VARIOUS. Classic Balearic Mastercuts Volume One. Mastercuts CUTSCD 34.
For those of you who don’t know, the Balearic Islands contain Ibiza, where the holiday mood combined with the sun and clubs (and the alcohol - ed!) provide the environment for a chilled out house genre where the emphasis is on dance. Mastercuts have attempted to fill an album of classic songs, some of them, I am told, are extremely difficult to find and expensive to buy on vinyl. The artists are somewhat surprising, like The Blow Monkeys and Chris Rea who open up this cd with the La Version Francaise of Josephine. The remix of Electrybe 101’s Taking To Myself is particularly well received mainly due to the lush voice of Billie Ray Martin. The classic mastercuts for my liking are Moodswing’s Spiritual High, the very hypnotic Cascades - Hypnotic Mix, by Sheer Taft and Floatation - Subsonic Grid Mix, with assistance from perhaps the best remixer of all, Andrew Weatherhall. On a cold, dark winter’s night, you could just imagine being transported to this holiday location in the sun (and the alcohol - ed!). (Phil Brook).
THE PEOPLE MOVEMENT. C - Lime Woman. Eye Q.
A four track 12" pure dance single with completely over the top vocals by a drag queen from Toronto, who provides enough bad language out of context to make this reviewer squirm. The Farley and Heller Main Mix and the John Aquaviva remix (a house more than techno track) are on the A side. For the record, also included on the other side are the original with a non singing male diva doing the vocal and the Farley + Heller dub. Not my type of music. Sorry. (Phil Brook)
To celebrate their 50th release, Soma gives us ten choice slabs of pure in house entertainment where the instrumental dance tunes craftily seduce the mind. There are fourteen different artists signed to the label, although only ten are featured on their latest compilation. The opener sets the scene with a classic stamp of approval, Slam are not by any means slow movers in designing tracks at the forefront of music and a sample of their new material (Painless) points the way forward. If that was not sufficient, then the brilliant Acres Of Spades (a million miles away from that well known Motorhead track) by Envoy shows the imagination and inventiveness required to produce music well above the average standard. Rejuvenation haven't released anything for a year, but I am glad their Utah Jazz enhances the excellent reputation they so rightly deserve. Earl Brown's Feelin Horny combines a jazzy riff with a dance rhythm to make one of those infectious tracks that can either be danced to or simply listened to and will be remembered for it's lasting quality. C-Horse by Equus contains a jazzy theme with piano and sax and loads of noises arranged in an exciting way. The finale by Skintrade delivers a funky tribute to Soma Recordings. Any of the ten tracks could become classics of the independent underground dance scene of Glasgow, England or the world. Only another 50 to go before the next celebration. (Phil Brook)
A four track 12” that commences with an infectious house tune that is really funky and combined with summery vocals gives the Daybreak mix of Panther a wonderful vibe. House music can appear to be very familiar and follow a pattern that is too old to listen to. This thankfully is a joy to enjoy. On the same side the M & M mix uses a similar format and reaches even higher. On the flip side, Whoops is divided into two parts and is much more beat driven with bass lines and breakbeats offering a totally different sound to the A side. Obviously designed t be played in the more intelligent clubs, this single has a lot of promise. (Phil Brook)
One of the interesting tracks lifted from the excellent Carboot Soul album that features a female vocal component. Sara Winton's breathy style delivers a fine counterpoint to the electronica without an over the top diva performance, in fact the singing is at times very low in the mix. There are two other remixes available on this single, one by San Francisco based hip hop producer Paul Nice (don't worry -- it's very melodic) and the other by Alex Gopher who is heavily involved with French house music. Although not as long as most of the warp singles, it's still more than worth adding to your collection. (Phil Brook)
SHAMEN. Collection / Stars On 25 - Remix Collection. One Little Indian TPLP72CD & TPLP72CR
Taken together there are a lot of their best tracks on these albums. The Collection mainly deals with the so called 7” mixes and radio edits whereas the Remix album is much more interesting because it is split into four distinct musical spheres, ie alternative, house, acid and drum ‘n bass. The latter album has been specially mixed by Mr C into four sets and includes the work of 808 State, Orbital and Renegrade Soundwave on the alternative section. For those lovers of house, Moby displays his remixing talents. The acid section contains contributions of Richie Hawtin, Hardfloor and Speedy J in comparison to LTJ Buckem mix of Transamazonia in the drum ‘n bass arena. The Shamen have been relatively consistent in not only satisfying the pop market but also allowing their material to have been substantly changed by some of the major remixing artists. This wonderful and varied collection should be added to your musical collection (Phil Brook)
Now digitally enhanced, this album has stood the time test. In their pre Ebeneezer Goode phase when acid house grips rock music with acerbic lyrics, the Shamen were busy experimenting in a drug related environment. Out of it all came the opening track Synergy with the clever MDMAmazing chorus line. The War Prayer as you would imagine contains biting lyrics and is a very fine song. Raptyouare sees the band encompassing Electro and hip-hop. There are four bonus tracks to please the fans and their second album still achieves a good rating. (Phil Brook)
