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 # 6

 

 

 

CLASSIC FREESTYLE (CD medley) ZYX MUSIC (Germany)

Score: 3 stars

 

Although this CD was made for the German market, I advise you to acquire it straight away due to the outstanding quality of the medley and its selection.

 

Remixed by DJ Doug, it compiles with virtuosity, promptness and panache a beautiful series of 14 cult classics: TKA “Tears may fall”, Cynthia “Change on me”, LA’Girls “No more tears”, Fascination “Don’t you think it’s time”, Trilogy “Latin love”, MKG “Tearshed”, Soavé “Crying over you”, Stevie B “Dreaming of love”, Information Society “Running”, Rios “You”, Fascination “Why you wanna go”, And More “You’ll never find another love”, GT “I need you” and Lil Suzy “Take me in your arms”.

 

This non-stop megamix running 55’28 should easily convince a large part of Freestylers, more particularly the youngest buffs who should literally regale themselves while discovering the Latin Hip-Hop sound, far better than today’s Freestyle sound.

 

 

 

DREAM SEQUENCE: “Obsession” (12 inch) IMAGINATIVE ENTERTAINMENT

Score: No Stars

 

Today, how can someone propose such a production which (un) consciously promotes a obvious lack of respect for every Freestyle fan? Well, that is to underestimate the (voluntary?) lack of skill and the contemptuous attitude of some producers, and this time, they have really outdone themselves!

 

Honestly, I can’t but say that this “musical nuisance” was made for the sole purpose of marketing issues, not artistic ones. It contributes to the decreasing of renown of Freestyle music, lately closer to oblivion than ever, in spite of the encouraging return to the fore such as Stevie B, George Lamond and Cynthia.

 

This track has a distressing title, unhappy and disgusting mixes the insufferable voice of a singer, never in concordance to the music, with a Progressive Freestyle unspeakable sound. A disastrous result that definitely makes people angry

 

A total mess!

 

ELECTRO FUNK: “Essentials” (CD compilation) HIP-O RECORDS / UNIVERSAL MUSIC COMPANY

Score: 3 stars

 

For all those looking for the great classics of the 80s sound, here is an excellent opportunity to get 10 “must” cuts of the Electro Funk.

 

The selection is arousing for it gathers Grand Master Flash &The Furious Five “Scorpio”, Twilight 22 “Electric kingdom”, Debbie Deb “When I hear music”, Newcleus “Jam on it”, Laid Back “White horse”, Kraftwerk “Trans-Europe express”, Cybotron “Clear”, Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam With Full Force “I wonder if I take you home”, Pretty Tony “Will we ever learn?” and Shannon “Let the music play”.

 

Moreover, those are in maxi versions, and you’ll also find in this CD a small historical leaflet for each song wonderfully written by Rickey Vincent, the author of the brilliant book “Funk: the music, the people and the rhythm of the one” (St. Martin’s press).

 

In addition to being musically rich, this compilation is a mine of information, so why not buy it?

 

EPICENTER RECORDS: “where it all begins” COMPILATION PT 1 (CD compilation) EPICENTER RECORDS

Score: 3 stars

 

Without really being an earthquake in the Freestyle small world, “the musical epicenter” of this compilation should still give a few tremors to those who like to discover new sounds.

 

What makes the interest of this compilation is that it has tried to be innovative and different while using rhythm beats and sound effects already existing and making the Progressive Freestyle specificity. Some pieces include even more futuristic sounds, close to Dance, especially “This isn’t love” by Ciana, or electronic sounds on the new and good gem by Serrani “Be with you” or on the exciting remix of “Til the end of time”. While others have a more familiar Freestyle sound (using a Planet Rock or Electro slightly modified) as with the thrilling duet between Korell and Kenny Moulton. It’s a bit worse than the two other titles by Kenny Moulton as I can’t personally get used to the raucous voice of that artist.

 

This CD brings some new blood to Progressive Freestyle, which must definitely regenerate to be able to make its way through the central artery leading to the heart of Freestyle. It is well known that a coagulated artery means sure death!

 

FIRST BASE: “the ep” (CD single) ARIOLA / BMG MUSIC (Canada)

Score: 2 stars for the other songs

Score: 3 stars for the Kai MacDonald Miami Club mix of “Follow me”

 

Even through this EP is mainly for Euro Dance fans, don’t thrown upon it, even if it is just for one Freestyle mix.

 

Solely released (as for now) on the Canadian market, the track “Follow me” is a pure German product. Keys are accentuated, booming rhythm beat, simple to get and recall lyrics and chorus (while not being a sign of mediocrity, on the contrary). The powerful voice of Tina Safranj makes the rest.

 

“Follow me” is a title that can’t be but praised by an increasing number of Freestylers. May it have the career it deserves.

