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

 

 

ISSUE # 24

(October / November & December 2003)

 Score:

No Stars: Useless

1 star: Poor

2 stars: Average

3 stars: Good

4 stars: Excellent

5 stars: Masterpiece

  

 

B-BOY TRONIK: “Freestyle music” (CD Album) CD LAND   [Russia]

Score: 3 stars 

For his first experience in Freestyle, this album is quite interesting. If you are addicted to Breakdance / Electro Freestyle’s group as Freestyle Project and especially Flying Steps, you should be mad about their songs. 

It’s not a chance if I mentioned these two German bands before, because B-Boy Tronik [Artyom Tiunov (keys, arrangements, vocoders & rap) & Salma Shamy (Lyric, rap & melody)] is a group which has a pronounced taste for Planet Rock beat and most of their tracks also teeming with vocoders. But the final touch brought to their tunes makes the difference. Indeed, Artyom (Russian) and Salma (American) are not content with putting a Planet Rock beat to vocoders and scratches, a few titles beneficiate of original and well worked keys/melodies mixed to a powerful beat.

Unfortunately, it’s not the case for all the songs, the sound of some tracks are close from Flying Steps’s style notably. Normal, you could say, Artyom Tiunov is a breakdancer (since 1993) as the members of Flying Steps. We understand better where his inspiration and references come from! 

Many tracks are agreeable to listen to, but the track which immediately held my attention was “Freestyle music”. Why? Because the melody and the keys are simply superb and the addition of vocoders, all this creates a singular atmosphere. Could it be their brand? A special mention to the B-Boy Tronik megamix whish is remarkably mixed. It’s pretty rare to see such fluidity, there is a true work of composition into the mix. 

It’s undeniable, the members of B-Boy Tronik have largely been influenced by Flying Steps and Freestyle Project. This is why, we wish them to personalize and polish their own style with other genres (Trance, Breakbeat, Dance & Jungle), and not to stay in this kind of style. It could assuredly become their force of persuasion.

 

BYLLI CRAYONE: “Touch me all over” / “Drop those pants!” (CD single) --Limited edition DVD Biopack-- ZIPIT RECORDS  [USA]

“Touch me all over”

Score: 1 star

“Drop those pants”

Score: No stars 

Bylli Crayone hails from Lawrence (Massachusetts) and he introduced himself to the Dance community in 2001 with his first album “Toyfriend”, but mainly for his sexually explicit lyrics. Besides, he cries out throughout his own songs and his eccentric clothing his love for the Eighties and his gay ID. Well, it’s an artistic choice whether you like it or not! 

Presented in a nice DVD packaging, this limited edition contains two songs from the album “Toyfriend” which have been redone (12 mixes) for this 2003 CD collector.

Only the track “Touch me all over” is oriented to our style including 4 Freestyle mixes on 6. Honestly, the style of this song reminds us of the Old School Freestyle genre from the 80s. This is undeniably the sole success of those Freestyle remixes, because his way of singing is simply unbearable. He opted for a more Pop truly insipid genre, and we quickly notice that vocally he is very limited.  

As for the “Drop those pants” song, this track and some of his deplorable mixes (Dance, Merengue, Hip-Hop, Reggaeton & Electro), they will provoke a total indifference. And I’ll understand you!  

One thing is sure, and believe me there won’t be any controversy, the final result is alarming. Please Bylli Crayone doesn’t persevere in this insignificant style. In advance, thank you.

 

FREESTYLE’S BEST EXTENDED VERSIONS VOLS. 1 & 2 (Compilation - 2 CD Set) CUTTING RECORDS  [USA]

Score: 4 stars 

The content of this double-disc set is more than attractive.

It brings together 20 Freestyle extended gems that were all available on 12” vinyl record, but for most of them they have never been released on maxi CD single. On disc N°1 [10 titles]: Sa-Fire “Don’t break my heart” (1986), Giggles “Love letter” (1987), Coro “Where are you tonight” (1989), Corina “Out of control” (1987), Concept Of One Featuring Tony Moran “Dance with me” (1989), Tolga “Leave it all behind” (1987), Yvonne “What about me” (1988), Samuel “Open your eyes” (1988), Jaidie “Answer my cry” (1990) and Exaltation “Heart’s desire” (1987). And on the disc N°2 [10 titles] : Sa-fire “Let me be the one” (1987), Tolga “Lovin’ fool” (1988), Coro “Can’t let you go” (1990), Corina “Give me back my heart” (1988), Sam Savon “My heart alone” (1991), Giggles “What comes around goes around” (1991), Yvonne “There’s a party going on” (1989), Concept Of One Featuring. Noel “The question” (1990), Jaidie “Love you, love you” (1991) and Arlene “Why u wanna hurt me” (1992). 

