Friday, May 18, 2007

Music: Bob Marley & The Wailers - Roots, Rock, Remixed

Bob Marley is one of the most celebrated and beloved figures on the planet and the term reggae is synonymous with the musical legacy he left behind. Digging deeply into that sacred catalog, the dozen remixes of legendary songs on Roots, Rock, Remixed are taking the familiar and cherished and reintroducing it to sound systems worldwide. Roots, Rock, Remixed is slated for release on Quango/rockr music, July 24, 2007.

Featuring a crop of today's hottest producers - including Jimpster (Jamie Odell), Yes King (Rhys Adams & Mark Rae), Trio Elétrico (Boozoo Bajou), Fort Knox Five and DJ Spooky - Roots, Rock, Remixed balances that fine line of being respectful to the inimitable artist Nesta was, and using the bass-heavy, digital technologies available today. Nothing of the gorgeous, analog originals (including classics like One Love, Trenchtown Rock, and Lively Up Yourself) is lost in translation.

While some bootleg remixes of these songs exist, this is the first remix album to receive a certified blessing from the Marley family and Chris Blackwell, himself, who stated, "they retained the songs and the spirit of the original Wailers' recordings and creates a great dance party record."

"We thought there was a lack of quality Bob Marley remixes for the underground," says David Hargis, co-producer and VP of A&R at rockr music, which spearheaded this project. "There have been a few high profile, mass market projects, but we wanted to present something for dance club audiences. There's a lot of warmth and humanity in these songs. None sound too electronic or far from the analog originals. Everyone who worked on this project had deep respect for the music."

Yet, those drum beats and bass lines are completely new - the studio refurbishing of skilled hands and ears. Cordovan's hip-hop slick-kick adds punch to the sing-along One Love, while Afrodisiac Sound System takes Soul Shakedown Party from ghetto blaster to mega club experience. Jimpster's excellent retelling of 400 Years, considered crucial in the Peter Tosh library, makes this song of rebellion available for the four-on-the-floor audience. Through and through, the Wailers shine in every moment.

"We're honored to work with such an important body of music," says Jeff Daniel, the album's co-producer and rockr music's chief. "Marley's sound was like no other and his indelible stamp can be heard all through these great new remixes. We took great care not to disrespect his legend."

"There's a really nice balance between those that stick to the roots, and the ones that create their own interpretations," says Bruno Guez, President of Quango Records. Adding to the sentiment, Hargis continues, "Some of the remixers stuck with the familiar song structure and layered modern elements into them, while others took samples of the originals and transformed them into something completely new. It was often astounding how creative these DJs & producers were."

"These are many of the seed songs for Bob," Hargis concludes. "He went back through his catalog and updated many of them for Island later in his career. In a sense, we're doing the same thing with these remixes. There are a lot of special songs here."

Track Listing:
1. Soul Shakedown Party (Afrodisiac Sound System Remix)
2. Lively Up Yourself (Bombay Dub Orchestra Remix)
3. Duppy Conqueror (Fort Knox Five Remix)
4. Sun Is Shining (Yes King Remix)
5. Soul Rebel (Afrodisiac Sound System Remix)
6. African Herbsman (King Kooba Remix)
7. Don't Rock My Boat (STUHR Remix)
8. Small Axe (Paul & Price Remix)
9. Rainbow Country (DJ Spooky's Subliminal Funk Remix)
10. Trenchtown Rock (Trio Elétrico Remix)
11. 400 Years (Jimpster Remix)
12. One Love (Cordovan Remix) [CD Bonus Track]

Bob Marley & the Wailers
Roots, Rock, Remixed
Quango/rockr Music
in stores and online July 24, 2007

Friday, May 04, 2007

Music: Dreamgirls Remixed (Walmart Edition)

Wal-Mart bonus disc:

Dreamgirls Remixed

One Night Only (Club Mix)
I'm Somebody (Karamatronics Remix)
Heavy (DJ Escape Mix)
Listen (Karamatronics Radio Club Mix)
Move (Fuzion Remix)
Family (Blaze Roots Remix)*
Dreamgirls (DJ Escape Remix)

*This is the only mix you need

thanks: Mixed Glitter

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Music: Armand Van Helden - I Like Making Sex Records

Armand Van Helden's latest album Ghettoblaster as the name suggests will take you on a ride back to the roots of dance music. Says Armand, "On this album I was going for a retro throwback 1985-89 soul up-tempo urban type sound. Chicago meets Miami meets New York City kind of thing. Or to put it differently, house meets freestyle meets hip-house meets club meets new wave."

