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samredmore

samredmore
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Member since: 09.07.2001

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    • Andy Cole / Discussion / 2 Readings / 28 Ratings
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      30.07.2002 22:22
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      Andy Cole Andy Cole Andy Andy Cole He gets the ball He scores a goal Andy Andy Cole True, you know. Goal King Cole really does get the ball and score a goal [Andy Andy Cole]. Sensational! He does sometimes, anyway. Usually having wasted three or four good chances beforehand, but that's surely beside the point... Okay, okay, let's get things straight here. Facts about Andy Cole: 1) He is the world's most popular footballer. 2) He is the world's best footballer. 3) He is the world's nicest footballer. 4) He is the world's sexiest footballer. 5) He is the world's kindest footballer. Not to mention the fact that he's possibly the world's finest hip-hop superstar, as I'm sure anybody to have heard his cracking song "Outstanding" will justify. From failure at Arsenal as a youngster, to failure at Bristol City and failure (albeit a 30+ goals per season failure) at Newcastle United and Manchester United, Andy Cole is now commonly seen as the nation's most successful footballer, playing for the nation's most successful club, Blackburn Rovers (who else?). Andy Cole's overwhelming success, some may say, is all down to his trademark hunky good looks and outrageous sense of humour. I, on the other hand, believe it to be for the fact that Andy Cole is by far the world's most talented goal-grabber, leaving such contenders as Michael Owen, Ronaldo, Gabriel Batistuta and Egil Ostenstad trailing in his wake. 26th December 2001: The day the world came crashing down for many a Manchester United fan. It'd been on the cards for some time, but this was the day Andy Cole recognised his full potential and made the step up the final rung of the football ladder, signing for the club generally regarded as the pinnacle of football excellence, Blackburn Rovers. Forming a lethal striking partnership with Matt Jansen
      at his new club, and with Italian mega man Corrado Grabbi waiting in the wings, the Premiership was set alight by Andy Cole's silky skills and wacky goal celebrations, as Blackburn powered home to the coveted 12th place finish, having playfully flirted with relegation earlier in the season - y'know, for a laugh. Of course when playing for such giants on the football stage as the mighty Rovers, international ambitions always come second, which is why, in reserving all his best efforts for the Blackburn cause, Andy Cole's career as an England international sadly came to an end only weeks before World Cup 2002. Despite Sven Goran Eriksson's desperate attempts to make Cole reconsider, his mind was made up, leaving England without the powerhouse striker they would have needed to finally regain the World Cup. Things could have been so, so different if only Goal King Cole had been about... So then, I'm sure by now you get the impression that Andy Cole's actually quite good; magnificent even. But surely there must be something he's not good at? And yes, my friend, there is: Andy Cole's not really much good at being bad at anything - that's how awesome he is. In fact, one of Cole's many amazing talents happens to be the art of wrestling, WWF-stylee, as displayed so wonderfully last season in a crucial match against Bolton Wanderers, whereby Cole was disgracefully hacked down by Bolton's Mike Whitlow. Now then, a hard man like Cole is a no-nonsense chap when it comes to this kind of situation, so he duly stamped on Whitlow in a way 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin would surely have been proud of himself. Obviously Cole was consequently sent off, suspended, fined 'n all that, but nobody really minds too much. Those who dare, now affectionately know Andy Cole as Angry Cole. I don't dare though - maybe he'll stamp on me one day. It'd be easy, really, to go on about Andy Cole's numerous ac
      ts of magic in front of the Ewood Park (Blackburn's fortress) faithful over the past seven months or so, but we'd be here all day. The moment held deepest within the nation's heart during that time, however, is undoubtedly when Cole drove home his fantastic belter in the League Cup final in March against Tottenham Hotspur. With the scores locked at 1-1, and 'Big' Brad Friedel's heroics in the Blackburn goal keeping Les Ferdinand at bay, the ball fell to Andy Cole on the edge of the Tottenham area. A quick flick and dribble past fourteen Tottenham defenders later, and the ball was in the back of the net, having been drilled furiously past Neil Sullivan from what must have been about 60 or 70 yards from the Tottenham goal. Incredible stuff indeed, matched only by Cole's earlier effort, which unfortunately fizzed narrowly over the stadium roof, with Sullivan again well beaten. Okay, okay, I admit there was life before Blackburn for the Cole Machine [Goal Machine]. Yeah, I said he was a failure at all his previous clubs. I lied. True, things weren't too rosy as a youngster at Arsenal, but life at Bristol City improved somewhat. A £1,750,000 transfer to Newcastle United later, and Andy Cole really was Eurpope's most prolific striker, hitting 34 goals in the 94-95 season and taking the European Golden Boot (top goal scorer) award. A record £8million + Keith Gillespie part-exchange transfer to Manchester United beckoned, and League Cup succes at Blackburn aside, the highlight of Cole's career came in 1999, as he helped spearhead Man Utd's strike force with Dwight Yorke (now at Blackburn too) to claim the European Cup. Yorke 'n Cole - Rock 'n Roll. Or something. So with Dwight Yorke once again at his side, following a £2.6million transfer to the Rovers from Man Utd, surely there's nothing to stop them once again becoming Europe's deadliest strike pairing? Nothing, that is, but th
      e fact that they won't be a strike pairing. No, insiders tell me one particular card Graeme Souness has up his sleeve for the coming season is a unique 5-pronged attack-based formation. With Matt Jansen, Corrado Grabbi and Egil Ostenstad all offering expert assistance to Yorke and Cole up front, 'Big' Brad Friedel keeping things tight at the back and Garry Flitcroft providing the necessary tenacity in the middle of the park, not only will Blackburn have the world's deadliest strike force, but also the world's most solid defence, combining to enforce what is already the general assumption amongst football followers that Blackburn Rovers are most certainly top trump in the football pack, so to speak. Andy Cole then, the legend that he is - what lies ahead for a man who's done all there is to do (and done it all pretty darn well)? Well, as mentioned earlier, a rather special hip-hop career lies ahead on the evidence of his debut single, entitled "Outstanding": a smooth blend of RnB, hip-hop and UK garage ingeniously produced in a style that only Andy Cole can do, containing such sweet lyrical moments as "I've scored the goals, now I'll talk the talk". No mention of his fiery temper though, I'm afraid. Andy Cole: Outstanding.

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      • Discovery - Daft Punk / Music Album / 1 Reading / 49 Ratings
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        20.03.2002 23:04
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        "Our music is not stupid happy house, but it makes people happy." - Daft Punk 'Happy'. No other word [within my, ahem, "fountain of knowledge"] best describes exactly the stuff we've come to know and love from Daft Punk (Thomas Bangalter & Guy-Manuel de Homem Christo). Ultimately uplifting. Honestly, if you find you happen to be feeling down in any way, slam on a bit of Punk de la Daft and things'll soon be rockin'. Oh and this stuff we've come to know and love? You'll find most of it on their second album, "Discovery". (Unless, of course, you're one of those who prefers "Homework" (their first album), in which case you'll find most of it on there. Or you're one of the fools who doesn't actually know and love Daft Punk like you should do, in which case you won't find it at all.) But all was so different in the beginning... As indie band 'Darling', the French duos' current name came about after Melody Maker magazine damned their Beach Boys' cover as "a bunch of Daft Punk", after which, in synchrony with their new name, came their new style; house. Debuting with "The New Wave", "Da Funk" was where things really started to take off, selling 30 000 copies worldwide, having being caned during The Chemical Brothers' live DJ sets. Redefining the way in which French house music was looked upon with the groundbreaking success of their debut LP, "Homework" (featuring such tracks as "Revolution 909", the aforementioned "Da Funk" and classic disco house anthem, "Around The World") in 1997, selling over 2 million copies worldwide, Daft Punk then, err, kinda disappeared. Disappeared that is, to all but the most avid fan. Oh, and those not-so-avid fans but who generally have an interest in house music. Oh, and also a fair few people who don't really have muc
        h of an interest in house music but realise that Thomas Bangalter was one of the trio to take everywhere by storm over the summer of 1998 with Stardust's "Music Sounds Better With You". Okay, okay, I s'pose I'm kinda waffling on now. So... to subject on hand: "Discovery" (released March 13th 2001, Virgin Records). The triumphant return of Daft Punk was realised in the summer of 2000, when test pressings of the first track on the new album, "One More Time" made their way to top DJs across the country (it appears mine must've been lost in the post or something...). Excessive Radio 1 airplay then somewhat spoiled the track for some, finally being released on December 5th 2000. Alright, confession time. I love "One More Time". Love it. I do now, anyway. As it happens, upon first few hearings of the track, I rather loathed it. Actually, not just 'rather' loathed it, but 'very much' loathed it. I did then, anyway. Y'see the uplifting, disco-fuelled element of the track (ie everything apart from the vocoder-processed vocal) was horribly overshadowed by the - of all things - vocoder-processed vocal (performed, coincidentally, by Romanthony). And a 'vocoder'? One of them potentially annoying electronic voice thingies which gives a computerised kinda effect to the vocal, as used on Cher's 'club' outing "Believe" and Armand Van Helden's (relatively) recent release, "Why Can't You Free Some Time For Me". "Music's got me feeling so free We're gonna celebrate Celebrate and dance so free One more time Music's got me feeling so real We're gonna celebrate Celebrate and dance so free" You know the one. So what made me like the track so much then? I don't know. It went a little along these lines: Stage 1) I don't like the track. Stage 2
        ) I like the track. All I know is that it's a damn fine piece. Oh, a damn fine happy piece to be more precise. Happy - very happy. (Told you their stuff was happy, did I not?). The second track on the album, "Aerodynamic", an instrumental, also happens to be the second single released from the album. Apparently all tracks on the album, in the order in which they fall on the album, are to be released as singles. Not quite sure how this'll work with such sub-two minute outings as "Nightvision", but what do I know? For I am but a humble dooyoo writer. Now then, "Aerodynamic" is one of those tracks that, generally, anyone who's heard has an opinion on it. Not just a "yeah, 'tis alright, s'pose" opinion, but an "I hate it" or "I love it" opinion. Four bell chimes (the chimes of Big Ben, as it happens), mark the start of the track, before the typically 'good' (for want of a better word) Daft Punk beats kick in. And then, oh... Picture the scene: an electric guitar; an electric guitar solo. 'Nuff said. As it happens, I quite like the guitar solo. I can, however, see exactly why so many others may not (and do not) feel likewise. Admittedly, it can get kinda grating, and if a top remixer such as myself were to be handed the opportunity to spice things up a little, the guitarist may well be the first to be shown the door. Mellowing out for the second half of the track, following an abrupt bell chime, although good, certainly, I'm only left dreaming of what could have been. Incidentally, for those single-buyers out there, the "Aerodynamic" B-side (12" vinyl version, anyway) features "Aerodynamite", a track very similar to "Aerodynamic" (even sampling the latter's melody to begin with), only slightly more pumping and - nicely, for some - with the omission of the guitars. Worth chec
        king out. Anyway, back to "Discovery", and, more precisely, the third track (and third single release) on the album, "Digital Love", which, according to the record/CD/tape sleeve, was co-written by top US jock DJ Sneak. Upon first (and second and third and so on for a little while) hearing of "Digital Love" I was of the opinion that it seemed to be - to put it bluntly - rubbish. As with all things Daft Punk, however, it grew on me. Now I like it, I really do. "Last night I had a dream about you In this dream I'm dancing right beside you And it looked like everyone was having fun The kind of feeling I've waited so long" And so on. Okay, a more than slightly cheesy vocal. But I dunno, there's just something endearing about its unashamed cheesiness that really makes me like it so much. The "why don't you play the game?" line shortly followed by a wailing guitar half-way through the track may be a little too much for those not so hardcore as myself, but as all builds to a soaring climax, where the guitars near killed "Aerodynamic" they do nothing but enhance what is already a purty spectacular track in "Digital Love". I have a friend who bought the album on the strengths of this track alone. Needless to say, he loved just about everything else on it too, but going the whole hog after such a minute taster, I reckon says something about this particular 'taster's' goodness. And so to the highlight of the album... That's right, a guest appearance from none other than Scatman John himself, with Daft Punk's own re-rub of the classic "The Scatman". Err; actually Scatman doesn't feature on the album at all. Sorry to disappoint. And so in the absence of Man de la Scat, to the highlight of the album... "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger&quo
        t; From a very minimalist opening to the track, bits and bobs gradually lend themselves to the mix, making for an incredibly funky offering until the track peaks amongst layers of distorted 'things'. (Sorry, begging for a better descriptive, I know - I'm talkin' but the right words just ain't comin' out. Or something like that.) "Work it harder, make it better Do it faster, makes us stronger More than ever hour after Hour work is never over" With the above lyrics recycled throughout, "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger", although ultimately a very simple idea, is executed to such brilliant effect it seems anything but. Oh, one thing: please, if you do listen to this track, listen to it properly (ie really LISTEN, not just swack it on in the background whilst you do the hoovering or whatever). Y'see I didn't really, properly LISTEN to it when I first heard it (if you see what I mean), and I didn't give the track two hoots until I really concentrated on what was going on. I was pleasantly surprised at what I was hearing, though. So pleasantly surprised, in fact, that I listened to it again. And again. And again. And so on. And it still sounds just as good with every listen - sign of a quality track. Yup, quality. Like a Quality Street. Well, not like a Quality Street at all. But quality none the less. Now then, following the album's high point, unfortunately, comes the album's low point, "Crescendolls". Essentially, not a bad track or nuffin' as such, but it is as the all too familiar "Crescendolls" beat kicks in that I find myself reaching, for the only time over the course of the album, for the 'skip' button on the MD player. Unfortunately I usually end up pressing the wrong button and skipping to the following album on the MD, Alice Deejay's "Who Needs Guitars Anyway?". The bottom-line