This is worth buying and will become a must have in your collection. It is not a mixed CD, so it will permit you to get 20 terrific Freestyle classics that definitely marked the whole Freestyle history. For those who don’t have the original pressings or for those who just don’t have them on CD for a better recording sound, this 2 CD set from Cutting Records is a godsend. 

No doubt that other CDs will come, for the simple reason that this New York label enjoys a prestigious and formidable catalogue. It was one of the most prolific record companies for Freestyle music especially during a decade (from the mid-80s to the mid-90s).

 

FREESTYLE X-ZONE (DVD) SHIFT MUSIC & MEDIA / ZYX MUSIC  [Germany]

Score: No star 

I will go straight to the point, this DVD completely staggered me and disappointed me as far as its content is concerned. 

This “region 2” DVD destined mainly for the German market gathers 72 minutes of musical programs…recorded in Dolby 5.1. I stated “musical programs” because when I discovered the content on the back of the DVD, I said to myself: “Wow! 16 videos of Freestyle artists & groups”. In fact, I was wrong!

After I’ve watched (or I’ve listened to!!!!!) the whole DVD, I only saw 10 videos and 6 audio songs (Marc Austin: “Lighthouse”, Lil’ Suzy: “Take me in your arms”, Samira: “I can’t get you”, Five On Ten: “Feel the groove”, Stonay: “Around you” and T.I.M.: “Zero Gravity”). My first disappointment… 

Alright, I took on me and I said: “Let’s see the videos now!” It was my second disappointment…most of the tracks that were already horrible to listen to on CD, were boring to watch, except for the track by Dow Low “Lovething” and the one by “The Officer” “Partyzone”. At this moment, I thought it was a little bit too much for a same item! Especially when I talk about my third disappointment…the videos themselves. They were simply execrable to watch. For the majority of them, they lacked professionalism and they were visually poor. I was totally saddened by this lack of seriousness. You can almost feel the lack of money and ideas.  

Too many disappointments for a same product!

 

POWER 96 PRESENTS FREESTYLE FLASHBACK (CD medley) SUMMA ENTERTAINMENT , INC.

Score: 3 stars 

Jammin’ Johnny Caride (resident DJ on Radio station Power 96 in Miami) concocted us an eclectic and original megamix as far as concerns the origin of songs and the artists selected. 

In fact, this medley is a kind of friendly musical battle between two states: New York and Florida!

It alternates many Latin Hip-Hop & New School Freestyle gems from record labels and personalities from the “Big Apple” like “One way love” (TKA) “Together forever” (Lisette Melendez), “Because of you” (The Cover Girls), “Wondering” (Tonasia), “Crying over you” (Soavé), “Can’t let you go” (Coro), “Remember” (Fascination), “Leave it all behind” (Tolga), “Baby don’t go” (FFWD) and “Please don’t go” (Nayobe), to some more “Miami sound” tracks and Old School Freestyle artists, producers and labels from Florida, and especially the Miami’s area, as “Play another song for me” (Olga), “We belong together” (Secret Society), “Voices in your heard” (Paris By Air), “L.O.V.E.” (Erotic Exotic), “Give me your love” (Voice in Fashion), “I want you” (Shana), “I want you” (Teaz II Pleaz) and “Diamond girl” (Nice N’ Wild). 

No, more seriously, don’t believe what I’ve just written, it was a joke! It’s not exactly “New York versus Florida”! But I found interesting the idea to mix styles from these two major areas. It is quite well remixed and edited too.

 

THE OFFICER: “Partyzone” (CD album) FREEFILES / SPV   [Germany]

Score: 2 stars 

The career of his singer is incomprehensible, really! We first met him under the name of Stonay. Parallel to his solo career, he formed with Elios the band called The Officer & Elios; one of the rare groups singing in English (Stonay) and in Italian (Elios). For one track “Party” they called themselves “The Officers”. And now, the other officer (Elios) gone, he became…”The Officer”! Weird, isn’t it??? 