Armand Van Helden seems to want people to remember, or attempt to experience, what it was like before "underground" dance music became a mainstream kind of thing; tie-ing together all of the attempts at retro sound that has been pumping out of the clubs lately. "The snare sounds Prince used, the keyboards from Expose and those old 808 drums, I've noticed them coming back. I keep my ear to the street."

"I’m not fascinated by intelligence, I don’t get a kick out of minimal techno. I don’t want my music to be intelligent. I like making sex records."
This time around, guests include Fat Joe, Will ‘Tha Wiz’ Lemay, BL, Kudu, George Llanes, as well as vocalists Nicole Roux, Majida. The current single Touch Your Toes featuring Fat Joe & BL, is out now on vinyl and iTunes.

Armand Van Helden
Southern Fried/Ultra Records

Monday, April 02, 2007

Culture: The want2Bsqaure Show NYC

The want2Bsquare ShowNYC





APRIL 6, 2007 7:00-11:00PM ONE NIGHT ONLY



Music: The Chicago LP

Chicago-based S&S Records have brought together the legends of House Music to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the soulful genre embraced and sampled the world over. The Chicago LP is a two disc, two DVD set featuring original music from Grammy-winning and nominated producers, remixers, artists and DJ's. The record will be released is schedulued forlate Spring.

The Chicago LP is the brainchild of S&S Records'
GRAMMY-nominated remixer, producer, DJ, House Music legend Steve "Silk" Hurley along with global DJ, producer, remixer Shannon "DJ Skip" Syas. The record is a musical journey and history of all music Chicago, featuring the city's finest; while the companion DVD is a personal history of those making House Music.

Hurley has produced and remixed records for major artists in the urban music world including Chaka Khan, Michael Jackson, R. Kelly, Bob Marley, Ann Nesby, and Prince. His OLD SKOOL /NEW SKOOL REMIX on the nationally-syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show, is broadcast every Tuesday and Thursday on 128 stations across the US.

Special marketing and promotional events surrounding the release of The Chicago LP will be held in major markets and feature many of the artists on the record. There will be a special event in the home of House music, Chicago, in late June. The "Chicago is in The House" tour will be announced in the near future.

Bad Boy Bill ft. Kevin Irving -- "All Night With You"
CZR -- "How I Feel"
DJ Pierre -- "SirenTraxMaxxBass"
DJ Rhythm -- "You're The One"
DJ Skip -- "The Hustle of Life"
DJ Slugo ft. Fast Eddie -- "Juke It"
E-Smoove ft. LaTanza -- "Miracle"
Fast Eddie & Steve 'Silk' Hurley -- "Chicago House Scene (Freaky Mix)"
Gene Hunt -- "Get Down"
George Jackson ft. Xaviera Gold -- "Another Day"
Hyper Harp & DJ Skip ft. Ava Cherry -- "Please Believe"
Jamie Principle -- "Baby Wants To Ride"
Jesse Saunders -- "Whats This Fx"
Joe Smooth -- "Keep On Praisin'"
Kelly G. ft. Jasmin Ray -- "South Africa"
Lego -- "Sax Addict"
Malik Yusef ft Common, Kanye West & JV -- "Wouldn't You Like To Ride (S&SRmx)"
Marshall Jefferson & Steve 'Silk' Hurley ft. B. Laurén -- "Just A Feelin' (That I Get)"
Maurice Joshua ft. Jean Davis-- "So Amazing"
Mike Dunn ft. Tha Club Kidz -- "I Wanna Go Down"
Mr. K. Alexi -- "Beautiful Chi-Biza"
Paul Johnson -- "After The Storm"
Ricky Bradshaw ft. Shawn Christopher -- "Touched By Your Love"
Ricky Bradshaw ft. Shawn Christopher -- "Never Knew Love (Classic Mix)"
Ron Carroll ft. Trina Tru Luv jjah and Big Sexy -- "Do Me Baby"
Roy Davis Jr. ft. Terry Dexter -- "Magic"
Stacy Kidd -- "Yesterday (Club Mix)"
Steve 'Silk' Hurley ft. Dani -- "Takin' Me Higher (Alright)"
Steve 'Silk' Hurley ft. Javanté -- "Classic"
Syleena Johnson-- "Peace Pipe"
Terry Hunter ft. Shane -- "Superstar"
Voices of Life ft. Sharon Pass-- "Runnin' Away"

Hear exclusive snippets of The Chicago LP and view never-before-seen trailers of the DVD at

Friday, March 30, 2007

Music: Deniece Williams - Love, Niecy Style

Deniece Williams will forever be one of the great all-time R&B divas. Processing an infectious, angelic and soulful honey -coated voice with an awe-inspiring range, Deniece Williams set the bar high for R&B singers back in the 70s and to this day her influence can be heard on everyone from Mariah Carey to Beyoncé. Her songs have been sampled by dozens of artists including Will Smith and Master P. Deniece's pure, rich and spine-tingling vocal quality, along with her impeccable diction and ability to honestly connect with any song has resulted in a vast catalog of hits. Some of her timeless anthems include Silly, Too Much, Too Little, Too Late ( No. 1 pop and R&B duet with Johnny Mathis), Let's Hear It For The Boy (the million-selling pop/soul chart-topper from the movie Footloose), It's Gonna Take A Miracle, Free (from the gold album This Is Niecy) and Black Butterfly.

