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DJ Purple (the duke of House): Music Reviews

"Totally Hyped!"

This is one hot collection. I was already intrigued by an earlier of “Hollywood Story” but upon hearing the Demarkus Lewis remix I was simply blown away! Another favorite is the Opolopo Mix of “Home” – very captivating. And, oh, by the way there’s something for the smooth people, too. The Destroyer Mix of “My Gift” is a pushover for those who dig the afro-centric remix style, while “Whateva I Gotta Do” brings it for the R&B heads. This is a well-rounded package that can work within an R&B or House set – we’ve also got a couple of slow jams, suitable for closing the night.

Case closed!
"A Must-Have for the Serious Househeads!"

I had always been a fan of Basement Boys even before I became familiar with the name. This anthology is what I would call a good introduction into the legendary “Baltimore Sound”. I have a particular fondness for this collection because Baltimore and my hometown of Chicago are “sister cities” in terms of House musicality. (Side note: a bond between two entities is often strengthened by the exchange of remixes between them. In the mid-1990’s this was exactly the case. VIBE Music (Chicago) released a double-pack 12”, “Bring Me Joy” by Meechie. The remix offering from Baltimore was the Basement Boys Dub. Basement Boys released “Bad Girls” by Xaviera Gold, a Chicago artist. Chicago’s remix offering came courtesy of none other than VIBE Music with UBQ’s BadVibe Dub.) The other great thing about this collection is the musical rang that is covered. The only way to fully explain this is to break things down by CD:

Disc 1

These are 7 of the most amazing tracks ever made for the dance floor! Track one hits you right away and covers the Disco feel. Track two is a straight up Gospel House tune that raise the hairs on the back of your neck (at least it does if you’ve been through something)! Ann Nesby’s voice fits the song perfectly. Track three has an old school sound with its 117 BPM (Chicago people listen up – 117 BPM: you know what means, right?) And, the vocals are simply oozing with “old soul”. Track four – everyone knows “Gypsy Woman” (‘nuff said), but I will say that I like how the re-edit made the song even more DJ-friendly. Track five is another old school flavored track with the perfect beat count – 119 BPM. The bassline is very simple and catchy, as well! Track six is a dance floor killer! We get treated to another powerful vocal thanks to Martha Wash. 13 minutes may seem lengthy for a song, but this is House Music – and you will love every minute of this track, trust me. Track seven is equally powerful. The message is all about House Music and how it makes you feel.

Disc 2

The dance continues with this disc. Track one has a slight 80s flavor and the tempo to match, consistent with disc one. This time we clock in at 119 – perfect! Track two will put you in an absolute trance. Track three is perhaps the fastest with the tempo in the 130’s, but that takes nothing away from its dance-ability. Track four features another Basement Boys favorite with Crystal Waters. This is another simple track, and sometimes those are the ones that work! Track five is my favorite on this disc. Here we get just slightly funky, but yet smooth. This track is another fast one with the tempo, but as long as we have pitch control this track will be on my radar for future gigs. Track six is a sleeper. Old school flavor once again, with a simple bassline and great keyboard “werk”. The added bonus is the slowing down and speeding back up of the track, made popular by legendary Chicago DJ Lil Louis. Track seven takes us to a different music instrument and shows that House Music welcomes all forms of instrumentation. Track eight features yet another recognizable voice in Kenny Bobien.

Disc 3

Track one was an instant classic upon its release in 1994. I’m quite sure that along with “Gypsy Woman” this one has to be in every serious House DJ’s record box. Track two has to be another one in everyone’s crates. For track three we go slightly tribal, this has always been a great sound for the Basement Boys crew. Track four blew me away, since I also have a fondness for “finding” unreleased mixes on label albums. I have this 12” record, and instantly fell in love with it. Now that I have an additional mix via this album, I am falling in love with the song again. Track five is another DJ-friendly track that changes the mood to a happy one. This one has just enough Gospel flavor to get you to forget about your problems! Track six is another classic and is instantly recognizable. Track seven gives us a touch of disco (with the bassline) and some heart-felt vocals: serious stuff! Track eight is another Gospel track that will also make you forget about the world, and the tribal beats are sure to make you move. Track nine is pretty smooth, especially with the horns.

