by: Francis Tanneur
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BARBIE: Here comes the rain again (CD single) DETOUR RECORDS
Score: 3 stars
An extract from Eurythmics album Touch (1983), this excellent title from the most famous duet of the English pop scene of the eighties (Annie Lennox / Dave Stewart) was a huge success when it was released. Upgraded by the DETOUR RECORDS team, we can only wish Barbie will be as successful.
The three genres (Tribal House, Hi-Nrg and Freestyle) in which this remake is proposed, make of it an extremely well calibrated product worth listening. It benefits from a large musical potential thanks to the many Dance versions that should seduce the greatest number of persons easily (due to the unquestionable qualities of the production). Be it the Tribal House or House versions, they are all very paced and exciting.
As for the unique Freestyle mix by Tito Puente Jr., we can only regret its short length, otherwise, he composed a very beautiful melody around a booming rhythm beat.
DMA FREESTYLE FLAVA VOL.2 (CD medley) FUSEBOX RECORDS / 404 MUSIC GROUP, INC
For the 2nd year in a raw, DMA, the leading magazine specialized in Dance music makes its Freestyle show. Once again remixed by DJ Felony, the project was carefully coordinated by Bernard Rosenberg who deals with the sole Freestyle column (Freestyle file) published monthly.
We can only realize that the mix is of a far better quality. And as far as the chosen pieces are concerned, it is yet better, but theres still much to be done! What strikes be as embarrassing in this project is the actual lack of a definite musical texture. As the medley unfolds, we observe it is the same slow, slightly repetitive rhythm (Electro, Progressive Freestyle or Planet Rock) that our ears are treated with whatever the artist. You have to wait the last cuts (the splendid Runaway love by Johnny O, Dedicate my love by Tony Moran and In and out by Trinere) to find a little punch and rhythm in this megamix that seriously lacks originality!
FREESTYLE HEAVEN (CD compilation) SPG MUSIC PRODUCTION LTD. (Canada)
Score: 1 star
In his old field, no doubt that this Canadian DJ is very talented, and this new CD is the living proof. Theres nothing to say against the quality of the mix or the care he gave to his composition. But the contrary can also be said for the selection, he made that prevents you from listening to that medley for a second time. Oh yes, he definitely tried to mix different musical styles (Old School Freestyle & Progressive Freestyle).
But how can you reconcile productions as meaningless as Intonation Featuring Collage I know that youre the one for me, Acid Factor Fantasy, Electro Professor Electrocity, Trixie When Im gone, Daisey Boogie your body, Monik Garo Love you up with productions of quality such as The Kromozone Project Take my love, Planet Soul Featuring J.Cee Music is my life, Syntex All through the night, Mystique Broken hearted», MCSC Dream girl, Elissa Say goodbye?
Of course, everyone his own tastes! Yet, honestly, it brings about questions, especially about the interest there is in presenting such poor products in a megamix, which, once again, very well mixed. A choice from the radio, from the label, from the DJ Whatever the answer, I wont be persuaded that such extremes were necessary!
A little visit to Freestyle paradise with Tony Monaco could have been a great idea! But youll have to wait a little more for Freestyle vision of heaven is far from being that blissful!
FREESTYLE VOL. 9 (CD compilation) ZYX MUSIC (Germany)
Score: No stars
Those who already own the eight volumes know that this collection is terrific. Thats even the kind of compilation you can buy the eyes wide shut without having any fear about the content.
Then this ninth compilation is in complete contradiction with what I told you a few lines earlier. Indeed, its a swindle! And when you know how professional this label is, that quality always prevail over quantity, we can justly wonder about what they had in mind when they decided of the selection, which amounts to nothing (with a few exceptions such as Noel Like a child, First Base Follow me, Freestyle Project Let your body rock).
Lets hope its just an accident and that the next compilation will raise the level. And judging by the quality of that one, it shouldnt be an extraordinary exploit!
KEEPIN FREESTYLE ALIVE VOL.2 (CD compilation) DETOUR RECORDS
Score: 4 stars
Sometimes, it takes a long time (about two years) before a compilation is distributed, but the hard work of producer Gerald J. Godbout III has finally paid. After a musical lifting (some songs have disappeared from the demo), this wonderful compilation is finally out. Dont miss it or you might regret it!
Lets stress that the productions of this CD havent grown old a bit, on the contrary! The secret of this eternal youth is very simple since we are taken through a really fascinating trip through the realm of Latin Hip-Hop. All the songs are beautiful and rich and bring fresh air to the sometimes considered old-fashioned Freestyle.
But this compilation could well give it a spur. Even though its become almost insufferably anonymous. The DETOUR RECORDS team may well have found a magical charm. Who knows?
Whatever, those two producers enthusiasm and passion give a new start to a music desperately in need of it.