        , however: "Crescendolls" is the only track on the album I dislike. Note: I do not, as it happens, own Alice Deejay's motley selection of dairy products. Jus' making that clear, okay? Y'know how I said to listen to "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" PROPERLY? Well, my advice would be to have "Crescendolls" on as background music as you do the hoovering or whatever. You see it's the kind of thing you can tolerate quite plausibly just as long as you don't listen too carefully, at which point it just becomes kind of annoying. Maybe a Scatman John remix would redeem things, no? "Nightvision", the next track, is a sub-two minute outing. You already knew that 'cause I mentioned it earlier in the opinion, right? Jeez, are you not reading this with due care or summat? Anyway, "Nightvision" is only 1 min 43, or something similar (pretty blimmin' short), and, it would appear, would act simply as filler for the album. It would, that is, if it wasn't so good. A much more chilled affair than any previous outings on the album, "Nightvision" is the kind of thing you would put the CD on to specifically listen to, but is more the kind of welcome addition which just adds to the general quality of the CD as a whole. Starting in one manner, continuing in such manner for a bit before fading out, there's not much more I can say about "Nightvision". 'Specially seeing how my descriptions have been going so far (eg 'electronic voice thingies', 'typically good', 'layers of distorted things' etc etc Get the idea? Good). Interesting, interesting. Quite clearly, as I'm sure you were already aware, the opening two words of this paragraph were talking of none other than track number seven, "Superheroes". Y'see what makes "Superheroes" so interesting is the way afte
        r a military sort of drum roll (very cheesy military drum roll at that), a (very fast) hard house kind of beat kicks in before funky house samples (well, Barry Manilow samples, actually - but samples more often found in funky house) filter in over the top. See that? Hard house -- funky house; the two just don't go. Not usually, anyway. Really the only place I can think of where you might find such genre clashes under one roof would be Dave Pearce's Dance Anthems (not good). "Superheroes" is good though. Very good. You may have noticed that I mentioned the words 'happy' and 'uplifting' earlier in the opinion. Look at them words. You are now looking at two words that typify all to be found in "Superheroes". That's right; it's happy, it's uplifting - it's super [heroes]. Please note: the whole 'it's super [heroes]' bit was intentionally very poorly written and very cheesy. What's that you say? No, the rest of the opinion isn't supposed to be poorly written too. My, the cheek of it all... Ahh, "Superheroes" was uplifting and happy. So is "High Life", even more so, however. In fact, "High Life" is one of THE most uplifting tracks I can think of in the whole wide world. Behind, "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger", it's the pick of the album. Put, on the sleeve, as an instrumental, a brief vocal snippet features very strongly throughout "High Life". In saying 'strongly', what is basically meant is that it is what makes the track what it is, really. I haven't often taken to Daft Punk tracks immediately after hearing them for the first time. "High Life" has proved otherwise, however. First time I heard it, I loved it. A bit like love at first site. Only love at first hearing (doesn't quite have the same spark to it, it seems). If the rumours of all tracks o
        n the album to be released prove to be true, expect a very high (top 5-ish) entry from this particular gem. Having never actually asked anybody for his ir her opinion on the track, I don't actually have any evidence to back up my argument, but "High Life" must surely be a universally loved track. How can you not love something so mightily happy? Following the "Superheroes" and "High Life" up-tempo funkathons comes the somewhat slower, more melancholy "Something About Us". With the re-introduction of a [proper] vocal for this track (as opposed to the preceding vocal-snippet-sampled instrumentals), "Something About Us" fits into the mould of what I'd describe as a 'nice' track. "I need you more than anything in my life I want you more than anything in my life I'll miss you more than anyone in my life I love you more than anyone in my life" A seemingly more humble effort than anything else on "Discovery", "Something About Us" is actually rather good. Although down-tempo 'n all that, the typical Daft Punk funkiness is not lost on this track, and all in all, the album's deepest, most meaningful track also happens to be one of the album's finest. What seemed to me to be jus' another filler kinda track (as with "Nightvision") follows "Something About Us", in the shape of "Voyager". In all fairness, at nearly four minutes in length, duration-wise it's a full-blown track (albeit a relatively short one). BUT... ...Aha. Ever heard of a track called "Yes I Will" by Nu Colours? Oh, thought not. Anyway, there's this track called "Yes I Will" by Nu Colours who - you've guessed it - are Daft Punk in disguise. With "Voyager" merely a very good instrumental, implementing excellent strings here and there (work of the harp, possibly), "Yes
        I Will" draws out the build-up, breakdowns and what-have-you into a (full) full length track (ie about 7 minutes or so) before slapping a top vocal over the top. Anyway, "Yes I Will" just ain't on the album so really what I've just said is irrelevant. Irrelevant, that is, to all but those who know "Voyager" (and it'd be helpful if they liked it too), in which case keep eyes peeled for the Nu Colours offering. Those who haven't heard "Voyager" I take it because I'm giving this album 5 stars and stating 'yes' to recommend to a friend you'll be rushing out to buy this album first thing tomorrow morning. In which case you can then listen to "Voyager". And love. Knocking back a fair few BPMs for the eleventh track on the album, from a solitary organ melody building to, erm, an organ melody with some other stuff going on, "Veridis Quo" takes the "Nightvision" chill-out style approach to the next level (ie goes on that little bit longer). Wonderfully easy on the ears, "Veridis Quo" is one of them gems you can listen to over and over again, without it becoming tedious in the least. I can anyway. Well, as I said, from the solitary organ, a similarly softly spoken beat gradually fades into the mix, before one or two gentle melodies let themselves be heard. Braking down about half way through, all then builds as the track reaches its peak before, unceremoniously, typical French house stylee, fading out. With "Crescendolls" ranking in as the only track on the album for which I actually feel I dislike, the album's final instrumental, "Short Circuit" almost, almost slips in there to double the tally. Luckily, it has elements I very much like. [Cheesy] kinda disco-funk influences kick off the track in a manner which usually gets the, "Oh no, not this one again" attitude firmly
        established in my mind. Needless to say, I don't like it. Sounding, ooh, I don't know, sort of quirky, "Short Circuit" just makes my ears bleed. Bleed until it changes, that is, (about) half way through the track. Things suddenly mellow down and all of a sudden "Hmm, this isn't too bad after all" are the thoughts of wisdom pouring from my head. Very much a track of two halves, then. Is that all that bad though? I mean Blackburn Rovers play in blue and white halves and they're the favourite team of just about everyone in the country right now. Don't tell me they're not. How can they not be with beauts such as Brad Friedel and Corrado Grabbi amongst the many superstars at their disposal? Please, I'm being serious. Now then, "Face To Face". To be perfectly honest, I like it. I don't mean to surprise anyone after all that's been said previously in this opinion or anything like that, but I really like it. With excellent vocals, courtesy of Todd Edwards, coupled with a satisfyingly funky bass line, "Face To Face" is just about perfect (although not as perfect as "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" or it'd be my favourite track on the album, which it's not). Although not so chilled as "Nightvision" or "Veridis Quo", "Face To Face" is still pretty chilled. Kind of as though "Nightvision" and "Veridis Quo" act as the 'freezer' with "Face To Face" merely a 'fridge'. Or you can come up with your own theory if you'd rather. "It really didn't make sense Just to leave this unresolved It's not hard to go the distance When you finally get involved face to face" The return of Romanthony, previously last seen at the opening track, "One More Time", spells the final track on the album (no, there are no bonus track
        s as the dooyoo track listing suggests), "Too Long". Probably the most club-friendly track on the album, "Too Long", as with "Face To Face" is just about perfect. Gradually building from very little, "Too Long" eventually evolves into a wickedly funky cut up mish-mash of audio delights by the time the 10 or so minutes for which it clocks in at have elapsed. From slightly less frantic opening verses as the track starts to get going, "Too Long" ends up with, slightly more frantic verses towards the end. Example: START "It's been much too long, I feel it coming on The feeling is getting strong It's been much too long, I feel it coming on The feeling is in my bones" END "You know you need, I need it too You know you need it, it's good for you We're gonna move You know you need it, I need it too You know you need it It's good for you" Doesn't really give the desired impression, which is why you'll have to just listen to the track and hear for yourself. Pure brilliance, believe. Oh. That's your lot, I'm afraid. So then, I'm sure everyone's dying to know. Is it better than "Homework"? Well, actually most people who have "Homework" tend to have "Discovery" also, in which case there ain't much point in me tellin' you as you already know. For those who don't, however, yep. I prefer "Discovery". Although admittedly more poppy, "Discovery", I feel, has nothing out and out dud on it ("Crescendolls" is the lowest point, and even that's above sea level, so to speak). "Homework" moreover, more club-friendly certainly, suffers with the additions of such tracks as "Rollin & Scratchin" and "Teachers", I feel. Both good though, very good.
        I could now tell you about the Daft Card which is supplied with every (vinyl & CD) copy of the album. I could tell you how it allows you to access daftcard.com, which then allows you to download exclusive Daft Punk tracks and mixes. But I won't. I could also mention now how for all of the Punks' videos made so far for the released singles on the album the start and end of each link, following on on order of when they were released ("One More Time" > "Aerodynamic" > "Digital Love" and so on). But I won't. Alright, I'm sure I've bored you to death by now. Sorry 'bout that. Anyway, in case I didn't make it clear, I'll just state one last time that I like this album. I'll shut up now.

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        • Top 10 Artists / Discussion / 0 Readings / 71 Ratings
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          02.12.2001 18:15
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          Y'know how it is. There you are, planning your next opinion. Maybe you've even told someone what it'll be one. And then suddenly there's something different you'd rather write about. Such as Top 10 Artists, when you're really supposed to be penning down an opinion on 'DJing in General' (although not titled as such). Yep, that occurrence is, err, occurring right now. Sorry. And then we come to artists. Obviously, being in the music section, it's musical artists we're writing about. Not Van Gogh types 'n all that. Artists de la musique. But. That's right, with this particular opinion, there's a but. But I'm not going to be confining myself to music producers, no. You see the way I look upon it, as will be explained fully in a future, more appropriate opinion, is that DJing is an art form. Shut up if your thinking 'but they're just playing other people's records...' No, just shut up. So if DJing is an art form, DJs must be artists. And if DJs are artists, then I see no reason for my list of 'Top 10 Artists' not to include DJs. So it will. Not that this is just a list of my favourite DJs though. Although some included in the list will be there on their DJing merits, the people behind the music are (predominantly) still in there. Okay? Sorry. I mentioned the word DJ so much in the previous paragraph I'm going to have to banish it completely from my next opinion. Which'll probably be my 'DJing in General' one. Oh well. So without further ado, no rank / numbers will be given to the following, as each is in there for a different reason, and cannot really be compared as such. MARK YOUNGHEAD & NICK CORRELLI I know, I know. Two people (don't worry - they'll count as two of the ten). Without their collective title, MYNC Project, I'm sure none of you will know who they are. Now I've let the
          ir collective title be known, I'm sure, err; still none of you will know who they are. If you do - well done - either on genuinely knowing who they are, or simply having read my opinion on them. For those who don't know, however, MYNC Project are DJs. Two DJs (told you there'd be DJs in here, didn't I?). The reason for them being in here together, as opposed to occupying two separate slots is the fact that they DJ together and I've not heard either of them on their own, so it just had to be this way I'm afraid. What sets MYNC Project apart from other house jocks, however, is the creativity shown whenever I've had the pleasure of hearing them play. For a start, whilst most DJs, who usually just go it alone might I add, stick to using two decks and one mixer, the respective figures for MYNC time doubles; four decks, two mixers. Accapellas. Beats. Multiple copies of the same record. That's what MYNC Project are all about. The latter two on the list are pretty self-explanatory. If unsure on accapellas, see my 'Undergroundiscofunk: Part Two' opinion, or just ask in the comments, to which I'll respond 'see me 'Undergroundiscofunk: Part Two' opinion'. And then there's the music. Quality. Pure quality. Quality funky house, with other forms of house thrown in for good measure. (But genres? Don't even go there). In fact, two guest mixes MYNC have performed on Danny Rampling's Radio 1 show. Of the two, before hearing them, I owned a total of none of the records played. Since, however, I think the fact that ten I now own as opposed to three I still don't own gives a fair showing as to how high the quality of tracks they play really is, bearing in mind I am of limited financial means and so can only really afford to buy the finest of house tracks. Anyone who owns one of my mixtapes: Listen to it. Now listen to them. See where I get my inspiration? They will be big. CARL COX From the moment I mentioned there'd be DJs included on the list, I'm sure there was no doubt in anyone's mind as to the fact that Carl Cox would be right up there with the best of them. This doubtless mentality would've paid off big-time had you placed a huge bet upon his inclusion, but as it happens, I'll just tell you a little about him and why he's up there with the best of them. Pointing you towards jeff2000 and spacelamb's opinions of the man would be the easy way out, and have largely comedic consequences, so that's what I'll do. Just kidding. But do check out their ops on the man, if only to mildly amuse yourself at their (sorry guys) feeble early attempts (in comparison to their current high writing standards). Oh, and if you do read their Carl Cox ops, read some of their better, more recent ones too, just to stop me feeling guilty. So back to Coxy then, and, as they say, three is the magic number. The first man to effectively use three decks, three-O (30) years as a DJ to reflect upon and acquiring a third arm are all attributes for Cox to stick in his CV. Which I'm sure you'll agree is quite impressive. Note: I was only joking about the third arm, but surely more than the standard two are needed to do the things he manages on the decks? The attitude Carl Cox has towards the whole clubbing scene is second to none, and would almost get him into my top 10 on it's own. Imagine the biggest grin you've ever seen anyone bearing, then triple it's width and you have the look of Coxy behind the wheels of steel. Just like Alex Ferguson. Cox's production skills are, unfortunately, left trailing in the wake of his high DJing standards, with tracks such as "The Latin Theme" not really doing it for me the way his mixing and scratching (yes - he's a house / techno DJ who scratches)
