Monday, January 18, 1999

Single Reviews - January 18, 1999

Incognito - "Nights Over Egypt" - Talkin' Loud UK 12"
UK's premier soul jazz band returns with a vengeance!!! Their first single from the latest album "No Time Like The Future" is a cover of the classic originally done by the Jones Girls. Taking over the vocals are Maysa Leak and disco diva Jocelyn Brown. A very classy production is given the Masters At Work and MJ Cole remix treatment. MAW deliver a smooth and sizzling house mix dripping with strings and horns. There are even vocal and instrumental hooks from "Colibri", one of Incognito's first hits, thrown into the mix. MJ Cole speeds things up a bit and turns in a classic garage mix that still has most of the elements, but also has a two-step edge to it. Prime music for the dancefloor and for your soul.

Satoshi Tomiie featuring Robert Owens and Cevin Fisher - "Darkness" - INCredible UK 12"
I have loved Satoshi Tomiie's music since I first heard "Tears" and "And I Loved You" way back when, but I have to say that his latest work really disappoints me. "Darkness" is a very dark and depressing track. Moody and atmospheric, it's stark beats and arrangement do nothing to compliment Robert Owens' voice. His vocal talents are sadly wasted. The track is not helped in any way by the spoken word grumblings of house producer Ceving Fisher, either. An unfortunate mess. I hope Satoshi gets back to his "Def Mix" roots and makes music that we can really groove to.

Blue 6 - "Sweeter Love" - Wave US 12"
This track is already a classic. Produced by Jay Denes of Naked Music NYC, this track is a beautiful mix of simple melody, stellar vocals and tight production. The music is very basic and stark in its features, but works its way into your body after just one listen. The B-Side has "Body and Soul" style remixes from Matthias Heillbronn, which work quite well too. Another must-buy!

TLC - "Silly Ho/No Scrubs" - LaFace 12"
On the unofficial single "Silly Ho", TLC kicks back on the scene with a vengeance. Dallas Austin jumps on the Timbaland production style bandwagon with its whoops, chants and sirens. A catchy gem that will make you dance. Same goes for "No Scrubs", the real first single off the new "Fan Mail" album. Great vocal arrangement from Kelly Price.

Tatyana Ali - "Boy You Knock Me Out" - Epic/MJJ UK 12"
The newest single from the former star of "Fresh Prince Of Bel Air" features the "Big Willie Style" remix featuring Will Smith. This is a funky r&b jam with a very pop feel. Very nice vocal arrangement from the talented Kelly Price. Nice delivery from Tatyana too. There are also three "Xclusive" house mixes from Maurice Joshua. He delivers a very nice vocal house version, with beautiful piano and bassline that complements the melody. He's been doing some very solid mixes lately, after a long absence from the scene.

Basement Jaxx - "Rendez-Vous/Jump and Shout" - Atlantic Jaxx/XL UK 12"
Finally, a new 12" from Basement Jaxx after a very quiet 1998. This is a limited two song EP, with two mixes of each song. "Rendez-Vous" is a groovy track that bases itself on a flamenco-style guitar performance. "Jump and Shout" is a crowd rousing jam, with a dancehall style MC doing vocals. The beats get all freaky towards the end in usual Basement Jaxx schizophrenia. I love it! Get it before it's gone....i heard there's only 500 or so copies pressed or is it 5000?

Mariah Carey - "I Still Believe" - Columbia 2x12"
The power ballad from her "#1's" CD gets the deluxe remix treatment over two twelve inches of vinyl. The first 12" features R&B remixes from Stevie J. and Damizza. While these are very close in tempo to the original version, they are all completely new and separate productions. Very different from the original, but they grow on you after a few listens. Stevie J's mix features Mocha and Amil, It has a chugging east coast Bad Boy style sound. The Damizza Reemix features Krayzie Bone (who was on the "Breakdown" remix) and Da Brat (featured on numerous MC remixes). This mix is very downtempo west coast mellow style with a little bit of bite from Da Brat. The second 12" has house mixes from David Morales. The "Classic Club Mix" is the typical dance mix of the original, but the "Eve Of Souls" mix is the one to go for....completely new music and vocal production with a party/fiesta feel. "The Kings Mix" uses much of the same vocal from the "Eve of Souls" mix, but has an annoying synth's almost techno to me.....I'd like to see if Mariah will ever get anyone else than David Morales to do a house remix.....Masters At Work might be nice....especially since she likes to rework the entire song for a remix.....oh well.....

Ali - "Love Letters" - Polydor UK 2x12"
This is the newest single from UK soul singer Ali, and there's a whole slew of remixes to support it. This double pack in the white sleeve features remixes from Todd Edwards, Industry Standard and Phil Dane. Industry Standard's mix is moody speed garage/two-step style, with some vocals. Todd Edwards' mixes are his trademark chop and paste edit sample style, with crazy disco strings and mixed up vocal samples. He has a full vocal and also a nice dub. Phil Dane's mixes are in a more progressive UK dance style. There is also another 12" in a red sleeve which features R&B remixes from Ignorantz. Very nice set of mixes.

Ce Ce Peniston - "The Best of Ce Ce Peniston" - A&M UK CD
One of the best (but VERY underrated) vocalists around FINALLY gets her own "best-of" compilation. And what a compilation it is!!!!! 13 songs and remixes from Ce Ce's three albums. All the hits are here: "Finally", "We got A Love Thang", "Crazy Love", "I'm In The Mood", etc....The CD is a good mix of both uptempo dance tracks that she is famous for, as well as her funky R&B jams. Since most of the songs have already been released, A&M wisely includes some remixes: Eric Kupper's new remix for "Finally", David Morales' old school styled remix for "Somebody Else's Guy", the rare KenLou 12" mix for "Crazy Love" by Masters At Work (much superior to the original), as well as the new Tuff Jam garage remix for "somebody Else's Guy". It's a very well-rounded package for fans. However, it's a total shame that it's not being released in North America. Get your hands on an import copy when you see it!!!