In recent years the chanteuse has primarily been recording gospel records but on April 24, 2007 Shanachie Entertainment will release Deniece Williams' highly anticipated return to R&B Love, Niecy Style produced by renowned Philly soul producer Bobby Eli. Deniece's label debut will mark her first major return to R&B in over a decade. For this momentous occasion Deniece called upon some of the artists who have been instrumental throughout her career: Stevie Wonder, George Duke and Philip Bailey.

Indeed, a songbird with a dynamic range, a distinctive sound and a true gift for lyrical interpretation, Deniece has long enjoyed a place in the hearts of music buyers who embraced her through a rich legacy of close to 30 charted singles and a dozen best-selling albums. Her career also includes 4 Grammies and an extensive list of credits including 16 Grammy nominations, 3 Stellar Awards, an American Music Award and an Oscar nomination.

As Deniece reflects "I wasn't really thinking about making a new record until a mutual friend put me in touch with Bobby, who I knew from the recording sessions I did with Thom Bell in the early '80s. Bobby talked to me about the idea of doing a project of songs that I've always loved. I thought it was a great way to honor artists like Luther Vandross, Donny Hathaway and Gwen Guthrie and what their music has meant to me. When people listen to this project, I hope it will take them back down memory lane as well as create new memories for those who may not be familiar with all the songs on the album."

Within weeks of agreeing to Love, Niecey Style, they began selecting songs. "There were so many songs I had been carrying around forever, humming them, singing them and never thinking I would be recording them!" she declares. "By the time we finished, I felt we had done what we set out to do." For Eli, working with Deniece was "a pure pleasure. She's a producer's dream, a very special artist and someone I always wanted to work with from being on the Thom Bell sessions with her."

Love, Niecey Style is particularly special, given the presence of three distinguished music men who have played an integral role in Deniece's career at different times: icon Stevie Wonder (with whom Deniece got her first gig as a member of his touring backup vocal group Wonderlove in 1972); super producer, songwriter and artist in his own right, George Duke (who produced 1984's Grammy-winning "Let's Hear It For The Boy"); and renowned vocalist Philip Bailey, of Earth, Wind & Fire, with whom Deniece was associated by virtue of working with EW&F's Maurice White and Kalimba Productions from 1976 to 1982.

What distinguishes Niecy's new CD from other albums of R&B 'cover' tunes is the range of her choices, starting with the 1963 Baby Washington chestnut That's How Heartaches Are Made through to Donny Hathaway's eternal Someday We'll All Be Free and on to Luther Vandross' first solo smash, Never Too Much. For good measure, Deniece re-recorded her own Cause You Love Me Baby, a staple in her repertoire since the track was included in her 1976 Columbia debut album as well as cutting a brand new song, The Only Thing I'm Missing Is You.

"I'd been wanting to record That's How Heartaches Are Made for years. I was thirteen when I first heard Baby Washington sing this song. It touched my heart because at the time, I was in love with this boy but he didn't love me the same way! When we started recording the song, I could hear Stevie (Wonder) playing harmonica on it. 'Can you come down?' I asked and he was gracious enough to play on the track. It turned out beautifully. Love's Holiday has always been one of my favorite EW&F songs. Then having my dearest friend Philip Bailey sing on it…it doesn't get any better than that!"

This Time I'll Be Sweeter (previously cut by both Angela Bofill and Roberta Flack, one of the many artists whose recordings - including Minnie Riperton and Esther Phillips - benefited from her work as a session singer in the '70s) is a tribute to a longtime friend: "The song was written by the late Gwen Guthrie who we lost to breast cancer. Gwen used to sing with me, Lani Groves and Patti Austin - we were in the same circle of background singers when I lived in New York and I remember when she wrote the song. I always wanted to do it and it's my way of honoring Gwen."

