Music Reviews



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Artist: Madison Park vs. Lenny B
Title: More Than This
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: BasicLUX Records
Distributor: Tommy Boy Records
Rated: *****
Spun from Park's "Roxy Re-Modeled" tribute CD, "More Than This" as remixed by both DJ Lenny B and J.A.C.E. (a long and a short version from each) is a complete part of your nutritious mainstream dance-pop diet. Both productions blanket the song with frosty, Arctic synth chill over a smooth yet hot pumping dance pulse, and on his mix Lenny B applies the Vocorder on Park's vocals not-too-liberally. While I wouldn't tolerate such liberties taken with many other tracks in Roxy Music's catalog (especially from their early years), either mix should make those who saw and liked the movie Lost In Translation jump for joy. I'd say if you are one of the cool Club Kids strictly into Deep House, you could definitely get into this. My preference of the two styles is J.A.C.E.'s, which I figure you could somehow segue into Orbital's "One Perfect Sunrise," if you were a ballsy enough DJ.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: New Sound Theory volume 3
Format: CD
Label: BasicLux records (@)
Rated: *****
I missed volume no.2 of the New Sound Theory compilations and I guess with that I didn't realize this cool label from Atlanta, Georgia, had been slightly changing ita ways. This third volume seems to continue with BasicLux's ongoing drift toward dancier shores. Seductive, mood-setting, chilling lounge & club motifs that will warm up every dancefloor, liven up every lounge, and spice up summer nights at music bars all around the globe. The CD comes in a beautifully packaged jewel case with a carboard wrapping case and features music by Night at the Baracuda, Fairytale of a New Day, Wamdue Project (remember the 1999 top selling "King of My Castle" single?), Lumiere, Madison Park of course, Goldlust, Perfect Porject, Lenny B, DJ Kemit, OzOn, Mudfish, Paul T, Soulfeenix & BiTeR mc, GrooveOholics, Junkyard, Bokster.
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Artist: Madison Park
Title: Ocean Drive
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: BasicLux records (@)
Rated: *****
Sporting the beautiful and sexy singer DeAnna Cool (her real name, believe it or not) right on the front cover, "Ocean Drive" is the first single from Madison Park's "Boutique". Featuring seven different mix/remix arrangement versions and one bonus track "You Do Something To Me" (by Cole Porter), "Ocean Drive" brings you the talent and skills of some hi ranked producers such as Lenny B (whose credits include Britney Spears' "Toxic" and "Outrageous", Kelly Clarkson's "The Trouble with Love Is", Cher's "Different Kind of Love Songs", among others), the Source and Tel Aviv's Wilson.With such personnel you may well imagine that the result is a little more clubby and night-spirited (as opposed to loungey and afternoonish), and if ATL Magazine wrote that they have "one foot in the lounge and the other on the dancefloor" they're pretty much leaving the lounge with this one... What's interesting to note is that they are sort of tentative, in a good way, of going the whole distance with their approach to house. Except for the Source's trance mix they rarely become as dancefloor-ready as much other material that populates disco clubs, and even with Lenny B's production they preserve a genuine electronica feel that is different from, say, Spears' chart-toppers.Madison Park is really going for it, promoting an even sexier and dancier image of themselves and their music. Altough I see the future of this duo in the European scenes, I hope their expectations will all be met! They deserve it with all their hard work.
Feb 19 2005
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Artist: Madison Park
Title: Boutique
Format: CD
Label: BasicLux records
Rated: *****
Basic Lux is one of the most interesting and creative electronica/lounge labels out there (you can tell that by their original and unique advertising campaigns) and I have a fond memory of their first "New Sound Theroy" compilation released a few years back (of which two new volumes have seen the light, one of which, the third one will be reviewed here momentarily). The two label owners James and DeAnna Cool are obviously also the main band in their catalogue. They record as Madison Park and produce a refined blend of classy pop, dance, nujazz, electronics and house. But don't expect any hammering dancefloor anthems, but rather chilled, fresh and funky tunes infused with melodic pop vocal lines and disco beats and attitude. The CD features collaboration tracks with and remixes by producer Lenny B, Sunday People, GrooveOholics, Souldrider and Bryan Odgen. Madison Park know what it means to flirt with a commercially viable approach while keeping their heart in uncompromised electronic music territory.
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Artist: VV.AA.
Title: New Sound Theory vol. 1
Format: CD
Label: basicLUX (@)
As soon as I saw this disc in my mail it felt like this was gonna be the next best thing in our reviews section and I was right... This is the kind of record I elected for my next cross-Atlantic trip, along with Echo's and the Saafi Brother's "Liquid Beach". ;-) But enough about me and more about this great new compilation.
Released by husband and wife James and DeAnna Cool's new label basicLUX based in Atlanta, GA, "New Sound Theory"'s first volume is "...a sound for lifestyle"! It brings together fifteen of the best new acts of the smooth chill-out downtempo ambient electronica scene, each adding their own interpretative key to the theory, from nu jazz to neo soul, from deephouse to trip'n'bass. Artists include Chris Brann (of Ananda Project, Wamdue, P'taah), Soulrider, Stormchild, Bleu Screen, Madison Park vs Lenny B, Puzzle, Bryan Ogden, Auricle, JC Scott Project, Salah Ananse, Kaizer, KemeticJust and Abstract Foundation. So much new and affirmed eclectic talent on one record makes for a great buy, I'll tell you, because it's not every day that you find good and groovy lounge music like this. You can dance to it, you can vibe to it, it's great for every mood you are in (almost...) and it's absolutely terrific and cool sounding! I love it.
It's interesting to know that the CD came out with the help of unusual (for the music business that is) sponsoring partners, such as a funky and hip clothing/accessories boutique, a Japanese retreat spa/salon and an body/home accessories store (all in Atlanta) which further proves the kind of lifestyle integration that this project reaches out for.
By the way, if you are in the area, you may also catch some of the action live at the newsoundtheory sundays (log on to their website for full schedule of events)!
Except for just a couple of tracks that perhaps aren't quite up there I think, and except for the fact that such a compilation CD would deserve and has people expect more linear notes about each artist (mini bios, contacts etc), I'd say it's a great little gem of quality new sounds, and not just theoretically speaking... ;-)


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