Now that you have gotten a synopsis of the Basement Boys Anthology it is up to you to investigate for yourself. Once you purchase it the next challenge may be to see if your review can be shorter than mine.
"B-Boys Style in Full Effect"

Basement Boys is synonymous with true House Music. Hearing a series of Basement Boys productions unmixed is one thing but hearing the tracks mixed – well, that’s on a whole new level. Teddy Douglas and DJ Spen seriously bring the heat with this double pack. Teddy Douglas presents a blend of smoothed out R&B – flavored House jams that keep the listener engaged. DJ Spen just brings the high energy mixed with a bit of Gospel. For me, it’s not just about the tracks – all of them are fierce – and it’s not just the track selection. The thing that stands out for me is the transition between each track (simply flawless). To be honest, I can’t even point out my favorite transitions, on either CD, because every single one of them is on point!

Basically this is a two-hour piece of hardware that you cannot afford to sleep on!
“A Journey into Sound”

When I first saw that the mix was by DJ Camacho I did not hesitate to purchase the CD. What we have here is a combination of first class cuts chosen by Keith Thompson, superb mixing, and the perfect tempo. You can chill out to the grooves, or if you really want to you can get up and dance! Let us also add a dash of afro-cuban-soulful-deep vibes and you have a representation of a worldwide appeal of House Music. After all, music is the universal language and this CD speaks volumes. The tracks that really do it for me: “Spuramante” and “Free My Soul”. If you want to get an eclectic sound this is the CD for you – it will not disappoint!
"Strictly 4 The Old School Heads"

Just as the name of the CD suggests, this is a colleciton of classics from the Acid House period. By 1987-1988 the Chicago House Scene was dominated by records released on the heavyweight independent labels: TRAX, DJ International and Hot Mix 5. However, there were a few other labels that were able to keep pace with the 'giants'; Westbrook was one of those labels. This CD features a few bona fide 'college radio cuts' from the era (those who know about WKKC should know exactly which tracks I'm referring to). If you want to get a taste of the early Chicago House Scene, this is a good start.
"The Good Stuff is Right Here!"

This is a gem! My favorite tracks are 3 and 4. They have just enough bump to get you outta your seat and then you'll get some soul mixed in. Excellent work!
"This CD is Hott!!!"

This is a very nice CD. I am a Soulful House DJ who is always seeking out the fresh sounds -- and I think I found what I'm looking for. If you want something that is real soothing but dancable at the same time then this is for you!
"Louis Benedetti Has The Skillz"

This is one CD that is mixed to perfection and as a result induces non-stop dancing! The first track sets the tone: soulful melody, with a heartfelt vocal. After that you get a great mixture of soulful flavors. The last track cools everything down just right. Once you get a taste you won't want to put the CD down. Favorite tracks include It's Alright, Come and Get My Love, Tesify, Keep It Simple, and My Desire.
"Bountiful Blessings with This Album"

A little background info: I really enjoyed getting “The Gospel Slide (JAM)” cd-single. Now to the present: I can’t describe the joy I felt seeing this album’s availability. I knew it was coming and I tell you that it was well worth the wait! Every song on the album is just superb! Seeing Maurice on the remix tip was great as well. There is enough range on this album to satisfy every dancing urge. But, perhaps the best part of the package is the demonstration video for the Gospel Slide; now you can add these steps to your line dancing repertoire! Once again Chicago talent shines right through. The album is a blessing—I just wish I could give it more stars!!!
"Speechless!"

Very rarely am I caught in a situation when I am at a loss of words to accurately describe my thoghts on an album. This is one such moment. This is another one of those diamonds in the rough that needs to be “sanded” for exposure. (All I can say is that the major labels are missing out on some gold!) Standout tracks for me include “Sunshine” (both versions – partucularly since I was heavily exposed to the House remix: great job Mr. Terry Hunter, my #1 DJ) and “Wonderful” (another one brilliantly remixed for the House people by Mr. Hunter), “Rose Colored Glasses”,and “Alright (Psalms 151)”. This CD is the heat – ‘nuff said!
"Oozing With Soul"

This is one dynamic EP from a serious soul sistah. Great vocals and even greater melodic content. If I had to choose a favorite track I would have to go with “I Love You (I Do)”. You’d be well advised to purchase this one – don’t sleep!
Will somebody please sign this artist?

I was anxiously awaiting the release of “Movin’ On” and I must say that the CD was worth the wait! Corey has something to say!! This CD is just oozing with soul. Track One, “It just Iz”, sets it off, and the Jill Scott influence is evident. Track Two, “Livin; Ain’t Easy” is just plain slick! Track Three: smooth but in-your-face, with elements of 70’s soul (this time we’ll cite Aretha Franklin as an influence). Track Four is more of the same. Tracks Five and Six are purely hypnotic! ‘nuff said! Track Seven is another slow jam that has the Alicia Keys sound. Track Eight “It Ain’t Me”, is my favorite, and Track Nine, “Can I Get With U”, is a strong candidate for “next favorite”. Track Ten, “Isn’t It” sounds just plain fun! Tracks Even through Thirteen are slow jams that balance out the CD.

