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 # 8
(March / April 2000)

 

 

FREESTYLE IN THE MIX…VOL.1 (CD medley) MNF RECORDS / ZYX MUSIC (Germany)

Score: 2 stars  

Every Electro Funk fan should rapidly realize that this medley is nothing else but the megamixed version of “Freestyle attack vol.1” compilation that was released on the same label a few months ago. Among the 18 titles, 13 already were on the “Freestyle attack vol.1”…

 

A mere coincidence? Certainly not…

 

Once you’re aware of this fact (which is of paramount importance, you’ll grant me!) we must still admit that this medley is nonetheless quite well mixed thanks to edits (not comparable to the expert work of a Omar Santana or of a Rob “Razor” Hellman though!) which allowed the remixer to mix the gems together, one after the other, in a faster way. A simple, yet efficient use.

 

However, we can’t but have a tepid interest for this “Freestyle attack in the mix vol.1” Oops, my mistake, I actually meant “Freestyle in the mix vol.1”.

 

 

FREESTYLE VOL.10 (CD compilation) ZYX MUSIC (Germany)

Score : 2 stars  

For that 10th compilation, ZYX MUSIC did real good! In its limited edition, the CD comes with a lovely cardboard, displays a small catalog and, of course, a leaflet with the content of the CD.

 

However, the choice doesn’t meet our expectations! We can notice that this series is more and more American, release after release: we range from the terrible (Collage “I feel love” & Intonation “Get to the heart of it”) to the good (Laissez Faire “Anything for you”, Caprice “There goes my heart”, Rockell “In a dream”, Frankie Boy “I don’t know” et Irene “Without your love”), yet we have to state that the chosen productions are not of a very high quality! Consequently, the local is dwindling, especially when there are mediocre titles that have nothing to do with Freestyle (Mr. X & Mr. Y “What’s up at the brotherfront”, Da Hool “Wankers on duty” and Atlantica “Eternity”). Fortunately, they have compiled excellent pieces such as Julia-Evita Hernandez “Come back”, Stonay “Waiting” and Freestyle Project “Electric reality”. Otherwise, the result could have been quite dull!

 

For that 10th anniversary, I wish we could have blown the candles more wholeheartedly. Well, have to wait the next compilation…

 

Has ZYX MUSIC lost its spark of life?

 

 

JULIA-EVITA HERNANDEZ: “Come back” (CD single) ZYX MUSIC (Germany)

Score: 4 stars 

A little fresh breeze form the Freestyle music German scene, this first title, by an unknown singer (not for long, believe me), is not your average Electro Funk stuff. It makes sense: both singer and producers are from Florida!

 

Four out of the five versions featured on this CD are presented in an Old School Freestyle format, each mix possessing its own particular musical identity. The “Large mix” and the “Organix mix” offer cool variants by using keyboards and different audio effects. Don’t fool yourself: the “Radio edit” and the “No Vox mix” are just radio and instrumental versions of the “Large mix”.

 

The sound differs greatly from what is the main tendency: this soft-orientated Freestyle is glamorously carried by a cool and generous voice, even if the overall beat is swinging between Miami sound and Planet Rock.

 

A singer who can easily overshadow such confirmed artists as Jocelyn Enriquez or M:G, whom musical and vocal style is not so far away from Julia-Evita Hernandez’s one.

 

You’ll need many hearing to appreciate this lazy and curiously seducing Freestyle genre.

 

Great launching of the new Freestyle rocket! You’ll understand when you see the cover…

 

 

LIL SUZY: “The megamix” (CD medley) METROPOLITAN RECORDING CORPORATION

Score: 1 star

Just when I think we’ve been longing so desperately for the release of this CD collecting 15 songs from one of the youngest and most talented Freestyle divas. What a stark disappointment!

 

Indeed, we’ve got a lot to say against this CD: remixer Steve ‘Chip Chop’ Gonzalez is not overtly brilliant and presents us with a rather conventional mix (very few editing, a real pitfall considering his talent for these technical feats!). The bad idea is that this megamix’s been divided into two parts, the first seven songs being Freestyle and the eight following ones being in a mainly Euro Dance style, but also Progressive Freestyle. A 100% Freestyle medley would have been better than this dull Euro Dance pieces, as the singer is not always competent there. As for the bonus tracks (“You’re the only one”, “Til the end of the time” and “Real love”), they have sound boring and tasteless, but the remixed version of “Take me in your arms”.

 

That’s a hell of a lot disappointment for one CD!

 

 

LIL SUZY: “You’re the only one” (12 inch) METROPOLITAN RECORDING CORPORATION

Score: 3 stars 

Lil Suzy’s latest productions were far from meeting the expectations of the fan of young singer that I am, but whose musical and human choices haven’t always been, I reckon, quite judicious.

 

Produced and written (only this time) by Victor Franco, the overall level is, this time, definitely of better quality. This song benefits from an Olds School beat (aah!) and of a real melody, which makes me say that Lil Suzy is about to make a noteworthy come back.

 

Let’s hope the next single will be as good.

 

 

MUSIC INSTRUCTOR: “Electric city” (CD single) FUEL RECORDS / EASTWEST RECORDS (Germany)

Score: 4 stars 

After the splendid “Super sonic”, here’s the new marvel by one of the most exciting Electro Funk (with Freestyle Project) of the German scene.