          ability do. Oh well. PAUL VAN DYK When you have a track voted 2nd in Mixmag's 'Best Tunes Ever' poll (in case you're wandering, Energy 52's "Cafe Del Mar" was number 1), a chord must have been struck amongst dance music fans. That chord was struck by PvD's trance classic "For An Angel". Written for his girlfriend, whom he is now married to, and reaching 28 in the UK singles chart, although not his biggest commercial success, "For An Angel" is what the man will forever be remembered for. Oh, and for being a top quality DJ... After claiming it'd be unfair to label the music he plays as trance, strangely enough, I have no hesitation in saying he is by far my favourite trance DJ. Seemingly always first to play what in months to come turns into the moment's biggest tune, whenever I've heard Paul van Dyk play, his sound has always sounded incredibly fresh, and without fail offers a few ideas as to what tracks I should be looking out for in coming months. Afterburn - "North Pole", Da Hool - "Eichelruck", Cygnus X - "Superstring" and Blank & Jones - "Fragile" are just a few examples of top-notch trance I've been introduced to by the man. Not that PvD's "For An Angel" was his only hit, though. Tracks such as "Another Way", "Tell Me Why (The Riddle)" and "Love From Above" are all examples of van Dyk productions to have been shown just as much adoration from clubbers as "For An Angel". Remixing-wise, van Dyk is up there with the best of them (although sometimes they're a little too similar for my liking), with remixes for the likes of Blank & Jones, Members of Mayday (Westbam) and Binary Finary amongst others. JUNIOR JACK Let's have a think: 'What kind of music is my absolute favourite?' Hmm. That'd be funky, u
          plifting house. Which leads us to Italian dude Vito "Mr Jack" Vicente. 'Ahh', I hear you cry, 'someone who isn't a DJ'. If you happen to have been at all into house music for the past year or so, you may well know of two of the biggest house tracks, like, ever: "My Feeling" and "Thrill Me", both Junior Jack productions. Now then, as of yet, "Thrill Me" is still unreleased. Believe me though; this track will be the biggest track of the year, if it is to ever hit the shops. If not, as Mixmag put it, 'the track DJs have been slitting their children's throats for' will remain one of them elusive classics everyone who is anyone wants to get their grubby little mitts on. £12 I splashed out for the track, and not a penny wasted if you ask me. And then there's "My Feeling". 'When I think about you, my feelings can't explain; why after all this time, my feelings can't explain?' Okay, so maybe the lyrics don't make complete sense, but the Sister Sledge & Cherrelle sampling track, as once described by Sugar Matty O is 'a right good rollicking number', is, err, how you say? Brilliant? Those two tracks apart, his collaboration with Richard Grey to produce "U Look Fantastic" is nothing short of excellent, whilst remixes for the likes of Kluster, Gala and Junior Vasquez have all gone down as well as his own productions. DAJAE Dajae, or Karen Gordon to those that know her, again, is no DJ. When I said I liked 'uplifting, funky house' earlier, whilst Junior Jack was my first example, not one of Dajae's productions cannot fall into the same category. One of the biggest tunes of both last and this year (following a re-release) "Everyday My Life" happens to be the work of Ms Gordon. Strangely titled "Everyday My Life" whilst the vocal
          actually says "Everyday OF My Life", hammered by house legend Frankie Knuckles and just about any other credible house jock around, the track is a sure-fire Ibiza anthem. In fact, "Everyday My Life" was actually co-written by Junior Jack, and it is his mix of the track to which I stake my preference. Another thumbs up to Mr Vicente then. Feel good classic "B With U" by Junior Sanchez featured Dajae on vocals, and was released by Roger Sanchez on his record label 'R-Senal', before being signed up for a UK release on Manifesto, and another one of last year's biggest tracks was Dajae's "Time", which featured E-Smoove on the guitar. 'We got so much time to live, so much love to give' It all started with backing singer parts for the likes of R. Kelly, Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince (Will Smith), before teaming up with Cajmere to come up with "Brighter Days". Basically, it all took off from there... DJ TIESTO Oh. I said Paul van Dyk was by far my favourite trance DJ. Oh. Having heard Tiësto DJ only on one occassion though, it's unrealistic to expect him to rank up there with PvD, who I've heard many times. On just one listening, it's pretty ridiculous for me to class Tiësto as one of my favourite DJs; so I won't. However, he's in my top 10 artists for the fact his production work is by far some of the best I know of. For those not over-informed upon Tiësto, he's a Dutch trance superstar, similar in style to Ferry Corsten (although if you don't know who much about Tiësto, I doubt you'll know much about Corsten). One half of 'Gouryella' (of which Corsten is the other) and 'Kamaya Painters', Tiësto also has numerous solo tracks / remixes under his belt. The first time Tiësto was brought to my attention was when the epic "Gouryella", by Gouryella was release
          d, back in 1998. It was at this time that trance was really starting to become big business, and amongst the cheesy cash-ins such as Alice Deejay and Vengaboys, Gouryella really stood out as a track of terrific quality. Further high quality releases as Gouryella with "Walhalla" and "Tenshi" followed, as well as Kamaya Painters' releases "Endless Wave" (sheer brilliance) and "Wasteland". Tiësto's biggest success, however, came in the form of his 'In Search Of Sunrise...' remix of last years' summer anthem "Silence" by Delirium. Bringing clubbers to tears on occassion, the emotion behind "Silence" helped make it one of the best vocal trance tracks ever. A harder, more progressive turn by Tiësto with "Flight 643", worryingly at the time, had me thinking the tuneful, melodic trance from his Gouryella days was a thing of the past, until one of this years' biggest tunes emerged, in the form of "Urban Train". Confusion over the track's proper name (Urban or Suburban?) was cast aside as, all over again, "Silence" returned, only in a better, more sophisticated manner. Woohoo. No, really - stunning. COLDPLAY Time for a slight change of style just here, methinks. Sometimes in life there are songs / bands / artists / whatever who make the kind of stuff you wouldn't usually be in to. For me, Coldplay are one of them. Don't know whether it's just balance striking between continuous beats 'thud, thud, thud' and something a little more relaxing, but there really is no non-dance band / act / whatever who even compares to Coldplay on a scale of how much I like their music. Although not their debut single, "Yellow" was the track that shot Coldplay to stardom, and was the first track of theirs I heard, and immediately fell in love with. This was followed by what
          has to be my favourite Coldplay song, "Trouble", which cemented the thought in my head that I had to get a hold of their newly released album, "Parachutes". That's exactly what I did, and for the first time since Ace of Base released "Happy Nation" (no joke - I did honestly used to like them), was there a CD to which I took a liking to every single one of the tracks. DAFT PUNK Ahh. Time to return to more familiar territory. French duo Thomas Bangalter and Guy Manuel de Homem Christo first recorded a song under the name 'Darling', and were heavily influenced by The Beach Boys. How times have changed... A name change to Daft Punk, after a review in the magazine 'Melody Maker' labelled there music as 'a bunch of daft punk', and an increased influence from the house sounds filtering across from the UK and US led to their first success as dance artists, with "Da Funk", a track heavily promoted during sets from The Chemical Brothers. The release of their debut album "Homework" broke into commercial success and what is now a relative classic tune "Around The World" did similarly well. During a break from his Daft Punk days, Bangalter helped produce one of clubland's biggest tunes, "Music Sounds Better With You", as one third of Stardust. The year of 2000 marked the return of the long forgotten duo though, as "Discovery" went on to achieve even greater success than "Homework". The first release from the album, "One More Time", to be honest, at first had me reaching for the 'off' switch on the radio. Given time, however, and the track grew on me so much I now own the record. Hugely unimpressed at first with a fair few of the tracks on the album, each has grown on me to the extent that I own a selection of the tracks on the album on 12" vinyl, and would do s
          o the album, if I was an album-buying kinda person. Which I'm not. Not daft, not punk - Daft Punk. NORMAN COOK a.k.a FATBOY SLIM a.k.a about a million other pseudonyms. It is, however, as Fatboy Slim that Norman Cook's popularity has grown to superstar status. Although a DJ, Cook is in this list for his work as Fatboy Slim, the producer. Fatboy Slim first sprung to my attention with his remix of Wildchild's "Renegade Master", and soon followed it up by the not-so-great remix of Cornershop's "Brimful of Asha". It was with the first release from the album "We've Come A Long Way, Baby", "Rockafeller Skank" that I really properly took notice of his work, in 1998. The music world, as I was, was consequently taken over by Fatboy Slim, with further tracks from the album, "Gangsta Trippin", "Right Here, Right Now" and "Praise You" each being hugely successful in both clubland and radio studios alike. Excellent, original music videos seem to be Cook's thang, with the video for "Praise You" winning numerous awards, and "Right Here, Right Now", "Ya Mama" and "Weapon Of Choice" each receiving praise from, err, people who felt the need to praise them. The latest album, "Halfway Between The Gutter And The Stars", released last year, from what I've heard of it, sounds very disappointing, to be honest, with tracks such as "Sunset (Bird Of Prey)" and "Weapon Of Choice" failing miserably in trying to match the greatness achieved by tracks on the previous album. Having said that, the last release from the album, "Ya Mama", sees a return to being good, which is what Fatboy Slim does best. Yippee. Also note the fact that one of my favourite tracks of the year, albeit a Chemical Brothers remix, "Song For Shelter&
          quot; is a Fatboy Slim production, and took clubland by storm throughout the summer. On the whole, ignore the new stuff, ignore the old stuff ("Better Living Through Chemistry") and go for the stuff in the middle. The 'jam', if you like. Okay. As with all top 10 lists, it appears compulsory to leave 'the ones that got away', so that's what I'll do. Leaving you with close contenders for the list, thank you for reading my opinion. Erick Morillo John Digweed Travis Moby Sasha

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            28.11.2001 08:34
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            Y'know how it is. Every so often an album will come out which you know is an absolute classic before even listening to the thing. This 'every so often' happened to come around at the end of July this year, with the release of Roger Sanchez's debut album "First Contact". No, no, no. Roger Sanchez is in fact not Junior Sanchez's father. Nor is he Ali G or Armand Van Helden. For those of you not in the know as to just who 'The S-Man' really is, you may (or may not) want to know he is one of the worlds biggest and best house DJs, although his hip-hop roots do crop up from time to time during a Sanchez set. Up until the massive of success of the single "Another Chance", which is featured on the album, however, Roger Sanchez had never quite 'made it' as a producer to match his DJing credentials. That is, despite the relative underground success of tracks such as "I Never Knew" (also featured on the album). As well as remixing for the likes of artists such as Underworld, Janet & Michael Jackson and Texas, Roger Sanchez has also helped steer the careers of Daft Punk and Basement Jaxx in the right direction. Twenty years it's been since the S-Man first played a DJ set (thirteen years old at the time), and ten since his first single was released (nope, don't know what it was, I'm afraid. Anyone care to help me out?). Three years later than originally scheduled for release, you could say "First Contact" has been a while coming. In fact, I will say it; "First Contact" has been a while coming. There. With the ever-expanding record label 'R-Senal' to look after now as well, I dread to think when the next one will be on the way. Released on the record label 'Defected', on July 30th this year, "First Contact" features appearances from a fair few top players in today's music business. From Armand Van Helden to Sh
            arleen Spiteri of Texas, via N'Dea Davenport and Cooly's Hot Box, even before hearing the album myself, it was clear if Sanchez's production skills let him down, it was virtually guaranteed there'd be something to get my teeth into, or rather, listen to and enjoy. I'd like to be in a position where I can claim to have rushed out to the shops and picked up a copy the moment "First Contact" was made available. I still could make that claim, but I'd be lying. So I won't. I would have done, however, had I not been in the financial position I find myself in, ooh, about 99% of the time. That's right - skint. Y'know Sanchez was late releasing the damn thing, so really there was no harm if I was late in buying the damn thing. Only now that I have finally saved up my pennies and splashed out £15.99 for three 12" pieces of acetate, does the album put me in a position where I can scream "I love this album" from the rooftops? Well, if you'd caught a glimpse of the number of stars I'd awarded the album, you'd probably know already that the answer to the above question is a firm 'Yes'. Technically speaking though, no. I mean if I was to stand on rooftops screaming "I love this album", nobody would know which album I was screaming about, so maybe a better alternative would be to scream "I love 'First Contact', by Roger Sanchez". Do you know what makes me love this album, though? The tracks included on it, of which there are nine (on the 3x12" vinyl format, anyway), would be the correct answer. An example of an answer which makes me say "Yes I like the fact that this is the case, but is not what makes me enjoy the album so much" would be 'the record sleeves (cardboard 'envelope' you keep the records in), which have a big 'S' design illustrated by nails, which, in turn, become gradually more and more distorted'
            . Do you know what else I like about it though? The fact that every track is so different from each other - s'not just "Another Chance" nine times over, no. From the all horns blaring Latin house of "The Partee" to the future anthem "Contact", warm vocal house of his recent collaboration with Armand Van Helden and N'Dea Davenport "You Can't Change Me" and back to the biggest tune of the summer "Another Chance", sampling, of all people, Toto. "First Contact" takes you on a journey through all walks of funky house. Kicking off the album with "Computabank", a more break-beat-y type track to the rest on the album (but not so much as an actual break-beat track), it is clear from the start that Sanchez isn't, as I've already said, releasing nine slightly differing versions of "Another Chance", just with different titles. Starting the track "Computabank" in a somewhat strange manner, the rest of the track follows suit. <Sound of computer starting up> "Please enter your password" <Computer keys tapping> "Good morning Mr Sanchez. You have accessed your computer bank. Please select the track you wish to hear, now" <Keys tap> <Track starts> If I was to try and give you an artist who's work is comparable to the feel of this track, it'd be French duo Daft Punk. Actually, I will give you an artist who's work is comparable to the feel of this track; Daft Punk. Their recent release "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger", in particular. An instrumental other than "Computabank" said here and there in a computerized voice, the opening track to the album is probably the strangest of the nine. With pretty much the same digital tune throughout the track, although not bad by any length, "Computabank" is certainly one of the most forgettable track