 

FREESTYLE PROJECT: “Freestyle Project megamix” (CD medley) / “Free styling-The album” (CD album) MAINFOLD MUSIC RECORDS / ZYX MUSIC (Germany)

Score: 3 stars

 

In a few months Freestyle Project has become one of the most affluent member of the German Electro Funk movement. They have forged a solid reputation, with, on their musical account a wealth of hits (“Rock your body”, “Music for my soul”, “Get on da floor”, “Freak tonight”, and “Let your body rock”), but also because they remixed and produced a quantity of groups among which Freak Style, Pandera, Envelope, Newtronic, to name a few.

 

So it’s all natural if MAINFOLD MUSIC RECORDS label decided to simultaneously release as a CD a medley (8 pieces), but also an album which is more of a compilation since it totalizes no less than 12 titles among their latest productions.

 

The result is up to our standards, even though we might sometimes regret the similarity of some melodies, the overuse of Planet Rock beat and the use of the same keys. However, Freestyle Project is, and will remain, a reference as its sound is way into the new millenium (and therefore innovative!) and still a quality choice.

 

FREESTYLE 2000: “Don’t stop the rock: the millennium mixes” (CD compilation) PANDISC MUSIC CORPORATION

Score: 3 stars

 

Will Y 2 K be Electro Funk, to the image of this compilation?

 

Still, it is certain that this musical genre keeps being healthy. So, it comes as no surprise if Miami PANDIS MUSIC CORPORATION label releases this now CD dedicated to one of the most important band of the 80s / 90s, often copied and always reviewed, with new remixes or new interpretations by other bands.

 

So, in this compilation, you’ll find famous pieces such as “It’s automatic”, “In your face”, “Jam the box”, “Count me in”, “Fix it in the mix”, and of course “Don’t stop the rock” which is the promotional single for this compiled album, since you’ll find 7 different versions ranging from the original versions to the Electro Funk, New School, Jungle remixes…

 

After this cornerstone compilation, you won’t ever have to purchase other remixes of “Don’t stop the rock”. A myriad of remixes allowing us to say that, as far as versions are concerned, the circle is full. In fact, others would be unwholesome.

 

GEORGE LAMOND: “the hits …and more” (CD compilation) ROBBINS ENTERTAINMENT LLC / BMG DISTRIBUTION

Score: 4 stars

 

If there must be a single Freestyle singer whose popularity is tremendous (and well deserved), that must be George Lamond. This compilation was log and impatiently awaited…and fortunately, it isn’t disappointing.

 

Of course, you can be a little crossed for having waited so long for 6 new titles (with only 4 Latin Hip-Hop jewels)! But when you listen to those 4 terrific songs, you’ll have to admit that though, the result is all the more worthwhile.

 

Originality and quality are valuable arguments (not to say essential) to give you the envy to buy this CD. Beyond the undeniable talent of George Lamond (his vocal power is still as impressive!), the principal craftsmen are the producers who did a wonderful job: Lenny Hoffman on the duet between George Lamond and K7 on “More than words can say”, Chris Barbosa on “Just in time”, Carlos Berrios on “Lately”, and the famous pair of LIGOSA RECORDS Chris Barbosa and Mark Liggett on “Someone like you”. These are examples to follow, for they have always put to the fore quality over quantity. Some producers might take a lesson here!

 

This compilation proves (but was there any doubt?) that George Lamond remains one of the greatest Freestyle stars, and has always believed in Freestyle music and has always made praise-deserving productions. Although he’s decided to try new vocal trends, among which Latin music with his great album “Entrega”, George Lamond has never lost faith in this music. And Freestyle amateurs follow him, as the success of this compilation proves it.

 

LUTRICIA McNEAL: “Stranded” (CD single) EPIC / SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT

Score: 3 stars

 

After quite a success in Europe, charming Lutricia McNeal sets feet on the North American continent, so you can expect a media Tsunami.

 

This single should doubtless convince many persons since “Stranded” is on the one hand of excellent quality (it sounds a good omen, but this is an easy argument!) and on the other end, this gem is included in several musical formats (now, it certainly tickles your curiosity, which is legitimate). Indeed, you’ll find R & B, House music (with the bewildering remix by E-Smoove) and, especially the unique Freestyle version by George Calle and Mauro Desantis, cleverly leveling a R & B style with a Freestyle beat, in the same trend as Divine’s title “Lately”. A real treat.

 

Therefore, this CD has many cards up its sleeves, cards that’ll seduce you, I hope.

 

MAXIMUM FREESTYLE: “special edition remixes!” (CD compilation) MAXIMUM FREESTYLE RECORDS / VENTURA INTERNATIONAL RECORDS (Canada)

Score: 3 stars

 

Honestly, I can’t add anything else, as everything is already summed up in this compilation title.

