For many of us, the name Jellybean doesn't mean those candies that everyone clamors for the day before Easter. It is a name that quite a number of us grew up with. John 'Jellybean' Benitez changed the way I listened to music. To date he has played the part of producer, remixer, performer, Hip-Hop innovator, and general legend in the industry.
Whitney Houston, Madonna, The Bangles, Brenda K. Starr, Cyndi Lauper, Duran Duran, Fleetwood Mac, Irene Cara, Nona Hendryx, Paul Simon, Teena Marie... , I could keep on naming names of artists with whom he's worked. But my point is that when it comes to good music, Jellybean knows where it's at.
As a DJ, I usually seek out the record labels that I know in order to find new music. One consistently fierce label has been Jellybean Recordings. Seriously folks, the music I've come to know off this label is the shiz-nit. Some of the records I've found on Jellybean have made me howl like a cat in heat in the store. They are that good.
Once, while shopping for vinyl in New York City, I came across a record that was a Deep House cover of 'Love Will Save The Day.' I nearly wet my boxer-briefs when the salesman began playing it, further reinforcing my love for this label.
I told you about an artist Darryl D'Bonneau a few weeks ago. Well, he happens to have a new record out on Jellybean called 'A Better Way' and I'm living for it. There are three mixes, each with their own flavor of goodness. The 'Peak Time Dub' is a late-night-sweaty-basement kind of track with a fat digital bass and a Garage flavored beat that sounds incredible on a big system.
The 'Peak Time Vocal' is a lighter version of the dub with Darryl's vocals taking center stage. Soulfully sharp and blissfully rough in all the right places, I'm falling in love with his voice with each listen. You know I'm not one for male vocals, but he's doing it to me. Especially on the 'Soulful House Mix' which for some reason reminds me of one of my vacations in Puerto Rico. There's heavy horns and bongos diffused throughout the track that create a gently Latin flavored sound. Delish.
Quentin Harris, another artist that can be found on Jellybean, has teamed up with Carla Prather on vocals to produce a new single called 'No More Love.' With the powerhouse lungs of Miss Prather, the three remixes of this track have worked their way into my playlists. The 'Groovy Mix' and the 'Ain't Nuthin' But A House Mix' are early evening tracks for my 'floor, but the 'Dub Mix' is another story entirely.
It's built on this Jungle flavored marimba and drum loop. I didn't appreciate it until I cranked up the volume behind the decks and became utterly hooked. The last two minutes of the track take me all the way back to House parties of my youth. The THUMP-hiss-THUMP-hiss of the beats and vocal loops are the kind of music that will make the Ballroom kids lose their mind. And I don't mean the Cha-Cha and Foxtrot crowd.
With you in 4/4,