            s on show, but immediately gives the impression that Sanchez is a man with a good ear right across the boundaries of Dance music. "If you wish to listen to another track, please hit the star key now" <Sound of a key being hit> <Track ends> Those with an educated ear in Dance music may well understand how although Sanchez's music does cover many aspects of House, comparing him to the likes of BT (Brian Transeau) is indefinitely out of the question. However, comparing the second track on the album, "Ventura" to a BT production is exactly what I intend to do. Y'see possibly BT's most successful track (and in my opinion, his best) "Flaming June" was very, very different in it's sound to that of "Ventura", but the comparison I'm making is not of the sound of the track, but of the structure. On the original BT & PvD (Paul van Dyk) mix of "Flaming June", the track takes an incredible switch from progressive trance into drum & bass, as so that it actually works. Very well. And then we come to "Ventura". After an in your face, pretty hectic dose of house mayhem, the track suddenly makes the transition into a chill-out track, typical of the ones found on many Ibiza chill-out compilations. And as with BT, it actually works. Very well. There I was, about to tell you how this track was another instrumental I was, when it suddenly struck me that, in fact, the 'Oooh' every 32 beats is sung, and is therefore a vocal. But again, this track is something of an instrumental, seeing as it's not got words as such, but does have a little backing vocal support. Again, with pretty much the same tune throughout the track, apart from being much more housey than "Computabank", "Ventura" may well have turned out to be as instantly forgettable, had it not been for the chill-out session at the end, as previously mentioned. As i
            t happens, however, the chill-out session is featured at the end, the track is very much a memorable figure on the album, and the warmness of the finale ranks it right up there in my top 10 tracks from "First Contact", ever. And so to the biggest track (from a house lover's perspective) of the summer? 'If I had another chance tonight, I'd try to tell you that the things we had were right' You know the one. Think big, uplifting bass line. Think obscure Toto sample. Think 'tcha tcha'. Then think "I love this song", as my 'I hate dance music, I do' friend, who hates dance music, did upon my playing of it at a recent party. Oh yeah, he didn't just think it, he yelled it out, and was quickly followed by cries of agreement from just about anybody within hearing distance. Y'see there are some tracks which cross boundaries of people's preferred musical genres. And this is one of them. Other examples of house tunes I know of people not usually into this sort of thing like include Stardust's "Music Sounds Better With You" and Chemical Brother's "Hey Boy, Hey Girl". Examples of songs from other musical genres to my preferred choice to which I enjoy listening include Green Day's "Basket Case" and 2Pac's "Changes". Sorry, I'm getting off the point now. To sum up, just about everyone in, like, the whole world loved "Another Chance". Although seeing how they didn't like Stardust, I expect a-true-ben and spacelamb have differing views on the matter. The freaks. If you don't know the track by name, you may well know the video. If you're thinking of the one with a woman carrying a massive heart round the city with her, then a small heart, then a massive one again, then bingo - you're thinking of the right one. Described earlier on in my opinion as a 'future anthem&#
            39;, "Contact", the fourth track on the album, is just that. A full commercial release, I'm pretty sure, would send the track flying up the charts quicker than Damien Duff flies up the wing for Blackburn. (Whaddya mean, who's Damien Duff? Hmph.) Actually, I'd rather this didn't happen - tracks never seem quite as credible once I've seen them one The Box, Kiss, MTV or any other music channels you care to mention. Or then again, it might not. The fact that it is another instrumental often doesn't bear well with the pop music buying public. Often, no words = nothing to sing along to = no purchase of the damn thing. Also upon reading another opinion of this particular album elsewhere on dooyoo, I discovered the track is considered to be too long by some, but that'd probably be fixed with a quick radio edit. Noooooooooooo, not radio edits - let's hope it doesn't get a full commercial release. With a feel good factor, similarly funky bass line and just the same kinda feel to it as Bel Amour's "Bel Amour", if you're looking for a comparable artist/track for this beast, look no further than, strangely enough, Bel Amour's "Bel Amour" ('You gotta give me love, you are my one and only pleasure; I gotta give you my love, I wanna be your only pleasure'). As featured on the soundtrack to 'Kevin & Perry Go Large', "The Partee" is fifth up on what is already turning out to be a rather sweet album. Now I'm not usually one to go for Latin house tracks, but exceptions to this rule do rear their head from time to time. In fact, of late there have been a rather large amount of quality Latin house tracks getting the thumbs up from me, and "The Partee" is another one to add to the list. Just about any instrument you could possibly imagine to make an appearance on a track of this sort does. And as the track peaks, they do so virtually all
            together, at the same time, making for quite a hectic roller coaster of a partee. And as with just about anything Sanchez curls his toes towards, it works. Very, very well. Upon first hearing of a track, it is extremely rare for me to think 'yeah, I really liked that' straight away. Generally it takes a few listens before something, no matter how good it may be, starts to tickle my fancy, as it were. If you happen to have yourself a list of 'tracks Sam Redmore didn't like at first but does now', you can tick off The S-Man's "You Can't Change Me", which features vocal by N'Dea Davenport and had Armand Van Helden help somewhere in the production of it, as one of them. It is more than likely that you know this particular track by now, seeing as a commercial release (and no doubt success) is just around the corner. Warm U.S Garage would probably be an appropriate description of the sound of the track. 'You can't change me Or re-arrange me Don't waste your time, baby, can't you see That you can't change me?' Now then, "Nothing To Prove" is quite a strange little piece. Nothing too strange musically, but the fact that Sharleen Spiteri, of Texas, provides the vocals, gives it a feel not dissimilar to, of anyone, Texas. Which I personally think is not good. Not good at all. To be honest, Spiteri's voice just doesn't seem to suit house music, making "Nothing To Prove" probably my least favourite track on the album. In fact, I dislike it to such an extent that I really haven't much more to say about the track, which in itself says a fair bit, taking into account how much I like to say on tracks I do like. Give this one a miss, I'm afraid. ...And then there was another quite strange, but good track nevertheless. Obviously had you been reading the rest of this op, you may have realised how I&
            #39;m going through each track in the order at which they appear on the album, so the above sentence, in case you hadn't realised, was talking of "Leavin". With Angela Johnson, who, incidentally, helped in the production of a few tracks on the album, providing the vocals, from a long broken down intro comes another slice of warm, quality house. Y'know the kind of track - If it's on, you probably won't even realise. You certainly won't dislike it, just it won't stand out. Only after the track has finished however, you may well find yourself humming the tune, or simply making a mental note as to how much you appreciated the track. Very much like DJ Otzi. 'Subtle Success', I like to call it. 'Nice' house tracks are what makes the world spin round, and this is one of them. Or something like that. Behind only "Another Chance", the album is wrapped up with my second favourite track on the album "I Never Knew", featuring a man I'd never before heard of, Cooly's Hot Box. Possibly the longest track on the album (although I'm not quite sad enough to have timed them all - only one or two), "I Never Knew" features a strong, uplifting string melody to accompany the strong, uplifting vocal to make a strong, uplifting end to the album. "I Never Knew" most certainly compares to Junior Sanchez featuring Dajae's excellent track "B With U", which has to be one of the ultimate uplifting house tracks from the past few years. 'I never knew That you were feeling the same thing too' Pure class. 'Nuff said. (I can say more if you want me too, but seeing as this opinion's looking a little on the long side, I'll leave it at that - sorry 'bout that). Do you like your house music? Do you own this album? Okay, first things first. If you said 'no', you don
            't like house music, there's no need to read the next few sentences (although you should like house music - it's really very good). If you answered 'yes' however, was your answer to the second question 'no'? If so - go buy it. Now. Unless, like I was, you're skint. So on the other hand, start saving for it, or a pair of Technics SL-1210s, either will do. If you do own the album though, a big 'well done' message is yours from everybody around the world who is my age and has my name and looks like me. So from me then, well done. Now where'd that Steps album disappear to...?

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            • MYNC Project in general / Archive Music / 0 Readings / 43 Ratings
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              11.11.2001 05:37
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              DJs. Disc Jockeys. DJs 'disc jockey'. They play records. MYNC Project are DJs (despite this category, for some reason, being located under 'Bands'). They play records. Only they do so in an almost infinitely more creative way to most DJs. Don't get me wrong, I think many DJs completely unlike MYNC Project are very talented, but MYNC Project have a whole lot more to offer, taking the concept of 'creative mixing' to a whole new level. Mark Younghead (sometimes known as Mark Brown - don't ask why 'cos I don't know) and Nick Corelli are the duo that make up MYNC Project. Both have been DJing for about seven years individually, joining forces in early 1999. Younghead describes their sound as 'Real House'. This includes all forms of house, really; from funky to progressive to disco house and back again, MYNC Project's sets aren't generally tied to any genre boundaries (other than house, which is a rather massive genre, consisting of many sub-genres. Best not to go on about genres though - we could be here all day). DJing aside, MYNC Project are also deeply involved in bringing quality house music to the public eye, with Younghead returning to his job as A & R manager at EMI offshoot house label, Credence Records, by day, and Corelli reverting to managing the record label 'Dis-Funktional'. As a result of this behind the scenes work, anyone who hasn't heard MYNC Project before, looking out for a few releases on either Dis-Funktional or Credence may well bring a few tracks typical of their sound to mind. Examples of quality tracks released on these record labels include World Famous Martinez Orchestra's "Southside" and CZR's "I Want You" on Credence, and Steve Mac & Yousef's "I Like This" and Stefano Gamma's "Street Guitar" on Dis-Funktional. Tipped by many, including Mixmag to take the year of 2000 by s
              torm, after only their first year together, MYNC Project made an entry in the 'Top 100 DJs in the World' poll. Residents since August 1999 at, to quote Pete Tong, "one of the most forward-thinking back-rooms in clubland", the Redroom at Passion in Coalville, MYNC have also graced the wheels of steel at clubs all over the world, including Cream in Liverpool, Groovejet in Miami and the legendary Space terrace in Ibiza. MYNC Project have also featured on a number of radio shows, such as those of Craig and Huggy Burger Queen coupled with Galaxy Radio appearances and having presented 'The Zone', a TV show covering clubbing on a global scale. So as DJs, what makes MYNC Project so special? First of all, it's probably appropriate to give you an idea of the equipment MYNC Project use. In comparison with a normal solo working DJ's two record decks and a mixer; four record decks, two mixers, two CD decks and two EFX (special effects) units may give you an idea of just what, potentially, MYNC Project are capable of. Track selection, on the whole, is the most important aspect of DJing. Playing duff tunes, regardless of technical ability, will win you no fans. Duff tunes in an MYNC set tend to be about as common as missed chances by Andy Cole. They just don't happen. Whenever I've heard them, accapellas, beats and multiple copies of the same record have been thrown in to enhance the mix. As Corelli explains himself, "basically we just fuc.., (err, I mean mess), with people's heads". Whatever they do, it's almost certainly guaranteed to impress. And impressed I was... Having heard MYNC through guest mixes on Danny Rampling's Radio 1 show, "Dedicated Followers of Passion" - a mix CD available in the shops and an absolutely storming Essential Mix, my chance to see them play live came last November when they played at a club in Leeds c
              alled Back 2 Basics. Mixing, of course, on a two mixer, four record and two CD deck set-up, MYNC Project's set (12.30-3.15am, or something similar) was, quite simply, mind-blowing. Early doors, inclusions of Dizzy's "On & On" and Soft's tremendous 'Flashback' remix of Deep Dish's "Come Back" really had the party rockin'. Top-drawer accapellas including Erro - "Change For Me" and Derrick L. Carter "Where You At?" duly followed, as the club looked on (and danced and wiggled those hips) in amazement. With a truly stomping opening to the set behind them, MYNC soon took the music to a darker, more tribal, but still oh-so-funky level. With air raid siren sound effects reverberating around the club (courtesy of Nick Corelli), the roof came off as Dean Coleman's superb remix of Josh Wink's "Freak" kicked into the mix. Saving their best 'til last, as Harry "Choo Choo" Romero's "Suck My Clock" came through the filters, atmosphere within the club was reaching fever pitch. Something truly amazing was soon to follow (and if you ever see them perform this live, I'm sure you'd not be able to argue otherwise), as Prince's 1984 hit "When Doves Cry" (from the album "Purple Rain") came crashing through the speakers over the top of the previously mentioned "Suck My Clock", and in addition to what I could make out as two beat tracks. And then, to put the cherry on the cake, who should I bump into at the bar, but... <<drumroll, please>> ...Mark Younghead! A brief chat later, having discussed 'track of the year' (Deep Dish's "Come Back"), MYNC's summer essential mix and my own mix CDs, and I was left feeling what a genuinely nice guy Younghead is. If you're into house music or clubbing in general in any way, I cannot stress how highly I recommend
              you get along to see MYNC Project play, should the opportunity ever arise. A weekly residency at Passion in Coalville (Leicester) means you know where they are should you want to go see (and believe me, you do want to go see). Perfectly programmed seamless mixing, somewhat amazing technical ability and truly awesome ears for a tune: MYNC Project. Although not hugely famous at the moment, keep an eye out for them - they will be. Let them mess with your head. You won't be disappointed.

