Just in-time for 2015 spring (beat) breaks, here is a cool cabin fever buster! Whether you are a DJ seeking spice for your sets or a “civilian” music lover, these fifty-four minutes of sound has something to give your Mr. Spockish quizzical eyebrow pause to do its thing.
From the first cookin’ bounce of “MIX” [BasicLUX BL9228-6; release date, March 31, 2015 ], I was reuniting with some old friends. I thought to myself, “The Cools have done it again!” James and DeAnna Cool, better known as Madison Park, are now collaborating with a Dutch dance music producer known as Beechcraft for this “MIX”, a well-conceived fourth full-length album CD since I first heard about and reviewed them for www.about.com back in the mid-2000s. It is very difficult to find out any bio on Beechkraft, who is also a Netherlands composer for television and film. Apparently he prefers to remain a bit of an anomaly – I cannot pinpoint exactly what he added to their sound, but suspect it is the upbeat, spirited-cadence of several of these tracks that he is responsible for. If I am incorrect, please educate me in the comments section below. At times, this album has a Pet Shop Boys feel to it – not a bad thing in my musical universe!
Madison Park, as always, features a very clean, sophisticated club music sound stapled by impeccable electronic editing and, of course, DeAnna’s hypnotically soothing lyrics via enchanting, wispy- velvet vocals. Having gone thru the disc multiple times, the first track, “Tonight” is the one I sweat the most. “Warm When I’m Alone” is next on my hot parade – I dig the uptempo groove – as future floor fillers!
In total, “MIX” grooves like a theatrical play or movie soundtrack with various moods and tempo. The cover art features DeAnna as the “I” in Mix, by the way, while the inner seat for the disc has three philosophical sayings for us to ponder.
Since 2002, downtempo duo, Madison Park has continued to produce brilliant music through a turbulent music industry era and are best known to me for their Billboard Dance remake of Roxy Music and in-particular, my favorite song, “More Than This”. Of-note here is their downtempo version of the David Bowie classic, “Let’s Dance”, which I envision as mixable within pancake turner late night chill sets. I think that it, like several other tracks should fade instead of ending cold. A chop ending works well on the acoustic selection, “Words”, track eight, naturally; fades are more disc-jockey-friendly.
From the dream-scape of “Parts of Me” to the bongos heard on “I Am Your Beachbreeze” or a cathedral-house anthem on “Sunrise (Next Level MIX)” and the lite drum & bass treatment of “Every Single Day”, this “MIX” garners a listenable, danceable four-of-five up/downtempo rated touch of house married with Portishead stars, which will cure whatever malaise the winter of 2015 touched you with. Remember…”Itz IN da MIX”.
Pickhitt: James Cool tells me that “Parts of Me” was the first single released in-advance of “MIX” and is in it’s 13th week charting on the World Chill-Lounge Charts at the time of this revu publishing. The video for “MIX” is being shot and edited at the time of this writing and will be available by the end of March, 2015. Then…y’all will see it here (hopefully FIRST!).