KRYSTĂL: Loving arms (12 inch) HIGH POWER RECORDS
Score: 2 stars
It is with a slight disappointment that I discovered this new track produced by legendary Tony Garcia.
Indeed, those who still have in memory his fantastic and unforgettable melodies and productions are bound to be surprised by this musical choice. The Dr. Edit has decided to take a surprising musical curve that might cause him prejudice: Progressive Freestyle.
Of course, the cool voice of Krystăl (his daughter) and the composition of some melodies stand out from this otherwise boring enterprise much too similar to what is presently made in the Progressive Freestyle field.
The disappointment is here, and huge! To change style, why not, but making innovations is better, especially when you know Tony Garcias talent.
Is Progressive Freestyle operating a little revolution? In any case, the Marcos B / Sam Maxion association is good.
This second single is straight away adopted since it shows a new breakthrough in this music. The great keyboards productions, more melodious stand out, inuffing a rather booming rhythm beat, and underline even more the words of Marcos B. They allow you to experience the dramatic progression of this cool title that needs to be listened to without any moderation.
You may not even know his name, but Onnie Velez became known in 1994 with two remarkable cuts (Would you know love and Come back) released on the same maxi vinyl on HOT APPLE RECORDS (distributed by HOT PRODUCTIONS, INC). And then, nothing else! Fortunately, his first album is (finally) out and youll (finally) be able to discover this talented singer.
We must admit that Onnie Valez (with the help of Gerald J. Godbout III) proposes very magnificent songs accompanied with cute keyboards compositions, very often heartbreaking, and where the emotion goes crescendo. The low, languorous voice of this artist does the rest and remains in your head.
Although some titles left me less enthusiastic (All out of love & All thats on my mind 98), in the end, we must admit this album is very seducing.
PLANET SOUL FEATURING J. CEE: Music is my life (CD single) STRICTLY RHYTHM RECORDS
Score: 3 stars
Planet Soul (George Acosta) and remixers from Cibola Productions have created synthetic rhythms that associate as well with Freestyle music as with Dance music / House music. Elements, which unite two very different musics, make as a result, a fascinating and interesting job.
They succeeded in integrating J. Cees powerful voice to a slow Electro beat and still benefit from melodious backings which gives to this title a musical fire power to be reckoned with.
So, if Dance music is the quintessence of your life, rush for this title. For this CD is overpacked with a multitude of mixes, in numerous musical genres.
STONAY: Waiting (CD single) SHIFT MUSIC & MEDIA / ZYX MUSIC (Germany)
Score: 4 stars
In 1997, Stonay was revealed to the Freestylers eyes with his great Hold me tight track. Three years later, he is back with a new single that should consecrate him.
Waiting is a splendid Old School Freestyle song that highlights marvelous melodies, energetically integrated to a powerful rhythm beat, though slow, so as to underline the generous calm voice that is his seal.
A piece and an artist that deserve all your attention.
1] Mario: I cant go on 5-Starr Productions / Muss Muzik
2] Alvendia: Always on my mind Whaevah Records
3] Stonay: Waiting Shift Music & Media / ZYX Music (Germany)
4] Gina Dee: Leave me not alone ZYX music (Germany)
5] Pandera: Cecilia MNF Records / ZYX Music (Germany)
6] Freestyle Project: Electric reality MNF Records / ZYX Music (Germany)
7] Caprice: There goes your heart Finetune Records
8] Marcos B: When you go Knowledge Es Power Records
9] Barbie: Here comes the rain again Detour Records
10] Julia-Evita Hernandez: Come back ZYX Music (Germany)
1] George Lamond: The hits and more (compilation) Robbins Entertainment LLC / Timber Records
2] KTU Freestyle Party vol.1, 2, 3, 4 (medleys) Remix Records
3] Keepin Freestyle vol.2 (compilation) Detour Records
4] Freestyle A New Dimension In Tyme vol.2 (compilation) Pryme Tyme Records / Denmic
6] Classic Freestyle (medley) ZYX Music (Germany)
7] Stevie B: Freestyle then and now (compilation) Dance 2000 Records / 805 Music
8] Maximum Freestyle: Special edition remixes! (compilation) Maximum Freestyle Records (Canada)
9] Freestyle Project: Freestyle project megamix (medley) MNF Records / ZYX Music (Germany)
10] Where it all begins compilation PT 1 (compilation) Epicenter Records
1] Cynthia: Thinking about you Robbins Entertainment LLC
2] Stevie B: Right here, right now Dance 2000 Records / 805 Music
3] Sammy C: Taking it through the millenium and beyond Roman Empire Productions
4] Onnie: One love Detour Records
5] Freestyle Project: Free styling-the album MNF Records / ZYX Music (Germany)