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                01.10.2001 04:53
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                CZR and Rafael "ITO" Garcia then. Firstly, CZR: Readers of my last opinion will already have heard of him. Readers of my last opinion will also probably have forgotten about him by now, so let me refresh your memories. Or maybe just tell you a little about him; probably stuff I meant to put in the last opinion, but forgot. Describing his sound as "Undergroundicsofunk", CZR was the man responsible for the rather good "I Want You", which featured vocals from Robson & Jerome, sorry, Delano. First introduced to a pair of Technics (record decks) at the age of just eight, buying his first record at the age of twelve and winning the DMC World Championships at fourteen, CZR is quite a talent. Sorry, did I say CZR? I meant 'Dangerous' Dave Pearce. Note: CZR didn't really win the DMC World Championships when he was fourteen; Dave Pearce may well have done though. CZR also happens to be big on the remixing side of things as well, offering an excellent take on tracks including Bob Sinclar's "I Feel For You". Secondly, Rafael "ITO" Garcia: Sorry, don't know much about him. No, really, I don't. Anyone care to help me out? Okay then. So we've got that settled. CZR, producer of one of the best house tracks of all time (in my opinion) and Rafael "ITO" Garcia, who'll be known only as 'ITO' throughout this opinion, joined forces to produce "Bringin The Funk" and "Feel The Pressure" (double A side). And, might I add, what a treat they came up with. Now then, I'll have to pause this opinion for a moment just here I'm afraid. The reason for this being that many readers of my "I Want You" opinion hadn't heard of the track. My apologies for that, but you really should've - it's that good. However, I'd think many more haven't heard
                of this one either I'm afraid. In fact, "Bringin The Funk" hasn't even been released over here in the U.K, and is only available on import. Which is quite a shame. Obviously, with no U.K release, there is also no music video for "Bringin The Funk", which anyone to have read a few of my other opinions will already know, I see as a good thing. If you have heard it, despite the track being rather fantastic, on this occasion, I'll forgive you for not getting yourself a copy, as, with it only being available on import, sadly the cheapest I've found it available for is £12.50, which I'm sure you'll agree is quite steep for a single. Having said that, I forked out my hard earned cash on this, and have absolutely no regrets about doing so, with it being such a great track 'n all. Subliminal Records, kinda like an American version of the British record label 'Defected', are responsible for the release of "Bringin The Funk". Run by Harry "Choo Choo" Romero, Jose Nunez and Erick Morillo, Subliminal have tracks by the likes of Pete Heller, Bob Sinclar, Joey Negro, ATFC and, of course, CZR in their somewhat impressive back-catalogue of releases; which I quite like them for. I doubt anyone cares, especially if they haven't heard of the track, but I'll have you know the release date for "Bringin The Funk" was, err, actually I don't know; sometime in 2001. Being the 63rd record to have been brought out by Subliminal, along with Bob Sinclar - "I Feel For You", Kid Crème - "Austin's Groove" and, obviously, CZR - "I Want You", I feel it is one of their best releases so far. Produced, mixed and arranged by CZR & ITO, with vocals written and performed by Alex Peace, "Bringin The Funk" was recorded at The Funk Parlor, in Chicago; home to CZR. And ITO, I think. Definitely CZR though. Picture thi
                s: £12.50. Worth it? I'd say so. Here's what you're paying for: Disc 1 Side A - "Bringin The Funk" Side B - "Feel The Pressure" Disc 2 Side A - "Bringin The Dub" Side B - i) "Short & Wet Accapellas" ii) "Bringin The Drums" That's right; a double pack. Two records for the price of, well, two, actually. Nevertheless, a double-pack all the same. Let us now draw our attention to Side A of Disc 1 then for further scrutiny. "Bringin The Funk" - If you buy this record, I have no doubt this is what you're buying it for. Yeah, okay, it's supposed to be a double A side, but, in reality, this is the A side; "Feel The Pressure" is only a B-side. Understand? No? You would do if you heard the two tracks, which you really should. What's this track about then? Well, I'd say there were three main components to it. The pounding bass line, the, actually, pretty rubbish vocal, and the quite brilliant, funky tune; played on some sort of brass instrument, I think (although I'm no expert). CZR describes his music as "Undergroundiscofunk", and certainly with this track, you can't disagree. First of all, 'Underground': Well, pretty obvious really. The track is an underground track. Have you heard it? Does it get commercial radio play? No, it's underground. Secondly, 'Disco': Yeah. It does have a disco kinda feel to it. So, again, can't disagree with him there. Finally, 'Funk', as in 'Funky'. Very, very funky track. Doesn't get much funkier than this. As the track says, it (House music) "Makes us wanna get up; and it makes us wanna get down". And it certainly does. Okay then, I'm sure we all know that in the beginning there was Jack; and Jack had a groove; and f
                rom this groove came the groove of all grooves. Actually, in truth, the track begins with a beat. Not a hard, pounding beat; but a beat anyhow. A simple beat. Sort of. Pretty soon though, this beat stops. And there is silence. And this silence lasts a total of about half a second, before the beat starts again, just harder, and more pounding this time. This beat then plays for a bit, before a bit more bass is added. However, everyone knows once you've built up; you must break down. So, as you may have guessed, the track duly comes to a bit of a breakdown. Not a full breakdown (there are no real, full breakdowns in this track), as the beat continues, but just more softly and quietly throughout. The breakdown (first - there are two) then. Now, if you have actually been reading this opinion properly, as opposed to just scanning through it or whatever, you'll have seen that the vocal on this track is actually pretty rubbish; which it is. It is at this breakdown that the vocal first comes in, and upon my first listening once I'd purchased the record, was when I thought to myself "What have I done? £12.50 on this?" What's so bad about it (the vocal) then? Well, actually, after a few listens, giving you time to get used to it, the vocal doesn't seem all too bad actually. Just a bit of a shock the first time. The vocal isn't sung as such, and to begin with, is in the style of a radio DJ introducing their show. "You're tuned in to W-F.U.N.K, always pumping the funk..." Get the idea? Good. After this introduction though, the vocal stops, and in come the funky tune. Which after questioning why I'd bought the record, then had me asking why I didn't have two copies, in case this one broke. Well, it didn't actually, however I was reminded at that time exactly why I forked out £12.50 for the record. Oh yeah, along with this
                tune came back the bass line and pounding beats. As they usually do on dance tracks. To the second breakdown... Strangely enough, the second breakdown arrives after the track breaks down a bit from when it'd built up following the first breakdown, if you see what I mean. Second round of rubbish upon first hearing, but no longer too bad lyrics occur at this point: This time, more just talking over the music, no longer in the style of a radio DJ, in which we are informed of what each letter of the word 'funk' stands for. F = The flava. (Or should that be flavour?) U = Because we are united under one roof. N = The nation we groove under. K = Don't know. Don't even care. (That's what the track says, not my laziness.) Again the big, funky tune comes back in, but with an extended riff this time, making it even funkier. Beats and bass line also resume. The track is at its peak at this moment, I reckon. Ending: Track gradually breaks down to just the beat featured at the start of the record. All other components (tune, bass line etc.) are filtered out. In fact, there are some more vocals right at the end, but no one ever listens to it that far, so I can't recall what they say. Nothing too moving though I shouldn't think. Not more I can say about this little beaut, other than go take a listen yourself. Score: 9/10. So that's side A of Disc 1; now for side B. "Feel The Pressure" then. Not gonna go into as much detail on this track I'm afraid, y'know, what with it only being the B-side as explained earlier. So then, side B. No beating about the bush here I'm sorry to say. No, this track jumps right in to the thick of the action. Right from the start. Marks, set, go; we're off. No build up here, just a trumpet tune right from the off. Funky tune at that though. Pretty uplifting. Good. Yeah, I like
                it. Impossible to mix if you happen to be a DJ though. God, I hate it when tracks do this to me. So now I've got that off my chest, I can tell you I quite like this track too. Okay, so the tune plays right from the start. And, after a fair bit of time actually, a beat joins it; as does the bass line. Until about halfway through, with not much changing in-between. So here we are halfway through. What happens? A breakdown. As you might've guessed, really. We are then treated to a deep voice saying 'Feel the pressure. Oh yeah' in a Warp Bros "Phat Bass" kind of rubbishy way, and a slight pause. Bass line next. Filtered. Nothing but. Pure bass line. Gradually becoming stronger, with the tune slowly returning. And then the beats. And all is as it was before the breakdown. This continues for bit before stopping, to only a beat and a cymbal. This beat and cymbal runs through to the end of the record, and is a very healthy way to end from a DJing perspective. But why could the start just not do this too? Overall, another funky little number, but certainly not of the same standard as "Bringin The Funk". Wouldn't warrant my purchasing of the record by itself. Score: 6.5/10 Disc 2, Side A - "Bringin The Dub". "Hmm, a dub?" I hear you ask. I was pretty pleased, at first to see this included within the pack. Y'see a dub is normally very similar to whatever it's a dub of, only without, or with very few of the vocals. D'ya see why I was pleased, at first, to have this now, bearing in mind the original had a rather poor vocal? Unfortunately, 'at first' are the key words. Although very similar to "Bringin The Funk", and with no vocals, this dub features only a fraction of the big, good, funky tune I liked so much. Which is not a good thing. Basically, this track is a less funky version of &quo
                t;Bringin The Funk", but with no vocals. Not much more I can say, seeing as it's all been said in the review of "Bringin The Funk". Score: 7/10 Flip the disc over, and waddya have? That's right; firstly, the "Short & Wet Accapellas" and secondly, "Bringin The Drums". So, onto the "Short & Wet Accapellas" then. Know what an accapella is? Not to worry if you don't; I'll explain. Or try to at least. Basically, an accapella is the vocal of a track. All on it's own, with nowt else. All instruments, beats or whatever are taken away. Just the vocal remains. Sorted? Good. Despite being titled "Short & Wet Accapellas", there is, in fact, only one accapella here, it's not short, and I can't see how it's wet. Maybe "Long Accapella of the rubbish vocal on "Bringin The Funk"" would be more appropriate. So you know all about the vocal from "Bringin The Funk" then, I won't explain again; it's rubbish. So if the vocal's rubbish, seeing as this accapella is the vocal and vocal only, surprisingly enough, it's rubbish. Y'know what? I don't like this accapella. Score: 2/10. Finally, Disc 2, side B, track 2: "Bringin The Drums". Simple enough. Won't go into too much detail again, as I really don't see how it could be of any use. "Bringin The Drums" is, in fact, just the drum beat from "Bringin The Funk". Nothing else. Just the beat. From start to finish. Bit boring to listen to on its own, but for the more creative DJ maybe you could make use of a couple of accapellas and play them over the top, or maybe have these beats running throughout another track or whatever. Basically, they're not meant for simply listening to. For more info contact Carl Cox. Sorry, can't recall his number of the top of
                my head. Bit boring, but possibly a useful DJ tool. Score: 8/10 - DJing wise 2/10 - Listening wise; not what they're intended for though So then, £12.50 well spent? I still think so. Recommended if you like this or, more likely, this is recommended if you like: Bob Sinclar: "I Feel For You" - Almost, almost as funky as this CZR featuring Delano: "I Want You" - Obviously Junior Jack: "My Feeling" - Listen to it. You'll understand. Sasha: "Xpander" - Not because it's similar, but because it's so damn good and should be recommended at any and every opportunity Those of you waiting for my next mix-tape (shouldn't be too long), may I just let you know this'll be on the tape, so don't rush out to the shops to get it on my advice without giving it a listen first (like you would). Thank you for reading my opinion.

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                • Top 10 Singles / Discussion / 0 Readings / 35 Ratings
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                  15.08.2001 23:07
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                  Top 10 trance singles then. I know this is in the top 10 singles category, but there really is no-where else for this to go. I can't really write about my top 10 singles from all genres of music, as I'm not really old enough to have any particularly special songs at the moment, so they would all end up being modern house or trance tracks anyway. In descending order, with 1 being my favourite and 10 my least favourite (of the 10), here they are (sorry they're all pretty new): 10) Artist - Cygnus X Title - Superstring (Rank 1 Dub) Record Label - Xtravaganza Release Date - 06.08.01 Very new, I know. Even though it has only been released recently, it is already one of my favourite tracks in my record box. It was between this and Push - "Strange World" for the number 10 spot, but this got the nod because Strange World can be a bit harsh on the ears if you've got a head ache or are feeling tired. I first heard this on a Paul van Dyk Essential Mix and loved it straight away. Released on the record label Xtravaganza, who are responsible for tracks by the likes of Chicane, Agnelli & Nelson and Public Domain (slight let down in my view), and are one of the biggest trance record labels at the moment. Typical Rank 1 production, featuring a haunting melody, slowly filtered in after a massive build up, this is one of those tracks with a breakdown to send a tingle down your spine. It also features the more commonly played Rank 1 Original Remix on the other side of the record. Will probably be one of the biggest underground tracks of the year. Expect a full opinion on this track in the near future. Very uplifting Euro-trance. Also recommended if you like this: Rank 1 - "Airwave" Moonman - "Galaxia" 9) Artist - Planet Perfecto featuring Grace Title - Not Over Yet 99 (Matt Darey Remix) Record Label - Codeblue Release Date - 02.08.99 Achieve
                  d relative commercial success this time three years ago, but that was with the somewhat poorer radio edit. Released on the record label 'Codeblue', which has Gouryella - "Gouryella" and "Tenshi" in its impressive back-catalogue. Once again, Matt Darey worked his remixing magic and came out with a belter. Another Planet Perfecto track, "Bullet In The Gun" was a big contender for this top 10 list, but missed out due to the rather high 'cheesiness factor', and the fact it was played so often by Dave Pearce. As with most Matt Darey tracks (and many trance tracks for that matter), the track starts off quietly with just a beat, steadily building up with many piano keys played here and there. Another track with an excellent breakdown. The lyrics are by Grace. "I live for you, I'd die for you, Do what you want me to, I cry for you, My tears will show, That I, Can't let you go, It's not over, It's not over, It's not over, It's not over yeah, You still love me don't you?" Top quality track. Features the Breeder remix on the other side of the record. Also recommended if you like this: Matt Darey - "Beautiful", "Liberation (Temptation - Fly Like An Angel)" JX - "Nothing I Won't Do" 8) Artist - Union Jack Title - Cactus Record Label - Platipus Release Date - Sometime in 1994 This is the oldest track on my list. Incredibly difficult to get hold of - I know someone who has it and has slapped a 'priceless' tag on it, stating they wouldn't sell for three figure prices. A different style of trance to the previous two in the list, with more of a Techno feel to it. After the first breakdown, this track suddenly kicks off, with a brilliant tune coming in. Probably best when played in a club, but good home listening all the same. If an