 

This new single reminds us of “19” by Paul Hardcastle. Of course, the style is different and the musical sound is much more electronic and futuristic, even beat towards an industrial Electro Funk… definitely innovative and creative.

 

A new title that cheers you up and triggers a growing passion for a musical genre which deserves more interest from Freestylers.

 

 

ROSALINDA: “Give me all your love” (12 inch) ILLUSIVE RECORDS

Score: 3 stars 

For her first track, this young artist from greater San Francisco should quite easily make her way to the clubs.

 

Indeed, it comes with a wide range of versions from the West Coast sound (two Progressive Freestyle mixes: Club and Radio) with a fast and booming rhythm beat (with a noteworthy intelligent sample of “Smack my bitch up” by Prodigy), to frantic Dance versions (listen to the “Hard mix” in priority).

 

Thanks to the help of DJ Chill, but especially that of DJ Raj (who worked with famous artist such as Everything But The Girl, Spanish Fly, Damia…), Rosalinda Flores should be able to convince a multiplicity of DJ’s and radios. I wish her all that and much, much more!

 

 

SAMMY C: “Taking it through the millenium and beyond” (CD album) ROMAN EMPIRE PRODUCTIONS

Score: 4 stars 

With this album, Sammy C. celebrates a 10-Years career in his own way, a career that began in 1990 with the superb gem “In your eyes” on HOT STREAK RECORDS label.

 

Therefore, in this CD, you’ll find a lot of his Freestyle hits (“In your eyes”, “A distant memory” and “Faded destiny”) as well as two never-heard-before tracks (“Stay with me tonight” and most especially the terrific “My mother warned me”). By the way, for “My mother warned me” we crave for a single release due to its great quality. Anyway, how could we be surprised by the quality of this production, since hidden behind is the talentuous Bobby Rodriguez (AFFECTA RECORDS) who had already strongly enticed us with Full Afekt (Remember the days [1990], “Don’t leave me now” [1990], “Out of my mind” [1992] and of course “A distant memory” [1992] BY Sammy C).

 

Ballad amateurs aren’t forgotten, since they are offered three songs. Enough to make the lady’s heart swing!

 

Then, it sounds vital to obtain this formidable album by a Freestyle master.

 

My only little disappointment is that on this CD you won’t find the singles released by TAZMANIA RECORDS (“If you wanted me”, “Other part of me” and “Tonight”), and all that because of stupid property rights. A shame!

 

 

STEVIE B: “Mega mixx 2000” (CD medley) ZYX MUSIC (Germany)

Score: 2 stars 

Will Y2K be the year of Stevie B? According to this project’s leader, the answer is a resounding “yes”. Aren’t they too optimistic? They don’t seem to be. Offering the fourth medley in a year and a half, sure they will provoke heart seizure among Stevie B’s many fans.

 

After the “Stevie B megamix vol.1 & 2” and the “Stevie B vs. Johnny O”, this New Year batch is a major headache, the same everlasting songs played again and again (“Pump that body”, “Spring love”, “Girl I love ya”, “Funky melody”, “Dreaming of love”, “For you”, “In my eyes” and “Because I love you”), already available in the three precedent megamixes.

 

Of course, these new versions are well mixed (once again by Snapshot). Yet a more never-heard-before selection would have been much more effective (Stevie B’s discography is not poor in rare songs), and the new “Extended edit” should have been much longer (6'25). We don’t even have time to taste them and they’re over!

 

Disappointing!

 

 

SUSAN SANTIAGO: “When it’s love” / “No one knows” (12 INCH) DAISY LADY RECORDS

Score: 3 stars (for the songs)
Score: No stars (for the interest) 

My first reaction, when I heard this record for the first time was laughter!

 

Not because of the artist (everybody knows that Susan Santiago is a well-accomplished singer full of talent) or of the two songs presented (rather good), but because none of the titles are remixed! They’re all LP versions. For six dollars!

 

Who do they think they’re fooling? Go buy the CD, more expensive, yes, but loaded with a lot more of excellent songs.

 

All this time for a 12 inch without any qualities… What a mess!

 

 

My Top 10

(12”, tape & CD singles)

1] Mario: “I can’t go on” 5-Starr Productions / Muss Muzik

2] Stonay: “Waiting” Shift Music & Media / ZYX Music (Germany)

3] Music Instructor: “Electric city” Fuel Records / EastWest Records (Germany)

4] Gina Dee: “Leave me not alone” ZYX music (Germany)

5] Julia-Evita Hernandez: “Come back” ZYX Music (Germany)

6] Susan Santiago: “No one knows” Daisy Lady Records

7] Freestyle Project: “Electric reality” MNF Records / ZYX Music (Germany)

8] Barbie: “Here comes the rain again” Detour Records

9] Lil Suzy: “You’re the only one” Metropolitan Recording Corporation

10] Marcos B: “When you go” Knowledge Es Power Records

 

My Top 10

(Compilations & medleys)  

1] George Lamond: “The hits…and more”(comp.)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 

5] Classic Freestyle (medley) ZYX Music (Germany)

6] Planet Freestyle vol.4 (compilation) Odeon Records (Canada)

7] Stevie B: “Freestyle then and now” (compilation) Dance 2000 Records / 805 Music

8] Maximum Freestyle: “Special edition remixes!”(comp.)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

 

My Top 5

(Albums)

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)

 

 

BACK TO REVIEWS