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 # 12
(November / December 2000)

 

ADAM MARANO: “More & more” (CD single) ZYX MUSIC (Germany)
Score: No star

Poor Adam Marano, I guess that with this kind of waste of music, if he wants to keep a “captive audience” he might as well chain it up!

Following the trend initiated by “Bomfunk Mcs..” the two first two versions (new freestyler radio & club) that mix Jungle beat to Electro are plain and simply awful, insignificant and dispiriting. Mr. Marano certainly thought that he might step back to the front of the stage if he copied that Finnish band that made it to the top of the charts this summer with their title “Freestyler”. Well, he’s dead wrong!

As for the other two mixes “Classic Freestyler radio & club”, he limits the damage to this musical disaster thanks to an Electro beat and a Freestyle melody (no Planet Rock beat, amazing from his own part, isn’t it?) that are not that bad but that remain far too boring and plain to the audience.

Did you say mediocrity?

 

ANTHONY NORRIS: “Just 4 you” / “My own way” (CD single) MNF RECORDS / ZYX MUSIC (Germany)
Score: 3 stars

Even if the big tendency is to constantly use Planet Rock beat, this German production isn’t an exception to the rule but otherwise it stands apart from the other current tunes for many reasons. Jasmine Bader’s voice is simply sublime, original, and really bewitching; this singer transcends the genre! Combined with some impressive keys “Ó la Freestyle Project” and beautiful melodies, this track will deserve recognition from Freestylers. This song is definitely and just 4 you.

As for the other song “My own way”, the melody, the keys and the chorus are wonderful, but the uninteresting and boring rap spoiled our pleasure. Too bad! 

 

DMA FREESTYLE FLAVA 3 (CD medley) FUSEBOX RECORDS / 404 MUSIC GROUP, INC.
Score: 3 stars

For this third edition, things are getting better as far as the choices and the mix are concerned. By making appeal to the professionalism and the talent of Tim “Spinnin” Schommer, this new medley proposed by DMA magazine provokes a little more enthusiasm than DJ Felony ‘s, who only put the tracks in a row, without any personal touch. Tim Schommer even treats us with a few edit sessions out of his own mind, yet nothing outstanding though. That’s too bad, a little more would have been great.

This time, the selection is very interesting if you are a Progressive Freestyle buff. Half of the production comes from California (titles by Rosalinda, Spanish Fly, Adriana, Isabel, Alexis, Linda Low, Alvendia, Alexis et Julissa) and the other from the East Coast, being sometimes Electro (SK8 & The KromOzone Project), yet oriented towards the West Coast style with Robyn Z, Paradigm feat.Stefanie Bennett, Robyn Fox, La Rissa.

However, Old School amateurs should be disappointed as they’ll only savor three pieces by TKA “Scars of love”, Myrna Li and Synthia Figueroa “Touch me”.

DMA magazine and Tim Schommer really come together very well.

 

FANTASY FREESTYLE (CD compilation) FREESTYLE CITY RECORDS / LARRY VEE ENTERTAINMENT L.L.C
Score: 2 stars

This influential Freestyle radio DJ (Larry Vee) from the Connecticut area has decided to produce under his label Larry Vee Entertainment his own compilation. His CD includes mainly many local artists and producers as Edwin Ramos, Ricky Zayas, Javier “Dr. Javi” Ayala, Mystie, Manny Rivera, Latin Flavor, Phase 3, etc. and also others personalities as Tito Puente Jr., Artie Rodriguez, Diamante, Wickett et Angela Martinez.

The selection as a whole is quite good! But no one can fail to have noticed that they are nevertheless not very original except for “Voices at night” by Mystie, “Don’t walk away from me” by Gene, “My heart is here” by Angela Martinez and especially the awesome “Watching you” by Wickett Rich.

Musically talking, this compilation lacks fantasy and it is dull!

 

FLYING STEPS: “We are electric” (CD single) / JETSET / DANCE STREET GMBH / ZYX MUSIC (Germany)
Score: 3 stars

Attention please! Flying Step’s new gem is here. The atmosphere’s gonna be electric in the discos!

If you like burst of adrenaline and high powered German Electro, this tune is definitely for you. Even if it is somewhat less convincing than their former single, this new piece comes with 5 awesome versions including scratches, vocoder, a lethal Electro beat, carefully crafted keys and melodies. My own favorite is “Bassheadz remix”, certainly the best and closest to Electro Funk style, with rhythm and Progressive FX.