It’s irremediably just a question of marketing if he kept this name, because the songs by The Officer (with or without Elios) are all available on this album…or compilation! Whatever… He mainly gathered Freestyle songs as “Partyzone”, “Cry” “Baby gimme all your love”, “The light”, “La Musica”, “Party”, “Don’t break my heart”, two Euro Dance tracks particularly awful (“Fly” & “Nightrain”), & a not interesting R&B song (?) “Blue sky” and a pretty-pretty ballad, “X-mas party”. There is also an 11 minute-long megamix that should convince the buffs of this band and a Freestyle remix + a video of “Partyzone”.  

It’s true that The Officer’s style is not unpleasant but it remains redundant. The producer Kalvin Madison should seriously think about changing the melodies and the rhythm beat (Planet Rock). And Stonay should change his way of singing which it’s always the same. Otherwise, this album / compilation is not disagreeable, especially as for the Freestyle songs.

 

THE RETURN OF PLANET FREESTYLE (CD compilation) ODEON RECORDS   [Canada]

Score: 2 stars 

After a break, Odeon Records was back last Summer to the Canadian Freestyle scene with this 19 titles’ compilation produced by Chris Phillips, except for the track “Radio” by Stephanie Pinedo (originally produced by Mickey Garcia   & Guiseppe D) and the duet between Collage & Kathy Phillips on the song “Angel” (produced by Adam Marano). 

It is honest to say that the Freestyle genre of the songs (composed of Planet Rock beat and/or Euro Freestyle keys) becomes quickly really boring. In my humble opinion, too many songs are oriented towards this musical direction. I know that the Canadian Freestylers plebiscite that genre of Freestyle.

And Chris Phillips seemed to be struck by the “Jossette” syndrome, 4 tracks used some keys “a la Josette”: “Movin’ on” by Desiré, “See the sun” by Freda, “I could never let you go” by Lucy Falcone and “I have dreams” by Dimi.

Otherwise, there are a few tracks that distinguish themselves by their vocal performance as “In and out” by Kathy Phillips, “Movin’ on” by Desiré (the style and the voice are close to Rockell’s), “Wait for me” by Linda Furtado, “See the sun” by Freda, “You’re my angel” by Emmanuel and “Give me love” by Alexia Phillips. 

Please Chris, in your next compilation could you offer us more New School & Old School productions? Pleaaaaaaaaaase…

 

THE VERY BEST OF JOHNNY O: “Famous last words” (CD compilation – 2 CD set) ZYX MUSIC  [Germany]

Score: 2 stars 

This “best of “ was out last summer and was supposed to sum up (more or less) the long singing career of Johnny Ortiz from his debuts on MicMac Records until his last album distributed by ZYX Music Germany. 

On the first CD, there are 8 extracts from the full-length album “The sounds of my heart” (2002), two medleys released on maxi CD single (“Megamix” & “Stevie B vs. Johnny O: Mega Freestyle”), the video of “Love letters” and also a video message from Johnny O. While on the second CD is proposed a résumé (over 14 tracks) of Freestyle and non-Freestyle classics from MicMac Records and Ex-It Records. No need to name each song, you already know them perfectly well. Some of the songs are available on extended versions on this CD. 

I don’t know if it’s the “best” of Johnny O, but this compilation is only destined to the Freestylers who didn’t manage to collect the songs from his previous albums & several maxi-singles. For the other fans (who already possess everything from this artist), they will abstain to buy it.

  

 

 Top 5

(12” & CD singles)

 

1] Nu Image: “I’ll always love you” (Multi Edit) Aria Records / Micmac records [USA]

 

2] Nina Martinez : “Gimme just 1 night” Bigtime! Entertainment [USA]

 

3] Chrissy I-eece: “You & me” E.L.I. Records [USA]

 

4] Joey Santana: “You are the one for me” E.L.I. Records

 

5] Aby: “Sometimes” Bigtime! Entertainment [USA]

 

My Top 5

(Compilations & medleys)

 

1] Evolution of dance (compilation) Big Time! Entertainment [USA]

 

2] Freestyle Best Extended versions vols. 1 & 2 (compilation - 2 CD Set) Cutting Records [USA]

 

3] Bad Boy Joe Presents The Best Of Freestyle Megamix vol.3 (medley) What If Productions LLC [USA]

 

4] Jose Melendez Presents Freestyle Lost &Found (compilation) Mastermixx Entertainment / MixedMusic.com [USA]

 

5] Power 96 presents Freestyle Flashback (medley) Summa Entertainment, Inc. [USA]

 

My Top 5

(Albums)

 

1] B-Boy Tronik: “Freestyle music” CD Land [Russia]

 

2] NONE

 

3] NONE

 

4] NONE

 

5] NONE

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