Tag Archive: DJ music


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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 rating 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!).

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Various Artists – Bargrooves: Members Only (US Limited Edition)

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I reached-back for y’all to let you know that I wrote music reviews from 2004 – 2011 for About.com/dancemusic, etc.  I found this one, “about” a special U.S. edition and ninth in the series that was out and about with tracks to set you smack dab into the party groove from their first beats and rhythms!  I still love it and I just found the double CD again while  boxing for the “Exodus”.

Here we have a snazzy, attractively packaged double-disc dance CD set “Bargrooves – Members Only” US Limited Edition [Gossip Records GOS-CD-609]. It is a assemblage massed across the great pond by the UK’s Ben Sowton and the Native New Yorkers. You might want to have a little fun by allowing your musical mind’s eye to view it as a kind of “competition”!

Flavaful cover art work and advertising that your “whateva” is a “limited edition” is like putting an “Esq.” or “Ltd” behind your name, intensifying the curiosity and in this case you are well within your mounting intensity to scope this work and include it in your desideratum.

Bargrooves are smooth and at times, almost jazzy dance cuts that play in continuous mode garnering the feel that you have a DJ on your home site, or if your are in the early pre-party preparation stages of your club, you can run these CDs before your DJ arrives and hopefully get your staff in a less mundane mood. The first time I pressed play to peruse these, I imagined myself early after-work at a trendy Bar “X” in Soho; getting libationally loose and this music as the slightly-above-subliminal soundtrack. It was a guaranteed party feel, and I couldn’t wait for the place to start filling-up with potential dance partners!

Label creator and late-night DJ bar entrepreneur Ben Sowton’s disc one is mid-deep House from the outset; surprisingly un-UK-ish, and includes more instrumentals; one of which is the slightly Gare-age-ish “Les Couleurs” by Sebastian Davidson. He weaves in some Soularis seamlessly with “Closer”. That is followed by a sure-shot “get the party started” version of the staple “It’s All Good To Me (Matty’s Soulflower mix)” from someone called Physics. Rippaa!! Next on the marquee is one of our favorite contemporary dance vocalists, lady Tiger Lily with Mike Polo on a version of Nate`’s “Free” that doesn’t compromise and only enhances the message of that classic. A little further into it, it really gets polished on the tantalizing “Time In Motion” by Jay Lumen/Superflava with vocals by Sophia Cairo. The slightly more stylish Disc two is New York City-style in pace, vocals and flow. From the first note on disc two, Central Avenue’s “Tell Me” brightens your mood even though the subject matter here is the breaking-up of a love affair.

On both discs track seven is the lucky number; whether it is Ross Couch’s “Got To Be Right”, or Hott 22’ featuring Angie Zee on “Just Friends”. The latter building the intensity for the rest of the jams to follow on that disc. As I used to say while tooling around Manhattan to a Frankie Crocker/Jonathan Docker mix on WBLS about twenty years ago, “It’s got that wheeze, baby!” I even used it to get my Pajama Bar party started on the air this past Leap Day, so you know it is good!

My favorite of the entire set is “Life Is Like” (number nine) by Richard Gow with Cathy Campani delivering the sultry vocals in a foreign tongue. I had to look to make sure that I they had named the song correctly because I expected to read a non-English song title the companion track on Ben’s disc which reads “Mariposa” – one of Ben’s movin’ instrumentals, by the way. But no, her sultry, lissome foreign language stylings are more than copacetic with me no matter the title.

Actually, there are no bad cuts herein! Both albums can be felt as “lounge” grooves as well, and if that label will help you to go check them and buy, then by all means, have at it! Other categories include “soulful house”, “dance-pop” and “tech with an edge”, they tell me. Hopefully U.S. radio will get hip to this one quickly as apparently most of Asia including my Russian girls, and the southern Pacific islands including Australia are already on it. I can glean no reason to deduct points here. So hear the “grooves” yourself as I set the bar at five “you-won’t-be-sorry” stars. And on that “competition – it’s a stalemate, from your ears to your dancing feet, we all win!!

Listen and comment back at me, ok?

Pickhitt: The group Soularis (playing above) is from Russia, by the way. I interviewed and reviewed them separately also circa 2005.

Deeper than the idea that Obama will ever be thus until he learns not to listen to the “stuffed-suits” advising him all the time, think for himself, occasionally representing the Black American Man and talk about the poor people of all colors for a change, “You’re INSIDE the Pajama Bar…” will remain the GOLD-standard of music journalism :- j

Actually this show is the last we performed on WRVU FM before Vanderbilt University sadly went down the path towards selling their station’s radio license to the hideous local “NPR”.  It began with this last trip,  by axing most of us “community volunteers”, aka ‘older adults’.  I was okay with it, too much drama was happening for no reason at a great facility now gone to waste like so many things I grew into appreciating.  Would death be so reminisce?

Succinct, live-at-the-time music mixing on-the radio from ‘009. I was just trying to stay true to the advice of my friend, the late  Chuck Leonard, who always said, “‘…just stay on the mic…”  as advice to keep in myself on the air.  But government deregulation and technology made his advice moot – and it sux.

  We always count upon your comments and suggestions at I.M.I.J. Produckshunz.  ThanX & Cheers.

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