Anyway, should you be disappointed by the versions on this CD, you can create your own remix on your Home PC thanks to the Magix PlayR software. Have a good mix!

In a nutshell, this title should make your sparkle and blow a fuse. Go and get it!

 

FREESTYLE CLASSICS IN THE MIX (CD medley) STRAIGHT HITS ENTERTAINMENT L.L.C.
Score: 2 stars

At 1st sight, Jose Melendez’s (a famous DJ in the Bay Area) playlist is really interesting. Among them, about 20 classics from bands such Sweet Sensation, The Cover Girls, Pajama Party, Spanish Fly, ExposÚ to artists like Cynthia, Stevie B, Jaya, Jeanette, George Lamond, Sa-Fire, MKG, Corina, Noel, Judy Torres, etc. It’s no use to make a listing of the tracks as, except for a few ones, they are the same as those usually found in other megamixes!

Some of the links between the songs are more or less successful, sometimes even noisy or cacophonous! There’s even sometimes a questionable sound quality (some records are more in the trebles or in the graves some are louder than others). This is the kind of small details than can be corrected with software (Sound Forge, Cubase, etc.) provided they’re used!

In the end, the result is satisfactory, yet very average…

 

FREESTYLE VOL.12 (CD compilation) ZYX MUSIC (Germany)
Score: 2 stars

 After a few unsuccessful attempts, this edition gets a little closer to my own taste.

There’s a slight quality increase with good titles such as “This love is not right for you” by Free System, “We are electric” by Flying Steps, “Baby gimme all your love” by The Officer & Elios (one of these rare groups singing in English and Italian), Numarx “Girl you know it’s true” an excellent Electro funky remix of Mini Vanilli’s hit) and “Heat of the night” by Smash. Yet, some choices remain questionable, as those three sickening productions by Adam Marano that thinks he is Bomfunk Mcs.. I can’t help laughing in front of such mediocrity! A few other “failures” are present, as Double Effect “Freestyle melody”, BVSMP “I need you”, the Snapshot remix of “Fantasy girl” by Johnny O and Love In Motion Feat. Preshuz T. “Fame”.

Not too bad, yet can still be improved!

 

GALAXY FREESTYLE RECORDS DANCE COMPILATION 2 (CD compilation) GALAXY FREESTYLE RECORDS
Score: 1 star

After having virulently criticized the first opus, I expected much better from this new compilation by Randy Taylor-Weber (the owner of GALAXY FREESTYLE RECORDS). Well, I was wrong, even though it’s a little better.

It took Randy Taylor-Weber 2 years to produce this monotonous and boring recording to the exception of Sabrina “When I see”, Julissa “I must go on”, Emotion In Motion “Shining star” and Linda Low “Dancing in my heart” (it’s just plain!) all the other productions are very superficial, often mediocre and without interest!

The “Josette syndrome” is still after Randy Taylor-Weber, since we always have the feeling we hear the same voice. Not very original…

This CD is just like the “Gala Outro & Shouts” of this compilation: tiresome and musically mind shattering (not in the good sense of the term)

 

GILLETTE: “Sex tonight” (CD single) JELLYBEAN RECORDINGS, INC.
Score: No star

This kind of awful production must not be taken seriously but is certainly the matter of laughing stuff!

Produced by Charlie “Babie” Rosario, this track is getting on your nerves from the first bars and lyrics, becoming really unbearable as soon as Gillette starts to sing! Her off key and piercing voice just makes matters worse, and the insipid music doesn’t give us the envy to dance or to have sex tonight!!! If Charlie Rosario tried to reiterate the “hot” international success of 20 Fingers “Short dick men”, well, he totally fluffed it!

And the only Freestyle/Breakbeat version (really?) of “Sex tonight” by Cibola Productions threesome is alarmingly stupid and boring which gives me a headache rapidly!

Even if Gillette possesses many “assets”, it would be preferable that she stops singing right now!

 

MUSIC INSTRUCTOR FEATURING DEAN: “Super fly [Upper MC]” (12 inch) EASTWEST RECORDS / FUEL RECORDS / WARNER MUSIC GROUP COMPANY (Germany)
Score: 1 star

It’s undeniably Music Instructor’s first single, which disappoints me so much!

A side proposes a club mix resolutely oriented towards the Bomfunk Mcs’ style (very in vogue in Europe): a mix of different Rhythm beats (Jungle, Electro, Breakbeat) to which has been added a less convincing Rap by Dean Burke.

