MUSIC REVIEWS
by: Francis Tanneur
Opinions expressed are those of the individual writer for informational purpose
only. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or viewpoints of
Freestyle Music.Com.

Contact Francis Tanneur at:francistanneur@hotmail.com

MUSIC REVIEWS # 11
(September / October 2000)

ADRIANA: “Until tomorrow” / “Forever” (12 inch) TIME WARP MUSIC / STRAIGHT HITS ENTERTAINMENT LLC
Score: 3 stars

Barely 14, Adriana is about to become a real phenomenon! After her success on the musical scene of the Bay area, she’s on the verge of conquering the entire country easily with her 1st single “Until tomorrow”.  

Produced by two Bay Freestyle VIPs (Sir Elegance a.k.a. Manny Lopez and “Jazzy” Jim Archer), Adriana’s first track is fully convincing. In a pure West Coast style, this song comes with a Planet Rock beat, different sound FXs proper to Progressive Freestyle, and we are especially bewildered by Adriana’s voice. She possesses one of the greatest “teen” voices of Freestyle.  

This singer should have a nice career, if we believe the growing enthusiasm that the single creates. Moreover, she is really talentuous, which is the most important of all! A full-length album should follow pretty soon. Meanwhile, her single goes straight to the hit! 

CERES: “Inside to outside” / “Open your eyes” (CD single) FLIC FLAC RECORDS / DMG (Germany)
Score: 3 stars
 

Indeed, this is the same song (“Inside to outside”) as Lady Violet’s, whose success has given ideas to producers who’ve chosen to copy this Euro Dance hit with a different artist, but this time, with two Electro/Freestyle versions. 

The result is very conclusive and captivating. Beautiful Italian Ceres’s pitch of voice is higher and less disguised or “vocoderized” (voices in the style of Cher or Eiffel 65) than Lady Violet’s. Moreover, the Electro mixes are groovy and interesting as they mix an Electro beat with Euro Dance/Trance keys and melodies. Even in Europe, a growing interest for this musical tendency can be observed, especially when groups as renown as Daft Punk, Chicane, Kay Cee, Web Times…don’t hesitate to combine Electro beat with sounds more akin to the Techno/Trance genre. 

Man, that stuff really gets you high! 

D.J. DAMON CAIN A.K.A. DEVIOUS D. PRESENTS VINTAGE FREESTYLE GROOVES: “Collector’s Edition Vol.1” (CD medley) MAINSOURCE DISTRIBUTIONScore: 4 stars  

Damon Cain is what you might call a multi-talented character! He’s a great solo singer (“In the depth of sorrow” that will remind you of something), and he’s terrific too with his life-long comrade, Danny Sarinana, with whom he stars in Make Believe (“When I hold you” & “Forever”). But what most people ignore is that he began as a DJ in 1983, and has worked in many discos as a mobile DJ ever since. It is just plain natural to find him here in his DJ role with this successful medley that asserts all the good things I think of this artist.  

For about 1H10, Devious D remixes 15 Latin Hip-Hop classics (Zee “Madness”, Nayobe “Second chance for love”, Cover Girls “My heart skips the beat”, Sandee “Notice me”, Maria Ventura “My heart holds the key”, Monet “Give in to me”, Sweet Sensation “Take it while it’s hot”, Eight Wonder “Cross my heart”, Loose Touch “Bad of the heart”, Denise Lopez “If you feel it”, Nocera “Let’s go”, Raiana Page “Open up your heart”, Pam Russo “It works for me”, Noel “Like a child”, and Dino “In the city”) with imagination and dedication, putting dubs, clubs, accapellas of your favorite titles one after the other in a row in a very clever way. 

As a whole, we can say that he knows everything about mixing. 

DOUBLE EFFECT: “Freestyle melody” (CD single) MNF RECORDS / ZYX MUSIC (Germany)
Score: 1 star
 

We can’t but admit that this track sounds very much like the worst VIPER 7 RECORDS label’s productions whose singers all sound like clones! It’s really too bad to waste all that energy by including such a disastrous Rap. The only “nice” thing is the chorus. 

Unfortunately, the melody is a failure, getting boring at long last. 

No use to get enthusiastic! 

FREESTYLE IN THE MIX VOL.2 (CD medley) MNF RECORDS / ZYX MUSIC (Germany)
Score: 1 star 

Except the good productions from Pandera, Freestyle Project, Smash, Randy, Joy-Lab…(which are already available on other ZYX MUSIC or MNF BRECORDS compilations) this medley presents no interest for you my fellow Freestylers! 

For the simple and good reason that this megamix is a piece of joke! With all the present software (Soulforge, Cubase, etc.) the DJ could have made a little effort, especially for the mixing which proves to be calamitous, terrible and insulting for the potential buyers. 

This medley is definitely an obvious lack of respect, and doesn’t deserve your attention. Forget it! 

FREESTYLE VOL.11 (CD compilation) ZYX MUSIC (Germany)
Score: 1 star
 

This series has gotten the downward spiral for quite a while, and this eleventh edition is true to its predecessors. If the ZYX MUSIC label keeps in this way, this new compilation might strike a fatal blow to its leadership in German Freestyle. It keeps scraping the dust off old stuff (what’s the use of including in a comp a title like “Gucci you’re through”, a 12-year-old piece, or old excerpts from an old album?), proposes old-fashioned and mediocre, barely acceptable products (I’m glad Stevie B, Flying Steps, Elissa, Johnny O, Naif are here to cheer things up), or compiles songs already recorded in other CD’s in the same label! 

Indeed, Freestyle vol.11 is the herald of upcoming wreckage! 