Deniece has been busier than ever, recording a children's CD, Lullabies To Dreamland, appearing in the London cast of the pioneering musical Mama I Want To Sing, producing and hosting her own radio program, The Deniece Williams Show on BBC Radio for almost ten years. Purposely devoting much of her time to raising her four sons, she says she made a conscious choice to limit her touring activities: "I've been doing maybe ten concerts a year and in recent years, I've really got into writing theater pieces and developing film scripts with my older sons. I felt it was time to test myself in other creative ways. Now with my children grown, it's time for mom to be out there again! I chose to stay at home and did only 10% of what I could have done. Vocally, I think I'm stronger than I've ever been and it's time to get out there and do it. I've been blessed with a fantastic audience and I'm always humbled by that. My audience reminds me that this is what I'm supposed to be doing!"

Listen Here:

Deniece Williams
Love, Niecy Style
Shanachie Records
April 24th

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Fashion: Pastry Footwear

The two beautiful daughters of renowned Run DMC rapper/reality show star/author/owner of Run Athletics Footwear, Rev. Run, will introduce their own entry into the footwear arena, with the launch of Pastry Footwear. The initial line to debut on March 23rd is The Cake Collection, an offering of colorful, mid-priced athletic-inspired shoes designed for stylish young ladies, carrying tasty names such as Chocolate Mousse (brown with pink highlights), Strawberry Shortcake (pink with white highlights), Red Velvet (red with white highlights) and Sprinkles (white with small multi-colored dots). Each shoe will have a tube of lipgloss attached to it, with its scent/color coordinated to the shoe's theme. The footwear will be packaged in boxes bound with satin ribbon, a la a pastry purchase. They will initially debut via Underground Station stores and website.

Vanessa (23) and Angela Simmons (19), known to television viewers from their appearances on their father Rev. Run's wildly popular MTV reality series, Run's House, are intelligent and ambitious ladies, who collaborated in the design of their footwear line. Vanessa is the oldest child in the Simmons family; she's enrolled at St. John's University, with a Business Communication major, and is due to graduate in the fall. A Ford model and aspiring actress, Vanessa was recently featured in a national Verizon commercial, and was named one of Maxim magazine's "Hot 100" for 2006. Angela is a fashionista, and attends the prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology. She appears in rapper Bow Wow's Shortie Like Mine video and also recently launched a new teen magazine called Angela's RunDown, which covers music, fashion and style. The siblings, along with their father, mom Justine, and three younger brothers JoJo, Diggy and Russy, will once again light up TV screens with the season premiere of Run's House on MTV in the spring. Viewers will not only witness the birth of Pastry Footwear, they'll see Vanessa and Angela demonstrate their baking skills in the forthcoming season.

The talented pair are keeping it all in the family, as they debut the appetizing Pastry Footwear Cake Collection and join their father, their Uncle Russell Simmons and Aunt Kimora Lee Simmons in stylishly outfitting consumers' feet.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

TV: Wifey

VH1 and BET are partnering on a one-hour pilot for the ensemble drama Wifey, set in the world of hip hop. Under this unique arrangement, the eventual series would premiere simultaneously on both networks. Written and executive produced by Michael Elliot, the pilot will be directed by BET President of Entertainment Reginald Hudlin. The executive producers include Queen Latifah, Shakim Compere and Dedra Tate for Flavor Unit, Michael Hirschorn and Maggie Malina for VH1, and Hudlin and Byron Phillips for BET.

Wifey is centered on the newly-widowed wife of a hip-hop mogul who must reassemble her life as she takes over her late husband's record label. Once there, she discovers that her family's fortunes were built upon lies and crimes that now threaten to destroy everything. With the help of two female friends, they take on the male-dominated world of hip-hop.

"The premise behind Wifey' has tremendous promise and fits perfectly into VH1's unique ability to tell stories about music and pop culture," said Brian Graden, President, Entertainment, MTV Networks and President, LOGO. "This pilot marks the first time that VH1 has partnered with another network in such a way, so we're eager to explore all of the ideas and possibilities that will develop by teaming up with Reginald Hudlin and our friends at BET now and in the future.

"This project represents a first on several levels: BET has never jointly developed or produced a program with any other network, the premiere/revenue structure is unique, and I imagine it's the first time that a network head has directed a pilot," says Hudlin, whose last directing gig was the pilot for Everybody Hates Chris, just a few months before he joined BET. Hudlin also helmed such box office classics as House Party, Boomerang, and the animated film BeBe's Kids.

"Byron Phillips and I loved the show the minute we read the script," Hudlin added, and that, given "a common sensibility" with VH1's Hirschorn and Malina, he sees the project as "the first of many together."

Queen Latifah (a.k.a. Dana Owens), one of the project's executive producers, echoes Hudlin's enthusiasm.

"I've always wanted to do a series like this. My first business was the music business, so doing this show with the music networks VH1 and BET about the music industry is exciting for me and my partner Shakim," stated Latifah. "It's going to be a fun show."