But wait, there’s more! We are treated to three bonus tracks that showcase Corey’s true talent as a singer. The bonus tracks are live. Favorite “live” track: Sixteen. There’s nothing like a good guitar solo!

All in all this is an awesome CD. I had to drop a couple of names to give you an auditory point of reference since this artist is unsigned. However, don’t think that because I mentioned these names that the CD is a copy-cat of their styles. Corey holds it down in every respect. For this CD she was the principle writer and executive producer while Jay.Soul laid town most of the foundation. Once again this CD begs the question: will somebody please sign this artist?
"Right on Time!"

I got this CD today -- two days before my next DJ gig. What excellent timing! This is a great CD and I highly recommend it. It will definitely get played by me in my future sets...
“Hidden Souls = Hidden Gems!”

Big ups to DJ Come of Age for doing it again! This project is the result of a great musical mind going against the grain. One aim of a DJ is to “break” a record, and DJ COA does that plenty of times here. Once again smoothness prevails…
“Excellence in Smooth Grooves”

This presentation is just what the doctor ordered. Smooth melodies, smooth grooves; the whole package is just one big smoothie! Mad props to DJ Come of Age!

Favorite track is #6 – love the jazziness…
“The Definition of Neo Soul”

If someone was to ask me “what is Neo Soul”, I would look at that person, smile, and hand them a copy of “Unheralded – The Neo Soul Project.” This project is beyond description using words – just listen and you’ll know! All in all this is an outstanding compilation. Enough said!
“Freedom”

First off – I love track one! It sets the stage for the entire project. The music here is great, as usual, and goes against the grain. Standout track for me is #10. It just sounds unique! But then again, that’s the mission of DJ COA – to give you something fresh!
Spiritual Food!

Once again a project comes along that renders me speechless…or nearly speechless. This is a fierce album that deserves a listen. “Where Is God?” is a track that made me smirk for a second – because of the intelligent lyrical content (paying special attention to the “conversation”). “U Don’t Know” is a heater – again, check the lyrics. Can a person step to a song about God – you bet! “All I Ever Need Is You” is one of the sweetest cuts ever! The opening melody hooks you and after that you can’t let go… By the way, why stop there – “For You”, we’ll you get the picture, right? And, what about the House folks (such as myself)? We have “It’s Not Too Late” to quench that thirst.

The verdict: buy the album. Your soul will be enriched!
"Silky Smooth Soul"

This album is simply a work of art. Every song here is an echo of classic soul in a variety of flavors. "You Got Me" feels like Anita Baker, while "The Night I Fell In Love" feels like Jennifer Hudson. "Simply Beautiful" feels like Earth, Wind & Fire, while "Over and Over" has a touch of Jill Scott jazz. "This Time I'll Be Sweeter" has a 90's feel...
Preview all of the songs, think back to the good old days of classic soul...and buy the album.
"Dance Dance Dance"

This album is an instant classic! The first two tracks are smooth and good warmup grooves, but then track three kicks in, and boom! "Yes" is a very warm and addictive track (not surprising that it has been extended/remixed). "He Created" is another great track that just feels good! "Please Don't Save Me" is an instant classic that is sure to stay in the crates for a long time! "My Violin" gets the touch-up from Terry Hunter and does not disappoint. "Wonderful" -- originally released on the "My Naked Soul" album in 2006...remixed by Terry Hunter in 2007...STILL fills the dance floor today! "I Can See Through It All" is another remix that grooves. "Somthing Got A Hold of Me" seems like it will be the next track to get an extended remix...

Getting this album will be good for your SOUL!

"Symphony of Soul"

This is a great album and a breath of fresh air in the R&B genre.  Track three, “Let’s Go Back” is that song that is perfect for a spring/summer 60+ degree day, where you can drive down the block with the windows down or the sunroof open.  It is that good!  The next track, “Dream Flight” comes right out the box with a guitar riff that feels oh so 70’s funky.  “Love’s Galaxy” is THE standout track.  Pure SOUL!  And if there is a track to put you in a mood based in the title alone, “Happy” should be the one.  Lush melodies and the perfect harmonies.  And the last track, “Struggles”, needs no description.  Another outstanding message in the music.  This is a complete project that is worth every penny!

Congratulations to Danny Dance on the launch of Dance is a Feeling Records, and a great debut label release. Tracks 3 and 4 are the ones that absolutely grab my attention as a soulful jock. This will stay in the wallet for a good while!