Thursday, October 16, 2008

Masterbeat New Releases Week of 10/17/08

Marc's Top 5 House Releases
  • UPhonic Records Presents Darrell Martin - One Nation (Darrell Martin & Steve Harwood Mix)
    A fusion of House and a more reggae style vocal. For those of you who enjoyed Bob Sinclar's recent tracks like World Hold On & Together (both featuring Steve Edwards) and Love Generation (featuring Gary Pine), One Nation is very much in that mold. Personally, I preferred the instrumentation of the Groovepusher Mix - it's got a great happy and bouncy vibe, but the vocals are off key and that drives me nuts. The Darrell Martin & Steve Harwood Mix has more of a traditional club feel and their use of the vocals works. I'd still prefer the Groovepusher Mix with vocals that were on key.
  • Hani feat. Andrea Martin - No More (Original Vocal Mix) and (Dino Velvet Mix)
    I know some people love their screaming Divas. Andrea Martin doesn't really scream, but for those of you who like diva house, this track gives you a good taste of diva, although the energy level in both mixes is a little more subdued. The Dino Velvet Mix has gives it more of an electro flavor while the Original Vocal sticks to a more traditional house feel. Not really a "throw your hands up in the air" kind of track, as a DJ it's something I'd play to let the crowd catch their breath and regroup.
  • Pleasure Bar - My Love Will Lift You Up (Original Mix)
    Okay, I love groovy house and my ears picked up the moment I heard this. This track is light and groovy -- something that would be great getting you moving and in the mood to dance -- and still has enough energy to move you into something a little more aggressive. Enough energy to separate it from lighter "deep house" tracks. This is a track I'd love to hear out on the dance floor and something I'd love to play or listen to just about any time of the day.
  • Mary Mary - Get Up (George Mena & Frankie Estevez Fuzion Mix) & (Jamie J Sanchez Mix)
    I was introduced to Mary Mary by the often played Shackles (Praise You), back in 1999 - 2000. Get Up is another crossover track, there are quite a few mixes. Both the George Mena & Frankie Estevez as well as the Jamie J Sanchez mixes have a good mainstream dance feel to them. The beat in the George Mena & Frankie Estevez mix has a bit more punch, but overall I lean toward Jamie J's mix. A good track with Mary Mary's great voice and uplifting lyrics. If you're used to the Circuit vibe of the past several years, Jamie J's track is very much in that vein.
  • Janice Grace - Wanna Be Beautiful (Dave Audé & Claude Le Gache Club Mix) & (DJ Escape & Tony Coluccio Mix)
    Think of Fergie and The Pussycat Dolls. This track is the exact opposite, as least in substance. Janice Grace takes a shot at the highly produced, looks obsessed artists that seem to be dominant in pop culture right now. A good track, the Dave Audé & Claude Le Gache Club Mix have a little grittier feel with the electric guitar while the DJ Escape & Tony Coluccio Mix has a more disco feel and sounds like something you'd have heard in most gay bars 10-15 years ago. Twisted Dee also has a mix and I'm a big fan of her remixes -- the Twisted Dee Dub is good but something in the Vocal Mix didn't sit right with me. Wasn't Dee's fault -- some of the vocals have a very processed "vocoder" feel that is the rage right now... which is ok, but if you're singing about how you don't want to be packaged like other artists, perhaps your vocals shouldn't be so processed.
Bonus Track: Debby Holiday - Joyful Sound (Scotty K's Sordid Club Mix) & (Wayne G & Porl Young Atlantis Anthem)
For those of you who remember Debby Holiday's big club hit, Dive, a few years ago, along with Half A Mile Away, Debby's classic diva style is candy to our gay ears. Debbie's back with a brand new track. While Hani and Andrea Martin never get to a "hands in the air" energy level, Debby takes you there with ease. Debby has many of the big names remixing the track that are familiar to gay club goers - Scotty K, Wayne G, Hex Hector and Tracy Young. Having done a mix of Dive, Scotty K's mix has a similar feel. Tracy Young's mix is a little too tribal for this track -- the track deserves more instrumentation than this mix gives it. Wayne G & Porl Young's Atlantis Anthem probably comes closest to giving this track the energy it deserves.

Marc's Top 5 Trance Releases
When it comes to trance, I prefer vocal trance -- while there's some great instrumental trance out there, it can get a little repetitive and boring for my tastes. Usually an instrumental track has to have something in it that really jumps out for me to want to listen to it.
  • DJ Shah feat. Inger Hansen - Don't Wake Me Up (San Antonio Harbour Mix)
    DJ Shah is one of my favorites of the past couple of years. His tracks usually have a lighter, more etherial feel to them while still having energy to them. Don't Wake Me Up isn't my favorite of his tracks -- I like the vibe but something about the vocals is just a hair off. Not enough to dislike the track, but enough for me to notice every time I listen. Still, worth getting.
  • Thrillseekers feat. Fisher - The Last Time (Simon Bostock Remix) & (Original Mix)
    The Thrillseekers have been around forever and always come out with great tracks. This one is more traditional trance -- light female vocals, standard buildups and breakdowns and floating synths. Nothing struck me as outstanding, but everything is done well, which is what I'd expect from the Thrillseekers.
  • Offer Nissim feat. Maya - For Your Love (Sied van Riel Remix)
    For the record, I'm not the biggest Offer Nissim fan -- his tracks all have a very distinct sound... on the darker, heavy side, as well as being melancholy and melodramatic. I know some people love, love, love him, and I don't mean to suggest that he doesn't have some great tracks... they just all sound so similar to me as to all be interchangable. Sied van Riel doesn't change the overall mood of the track but gives it a very different feel. Lighter, but still melancholy (you can only do so much, right?). Maya's vocals float, instead of the usual feeling of yearning or lamenting that I'm used to hearing from her. A great change of pace.
  • George Acosta feat. Aruna - Fallin Backwards (Dunderstadt Uplifting Remix)
    Another melancholy track, in line with the other tracks in the batch. The vocals remind me a little of Do's vocals in DJ Sammy & Yanou's Heaven. They have a younger feel while also being expressive.
  • Sunlounger - Agua Blancas (DJ Shah's Original Mix)
    As I mentioned before, I prefer vocal trance, but this track from Sunlounger is an exception. Again, I love DJ Shah's work and he is in fine form here. Relaxed, with a guitar line that draws you in. It makes me think of sitting on the beach, watching the sun set over the water. Just a great track.

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