                  yone reading this owns a copy - you don't know how lucky you are. Released on the record label 'Platipus', who have brought out a few classics in their time, including Art of Trance - "Madagascar" and Robert Miles - "Children". Recommended track if you like this: Oliver Moldan - "Not Ever Real" 7) Artist - Paul van Dyk Title - For An Angel Record Label - Deviant Release date - 24.08.98 Yep, I'm sure you've all heard this one, but for those who haven't, it was one of the biggest tracks of 98, and was the track that shot Paul van Dyk to fame for his production skills. Not really much for me to say about this track, as I have written a whole op on it, so check that if you want more info on it. A very uplifting piece of melodic trance from the man also known for such classics as "Another Way" and "Tell Me Why (The Riddle)", which I personally don't like. Recommended tracks if you like this: Paul van Dyk - "Another Way" Jam & Spoon - "Be Angeled" 6) Artist - Energy 52 Title - Café Del Mar 98 (Original 3 'N 1 Mix) Record Label - Hooj Choons Release Date - 05.06.98 Another classic from the summer of 98. Released on many different occasions on many different record labels, this track finally became the classic it is now known as when released on Hooj Choons in 1998. A massive build-up (6 minutes) to what has to be one of the best breakdowns ever recorded, make this track the ultimate Ibiza anthem. If you want more info about the track, check out my opinion on it. Probably the most uplifting track in this Top 10. Recommended tracks if you like this: Three Drives - "Greece 2000" Blank & Jones - "Cream" Saints & Sinners - "Peace" 5) Artist - CM Title - Dream Universe Record Label - Hooj Choons <br>Release Date - 30.09.98 Mysteriously went virtually unnoticed when released at a time when trance was growing in reputation and following. Although highly under rated, this track has to be one of the 'nicest' I know of. I say 'nicest' because it is just an excellent track to relax to, and really has a pleasant feel to it. This is another one of Hooj Choons 'occasional half decent house tunes', as they put it. Can't really describe this tune other than as nice. You might not be particularly overwhelmed upon first hearing, but it is one of them that you probably don't particularly dislike either. Believe me, it grows on you. Quite hard to get hold of this track, but at the moment, is available at Hard To Find Records for just £6.00 (that's cheap by their standards), so you have no excuse for not owning a copy. Features a relaxing tune, along with some good percussion. Recommended tracks if you like this: Lustral - "Everytime" (Mentioned later in this opinion) Katana - "Silence" 4) Artist - Mauro Picotto Title - Lizard Record Label - VC Recordings Release Date - 12.04.99 Although a blatant rip-off of Binary Finary's "1998" (which narrowly missed out making it into this list), Lizard is still regarded by many as one of the best trance track ever produced. VC Recordings have recently released tracks by Mutiny, such as "Secrets" and "The Virus". Although this is a brilliant track, I personally don't like any other Mauro Picotto tracks, with his latest two singles "Like This, Like That" and "Komodo (Save A Soul)" being particularly high on my 'list of tracks by Mauro Picotto that I do not like'. Anyway, his other tracks aside, Mauro Picotto's Lizard is another one of those rather brilliant tracks that are so impossibly difficult to get hold of. Again, a massive build up to a b
                  reath-taking breakdown is order of the day, but why not? - It certainly makes for a rather excellent track. As opposed to the build up on "Café Del Mar", Lizard starts to build up, only to break down again, with cheeky rewinds and what-have-you all served up on the way to the breakdown. "It's coming to get ya, It's coming to get ya, It's coming to get ya, It's coming on strong." Fairly simple, yet very effective sample used by Picotto throughout this track really does give you something to remember the track by, apart from the breakdown that is. Recommended tracks if you like this: Binary Finary - "1998", "1999" and "2000" 3) Artist - Ayla Title - Ayla (DJ Taucher Remix) Record Label - Positiva Release Date - 20.07.99 If you've read my opinion on this track you'll know I rate it quite highly, if you haven't read my opinion - WHY NOT? Err, I mean in that case I'll tell you a little about it, and if you feel the need, you can check my opinion for any more info. Basically, Ayla is one of my favourite trance tracks of all time; hence the fact that it is third in my list of top ten trance tracks. This is easily the most depressing track in this list, but that's mainly due to the fact that I like my trance to be nice and uplifting, usually. Released on Positiva, a record label boasting such classics as Binary Finary - "1998", Spiller - "Groovejet" and Alice Deejay - "Celebrate Our Love" to it's name, Ayla took the clubbing world by storm both in 1997, and 98 - when this remix came out. Recommended track if you like this: Kamaya Painters - "Endless Wave" 2) Artist - Lustral Title - Everytime (Mike Koglin Remix) Record Label - Hooj Choons Release Date - 19.11.99 Hmm, another Hooj Choons track then? I had
                  n't actually realised how much I rely on them for my quality trance until writing this opinion, but anyway, this track just had to be in the top 3. Luckily, it got number 2. Again, it is one of them 'nice' tracks, but so much more at the same time. If you've ever heard this track, you'll know just how uplifting it can be, but it is quite a sad track at the same time. The original of this track was more of a break-beat affair, again released on Hooj Choons, but this trancier mix is much better in my opinion. The track starts off with quite a lot going on, making it quite difficult to mix, and builds up gradually, becoming more and more uplifting as it builds. The sadder part of the track, I feel, comes at the breakdown. "Can you hear me, Talking in my mind, I can feel you, You're with me all the time. There's a warm sky, Covering the land, In the darkness, I only feel the light. Everytime I close my eyes, I see your face, Everytime I close my eyes, I see your face." Believe me, just reading the vocals here cannot make you even imagine how good they sound on the track - this is just top-drawer stuff. If you have not heard this track, you should do. Try and get hold of it, and if that proves unsuccessful, I'll be mixing a tape soon, with this featured on it, so they are always available if you cannot track it down. Recommended tracks if you like this: Delerium featuring Sarah McLachlan - "Silence" Alena - "Turn It Around" 1) Artist - Sasha Title - Xpander Record Label - Deconstruction Release Date - 05.07.99 If you've read my other opinions, you should really have guessed that this would feature highly on my list. If you did guess this, well done - you were correct. In fact, not only does it feature highly - it is number 1. Thus meaning it is the best trance track ever made. Th
                  at's what I think anyway. Again, because I have already written an opinion on this track, there's not much point in me writing about it all over again, so just check my opinion on it if you want to know any more. Sasha, as you may well know, is one of the best DJs at the moment, but DJing skills aside, this track shows he is more than competent in the studio, with his grade 8 piano skills coming in handy when composing a melody that words just cannot do justice to. Therefore, all I'll say about this track is go and get it if you haven't already got it, get it and if you do already have it, go and listen to it. Listen to it over and over again, and I guarantee you'll not grow bored of it - that's how good a track this is. Recommended tracks if you like this: None - nothing really compares to it. Oh, go on then, Sander Kleinenberg's "Slipper Sleaze" and Sasha & Emerson's "Scorchio" are both recommended, but remember they are nowhere near as good as this. I've noticed it in other peoples' Top 10s, so I thought it'd be a good idea if I also gave a list of 'the ones that got away'. They are as follows: Faithless - "Insomnia" Kamaya Painters - "Endless Wave" Nalin & Kane - "Beachball" Da Hool - "Meet Her At The Love Parade" Bedrock - "Heaven Scent" Moonman - "Galaxia" Hands' Burn - "Good Shot" Three Drives - "Greece 2000" Gouryella - "Gouryella" Felix - "Don't You Want Me" Anyway, I've quite enjoyed myself writing this opinion - hopefully you've enjoyed reading it. Feel free to leave a comment - they're always appreciated. Thank you for reading my opinion. Note: Only joking about the Alice Deejay 'classic', I wouldn't wish a session of
                  Alice Deejay upon even my worst enemy. Might be quite nice on Dave Pearce though. On second thoughts, no - he'd probably love it.

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                  • More +
                    15.08.2001 04:11
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                    Yesterday was a rather good day for me. I finally managed to get my hands on a copy of what is undoubtedly one of THE Ibiza classics. Yes, that's right, I got myself a copy of Energy 52's "Cafe Del Mar". Actually, it wasn't me who bought the track; it was my brother, jeff2000. He was also responsible for my owning of Sasha's "Xpander". Therefore after reading and rating this op, I am telling you to go and look at his ops, because he deserves it after tracking down such gems for me. You're probably scorning me by now for getting so excited about a track you've probably seen a million and one times. But, living in Bury St. Edmunds, where the only record shop is an embarrassingly poor Andy's Records; it is rare for me to ever get within a good few miles of such a thing. Written by Paul M. "Cafe Del Mar", not to be confused with the dance compilations or bar of the same name, was originally released way back in 1993, on the record label 'Bonzai', at around the same time Ace Of Base were taking the world, and my CD player, by storm. Okay, maybe just my CD player. Re-released at the start of 1997, again on Bonzai records, although more successful underground than back in '93, "Cafe Del Mar" was still largely un-noticed. It was in June 1998 though, that the remix that was to shoot the track into classic status was released. The Original Three 'N One Mix and the Nalin & Kane Remix were released on the record label 'Hooj Choons', and was their 64th release. Hooj Choons describe themselves as 'occasional providers of half decent house', which is somewhat of an under-statement. Responsible for such classics as Lustral - "Everytime", Three Drives - "Greece 2000", CM - "Dream Universe" and JX - "Nothing I Won't Do", Hooj Choons are, in many peoples opinion, the best house and trance record l
                    abel around. Apart from whatever Ace Of Base were / are signed up to that is. Anyway, I'm sure by now you understand "Cafe Del Mar" is one of the biggest trance tunes ever made, and deservedly so too. If you haven't a clue what track I am talking about - shame on you. Or maybe shame on me, for explaining it so badly. Let's just say you should know this track. Since the release of "Cafe Del Mar", there have been a few mash-ups of it created (where the vocal of a different track is placed over the top of it). For example, Energy 52 vs Masters At Work - "To Be In Love vs Cafe Del Mar", which, in my opinion, isn't too great, and the tracks do not go together very well. Very much like a Judge Jules set then. As already mentioned, there are two remixes on the record, the Original Three 'N One Mix and the Nalin & Kane Remix. The Original Three 'N One mix is on side A of the record, and, to be honest, really does put the Nalin & Kane remix to shame. The remix comes courtesy of Sharam Jey and Andre Stresser. If you happen to have heard this track on the radio, possibly on 'Dangerous' Dave Pearce's Dance Anthems, this is sort of the mix you'll have heard. It is all about a long intro, gradually building up to an excellent breakdown. I say you'll have 'sort of' heard this mix because the radio version cut the intro out, and shortened the breakdown really spoiling the feel of the track. If you've heard this track in a club, it is probably this mix you've heard, which, I am sure you'll agree, is rather pleasant on the ears. Right from the start, the track has a very familiar feel to it, with the "Cafe Del Mar" beat starting right from the off. Pretty soon, extra cymbals and percussion are added as the track builds. After 3 minutes though, the track breaks down a bit, to only a beat, only to start building again... <br>After another 3 minutes of building (remember this intro lasts a hefty 6 minutes), the track finally starts breaking down. Believe me, it was certainly worth all the build up time. The beats fade out, and the tune starts to fade in and my, what a tune it is. If you looked at my opinion on "Xpander", you'll know how it is impossible to describe how good the tune is. Well, the same applies to the tune on this track also. I would say it is probably the most uplifting tune I have ever heard. Sheer class. The tune continues to come in and becomes better than it was. Better, stronger, faster, faster, faster, Faster... Err, sorry there, I just felt like quoting a sample from another rather good track I know of, but you'll have to wait for my review of it to find out just what track I'm talking about. Anyway, as I was saying, the tune does get louder, and stronger, with a couple of beats being added in here and there. It then continues building until the beats come in, when only a fool wouldn't smile ridiculously and jump around 'trying' to dance. This tune goes on for 3 minutes, after which there is a fairly short outro, when you have to do a quick mix - Paul van Dyk stylee. Not to worry though, this is such a big tune, I expect if you did play it in a set, it may well be the last track, meaning you don't have to mix out of it. Phew. The track is 9 minutes overall, and don't be put off by the massive intro - it really does enhance the feel of the track and make the breakdown even more special. One final thing on this mix. The track is another example of one of them ones you just cannot get bored of - I've been listening to it over and over whilst writing this op, and it sounds just as good each time. Overall, this track gets 10/10. So do Ace Of Base. Onto side-B then, and the Nalin & Kane mix. I'm sure you're already aware of who Nalin & Ka
                    ne are, but for those of you not in the know - Andry Nalin and Harry Cane make up Nalin & Kane, and were responsible for the similarly massive tune "Beachball". Nalin & Kane are also well known for their remix of Da Hool's "Meet Her At The Love Parade" and production work alongside Alice Deejay. Only joking, how could they work with Da Hool? Sorry, I mean Alice Deejay. I have to admit I haven't really listened to this mix that much because, when there's such a brilliant mix on the A-side, why would I want to? In truth, you might want to listen to this mix - it's actually quite good. It is also featured on the soundtrack to Human Traffic. This mix sounds familiar to those who have heard "Beachball", with a very similar beat, although obviously the excellent "Beachball" bass line is lacking. Can't really use the same bass line on two songs can you? What's that you say? DJ Tiesto's remix of Delerium's "Silence" has the same bass line as his new track "Urban Train"? Hmm... This mix has a much more chilled feel to it from the start, when there are a few cymbals going, along with the chords from the tune. Quite relaxing, really. The beats soon come in though, and as with the other mix, start building up, with more cymbals and whatever else Nalin & Kane felt necessary to add gradually coming in. The beats fade out for a sort of mini breakdown, and a bongo kind of instrument is added. The tune is filtered in, and as I listen to it at the moment, it sounds much better than I first thought. Very pleasant listening, actually. The beats and cymbals fade out to leave only the tune, which has now become stronger, and a few sound effects going. As good as it sounds, this breakdown is no match for the excellence shown on the Three 'N One mix, but I admit, does offer a very good alternative. Again, this mix is about 9 minutes
                    long, which is about the right length, in my opinion. The tune plays through right to the end, with no beats right at the end. Although I haven't actually tried, this would probably be very tricky to mix. For reasons as to why this is, check some of my other opinions - They are given somewhere (My Roger Sanchez one, I think). Now back to the track, and I give this mix a very handsome 8/10. There you have it then, I think you may have gathered I quite like this track. As with all the other tracks I have reviewed so far, I recommend you buy this track if you ever get the chance. I honestly do not know of one person who doesn't like this track. Or Ace Of Base at that. Thank you for reading my opinion.