GEORGE LAMOND: “Lately” (CD single) TIMBER! RECORDS /
ROBBINS ENTERTAINMENT LLC

Score: 4 stars (original versions)

Score: 2 stars (other mixes) 

Here is the first never-before-heard track extracted from the magnificent CD called “George Lamond the hits...and more”, a compilation every fan must possess in his collection. 

I won’t linger on the three Dance remixes produced by Giuseppe D that didn’t convince me, to speak in a longer way about the versions created by this wonderful producer/remixer that is Carlos Berrios. 

I have almost never been disappointed by Carlos Berrios’ productions or remixes (and thus, I admire him!), to the exception of “Carlos Berrios remix 2000” whose Progressive Freestyle sound is a bit boring. Yet, his fans won’t keep a grudge against him for that, as Carlos Berrios is still on the look out for new sounds, even though, this time it is a little disappointing or not completely successful. Fortunately, this CD single includes the two splendid Freestyle versions: one is the compilation version, the other being the extended mix. His job on these two mixes is simply extraordinary. The New School sound and the great melody admirably match George Lamond’s perfect, firm voice.  

This song will certainly be a cornerstone in Carlos Berrios’ career, and in that of George Lamond, two icons of Freestyle that aspire to respect!  

MIAMI DANCE FREESTYLE VOL.2 (CD compilation) DETOUR RECORDS
Score: 3 stars (for the Freestyle tracks)
Score: 1 star (for the Dance music tracks) 

On this compilation, we can notice many Dance and Freestyle productions and artists from TEN-LION RECORDS, especially since the two owners (Vic Ten from TEN-LION RECORDS and Jerry Godbout of DETOUR RECORDS) have decided to unit themselves. So, some Freestyle songs already feature on other compilations as, for instance “Out of control” by Mara or “Next to me” by 2-Sex-Z (Latin Rhythm vol.1 distributed by HOT JWP PRODUCTIONS). 

But most of them are never-before-heard tracks like the remarkable Hilda Mariee “Don’t look back” (what a gem!), Rosie “Come back with me again”, the Teaz II Pleaz’s remix of “I know, you know” and Sound Of Destiny “It’s all about you”. However, a few songs are only out on maxi single (so, very rare to get at) as Felix “Leave it all behind” and Mara “Out of control”.
Concerning the three Dance titles, they are, unfortunately not too good! 

If you love the Miami Sound and Latin Hip-Hop style, I suggest you to order your copy quickly because this CD is an excellent opportunity to get some very rare and wonderful pieces. 

ROBIN FOX: “I see stars” (CD single) STREETBEAT RECORDS
Score: 3 stars 

Believe it or not, but this is the kind of single that, at 1st sight, doesn’t sound very exciting, yet that lingers in your head as you listen to it more and more. 

Once more, we have one of these songs at the crossroad of Euro Dance and Freestyle beat, even though the rhythm beat sounds more like Breakbeat. We just hover between both of them. By the way, the “Break beat mix” and the “Freestyle mix” are very much alike. 

We must also stress that the NRG and Dance mixes are really good. These are two growing-old-genres, but they still have great days before them if productions such as these are often released.  

Here is an artist who might remain in the realm of stardom for a long time yet. 

THE WORLD OF ELECTRO (2 CD’s compilation) ZYX MUSIC (Germany)
Score: 4 stars
 

This is a magnificent double CD’s which is worth to get at! 

SEVEN UP! have compiled for ZYX MUSIC label 24 tracks in a pure tradition of German Electro; every genre of this famous German movement is represented on this compilation. Even if you can find some Electro Funk stuff, the productions are mainly oriented towards Progressive, Industrials and Techno/Trance sonority. There is a bunch of titles that allow great melodies, which are more used to listen to as Techno/Trance titles, but nevertheless, manage to harmonize very well with an Electro beat. 

If I were you, I would plunge in the SEVEN UP! ’s Electro world, a label which bubbles up out of quality! 

My Top 10
(12”, tape & CD singles) 

1] Myrna Li: “Still I cry” Santana Music 

2] George Lamond: “Lately” (original long version) Robbins Entertainment LLC / Timber! Records 

3] Flying Steps: “We gonna rock it” JetSet / Dance Street GmbH / ZYX Music (Germany)

 4] Jazmine: “Justify” Santana Music 

5] Alexis: “Searching for love” Bella Records 

6] Sammy C: “My mother warned me” Roman Empire Productions 

7] Synthia Figueroa: “Touch me” Artisktik Recordings 

8] Adriana: “Until tomorrow” Time Warp Music / Straight Hits Entertainment LLC 

9] Stevie B: “You are the one” Dance 2000 Records / Bolaris Records / 805 Music Company 

10] Robin Fox: “I see stars” StreetBeat Records 

My Top 5
(Compilations & medleys) 

1] George Lamond: “The hits…and more” (compilation) Robbins Entertainment LLC / Timber! Records 

2] Keepin’ Freestyle vol.2 (compilation) Detour Records

3] D.J. Damon Cain A.K.A. Devious D. Presents Vintage Freestyle Grooves: “Collector’s Edition vol.1” MainSource Distribution 

4] Fierce Freestyle Classics “ The Mix Tape” vol.3 (medley) Ubl Recordings / StreetBeat Records, Inc. 

5] The World Of Electro ZYX Music (Germany) 

My Top 5
(Albums) 

1] Cynthia: “Thinking about you” Robbins Entertainment LLC 

2] Stevie B: “It’s so good” Dance 2000 Records / Bolaris Records / 805 Music Company 

3] Sammy C: “Taking it through the millenium and beyond” Roman Empire Productions 

4] The Kromozone Project: “Love & energy” TBC Productions 

5] Onnie: “One love” Detour Records 

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