The program on B side doesn’t delight me either for the simple reason that the instrumental and vocals of this Euro Trance track is not original and exciting.

The originality, being one of the characteristics of this band, we can be doubly disappointing.

 

ROCKELL: “Instant pleasure” ROBBINS ENTERTAINMENT LLC & BMG MUSIC CANADA
Score: 4 stars

It took about 1 year to Rockell to release this second album to your favorite retailers. Yet, it was worth it!

Honestly, her first album “What are you lookin’ at?” (to the exception of the cool “I fell in love”, of the nice reprise of Josette “In a dream”, and the fairly successful Can’t we try”) hadn’t left me an imperishable memory, as they had all been produced by the same man (Adam Marano) who’d been rather lazy in his artistic and musical approach. For “Instant pleasure”, she surrounded herself with famous renowned producers (Tony Moran, Carlos Berrios, Hex Hector and Guiseppe D) and she has also acquired a more mature voice. Her voice is better, and so, each song is grander and more spirited; to her own profit.

This new album presents all the characteristics of a future hit, as she is at ease and comfortable with every musical style (Dance Music, R&B, ballad, and of course Freestyle music). By the way, on the Freestyle side, the genre amateurs will be able to appreciate four terrific songs produced by two Freestyle legends: Tony Moran (“Tears” “Say you’ll be mine”) and Carlos Berrios (“Waiting” & “We just agree”). “Waiting” (whose prodigious melody reminds me of “Memories” by Jackie Cencie) is definitely my favorite song. She magnificently wrote it on her own, her vocal performance is sublime, and Carlos Berrios’s job is remarkable. We can be as adamant with Tony Moran and Rockell production job on “Tears”, and then “Say you’ll be mine”: two others wonderful gems.

As for the other genres and songs, my preference goes principally to the Dance title “What u did 2 me”. Is this the so long expected awakening of Adam Marano?

As you may have understood “Instant pleasure” is extraordinary and remains one of the best Dance albums (yet including Freestyle tracks) of the year, and it is a pleasure for the ears. Instant pleasure? Instant bliss! Thank you Rockell.

 

THE UNDERDOG PROJECT: “Summer jam” (12 inch) LOOP DANCE CONSTRUCTIONS (Germany)
Score: 3 stars

This awesome tune mixes a beautiful R&B male voice with an extremely calm and relaxing Electro beat.

The club mix on A side has quieter rhythm beat than the “Step mix” (remixed by DJ Wickel) which contains more scratches, sound effects and a faster beat. The mix is a great success because it is more melodious and crafted than DJ Wickel’s version that is a little bit more jumbled and confused.

“Summer jam” is a clever mix between two different musical styles (R&B and Electro). This is the kind of Freestyle which always induce more curiosity, and with of which we fall irresistibly in love.

  

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] Jazmine: “Justify” Santana Music
4] Alexis: “Searching for love” Bella Records
5] Sammy C: “My mother warned me” Roman Empire Productions

6] Flying Steps: “We are electric” JetSet / Dance Street / ZYX Music (Germany)
7] Anthony Norris: “Just 4 you” MNF Records / ZYX Music (Germany)
8] Synthia Figueroa: “Touch me” Artisktik Recordings

9] The Underdog Project: “Summer jam” Loop Dance Constructions
10] Adriana: “Until tomorrow” Time Warp Music / Straight Hits Entertainment LLC

 

My Top 5
(Compilations & medleys) 

1] George Lamond: “The hits…and more” (compilation) Robbins Entertainment LLC / Timber! Records
2] D.J. Damon Cain A.K.A. Devious D. Presents Vintage Freestyle Grooves: “Collector’s Edition vol.1” (medley) MainSource Distribution
3] Keepin’ Freestyle vol.2 (compilation) Detour Records
4] Fierce Freestyle Classics “ The Mix Tape” vol.3 (medley) Ubl Recordings / StreetBeat Records, Inc.
5] The World Of Electro (compilation) ZYX Music (Germany)

 

My Top 5
(Albums) 

1] Cynthia: “Thinking about you” Robbins Entertainment LLC
2] Sammy C: “Taking it through the millenium and beyond” Roman Empire Productions
3] Rockell: “Instant pleasure” Robbins Entertainment LLC & BMG Music Canada
4] The KromOzone Project: “Love & energy” TBC Productions
5] Kenny Moulton: “Baby it’s you” Hit Factory Records / SideBusters Entertainment

BACK TO REVIEWS