Back To Love 03.04 –
Various Artists (Hed Kandi)
School may be out but Hed Kandi releases some classic summer sessions, so pull out your books and take note. Let's take a step back to 1989 when Janet Jackson's 'Rhythm Nation 1814' was released (after she showed the world she had 'Control'); N.W.A. caused much panic coming 'Straight Outta Compton' (after you just learned all the lyrics to Eazy-E's debut album) and everyone wanted to be on that New Jack Swing tip.
Back To Love revisits those moments and more on this 2-CD release, full of known and rare classics. They kick the first half with downtempo house numbers beginning with the underrated vocals of house veteran, Arnold Jarvis on 'Take Some Time Out.' A cover of the Stevie Wonder classic, 'As' by Secret Life and taking the party up another notch by including 'We Got A Love Thang' by Ce Ce Peniston and a rare club mix of 'A Deeper Love' by C & C Music Factory featuring the soaring vocals of Deborah Cooper.
CD 2 takes the beat on a rare excursion by including the Terry Farley mix of 'Loaded' by Primal Scream and the unreleased extended mix of 'Big Thing' by Lisa Stansfield & Blue Zone. R & B flavors included here are 'Hey Mr. D.J.' by Zhane, 'Bonita Applebum' by A Tribe Called Quest, 'Right Here' by SWV and closing the CD on a disco tip with 'Ain't No Love (Ain't No Use)' by Sub Sub featuring Melanie Williams.
Louie Vega – Choice: A Collection of Classics (Azuli)
There are a number of DJ's/turned artists that always amaze me with their creative talent and ability to create music that inspires or changes a person's life. Frankie Knuckles, Ron Hardy, Danny Tenaglia, Larry Levan and the list goes on. One of them will always be one half of Master At Works fame, Louie Vega. In this continuous series, Louie takes us back to the early fundamentals of house music, from which a number of today's music is sampled or borrowed. Music my parents and your's listened to, heard at the neighbor's party or you were battling your best break-dancing technique to.
Just drop in the first CD and reminisce when you first heard tracks like 'I'll Play The Fool' by Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band, 'Going Back To My Roots' by Lamont Dozier and 'Bra' by Cymande. On CD 2, the education on the fundamentals of house continues with 'Bostich' by Yello, 'No Way Back' by Adonis, 'Din Daa Daa' by George Kranz and ending the semester with The Clash classic, 'The Magnificent Seven.'
Queer Trax: Coming In Loud & Queer – Various Artists (Trax Records)
The original home of House music celebrates its return with a bang! Continuing to celebrate their 20th anniversary as one of the labels to pick up where disco left off and create a movement in the club music scene, their latest release features tracks that were embraced in gay clubs not only in Chicago or New York, but other clubs across the globe.
Queer Trax, mixed by King D, features classics such as 'Ride The Rhythm' by On The House, 'I Can't Forget' by Mr. Lee and 'Sensation' by the late Ron Hardy. Also included are newer releases by Dalis 'Rock Steady,' Pleasure Pump 'Fantasize Me,' and Screamin' Rachel with 'Sister Sister.' Despite some flaws as this is a live mix, it is a good effort at capturing the sound of classic house and infusing newer music as well.
For more information on other releases including the new album by Screamin' Rachel, visit their site at www.traxhouse.com .
Essential Elements – Mateo & Matos (Nite Grooves)
One of New York's soulful house music duos, John Mateo and Eddie Matos, continue to bring to the masses their blend of house with influences of disco, Latin, Afro, Jazz and Funk. Since 1986, they have performed at many venues across the states and around the globe and released many singles and EP's on various labels including Large and Defected. Having been a fan of their style over past years, this mixed collection is just a taste of their extraordinary talent and superb style. Tracks here include 'Mas Alto,' 'Afro Circus,' 'Homeboy's Groove' and 'That Latin Rhythm' just to name a few. For more information on this release and other upcoming releases, visit www.kingstreetsounds.com .
Everything – Stephanie Cooke
This highly anticipated artist album, which is a first for the label, showcases the impeccable talent of this magnificent songbird. Hailing from Newark, New Jersey, Stephanie began her start like most artists, by singing in church. Establishing herself as a great songwriter and co-producer, her talents have also gained recognition by writing for such artists as Tyrese and Aretha Franklin, to working on remixes for SWV and The Braxtons.
I first caught wind of Stephanie back in 1996 when she released 'Holding On To Your Love.' Since that first release, Stephanie has continued to release other smash hits such as 'Rain,' 'Everything' and the Dance Ritual classic, 'Here With My Best Friend.'
This long player is sure to keep your toes tapping and put a song in your heart. Her latest release, 'Power Of Love,' has been received quite well and can be heard in most clubs across the globe and on Satellite Radio stations.