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 # 25

(January / February & March 2004)

  

Score:

No Stars: Useless

1 star: Poor

2 stars: Average

3 stars: Good

4 stars: Excellent

5 stars: Masterpiece

 

 

 

BAD BOY JOE PRESENTS THE BEST OF FREESTYLE MEGAMIX VOL.4 (Medleys- 2 CD set) WHAT IF PRODUCTIONS, LLC  [USA]

Score: 2 stars 

We can notice a notable change for this new CD. 

This time, Bad Joy Joe pays homage to the early 80s sound, in a more generalist way. This medley allows some Latin Hip-Hop/Freestyle & Electro Funk (Electro Hip-Hop) classics but also other genres as Funk, Dance and House anthems: Strafe “Set it off”, Dominatrix “Dominatrix sleeps tonight”, C-Bank “One more shot”, Rocker’s Revenge “Walking on sunshine”, Lolleatta Holloway “Crash goes love”, Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five “White lines”, Shannon “Let the music play”, Newcleus “Jam on it”, G.L.O.B.E. & The Wiz Kid “Play da beat”, Afrika Bambaataa Featuring Soul Sonic Force “Looking for the perfect beat”, Freeez “I.O.U.”, D-Train “You’re the one for me”, George Kranz “Din Daa Daa”, Hashim “Al-naafiysh (the soul)”, Planet Patrol “Play at your own risk” & The Jungle Brothers “I’ll house you”.

You have to know that this medley is an ameliorated version of an old and rare Joe Marcano’s megamix: “D.J. Boom Boom presents Friday night at the funhouse”. It’s obvious that Joe has remastered and re-edited this megamix; he also deleted 8 tracks compared to the original medley (never released for the general audience).

I think it’s a good idea that this medley is out from the anonymity. However, the mix up of genres could confuse hard core Freestylers, because this medley is not as Freestyle as one would expect! 

As for the second CD “Freestyle New Generation”, this bonus-disc presents 16 titles: Shawn Michael “She’s got a way”, Adelis “Release me”, Ruben Gonzalez “You’ll never know”, Bibi “Play it right”, Ashley “Quit all those games”, Ascension “Surrender”, Anthony G “Won’t be there when you cry”, ĞManny “Knight in shining armor”, Angel Mena “Only you”, Reza “Show me your love”, Freeze “Give me”, Freeze “Memories”, Nathan “Thank you”, Nick Colon “My desire”, Sara “Come to me” & Freeze Featuring Assessino “Memories”.

These artists are supposed to represent the “new generation”. Why not? But as you can see by yourself, some tracks are not recent. For instance, we would prefer more new Freestyle songs instead of untiringly hark back to the same tracks already available in other compilations! Also, there are only a few great songs; most of them are decidedly fair. And sometimes, we come within’ a hair’s-breadth of disaster, vocally speaking! Some “singers” should stop singing, they are really ridiculous!  

The clogs of Bad Boy Joe’s engine are now very well oiled. Each time you get a new CD of his series of medleys, you know exactly what you buy. Nevertheless, for the next 2 CD set we would appreciate that the first CD be essentially dedicated to Freestyle and the second one offered more new and unreleased tracks from vocally better singers.

 

B-BOY TRONIK: “Rock your body” (CD Album) CD LAND   [Russia]

Score: 2 stars 

After a first full-length album which mainly convinced B-boys and B-girls from Russia, Artyom Tiunov and Salma Shamy are back. Wow! Two albums in only one year, what an achievement! 

This Russian group (the leader Artyom Tiunov, 25 years old, is from the Belgorod area) comes back with new pretensions. This time, the references to some German Electro Freestyle groups are less obvious, even if they are still tenacious for some rare songs. This second album from B-Boy Tronik (their name is a breakdance competition in UK) offers a more eclectic range of musical inspirations (Breakbeat & Jungle) and especially to Trance. The title “Northern radiance” is a perfect example of success. It is available in a Trance version, but also in a remixed version that mixes Electro Freestyle style (for the beat) and Trance (for the keys). I sincerely thought that this formula (Electro + Trance) was really attractive and thrilling. This is maybe towards that musical direction that B-Boy Tronik could go and find his musical road. The group seems to have good ideas; his musical creations are often melodically beautiful when it especially marries Electro and Trance.  

B-Boy Tronik (only two years of existence) still continues looking after their own musical ID. However, it is far from being a musical mess, on the contrary it is full of ideas. It will be important for them to seriously canalize all this energy and creativity as fast as possible so that they finally find their own… STYLE.

