by Brent Crampton ~ Whether it be funky and deep, bompty and quirky, or just click-click beepy – this is your monthly house music source for what’s hot and churning on the dance floors at the moment. And with the Winter Music Conference just behind us, so many great choons are now on the market.
Urban Jazz Naturals – Urban Jazz Naturals EP – Vista
About time they had another slamming release come out! After their famed ‘How Can I,” there have been high expectations for St. Louis-based house band, Urban Jazz Naturals. This time they teamed up with Demarkus Lewis for this three-tracker that should be on vinyl in May 6th (if not, it’s available for download at www.traxsource.com). Starting out with “Can’t Get Me Down,” this playful true-swing style track (not the repetitive sampled stuff) slams a four-to-the-floor beat and chunky percussion. I just wish I could be in St. Louis at the Wednesday weekly, Sweet Spot at the Pepper Lounge to see the crowd go mad when Don Tinsley throws down this track. “Take Me Away” reminds me of the way Johnny Fiasco takes an otherwise deep melody, throws a slammin’ beat and heavy percussion on the top, and turns it into a peak-time houser. While Demarkus and UJN accomplish this task successfully, they’ve done so in their own finesse and style.
Jaime Principle remix by Mark Grant – Waiting on my Angel – D’Lectable (CD-R)
“ Waiting on my Angel” has long been one of Jaime Principle’s call to fames in the world of male vocalists, circa 1985. Grant, being a true purveyor of the spirit of house, dug through the crates and pulled out this classic to relive it one more time. While the original holds that garage oriented 80’s sound, Grant takes things on the Blackstone-soulful tip, adding what Lady D relayed to me, “the hardest kick drum Grant has ever produced.” Look for this release on D’Lectable in late summer.
Kaskade – Everything – OM
Having amassed himself to superstar status in world of house, everyone wants to know what Kaskade’s up to, and his newest endeavor in the world of releases comes with this smooth four-tracker. I must say, in the past I haven’t bought the hype Kaskade’s received and have been reserved in playing his, often times, poppy-style-vocal tracks. But coming from an unbiased critic on Kaskade, I can say this release is worth picking up. For those Kaskade fans that have come to appreciate his pop-style, you’ll enjoy the “Everything” tracks, but for me (who passed those up and went straight for the side-B), “I Like the Way” is where it’s at. With vocals by Colette, the original paints a dreamy landscape, dripped with Rhodes similar to the “Be There” Kaskade release on Jamayka The pick of the release comes with Troydon’s remix of “Everything.” Using the ever-popular chopped up and sample-based techniques akin to the underground house heads, this track has a deep touch with a subtle energy (and let’s not forget sex appeal ala Colette’s vocals).
Olivier Desmet, Chuck Diesel – Murdered – Amenti
If you recall Mark Farina’s “Seasons One” mix on Domestic records that came out in 1996, you may still have Mike Delgado’s, “Murder Track” running through your mind (I know I do). If you find the track on E-Bay these days, it’s usually going for a pretty penny since it’s reached the status of classic within deep house. That’s why Olivier and Desmet took a risk when they remixed the track. Well . . . shall I say they killed it (in a good way of course)? Adding a West Coast breezy feel to it, this nostalgic track is getting lots of play up in O-town.
DJ Freestyle – NY Nights – Safe In Sound
Jonene, originator of www.stompy.com, is still supporting vinyl with his label, Safe In Sound. And he’s still supporting quality house producers, many of which he crammed onto this four-tracker. Freestyle’s “NY Movement Mix” starts things off with the sound and vibe that is remixed throughout the rest of the mixes. With simple percussion, a smooth Rhodes key and an African voice mimicking a drum, Freestyle has been on a roll lately with quality releases. Yann Fontain’s “Brooklyn Bridge Mix” takes things a bit more deep, and a bit more New York. Floating flutes, airy melodies and real-time percussion make this track sound as if it fit right in with the post Body and Soul patrons at Shelter. Mes, Slater and Mr. Kaboom team up to pick up the pace and pack the chunk, which will please the Frisky sort of crowd. And my personal favorite comes with Mic’s “Queensboro Bridge Mix.” Simple, cool vibe with a wicked drum selection put this track right under the category of “tunes to listen to while late-night driving.”
Fetish Sampler – Volume 1 – Fetish
Another track proving that if you aren’t from Texas, your only option is to move there. After relocating to Austin, Texas from California, Joey Youngman is located in the new mecca for house music in the states. Subsequently he teamed up with Texas-born (oh we are so jealous of you for that) Jake Childs and Mario Fabriani for a four-tracker. In typical Youngman fashion, this release beats through what might as well be called Youngman-house (yes I am now declaring a new genre of house). I’ll be honest, there have been better releases on Fetish, but for those that can’t get enough of that chunky-funky stuff, this release will hold you over.