The In Love In NY mix is much lighter and uplifting and the riff is less aggressive. An edit of this version could have potential to cross over to radio just as that other Avicii "I Could Be The One" track is doing right now.

TLV Vocal Mix

In Love In NY Mix

Grade: A-
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Rusty Villiers - Disco Boy

This mostly instrumental tribal release is interesting as it combines a deep voiced male vocal, some subtle Disco elements, and tons of tribal drums. There are remixes by Nick Harvey, Matt Moss, Taz, and Anndy Stamer.

Nick Harvey's mix builds with hard drums and bass to a deep Disco era bassline drop leading to peak hour synths. Matt Moss softens things up with his Electro House mix, building to a Giorgio Moroder "I Feel Love" type section. Taz's mix has an old school rave flavor recalling some of Superchumbo's work. Anndy Stamer's peak hour mix features a fierce, warped Electro riff. Overall, every mix is really great.

-Listen to clips and buy the release here (Beatport)

Grade: A
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98 Degrees - Microphone

The boyband known for the hits "Invisible Man", "Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)", and "Because Of You" have re-formed with their original lineup. The new song "Microphone" premiered earlier today. The song's rather bland lyrics have tons of innuendo and double entendres about oral sex just as Flo Rida's "Whistle" last year. This goes just a little further. The vocals and production are decent, however, the song just sounds really odd and a little creepy.

Listen to the song here (Elvis Duran)

Grade: B-

March 21, 2013

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New design!

Dear Readers,
Thanks for your patience! The re-design of the blog took a little longer than expected. Finding a template that didn't garble the pictures or make the text too small was a challenge. Some of you who may have logged on while I was trying out different templates may have seen all the different ones I tried. I tried close to 100 different templates!

I didn't want to make it radically different from what you are used to. I received feedback from some longtime readers who indicated that they did not like the posts being so abbreviated with the previous template and they didn't like how the single/album covers and pictures being so small.

The list of links, about section, and music buying guide pages will be updated later on. The links section got lost during the change.

March 20, 2013

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singer Billie Ray Martin performing at Roseland this Friday!

If you are in the New York area or will be there this Friday, German singer-songwriter Billie Ray Martin best known for the club classics "Your Loving Arms", "True Moments Of My World", "Space Oasis", "Imitation Of Life", "Running Around Town", "Systems Of Silence", "18 Carat Garbage", "Honey", and "Undisco Me" will be performing at Roseland Ballroom on March 22 at 9pm at the BPX: The Black Party Expo event (the BPX OPENING NIGHT featuring THE HOOKIES). The event begins at 7pm.

Additional information about purchasing tickets and schedule is available here (the website is a little bit NSFW). Tickets before the event are $20 and on the day of the event are $25. Special VIP tickets are available for $100 on a limited basis.

March 18, 2013

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John Kano feat Stephanie Stokes - Come Into My Life

Freestyle music in all its different flavors and incarnations hasn't been a dominant force since the mid/late 90s when Trance/Breakbeat hybrids began to gain popularity. This upcoming release may turn the tide. John Kano's production combines the sensibilities of Freestyle, Trance, Electro and Circuit House while singer Stephanie Stokes evokes memories of such divas of the Freestyle era including Angelina, Cynthia, Jocelyn Enriquez, Lil' Suzy, and Safire with her vocals. The song is insanely catchy and well-done. This is due to be released in April. Hopefully this one will be a huge success and could bring about a revival of the Freestyle genre.

Listen to a preview of the main mix:

Grade: A
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Deborah Cox feat Paige - Higher

This is R&B/Dance diva Deborah Cox's latest single produced by Paige. It starts off slow and builds to a soaring chorus. The dreamy, swirling synths throughout the track are gorgeous. Deborah's vocals are beautiful as can be expected. There are verses and choruses so this isn't a vocal dub with vocals sandwiched between two long instrumental sections. Only a radio edit and club mix are available so far. Additional remixes may be forthcoming, though this one is hard-hitting and suitable for a variey of dancefloors, and should be topping the charts very soon.