 

DIVAS OF FREESTYLE (Medleys - 2 CD Set) UBL RECORDINGS LLC  [USA]

Score: 3 stars (East Coast National Mix)

Score: 1 star (West Coast Bay Area mix) 

The “turntables diva” seems to feel the need to begin a new series of medleys dedicated to…“divas of Freestyle”, throughout 2 megamixes (divided over 2 CDs). 

The 1st medley “East Coast national mix” proposes 13 gems of artists as Shannon, Nocera, Sandee, Lisette Melendez, Giggles, The Cover Girls, Cynthia, Laissez-Faire, Nyasia, Lil’ Suzy, Rhythmcentric, Debbie Deb and Denine. She mainly mixed Old School Freestyle jams (except the Rhythmcentric’s single) already very well known and heard in many medleys. But it’s really well mixed. As for the second medley “West Coast Bay area mix”, The Mixtress has chosen the Progressive Freestyle from Bay Area’s artists: Jocelyn Enriquez, Buffy, The S Factor (feat. Sharyn Maceren), Serrani, Angelina, M:G, Lynette, Christina Marie, Pinay, One Voice, Jossette & Emotion In Motion. And this time, I have to confess, it convinced me less. Most of the tracks and singers sound the same. There isn’t any diversity and in the end it’s deadly dull. We don’t feel any pleasure (except for a few titles) in listening to this megamix.

Also, the “Mixtress bonus beats” are less elaborated and enthusiastic than on her previous medleys.  

Does she rest on her laurels? 

Even if these 2 new medleys appeared less exciting than those she did in the past (especially the West Coast’s medley), they still remain very professional and correctly remixed.

 

JENNIFER GLASS: “Dreamin’” (CD single) POWER JAMM PRODUCTIONS / CALIBER RECORDS  [USA]

Score: 4 stars 

To me, it’s certainly one of the most beautiful and thrilling surprises of the year 2003. The first time I listened to the song “Dreamin’” on Jennifer Glass’s website, I melted as an Ice-cream under the sun. My second satisfaction was to see the CD in my letter box, and then, I melted as…Yeah, I know, you already know the next! 

She is very beautiful and charming, but the most important thing for us it’s that she sings divinely well. Her track blends Old School Freestyle (by his rhythm beat) to some Progressive Freestyle consonances; the use of the recurring theme “New year’s day” by U2 as a melody is a superb idea.

The track is truly dynamic and lively. 

Of course, the producer Christian Dio and Jennifer Glass (for their firsts steps in Freestyle) don’t have the pretension to revolutionize Freestyle music but honestly it’s difficult to remain impervious to all this energy showed. I’m still dreamin’! 

It will be fantastic to see this single conquering the different USA areas, and also the whole Planet. It’s pretty sure that Jennifer will boost the Freestyle music’s fame.  

This is definitely a big Freestyle caliber!

 

JOSE MELENDEZ PRESENTS FREESTYLE LOST & FOUND (CD compilation) MASTERMIXX ENTERTAINMENT / MIXEDMUSIC.COM  [USA]

Score: 3 stars 

This compilation will captivate people who didn’t manage to find all these tracks. This compilation also contains new songs and a few remixed versions. 

The West Coast Freestyle lovers already made a dash at this CD presented by Jose Melendez, but most of the remixes and songs were composed by one of the most respected and influential remixers from the Bay Area: Joe “Mr. Hyperspace” Grandberg. One of the big pleasures of this compilation was to see Dadgel Databay get back to work, his two new songs (“Lost in love” Featuring Melani & “My love” Featuring One vision) as a singer and producer at the same time are a real success. It’s really impossible not to appreciate the superb remix from Joe Grandberg on “Could you be the one” interpreted by Jocelyn Enriquez. Who would have believed hearing Jocelyn Enriquez sing again in Freestyle music?!? Now it’s done, Thank you Joe. We can also thank Mr. Hyperspace for the remake of “Forbidden lover” by Julissa and the nice version of “Love’s high” & “Always dreamin’” by Sharyn Maceren, and the magnificent beat bonus “Welcome to Hyperspace (theme)”. The only song that irritated me was “La morenita” by Los Vigilantes; assuredly not the best thing done by Joe Grandberg.

As for the other songs, you already know them: Malyssa “Here with you”, One Voice “When you think about me”, Natalise “Wonderful”, Malyssa “Reminisce”, Rosalinda “Give me all your love”, The S. Factor (Featuring Sharyn Maceren) “Hard to get” & Lina Santiago “Take me”. 