 

Atilla C. Uyanik has compiled many never before heard versions of songs interpreted notably by Frankie Boy (“When we first met”, “She’s leavin’”, “My precious love” in Spanish version, “Believe in love”, “Can’t let you go” and “Margarita”) or from Irene “Only my dreams”, Leticia “Why do you treat me badly”, Roman “When the magic fades” and Vicki “Without you”.

 

Those remixes are mostly composed of a Planet Rock beat and often include very beautiful melodies. Only the “My precious love”, “Believe in love” pieces, and the exceptional dub version of “Without you” (also produced by Tolga Katas) are Old School.

 

If you brake for Planet Rock, don’t miss this compilation.

 

 

ODYSEY RECORDS PRESENTS THE DANCE EUPHORIA VOL.1 (CD compilation) ODYSSEY RECORDS / ZMR MANAGEMENT & PRODUCTION LLC

Score: 2 stars

 

After first listening to this CD, you are left with a disagreeable feeling: lack of satisfaction! So in that precise case, it is best to have a second, even a third listening, just to check if you’re not mistaken.

 

It is true that some have convinced me a little more, yet my overall opinion hasn’t changed. Something paramount is missing: a greatest variety of sounds. Producers Ricky “Ricardo” Zayas and Javier Ayala always treat us with the same sounds. The use of the New School beat for most of the titles isn’t the best solution, and the use of some sketchy effects and edits (to my own taste) as on “Voice @ night” by Mystie, slows down the rhythm of the song.

Moreover, you have the feeling to always hear the same song. Besides, it’s also disappointing because we must admit that many songs contain superb melodies, lyrics and keys, and that some artists have wonderful voices (Billy Ray, Mari, Mystie, Vivid, Da Fellaz). All this for a final result that leaves us not contented.

 

Nevertheless, a few good tracks are left such as those by Da Fellaz (“Where does that leave us”, “If this moment in time” and “Why”), Mari “Let me feel” and Vivid “Why can’t you love me”. But it’s not enough to fill our disappointment.

 

“Dance Euphoria vol.1” isn’t a bad compilation, but the producers might have made something more varied and stocky.

 

SAMPLER FREESTYLE HIGHLIGHTS-NONSTOP MEGAMIX (CD medley) ZYX MUSIC (Germany)

Score: 2 stars

 

This CD, with it’s total length of 51’08 is composed of two medleys whose aim is to star numerous artists and bands (American, Canadian and German) more or less famous, out of the ZYX Music label.

 

You’ll see by yourself that the best (Rochelle “Holding on to love”, Timmy T “Cry a million tears”, Meg “Lover girl”, Naif “Can’t stop the love”, Freestyle “It’s automatic” / “Don’t stop the rock”, Stevie B “Spring love” / “Dreaming of love” / “Funky melody”, Johnny O “Memories” / “Fantasy Girl” & “Dreamboy / Dreamgirl”) but also the “less good” (Johnny Z “Shake shake”, Collage “Diana”, Tia “Slip ‘n’ slide”, T.H.T. “Don’t set me free”, Transmission “Trans Europe Express”, and the catastrophic Dance version of “Don’t stop the rock” by Freestyle).

 

Even if this medley is rather well mixed, nothing here to get you out of your lethargy!

 

SLAMMIN’ SAM’S IN DA MIX EPISODE ONE (CD medley) SLAMMIN’ ENTERPRISES

Score: 3 stars

 

Judging by the title of this CD, Slammin’ Sam Maxion must have been strongly influenced by the Star Wars movie! Does he feel like the George Lucas of the mix? Is his head lost in the stars? (Just kidding).

 

No, be reassured, Sam’s feet are firmly set on the ground. Even though he wanted be the musical Alias of one of the most respected director of the movie planet, it could only be for the good of this artist, who, just as George Lucas, has always be as discreet, in spite of the success. Even if you don’t catch with the Progressive Freestyle style (my own case) I can’t question the professionalism and quality of his productions, making him a sparkling star of the (Progressive) Freestyle galaxy.

 

This megamix once again shows the width of his talent. About 66’00 long, it is composed of 11 tracks such as Slammin’ Sam “Get ready”, Alvendia “Always on my mind”, Daviah “Miracles”, Intonation Featuring Krissy “Free my love”, Jossette “In a dream”, Caprice “There goes your heart”, Noella “Fantasy”, Joey Acuna “If this is love”, Lynette “Here we go again”, Pravina “Let me be the one” and Daisey “Boogie your body” and a series of 13 breaks “hand made” by Slammin’ Sam Maxion himself.

 

Let’s hope there’ll be other episodes (a trilogy would be welcome). This medley is a success, wholly speaking, even if the selection might be (for some) the only dark side of the episode.

 

Sam, may the force be with you!


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