With it's distinctive sound, Latin house is probably a new sub type to be reviewed in this magazine. I suppose this could be considered as a more focused club attitude where the rhythms are bright and breezy with a hint of jazzy notes. The dozen tracks are all continually mixed by Carsten Hellmich and seamlessly flow from one to another. I have to admit that there are only three names that I have heard before (Larry Heard's And So I Dance the Rumba Ritual Mix, Nick Holder's I Once Believed In You and the Calypso Theme by Ian Pooley. After three instrumentals, Javaria Ali is give the opportunity to flex her vocal chords assisting Miquifa on Never Let You Go. The scene becomes a little heavier on Blue Chase by Blue Productions where the percussion becomes more intense. The piano riffs that make house music so appealing are still present but are presented in a more subtle way that enhances the final image. With the tempo firmly remaining within the dance-floor area, this album does not become too heavy and should appeal to quite a wide audience. If you are getting fed up with the Ibiza scene, then why not try knocking on the door of Latin House. (Phil Brook)
This label is an offshoot of Millennium records that specialises in the style of music that is known as house. In this particular respect, the club is to be found in Dortmund and this representation of the music is the deep style. It's a constant mix of 15 tunes seamlessly placed side by side to make up a 74-min mix of instrumentals, all of which has been compiled by Carsten Hellmich. Few of the artists have received great exposure apart from perhaps Kerri Chandler and Nick Holder. Could Be So Good by Entity Squad is good with its electronic version of scratching, The sampled vocal sections, electronically modified into short riffs, provide an unusual aspect to Akimbo's Every Body knows. After the good vibes set into motion by DJ Stan Johnson, the melodic slow harmonising notes fit neatly into the club house scene of Ari Jnr's So Real. For those who are unable to visit the Club Trinidad, then with this CD the club will come to you! (Phil Brook)
A three track 12" offering mixes in the jazz soaked house stable in which the Nigerian Singer Erire provides just the right style of vocal delivery for the song title. The production is of a very open variety that gives a spacious feel, yet the instrumentation is as tight as ever. She has a very good voice and her songwriting ability has developed since she started at the youthful age of only sixteen. The filthy Lucre Mix features mainly harmonizing vocals to complement the menacing bass and percussive feel. On the other side is the nine and a half min Canal Kings Remix which is purely designed for the clubs and is actually a good number that precisely balances the needs of the club fraternity with the musical preferences of other listeners. Remember the name, as she could just become the latest dance sensation. (Phil Brook)
Music has a wide variety of styles and on this compilation, the main audience is one who visits the clubs seeking out those deeper house tunes that remain almost instrumentals. Unless you are a follower, then the majority of artists or remixers featured here will not be known apart from perhaps Romanthony who produced the Slight Vocal Radiomix of Superfunk's Come Back. Other remixes include Kojak's Theo's Mix of Sexy Kool 's Move That Body, the interesting version by Superfunk of Kardek's Oh You and the alternative Africa Tour Mix of Superfunk's Drop The Bomb by Demon Richtie. Top Of The Pops fanatics will not be too pleased with this album as the music is much too deep and designed for an adult audience. It is certainly danceable yet retaining the dual aspect of being able to just sit and listen. Some albums like these suffer from all the tracks appearing to be a carbon copy of the opener. I am glad to say the Fiat Lux have successfully avoided this pit stop. (Phil Brook)
This is another chunk of the style of music that is considered to be uplifting house that storms the charts. It is collaboration between Andy Smith and Aron Friedman, both of which have enjoyed considerable success either making music or in production. Certainly designed to rock the dancefloors up and down the country, this single starts with a remix of Chung Kuo by Vangelis with Jeanne providing the happy vocals. After listening to this, it is easy to see why it's so popular. The second track offers a Big Room Club mix and the third offering is the Lange Remix. (Phil Brook)
The third instalment of deep house and summery downtown sounds all mixed by the Chelmsford based DJ/Producer Phil Mison. The first seven tracks lean more towards the house themes and include contributions from Nick Holder and Beth Orton. By the time the eighth passage is starting the sounds change in favour of the downtempo scene and this is heralded by Cantoma's Pandajero, who's new album will be released on Denmark's' Flex label. The second highlight is the rather beautiful Diary Of A Lost Girl (World Of Apples Modjave Rehab Mix) by Christian Zimmerman who adds a slightly dubby feel to this distinct Leftfield production. The title track by A Reminiscent Drive from the latest album Ambrosia is very melodic yet this is bettered by Quiddity (Second Visit) by the Netherlands based Max 404. The downtempo finale is just superb as Solar Quest's Singtree has only been available on tapes at the Cafe Del Mare and this album is worth buying for this track alone. (Phil Brook)
A Chicago based DJ and producer who displays his skills manipulating the turntables over an amazing 29 tracks. It's not all bangin' club, as he combines disco, funk and house within a hip-hop style that is all jazzed up to meet the needs of a vibrant dancefloor. It is not chilled, as the music incorporates garage, dirty funk and the inevitable scratching, all mixed with special effects and tone tweaking to impart a live remix feel. Even acappellas are added incorporate a newer dimension that sets the standard of the man who won a Radio Mix Show DJ Of The Year competition. Designed to be enjoyed in its entirety, there is little point mentioning any particular tracks, but his choice cannot be described as run of the mill. This CD also includes an interactive video, which was not initially reviewed as I was commuting on the train the first time I listened to the album. Bad Boy Bill has developed his own brand of production that should set the forward looking clubs in London with plenty to dance to. (Phil Brook)