For those who don’t know the exact meaning of the title: the producers involved on this project decided to name this compilation “Lost & Found” because many tracks were distributed in a very limited scope, and became quickly hard to find! Other titles were from uncompleted albums and a few tracks were exclusively produced for this compilation. And if I finish by telling you that most of the songs and remixes are successful and very pleasant to listen to, and that there are some beautiful girls on the cover (inside and outside the CD)…frankly, I don’t know what to add to push you to buy it. Hope I managed, didn’t I???

 

KID HEARTBREAK: “Freestyle amor” (CD medley) ALMA DEL CACHORRO / C.H.I. STYLE ENTERTAINMENT / E.L.I. RECORDS  [USA]

Score: 2 stars 

Maybe his name won’t tell you anything at all, especially Freestylers who don’t live in the city of Chicago. However you need to know that Kid Heartbreak officiates as a DJ and remixer since 1996. He has 30 mixes (Freestyle & Rap combined) to his credit, but he needed to wait the age of 24 years old to see a label asking him for a job, (it was Freddy Lopez and E.L.I. Records). For this first official CD, he mainly mixed the tracks from Freddy Lopez’s two record companies: E.L.I. & Lufre Records. Besides the 27 titles from the E.L.I. Record’s catalog, you will also find 3 artists from Chicago as well, who signed for Kid Heartbreak: Alfredo B., Elear and CFO/Hypnotic Expression. 

What can I say of the final result?

Well, it’s softly mixed by Kid Heartbreak. For instance we could have hoped a better work in the editing job. As for the content of the medley, if you know these two labels you noticed that there are terrible tracks. Hopefully, you will find excellent ones. This precision weighs heavily!

 

100% FREESTYLE VOL.4 (CD compilation) MIAMI BASS RECORDS / DMG / SONY MUSIC  [Germany]

Score: 2 stars 

Since volume 2, the quality of the tracks included on this series of compilations has started to seriously decline, as for the German production in general. Unfortunately, the compilations from this country are often the mirror of the actual production, that means nothing really interesting and captivating.  

So, let’s thank the foreign productions (from USA & Canada) that gave a little new interest to this series of compilation and especially to this CD: “Make you mine” by Hiram & “Lost in love” by Christine Turner (two American productions of Chris Sammarco). Or as for productions from Chris Phillips’ label (Odeon Records): “If you leave me know” by Stevie B & Alexia Phillips (even if this song was remixed by DMG’s crew), “Don’t ever leave me” by Lana, “You’re my angel” by Emmanuel and “Next to you” by Thiago Derucio!

Only the Canadian title from Allison “Won’t say goodbye”, didn’t appeal to me at all! 

We are nevertheless far from being completely satisfied because of the German productions. Some tracks are simply mediocre. You won’t be enraptured by titles as “Shining star” by M-Tracker, “Electric boogie” by E-Slide, “2 lovers” by Smash, “True love” by Elios, “Luv u” by Real-X, “Everytime I think of you” by Mirsada. When the productions are not bad, they are naturally insipid or fair as “Depends on you” by MC. G. Gabriel, “Party Zone” by The Officer “I’m your dance instructor” by Freestyle Project, “Bring your body to the floor” by The Unit and “Rain” by Kenny K. 

In the end, we are 40% satisfied and 60% disappointed…over 100%, it’s definitely not a good newz!

 

STEVIE B FEAT. ALEXIA PHILLIPS: “If you leave me now 2004” (CD single) MIAMI BASS RECORDS / SONY MUSIC  [Germany]

Score: 2 stars 

The version that was out in 1998 on the Canadian record company Odeon Records has nothing to do Jaya’s song. At the time, the energetic and original duet between Stevie B. & Alexia Phillips was a delight.

So, a question rapidly came to my mind when I saw this CD: What is the interest of proposing a new pressing 5 years ago later, even for a foreign country? 

The only thing to say about this CD single is: buy it if you don’t possess the original CD already, because it contains the same Freestyle & Dance versions that the Odeon records’s pressing. However, you will find a new mix, a supplementary Freestyle version remixed and produced by Stephan Distel & Markhus Pernesch which is not very different from Chris Phillips’ one. The Planet Rock beat is replaced by an another beat as slow as the original but also more New School like. 

If you wanna know a little bit more about the track, I’m inviting you to read the article that I wrote in issue # 1. That’s all!

 

 

 

 Top 5

(12” & CD singles)

 

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

 

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

 

3]Jennifer Glass: “Dreamin’” (Christian Dio Magical mix) Power Jamm Productions / Caliber Records [USA

 

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

 

5] Joey Santana: “You are the one for me” E.L.I. Records [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] Jose Melendez Presents Freestyle Lost &Found (compilation) Mastermixx Entertainment / MixedMusic.com [USA]

 

4] Divas of Freestyle (medleys – 2 CD set) UBL Recordings LLC [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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