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                    • Gemini XL-1800 / Turntable / 0 Readings / 18 Ratings
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                      13.08.2001 01:00
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                      This year, I took my GCSEs, and am currently awaiting the results. However, I admit, the grades I get will probably not be as high as the grades I could have got, had I spent more time working and revising. Now then, I do not go out all that often, live in the countryside, with the nearest town being Bury St. Edmunds, so there really isn't much for me to do. So just how did I not find any time in which to revise? The answer is that I own a pair of little beauties known as record decks. I didn't get around to revising, because I spend way too much time on them. Whether it be mixing a tape, listening to any new records I may have bought or generally messing around on them, I would do it for extensive periods every day, and shall continue to do so for the foreseeable future. The decks I own are the Gemini XL-1800s and, although I use them an awful lot and enjoy it very much, I would certainly not recommend for you to buy them if you were looking for a pair of cheap direct drive decks. They handle as if they are belt drive, and there really are better value ones available, which is why I am currently saving up for what have generally been regarded as the best quality and most reliable decks for the past 25 years, Technics SL-1210s. Basically, there are two types of decks, belt drive and direct drive. I won't go into the details of what makes them work differently, but the main difference between the two is the amount of torque (power with which the deck is turned). On a belt drive deck, it is very low torque. If you were to touch the record on a belt drive deck, with the intention of slowing it down, the turntable will slow down and take a while to get up to the speed it was previously at. This makes it very difficult to correct a mix if the speeds are slightly out. Also, on a belt drive deck, scratching is virtually impossible, because you just cannot move the record back and forth quick enough, and the needle will jump
                      all over the place. On a direct drive deck, the torque is generally much higher. This means that usually, if you touch the record to slow it down, the turntable will continue spinning at the same speed, meaning the record returns quickly to its proper speed once you let go of it. Direct drive decks are also essential for scratching, as it allows you to move the record back and forth very quickly, and the record is much less likely to skip. Belt drive decks can be useful for DJs who are just starting out and only want to learn to beatmatch (get the beats on each record running at the same tempo), but offer little else. Back to the decks which this opinion is on then, and as I said, they are direct drive decks, but handle as if they are belt drive. For some unknown reason, they seem to have such low torque, touching the record as it is spinning will bring it to a virtual standstill, after which it will take second or two to get going again. Also, if you wish to speed the record up, nothing will happen unless you apply a lot of force, when the record will suddenly speed up, and take about five seconds to slow down again. On most direct drive decks, you can hold the record in place, whilst the turntable continues spinning. However, on these decks, if the record is still, so is the turntable. This is not good. At this point, you may be wandering just why it is that I bought these decks. The reason I bought them is because I picked them up second-hand. Whilst these decks are not great value for money if you buy them new, they were easily the best value decks I could find for under £200, with a very good mixer, valued at £150. I'm not sure on how much these would cost if you did buy them new. If you do know, leave a comment - it would be much appreciated. Anyway, enough of why and how I bought these decks. The bottom line is, I did buy them, and am now letting the world know just what I think of them. <br>Features then: 1) +/- 8% pitch control 2) Err, that's about it. The manual does say "this state of the art turntable includes the latest features" but to be honest contains nothing different from any other turntable. The pitch control for decks vary depending on what model it is. For example, Soundlab DLP-1600s have a +/- 6% control, whilst Technics decks have a +/- 8% control and I have heard reports that the Vestax PDX-2000 can go +/- 50%. Not sure if this is the case, but I would be interested if anybody knew any more about it. What is good about the deck only going up to 8% however, is that it is more accurate than a deck that goes up to 10%, thus making it easier to get the speeds of the records the same. Also, found just to the side of the pitch control, is a little hole, with a + on to the left of it and - to the right, and is operated by putting a screwdriver in it, and turning either clockwise or anti-clockwise. This hole is used to configure the speed of the deck. So, if for example, you wanted the deck to go up to +16%, you could place the pitch control on -8%, and turn the screwdriver to speed it up until it is at the same speed as if it were at 0%. Therefore, the speed with the pitch control at 0% would actually be +8%, and when the pitch control is at +8%, it would actually be playing at +16%. You may be unimpressed with the deck having virtually no features, but think about it, the more features there are, the more likely it is for the deck to go wrong. Some decks have a reverse button, in which the record could be played in reverse. Imagine if you were coming to the end of your best mix tape ever, and suddenly it went into reverse for no reason. I think it may be rather annoying. So therefore, having no features means there are fewer problems that could arise. Why do you think Technics have done so well over the last quarter of a century? They have no special features, and do so well
                      for being such a reliable piece of machinery. I have found the Gemini XL-1800 doesn't skip very often. Which is nice. There is nothing more annoying than when you're half way through a brilliant mix and one of the records suddenly skips. Apparently this misfortune happens during every single one of 'Dangerous' Dave Pearce's mixes, at least that's what it sounds like anyway. Although I have already spoken of many problems with these decks, I now have to let it be known of the biggest problem I have found with this deck. I haven't a clue as to why this happens, but if you wish to slow down a record slightly, you may gently touch it to slow it a little. Now this may sound as if there is no problem, but as soon as you stop slowing down the record, the deck will suddenly speed up to even quicker than it was before you slowed it down. This makes it virtually impossible to correct it if the records are not in time once you have started the mix. Throughout this opinion, I have done nothing but complain as to how bad these decks are, but despite this, I still use them for in excess of two hours every day, and they have certainly given me more enjoyment than any computer game, TV or whatever could have done. Basically, if you love music, and are a keen DJ, you will enjoy mixing, no matter what decks you are using, I know I certainly do. To finish this opinion on a good note, there are two advantages to having such problematic decks on which to learn your trade. 1) Because you cannot correct a mix once it has started, you are forced into learning to get the speeds of the records perfect every time. It is a very frustrating period when you cannot do this, but once you have learned, it is very satisfying, and you also have your hands free to concentrate on other aspects of the mix (working the controls on the mixer etc.). 2) If you can mix perfectly on these, rather low quality decks, imagine how
                      good you will be on a pair of Technics, and how easily it will come to you on better decks. John Digweed - beware. Thank you for reading my opinion.

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                      • Xpander - Sasha / Music Album / 0 Readings / 27 Ratings
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                        09.08.2001 03:00
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                        It is when a track always sounds as good, no matter how many times or how often you hear it, that you know you have production of the highest quality on your hands. I like many tracks when I first here them, only to go off them after hearing them too much. However, a track which I still love just as much as when I first heard it is, funnily enough, the track this opinion is about, "Xpander" by Alexander Coe, also, more commonly, known as Sasha. Or God. "Xpander" is a track which, if I were to compile a list of my favourite tracks of all time, would certainly be nestled somewhere in the top three, with a big possibility of grabbing the top spot. First heard two years ago, it immediately became my favourite track of the moment. The difference between this and most other tracks I like or have liked, is that I could listen to it constantly, over and over again, all day, and never become bored of it in the slightest. May I just also add, that of everybody I know who has heard this track, every single one of them liked it, almost as much as "Mysterious Girl" by Peter Andre. Note: That last bit about Peter Andre was not a joke. Note: Actually, it was. Lets just say, they loved it ("Xpander" that is, not "Mysterious Girl"). "Xpander" is featured as part of the Sasha E.P, a vinyl double pack featuring the tracks "Xpander","Belfunk", "Rabbitweed" and "Baja". "Xpander" and "Belfunk" are both progressive trance tracks, whilst "Rabbitweed" and "Baja" have a more break-beat feel to them. The E.P was released on 5th July 1999, on the record label 'Deconstruction'. "Xpander" was not a commercial track, and so I expect the majority of people reading this op have never heard it. However, if you are into progressive trance, I have no doubt this track will be very
                        familiar to you, after being hammered at clubs across the U.K, and being featured on many trance compilation albums. If you have never heard it, I recommend you take a listen if the opportunity arises. Incidentally, I did slip "Xpander" onto my latest mix tape. So if you wanted to hear it, but were unable to track it down, check out my profile page for more info on mix tapes. With "Xpander" remaining an underground track, there was no music video made for it and it was rarely played on the radio. However, last year, whilst listening to Radio 1, I did notice it to be the backing music for somebody's show. Unfortunately, I have no recollection as to who's show it was, but you may be more familiar with the track than you think. "Xpander" is made up of many sounds, making it a somewhat interesting affair to listen to. However, an excellent bass line, accompanied by a spine tingling melody comprise to make this, if you hadn't guessed from what has already said in this op, rather good track. I apologise for using the term 'spine tingling', but it really does make my spine tingle, so there is no other way of putting it I'm afraid. Written by A. Coe (Sasha), D. Forbes and C. May, "Xpander" was recorded at Nobel Studios, as were "Belfunk" and "Rabbitweed", with "Baja" being recorded The Great Barrier Reef, Australia. The duration of "Xpander" is 11 minutes 26 seconds, which, at first, may seem to be excessively long. However, believe me, it does not seem to be too long, with the melody never becoming tedious by the end of the track. Also, many progressive trance tracks exceed 10 minutes in length, so if you are a fan of progressive trance music, this will seem to be the standard length anyway. Another plus point about the track lasting so long is, if you are a DJ, you have a long time in which to prepare the next track, and make sure it
                        is at the correct tempo. Right from the start of the track, there are various different sound effects going on, with a strong beat also. Having so much going on from the start of the track can make it tricky to mix, as if the previous track has much going on at the end, the mix will be too cluttered, and sound rather much like those featured on the Radio 1 Mix Selector. In other words, very poor. This can be avoided though by playing it after a track with only beats at the end, and seeing as it is so damn brilliant, I'm not really too bothered about what the intro sounds like, as you won't hear most of it anyway. To the first breakdown then, and the track really starts to come to life. At the start of the breakdown, there is not much happening, only a few sound effects. Gradually the excellent bass line that I spoke of earlier, is filtered in, and, in my opinion, it sounds rather amazing. As the bass line gets stronger and stronger, a beat comes back into the track, with more and more sounds being added as the track heads towards the second breakdown. At the second breakdown, the beat stops, leaving the bass line and sound effects going. After the bass line plays through once, in comes the spine-tingling tune I spoke of earlier. The tune is played on bells of some sort, and really is a brilliant, uplifting melody. At this point, the best part of the track, expect the harsh voice of Pete Tong to talk over it, "You're listening to..." - I'm sure he only does it to annoy you. Anyway, words really cannot describe how good this melody is. You have to listen to it to appreciate what a wonderful tune this is. Guaranteed to bring a smile to my face every time. The beats come back in and more and more sounds are added. After this, the track breaks down to just a beat as the track starts to build again. More and more sounds effects gradually return to the track, before it reaches a mini-breakdown
                        , after which, the tune comes back in, as the final breakdown draws nearer. At the third (and final) breakdown, the bass line cuts back in. There is a bit of a drum roll type sound, and the beats come back in, along with all the sound effects and bass line. The tune will gradually come back into the track, as it heads towards the end. The tune and bass line then both stop come to an end, leaving only beats and various sound effects going. This will break down a bit more, leaving virtually just a beat running until the end, at which point, you lift the needle, place it down again at the start of the record and listen to it again. Well, I often find myself doing that anyway. The only complaints I have about this track are: 1.) At the end, when the tune finishes, the track changes speed for a short time. This could really destroy what would have been a good mix. Luckily, it returns to the correct speed quite soon, so you therefore just mix a little later than you would have otherwise. Sorry if you didn't understand anything I just said, I knew what I meant anyway. 2.) It is only available as part of the Sasha E.P double pack, thus meaning you usually have to fork out about £10 to purchase it. But, in my view, it's certainly worth it. This really is a tune and a half, and I pity those who have not yet heard, and consequently loved it. Undoubtedly, my favourite progressive trance track to date. I give this track 10/10. And on to the other tracks on the E.P then. First of all, this opinion is on the track "Xpander", so I will not go into much detail about the other tracks featured on the E.P. Also, I have to admit I have listened to the other tracks very little. This is because personally, I feel they are nowhere near as good as "Xpander", were not the reason for which I bought the E.P. and are not what this opinion is on really. On the other side to &q
                        uot;Xpander", is "Belfunk". "Belfunk" lasts for 11 minutes 7 seconds, which is of a similar length to "Xpander". Again, it has quite a nice relaxing tune, and my ears certainly don't object to it being played. This track starts off with just a beat, and gradually builds up towards the breakdown. The intro lasts a long time, as does the breakdown. I think this is a good track, and could quite easily fit into the start of a set. Having said that though, it is not the kind of track I would listen to and then have stuck in my head for the rest of the day. Although a good, solid track, it is also instantly forgettable. I give this track 7/10. "Rabbitweed" is featured on the other disc, with "Baja" on the other side to it. "Rabbitweed" is 10 minutes 20 seconds long, and is more a break-beat track than trance. It has a much moodier feel to it than "Xpander" or "Belfunk", but also has quite a catchy tune. The track features three breakdowns, and is basically the same tune running throughout the track, accompanied by a very strong beat. Not really my cup of tea, but quite catchy never-the-less. I give this track 6/10. "Baja" is the final track on the E.P, and also happens to be the longest, at 12 minutes 30 seconds long. It is also the most different to the other tracks on the E.P, and is a very atmospheric track. This track also features bells of some kind, and a very relaxing tune, but not nearly as good as that from "Xpander". This is a much more chilled track to the others, and I could easily imagine it being featured on a chill out compilation. The track starts off without much going on, and gradually builds up, with a bass line and beat coming in about half way through the track. It breaks down again towards the end, and is overall, a very relaxing affair. I give
                        this track 7/10. "Xpander" is already a trance classic, and definitely one of my favourite tracks ever made. If you haven't heard it, I am telling you, you want to hear it. If you have already heard it, let me know what you think of it by leaving a comment or even writing your own op on it. Also, if you do like this, check out "Scorchio", another track by Sasha, along with Darren Emerson. Thank you for reading my opinion. Note: If you were at all puzzled by any of the terms or the like used in this op, feel free to e-mail me and I can try and give you an explanation.