Listen to clips of the song and buy here:

Grade: A

March 16, 2013

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Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience (Review)

This is the much-awaited 3rd album from the former boybander. His last album FutureSex/LoveSounds was released in the Summer of 2006. The music landscape has changed significantly since then. Those expecting Justin to do a full-on Dance/Pop album will be disappointed as this one is done in a strong R&B and Hip Hop style. It continues what was started with the previous albums. Entirely produced by frequent collaborator Timbaland, the songs run the gamut from smooth midtempos and ballads to party jams. The majority of the songs are arranged as extended suites with multiple sections including intros, outros, orchestral and percussion breaks, and codas. One could consider some of these additional sections as other songs.

Here is an overview of each song:

Pusher Love Girl This album opener discusses the love addiction he is afflicted with. It begins with an orchestral flourish, announcing the bigger things to come. The production changes and adds a stronger beat about 3/4 of the way through with Justin namechecking certain illicit substances one may become addicted to.

Suit & Tie (feat. Jay-Z) The lead single with its horn-dretched intro builds into the Disco/R&B throwback about getting all dressed up in the aforementioned clothing is so smooth and catchy. Justin's falsetto is a joy to listen to.

Don't Hold The Wall Sporting Bollywood-esque tribal drums and an ethnic vocal sample, this club banger makes it hard to sit still. The extended dance break leading to a bridge is one of the few Dance/Electronic moments on the album.

Strawberry Bubblegum Sweet and sexy, this song about his main squeeze being a delectable treat has  strong Michael Jackson and Al Green influences. The dreamy salsa-lite instrumental that comes in later is exquisite

Tunnel Vision The Hip Hop song calls to mind "My Love" from his last album except this is much prettier. The layered harmonies are perfection.

Spaceship Coupe This celestial-themed silky midtempo is lovely. Dim all the lights to set the mood while listening to this. The rock guitar solo comes in at the right time just as it would on a classic Prince song.

That Girl This has a strong 60s R&B flavor that doesn't let up.

Let The Groove Get In Strongly (unintentionally) influenced by Michael Jackson and Change, this uptempo is aimed at the dancefloor. The "Conga"-esque production and the "Wanna Be Startin' Something" rapidfire vocal delivery make for a deadly combination. The "Off The Wall" styled second section builds to a cold ending.

Mirrors The Rock-influenced song does immediately call to mind his very own "What Goes Around... Come Around", especially the drums. This one is deeply personal, most likely being about his wife.

Blue Ocean Floor The album closer featuring a hypnotic reversed string loop is extremely haunting. Justin's voice portrays a certain vulnerability that he has only let the world see only a few times before.

Timbaland's production is spot-on as are Justin's vocals. The lyrics on many of the songs may at times be slightly clichĂ© and jejune, but coupled with all the other elements, it manages to work. Overall, this is a strong album, but it definitely won't be everyone's cup of tea. This is easily his least commercial album so far. It would be ranked below FutureSex/LoveSounds and above Justified, however, that is not to say Justified is a bad album or something. Only a couple of the tracks really could work well as singles with the right single edit, though certain songs may have to be reworked in the studio to be made appropriate for releasing to radio. Fans of Justin and Timbaland should still check this out.

The album will be released on March 19 in the U.S. on both CD and digital download formats. Target will be selling a special Deluxe Edition CD with 2 additional songs "Dress On" and "Body Count." A vinyl edition will also be available.

Grade: A

March 13, 2013

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Depeche Mode previews some new songs from their Delta Machine album

The group performed several songs from their new album, in addition to a couple classics this week on the David Letterman Show stage at the Ed Sullivan Theater. The new album entitled Delta Machine will be released on March 26.

Should Be Higher
Walking In My Shoes
Barrel Of A Gun
Personal Jesus
Soft Touch / Raw Nerve
Soothe My Soul
Enjoy The Silence

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Vanessa Elisha - Home To Me

This is the latest single from the up and coming R&B singer/songwriter. "Home To Me" is a smooth midtempo that instantly calls to mind Ciara's "Promise". The production is in a very similar vein as that song. Vanessa's voice calls to mind various R&B songstresses such as Aaliyah, Ciara, and Tamia. The only issue is with song's instrumental production and the looped vocal sample, it slightly overpowers the singing so listen a little extra carefully when checking it out. This is a great track.

