Frankie Knuckles – A New Reality (Definity)
Its been a long time coming and it could not have come at a better time than now. Frankie Knuckles, aka Godfather Of House, unleashes his third full-length artist album, full of energy, emotion, heart and soul. 'A New Reality' intro and opening track, 'Hit The Floor,' featuring veteran vocalist Ce Ce Rogers makes you feel like you have just stepped onto the world's biggest dance floor. As the beats and chords sampling 'Conquistadors Chocolates' by Johnny Hammond build to momentum and the bass kicks in like thunder. But the excitement is far from over as it segues into 'Bac N Da Day' featuring Jamie Principle, the first time they're together in 20 years, since they first collaborated. Other highlights include 'What's Going On,' 'Matter Of Time' and club classic, 'Keep On Movin'' featuring the vocals of Nikki Richards, who makes an appearance on most of the album's tracks.
Nick Holder – The Other Side (nrk)
Toronto's DJ/Producer, Nick Holder releases his second artist album, covering a spectrum of beats and sounds including hip-hop, break, house and tribal rhythms. Included here are popular club tracks 'On My Mind' featuring Sacha and 'No More Dating DJ's' featuring the spoken word of Jemeni. Other highlights of the album include the broken-jazz tune 'Bad Girl,' 'The Dream Lives On,' sampling excerpts of Dr. King's 'I Have A Dream' speech, and the smooth, closing track, 'My Friendly Neighbour.'
Twisted Disco 02.04 (Hed Kandi)
The Hed Kandi camp has twisted yet another fine compilation. As the liner notes states 'this CD may come as a bit of an attack on the senses,' they certainly do not lose touch and push the boundaries of sound farther than before. CD one is full of '80s-style electro house, featuring a remake of The Go-Go's classic, 'Our Lips Are Sealed' by The Visitor, 'Fame' by Kid Alex featuring Kimo Greene and 'More Lemonade' by Bucci Bag. CD two is full of floor fillers and club smashes heard around the world. Included here is a remix by AFTC of the 1993 tech-house stormer, 'Plastic Dreams' by Jaydee, 'Orgasm' by Thick Dick, 'Da Hype' by Junior Jack and an exclusive dub mix of 'I Like It' by Narcotic Thrust. For those who have purchased past Hed Kandi CD's, they are preparing for the next installment of the 'Beach House' and 'Back To Love' series later this summer.
Dancehall Nice Again 2004 (Sequence)
The combination of Reggae (Jamaica) and Reggaeton (Puerto Rico) has been gaining recognition and play for quite some time. This mixed compilation combines the best of both worlds to create a perfect Caribbean-style house party. Included here are Mr. Vegas 'Pull Up,' Rekha 'Good To Go,' Elephant Man 'Signal De Plane,' Tego Calderone 'Pa'Que Retozen' as well as familiar names Sean Paul 'Like Glue,' and Beenie Man featuring Ms. Thing with 'Dude.'
Ivy Queen – Diva Platinum Edition (Real Music/Universal Music Latino)
As with any genre of music, there is a queen that reigns supreme. In reggaeton, that queen is Ivy Queen. Born Martha Ivelisse Pesante on March 4, 1974 in Añasco, Puerto Rico but raised in New York City, Ivy Queen has transformed the sound in a male-dominated media and established herself as a leading 'diva' with the respect of her peers. Her career began as member of popular rap reggaeton group, The Noise, headed by DJ Negro. In 1996, she launched a solo career with the album En Mi Imperio featuring the hits 'Pon Atención' and 'Como Mujer.'
Continuing to establish herself as an artist, she also recorded with other popular artists such as Domingo Quiones, DLG and Alex D'Castro to name a few. In 1998, she released her second album, The Original Rude Girl, which featured 'In The Zone,' a duet with Fugees member, Wyclef Jean, and 'Sabes Que Tu'. Her latest release, Diva, is the first in five years, and showcases her heart, soul, the passion of womanhood and her culture. It features her smash single, 'Quiero Bailar,' 'Tuya Soy' and 'Dile Que Ya' featuring K-7.
Kaskade – In The Moment (OM Records)
This is the second artist album by one of house music's most talented, with so much more to come. Wearing many different hats as DJ, remixer, producer and songwriter, Kaskade has taken the treble and bass clef, weaved in a range of vocal octaves and wizardry, capturing the emotion of each composition to enlighten our senses. His first album, It's You, It's Me, quickly gained the attention of many DJ's and fans around the world, with release of its title track, and additional singles, 'Meditation To The Groove' and 'I Feel Like.'
In The Moment showcases more of his spectacular writing abilities with the release of its first single, 'Steppin' Out,' featuring the vocals of Bret Garner. Other highlights include the uptempo 'Sweet Love,' re-uniting him with Joslyn. 'I Like The Way' featuring SuperJane member/DJ Colette and the sexy, slow-motion remix of 'Soundtrack To The Soul,' featuring the vocals of Anthony Green and was also featured on his mix CD, San Francisco Sessions: Soundtrack To The Soul. To showcase his latest release and to get In The Moment, visit www.om-records.com for tour information for the city nearest you. He will be bringing the tour here to Chicago at Smart Bar on Friday, June 4 (my birthday), so mark the calendar and come show your support.
Remixed - Various Artists (OM Records)
For more than a decade, OM has been at the top of their game with solid, memorable underground releases. Remixed features sought-after House and downtempo rarities and some new favorites from dance music's talented producers and DJ's of today. A mix of funky, beats and rhythms from Andy Caldwell 'I Can't Wait', Derrick Carter remix of King Kooba's 'Fooling Myself,' Thievery Corporation on 'No Right Angles' by Eighty Mile Beach and Dizzy goes wild on Ming & FS' 'Freak.'