Fortunately for you, Emmeralds Yellow Brick Road is paved with 24 carat music gems. Check out these nuggets well worth their weight in gold.
ARTIST Title (Label)
Simbad Peaktime (Earth Project)Come strong, or dont come at all, they say. Simbad must have eaten his Wheaties the day he made this one. This double-sider sends blinding storms across the dance floor. One side treats you to a Bugz in the Attic-esque broken beat with yum yum sultry vocals from Z Star. The second side, a peaktime staple right at home at the height of the night, lures house-heads, techno-heads and electro-heads to the dance floors center.
Willie Bobo La Descarga del Bobo (Masters at Work Remix) (Verve)Ah yes, the dons of Latin-house are back (as if they ever left), following up their first Verve re-edit of Nina Simones See Line Woman with an altogether new Verve remix project. La Descarga del Bobo is the first promotional single from the upcoming Masters at Work Present Latin Verve Sounds due out mid-June 2004. MAW never fail to bring out the best percussive rhythms and cozy chords to create sounds reminiscent of old New York Salsa dance clubs. This latest effort is no exception to their rule of excellence.
Jody Watley The Essence (FiveSixRecordings)Eons after Soul Train and Shalimar, Jody Watley still knows how to sing us round-a-bout the dance floor. Together with the immensely talented King Britt, she coos uplifting vocals atop gorgeous keys and a spunky broken rhythm. GB takes the tune There, going all Scuba-like on King Britt. GBs remix incorporates rolling percussive rhythms and that lovely clack-clack that we bruk-heads love so, along with a spicy little jam session on the keys. Not be outdone by the B-side subtleties, DJ Yellow kicks up the tempo with a DJ-friendly deep house spin, very well done for the club.
Benny Blanko My Life (Playhouse)This ones probably an oldie but goodie in the short shelf-life world of dance music, but must be mentioned here so if you missed it the first time around, you wont make that mistake again. This is ESSENTIAL for anyone into Osunlade, Afro-house sounds and deep house. Vocals are sparse sampling a Roy Ayers loop from Everybody Loves the Sunshine. The rest is basically a classic Osunlade-style beat with rich chords. Tres simple et magnifique!
JustOne Love 2 Love (Neroli)This is another gem thats been making waves for a minute, but again needs to be mentioned here for those who may have inadvertently missed out. Love 2 Love is one of the most purely interesting songs Ive heard in a long time. Grounded in a 4/4 beat, the bassline on the Original mix rolls along parallel to Just Ones spiritual vocals. Clever synth sounds pop-up throughout the song along with a tambourine on the off-count, and a half-time beat breakdown in the center and the end of the song. Flip over for the Interstellar mix, beautiful jazzdance for the beginning or end of a superb night. And not to be outdone on his own label, Isoul 8 comes correct with his own remix, again bringing a heavy bassline that creates a swinging groove.
Jazztronik Samurai (Especial)Everyone needs travellin music for the journey down the bricks of gold, especially if that journey leads you to Japan, home of some of the best music in the world, period. Japans Especial label is known worldwide for churning out some of the most amazing and elusive tunes to hit the dance floor; Samurai is no exception. Slightly up from the comfy 123 BPMs, this near epic is twelve minutes of rolling piano, syncopated rhythm and intermittent vocals that you really just have to hear to believe. One wordincredible.