Listen to the song and download it here:

-Watch the music video here (YouTube)

Grade: A-

March 9, 2013

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Kleerup feat Loreen - Requiem Solution

Kleerup teams up with fellow Swedish recording artist Loreen (who won the Eurovision Song Contest last year with "Euphoria") on this haunting, gorgeous song. Kleerup has perfected the art of the emotional, midtempo electronic song with a classical undertone. The song may take several listens to really get into, though once it does, it doesn't let go. It's devastatingly beautiful with Loreen vocals. She could sing almost anything and it would sound great.

Listen to the song here (YouTube)

Grade: A+
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John Dahlback feat Agnes - Life (Diamonds In The Dark)

"Life" was originally an instrumental however, vocals have been recorded by Swedish Dance/Pop singer Agnes (of "Release Me" fame) taking this song to the next level. On the surface, the atmospheric electro-house song seems to be built on the Avicii "Levels" blueprint, though this one stands on its own with the new vocals. With or without the vocals, this is a great song, but it's extra special with Agnes' belting. The main version and radio edit are the mixes of choice.

Listen to the song here (YouTube)

Grade: A

March 8, 2013

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Jay Sean - Where You Are

This is his latest single. He moves away from the Dance/Electro sound of some of his recent releases. This one is a fusion of R&B, Hip Hop, and Acoustic Pop. And it is one of his first few singles in a while to not have a guest rapper. It is fairly catchy and Jay sounds great, however, this feels a little safe and lacks the edge that some of his other singles had. This may help to get him in Pop radio's good graces, though they haven't been receptive to his singles in a while.

Listen to the song here (YouTube)

Grade: B+
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Christina Aguilera - Let There Be Love (Remixes)

This is reportedly the 3rd single off of her Lotus album. The uptempo is produced by Max Martin and Shellshock. The song's production immediately calls to mind Ke$ha's "Tik Tok", Katy Perry's "California Gurls", Usher's "The DJ Got Us Falling In Love", and Madonna's "Girl Gone Wild." While the song's lyrics aren't terribly exciting, it's still a lot of fun. Christina sounds great.

Remixes for the song were serviced recently by Ark Angel, Cutmore, DJ Kue, Jump Smokers, and TV Noise. Ark Angel's R&B/Dubstep mix is pleasant. It has lots of buildups and breakdowns. An edit of that could help it on radio. Cutmore's big room House mix maintains the chord progression but really beefs it up in terms of bass, beats, and synths. DJ Kue's mix is in a similar style, though slightly less melodic. The Jump Smokers doesn't deviate that much from their formula and is good. TV Noise's electro mix changes up the structure of the original and makes it dub-like.

Overall, Cutmore's mix ends up being the best of the bunch.

Listen to streams of all the mixes on Soundcloud (these were NOT uploaded by Sweet Muzik)

Ark Angel | Cutmore | DJ Kue! | Jump Smokers | TV Noise

Grade: A

March 7, 2013

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Eddie Baez feat. Zhana Roiya - I Like It Hot

Energetic Tribal House music productions are synonymous with veteran producer/DJ Eddie Baez. He teams up with fiery diva Zhana on this scorching hot anthem. Eddie's production just keeps on pumping from the first beat to the last while Zhana delivers yet another amazing vocal performance. This song is a nice throwback to the halcyon days of circuit, though it will fit nicely with what is being released right now.

-Listen to a stream of the song here:

-Purchase the song here (iTunes)

Grade: A

March 4, 2013

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Levi Kreis - So Much Better (Remixes)

This single was released last Summer, however, the song is back with a brand new remix EP! Levi is a Tony award-winning actor and singer. In its original version, the song is in a Dance/R&B/Pop style. It is dancefloor and radio ready. There are additional mixes by Jared Jones, Blackliquid, and Angelhouse Kiss. Jared Jones delivers a nice, dark big room mix. Blackliquid's mix is in a similar vein as the original, however, the drums are a little harder. The dubstep-influenced electro mix by Angelhouse Kiss is great as well. The original and Jared Jones mixes are the best of the bunch.

-Watch the music video here (YouTube)
-Purchase the digital EP here (iTunes)

Grade: A
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Jim Heinz Mixes Now Streaming!

This is a special posting announcing that a number of the mixes Jim Heinz produced with Jonathan Peters from the late 90s up until about a couple of years ago are now being streamed as a part of the Melodic House Renaissance project. Jim was known for his work on the harder, darker mixes often bearing the Sound Factory Mix or Dub name. He has also done a number of solo mixes.

Several of the famous mixes he worked on include Amber's "Above The Clouds" (the Velvet mix), Aubrey's "Angel" (a solo mix), Donna Summer's "The Power Of One" (the Sound Factory mixes), Karissa Noel's "Corrupt", Luz Divina's "In Your Eyes", SaFire's "Exotique" (a solo mix), and Whitney Houston & Deborah Cox's "Same Script, Different Cast" (the dub).

The playlist in which all the mixes are:

Nearly all of the remixes are unreleased and previously unavailable. Some of the highlights include remixes of Alicia Keys, Gloria Gaynor, Kanye West, Kelis, Luz Divina, Roxette, Sash!, Whitney Houston, and many, many more.

-Jim Heinz's Facebook Fan Page is available here for the latest updates and other information.

March 1, 2013

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Cahill & Kimberley Locke - Feel The Love

This is a new collaboration with former American Idol contestant. She has had remixes commissioned for a number of her singles over the years and has even released a couple pure Dance songs. This song has that same euphoric feelgood vibe that one might have felt when they first heard David Guetta and Kelly Rowland's "When Love Takes Over" several years back. The uplifting, hand-in-the-air production by Cahill is gorgeous. Kimberley delivers a fantastic vocal performance. This should be a huge hit on both radio and in the clubs.

-Listen to the Cahill Radio Edit here (YouTube)

Grade: A
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Guinevere - Fly Away

After the club success of "Crazy, Crazy" last year comes the delightful followup. "Fly Away" is an edgy Rock-flavored Electro/Pop song. The retro guitar hook calls to mind Martin Solveig's "Hello" from a couple of years ago. This song is much catchier than the former. This one could be a major radio hit with the proper promotional push. There are mixes by the Jump Smokers, 7th Heaven, KoKo, and Pagano. The Jump Smokers mix doesn't deviate much from their usual formula. 7th Heaven's funky house mix is really well-done though. KoKo's big room mix is a loosely structured and a little messy. Pagano did two mixes: the Americas and European. The European one ends up being the better one. 7th Heaven's mix is the best of the bunch. The digital remix EP will be released on March 5.

Listen to previews of the original, Jump Smokers, and 7th Heaven mixes:

The KoKo and Pagano mixes can be previewed here (Juno)

Grade: A
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Danny Tenagla and Celeda - Be Yourself

The  club classic about simply being yourself has been updated again. The song's message is just as relevant as it was when it first came out. A new generation of clubbers will get to hear the song, and maybe check out the older mixes of the song too.

The first package includes mixes by Supernova. The SunRise and SunSet mixes are in a sublime Deep House style. The Inner City-styled instrumental hooks are really nice.

The second package includes mixes by Adam Freemer, Lateral Cut Groove, Rob Warner & Shaveer, and Stephane K & DJ Koutarou.A. Adam Freemer's mix is like a freshened up take on the original Tenaglia production. Lateral Cut Groove's mixes are tribal and techy with an extended beatless section.  Rob & Shaveer's mix is in a darker Deep House/Disco style. Stephane K & DJ Koutarou.A's mix is also in a Deep House style.

Overall, the Supernova, Adam Freemer, and Stephane K & DJ Koutarou.A mixes are the best of the bunch, but every mix is great.

-But the Supernova mixes here (Beatport)
-Buy the second package here (Beatport)

Grade: A
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