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                        • More +
                          02.08.2001 04:58
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                          Think back to the summer of 1998. 1.) Which house track do you remember most fondly? 2.) Is it one of your favourite house tracks of all time? If you answered "Music Sounds Better With You" by Stardust, for question 1, then I say 'well done, that is the correct answer'. If you answered differently, you're wrong. Actually, you're not wrong, everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but in my opinion, which this is, yours is wrong. Although there were many good tracks out at the time, such as David Morales' "Needin' U", undoubtedly, in my view, and I'm sure many others, Stardust's offering was the top tune of the summer, of the year even. If you answered wrongly (in my opinion) for question 1, question 2 does not apply to you. If you answered correctly, I am sure your answer to question 2 was 'yes'. "Music Sounds Better With You" - to hear it is to love it. As they say. The track was released on 16th April 1998, and was played continually throughout the summer, and right through to present day on 'Dangerous' Dave Pearce's Dance Anthems show on Radio 1. The track was released on the record label 'Roule'. Roule is a French record label, and "Music Sounds Better With You" was its fifth, and by far most successful release. Other releases on Roule include tracks by Thomas Bangalter, who is part of Stardust, and DJ Falcon. Alan 'Braxe' Queme, Thomas Bangalter of Daft Punk, and Benjamin 'Diamond' Cohen, who also sang the vocals on the track, wrote "Music Sounds Better With You". It contains a sample from Chaka Kahn's "Fate", and was recorded at Daft House, in Paris. The release of "Music Sounds Better With You" sparked many remixes and mash-ups (where two tracks are played over the top of each other), including Stardust vs Everything But The Girl "Mus
                          ic Sounds Wrong", Stardust vs Madonna "Music Sounds Better On Holiday" and Stardust vs Lovestation "Stardrops". If you happen to have read my opinion on "Days Go By" by Dirty Vegas, you will already know I consider the quality of most dance videos to be very poor, with an increase in quality of late. However, "Music Sounds Better With You" was released with, in my view, a very good video to go with it, despite this happening three years ago. The video features a boy who buys a model aeroplane, and follows him as he builds it. Each day, the television is on and shows the music charts. At first, Stardust is a new entry at number 5, but by the end of the video, when the boy finishes building his plane; they are at number 1. At the end of the video, it shows the boy going out into the hills to play with his newly assembled model aeroplane, only for it to land on a cloud. It then shows the members of Stardust throwing the plane back down again for him. If you haven't seen the video, this description probably sounds a little strange, but it is a good video anyhow. At the moment, the music video channel 'Kiss' seems to play it quite a lot, as part of their 'Ibiza season'. So check it out if at all possible. Despite the fact that there are so many remixes of the track, the 12" vinyl copy is a one sided record, with only the original mix on side A, and the words 'music sounds better with you, love might bring us back together' scratched into side B. The original mix is simply an extended version to the one played on the radio, and is almost certainly the version you'll have heard if, as is likely, you have heard the track. For those of you who haven't heard it, I would describe it to have a similar sound to Modjo's "Lady (Hear Me Tonight)" and also Phats & Small's "Turn Around", but just considerably better, and with a better v
                          ideo. This year's "Bel Amour" by Bel Amour has also drawn comparisons to itself and Stardust. "Music Sounds Better With You" is a very uplifting track, and is guaranteed to bring a smile to the face of anyone listening, even Alex Ferguson. One of the things to make the track so good, in my view, is the simplicity of it. Basically, there are three main elements to the track, the bass line, the guitar riff (sampled from Chaka Kahn [I think]), and the vocals. That is all. The track starts off with just the guitar riff, which is the sound that features most strongly throughout the track, and, other than the vocals, is probably the bit you're most likely to remember. This loops four times until the beat, cymbal and the bass line are brought into the track. Again, this loops four times, when the vocals come in. "Ooh baby, I feel like, The music sounds better with you. Love might bring us back together I feel so good I feel like, the music sounds better with you, Love might bring us back together." That's the vocal, as I'm sure you're aware. This vocal plays twice along with the bass line, cymbal, beat and guitar riff, after which everything cuts out to just a beat. There are 8 of these beats and then the bass line, cymbal and guitar riff come back into the track. The track then builds up a little, with an extra sound effect being added. After four loops of this, the vocal resumes, whilst the guitar and cymbal cut out and the bass line becomes somewhat muted. This is the closest the track comes to a breakdown. Half way through the vocal, the cymbal comes back in, as the track builds up again. After the vocal finishes, we are treated to the same eight beats on their own as before, after which the rest of the instruments and sounds come back into the track. The track is at its peak at this point. It then j
                          ust continues looping the vocal after that, and continues this way until the end, when it fades out in an 'incredibly annoying when trying to mix' fashion. The only complaints I have with the track are the start and end, which are both incredibly tricky to mix. At the start of the track, because there is only the guitar, you may think it sounds right and assume you have the two tracks in time thus happily bringing in Stardust, and sending anybody listening into ecstasy. 'What's the problem then?' I may hear you ask. Well, it may sound fine whilst there is only the guitar playing nice and quietly, but as I said, after four loops of this the bass line comes in. the track takes a sudden increase in volume, which doesn't usually make the mix sound too hot. Also, even though the guitar on it's own sounds right, when the beats come in, double beats, a DJs worst nightmare, are likely to occur, as it is difficult to tell if they are in time when there is no beat. The people listening so ecstatically just moments before will no longer be so keen. At the end of the track, it does not break down at all, making it sound too cluttered when you bring the next track in. Also, although tracks that suddenly cut out with the tune running through to the end are annoying to mix, at least they cut out at the end of a bar. In Stardust's case, if you mix it when it is at the end, it will stop half way through the bar, which is about as friendly on the ear as the earlier mentioned 'double beats'. One last bad point about the track is that it is only available on import, due to it being on Roule, a French record label. This could make the track difficult to get hold of and could mean it is a little pricier than some other tracks. Having said these complaints however, I would just like to say what a brilliant track "Music Sounds Better With You" is and, even after 3 years of continual listening; it
                          is showing no signs of becoming tiresome. Go and buy it now if you don't already own a copy. Thank you for reading my opinion. Please feel free to leave a comment if necessary. Sam

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                          • Days Go By - Dirty Vegas / Music Album / 0 Readings / 20 Ratings
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                            01.08.2001 07:16
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                            First of all, I would like to apologise for the poor title - I always have trouble coming up with one. If you happen to be one of the kind people to have read some of my earlier reviews, you may have noticed me refer to a track called "Days Go By", by Dirty Vegas. You may also have noticed me refer to "Days Go By", in rather a good way, therefore possibly giving the impression I am quite fond of the track. In fact, as my earlier reviews may suggest, I am quite fond of the track, so much so, that I felt the need to write a whole review on it, which you are now reading. Dirty Vegas are also known as the Hydrogen Rockers, and, in the past, have remixed for artists such as Bel Amour, among others. The track was written by Steve Smith and Victoria Horn, produced and arranged by Dirty Vegas and mastered my Jon Davis. Steve Smith also provided the live percussion, which features strongly throughout the track. "Days Go By" was released on a record label well known for releasing quality house tunes; 'Credence'. Credence are a relatively new record label, and are a spin-off of 'Parlophone' but have brought out such tracks as Bel Amour's "Bel Amour", CZR's "I Want You" and Dajae's "Time", which I may already have mentioned in previous reviews. "Days Go By" was released on 26th May 2001, supported by a video, which you may have caught on music channels such as MTV Dance, The Box, Kiss and so on. Most dance videos, I find, seem to usually be lacking very much in ideas and, if anything, put me off the track. I have noticed an improvement in quality of recent dance videos, however, with "Another Chance" by Roger Sanchez, "Bel Amour" by Bel Amour and "Starlight" by The Supermen Lovers all examples of dance videos with a little more to them than simply having somebody running somewhere, and not much else. For e
                            xample, "Silence" by Delerium - an excellent track, but I went off it after seeing the video for the first time. "Days Go By" fits in with this recent trend though, with, in my opinion, an excellent video accompanying an excellent track. The video features a man who, on the same day every yerar, goes to the same place and dances from sunrise until sunset. May I just add, his dancing is top notch, as opposed to the very poor dancing seen in the video for what I consider to be a very poor track; "Das Glockenspiel" by Schiller, which gave me a head-ache just to watch, let alone listen to. Anyhow, back to the video for "Days Go By", and people gather around him and speculate as to why he does what he does. The video then goes back in time to when the man was younger, when it is explained as to why he does this. I will not reveal what happens, though, but as with the general atmosphere of the song, it is quite sad and depressing. When the track was released, it didn't have much commercial success other than the video appearing frequently on the music channels throughout the month of June. The track, however, was a good underground success, and could often be heard on Danny Rampling's Radio 1 show. Just in case you were wandering (which I am sure you weren't); the sleeve of the record features a cat on some decks, wearing a "I Hate Dog" tee shirt. I like the sleeve a considerable amount. So much so in fact, that I slipped it in as the picture on my profile page. So if my description of the sleeve wasn't good enough for you to follow, or you are simply curious, you can see it by simply clicking on my user name (but make sure you finish reading this review, rate it and leave a comment if the need arises, before checking it out). The 12" vinyl copy of the track features two mixes on it, the 'Full Vocal Mix' and the 'Lucien Foort Remix'. The Ful
                            l Vocal Mix is the mix on side A of the record, and is my preferred choice out of the two. As I already said in this review, it is a somewhat sad and depressing track, but a very high quality production never-the-less. The track has two main elements to it, the very strong bass line, and the saddening lyrics. "Days go by and still I think of you Days when I could live my life without you." That's how the chorus goes anyway (as I'm sure you're already aware of). "Bom bom Ba da ba da bom bom Ba da ba da bom bom Ba da ba da bom bom." This is clearly the bass line. Only a fool couldn't see this. The track starts off without any beats, and steadily builds up once they come in. I would give a thumbs up on profile page to "Tracks that start off without much going on (maybe a simple beat) and gradually build up thus making it easier to mix", but unfortunately I have been unable to locate the category anywhere on Dooyoo. So, to take out my anger on something, I gave a thumb down to 'Dangerous' Dave Pearce. And felt so much better for it. Once the bass line comes in, you recognise the track and jubilantly dance around the room, with a big grin on your face. Well you might not, but I certainly do. Actually I don't, but I would if I was a jubilant dancing kind of person, but unfortunately I am not. The track continues to build until it reaches the breakdown. I recently noticed I have not explained exactly what a 'breakdown' is, despite using the term in many reviews, so I thought I would give an explanation for those not in the know. Before we start, I would like to apologise for how poor this explanation will probably turn out, as I am normally terrible at these kind of things. Anyway, I would say a breakdown is when there are no beats at that particular part of the track, and is often the point where vocals m
                            ay come in, as they do on this track. Again, I'm sorry. "You, Are still a whisper of lights I feel it in my fingers It's pulling at my skin. You, Leave me when I'm at my worst Feeling as if I've been cursed, Better colour within?" {Chorus} Note - the question mark is not part of the track, it is just to let you know I am not sure if this is what is actually said for this line, but it is what I think is said. If anybody knows any different, let me know in the comments, as I frequently get lyrics wrong, and so would appreciate it if I have made a mistake, that I am informed, so that I can correct it and avoid making myself look too much of a fool. After these lyrics, the beat comes back in, along with the bass line as the chorus plays through once more. The live percussion I spoke of earlier in this review also then comes into the track. The two verses are played over the top of this and there is another breakdown when the lyrics reach the chorus. After the chorus, the beats come back in, with the bass line and percussion. The track then starts to break down a bit, until there is another breakdown in which the chorus plays again. After this breakdown, the beats and bass line return, with the only vocal being the occasional "Without you." The track builds up again with the percussion coming back into the track and a vocal saying "Days go by" is added every now and again. The track then gradually breaks down until there are only beats going, which then run until the end of the track. Again, as with the intro, I would give a thumbs up to "Tracks which break down gradually at the end until there is only a beat going." Sadly, this category could also not be found. Judge Jules got the thumbs down this time. In case you were wandering exactly why I prefer tracks to build up at the start and break down at the
                            end, it is all about the mixing game known as "DJing". I prefer it to be this way because firstly, when bringing the track in, it can sound nice if it is building up whilst the previous track is breaking down. Secondly, I prefer it to break down at the end for much the same reason I like it to build up at the start - it sounds better if the track is breaking down as the next one is building up. Tracks that simply have the tune running through to the end often make for a bad mix out of them because there is too much going on at once, and the mix sounds too cluttered. There are no real complaints I can think of about this mix, other than the fact that it is so sad and depressing. I give this mix 9.5/10. As you may have guessed from the fact that the Vocal Mix is on side A, the Lucien Foort Remix is found on side B. This mix offers a much more pumping variation to the Vocal Mix, and is not as depressing either. This mix is longer than the Vocal Mix, probably due to it being a different style. I have not heard much about Lucien Foort, so am unable to give you any information about him. As always, I would welcome any information on him from anybody with a wiser brain than mine on the man. The track starts off with a similar sound effect to one used at the start of the Tilt remix of Robert Miles' "Children", which I suppose not many people reading this review will have heard. I apologise for any pointless information you may find or have found in any of my reviews. Anyway, after this, the beat kicks in pretty soon, and is immediately sounding much livelier than the Vocal Mix. Soon after the beat starts, a sneaky sample of the vocal saying "You" is played a bit. The track carries on building up with more and more instruments and sound effects being added every 8 bars. The track soon reaches a mini breakdown, which features the same sounds as before, just without the kick dru
                            m. There is a bit of a drum roll until the beat comes back in and the rest of the instruments stop, leaving only the drum and the vocal, which now comes into the track, playing. "You are still a whisper..." And so on. The vocal is the same as on the Vocal Mix. However, when usually the chorus would come in, the vocals stop, and the track starts building up as more and more instruments are added again. This continues building until the vocals come in; at which point the track is at its peak. After the chorus, the track carries on virtually the same for a bit, with only a few things gradually changing. The instruments all again drop out, leaving only the kick drum going. The track starts building again and a catchy tune, which does not feature on the other mix, comes into the track. More and more is added to the track as it again builds up. Well, as the saying goes, 'what goes up must come down', and this proved to be the case on this track as it starts breaking down again as it gets nearer to the end. The track gradually breaks down leaving little other than beats going. Again the thumbs up business applies to the end of this track, although perhaps it might be preferable if the track broke down even more, as there is still a little too much going on for my liking. You may have noticed Gary Neville join my list of thumbs down since. Although this mix is still a very good track, I prefer the Vocal Mix purely because I prefer the style. I give this mix 8/10. Thank you for reading my review. I appreciate any comments you may have.

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                            • More +
                              27.07.2001 22:31
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                              Born in East Germany, Paul van Dyk started DJing in 1988, after moving to Berlin. He soon started playing at clubs around the city and set up his own 'E-Werk' club, where he did a monthly party, with guests such as Carl Cox, Sasha and John Digweed. He won the 1999 DJ of the year in Mixmag magazine, as well Best International DJ in the same year in Ministry Of Sound magazine. He now has a residency at the club 'Amnesia', in Ibiza. Previous releases of "Beautiful Place", "Forbidden Fruit" and "Words" did nothing to prepare him for the success that "For An Angel" was to bring. "For An Angel" was originally on Paul van Dyk's 1994 album "45RPM", one of three albums, not including compilations and remix albums, released by Paul van Dyk, but was remixed and released as a single on August 24, 1998. The track "For An Angel" was released on the record label 'Deviant', which has been around since 1994, and concentrates on developing artists producing 'Electrical Music'. "For An Angel" was the 24th release on the label, which now has 39 tracks in its back catalogue, including other, more recent Paul van Dyk hits such as "Another Way" and "Tell Me Why (The Riddle)", which I personally do not like. The track "For An Angel" was played constantly at clubs through the year of 1998, and also achieved a good amount of commercial success, often being played on the radio by top DJs. And Judge Jules. The 12" vinyl copy of "For An Angel" features 3 mixes on it. The PvD 'e-werk club mix', the Way Out West mix and the Terry Lee Brown Jnr mix. The track was written, performed, produced and remixed by Paul van Dyk, with Way Out West and Terry Lee Brown Jnr providing additional remixing. On the A-side of the record is the Paul van Dyk E-Work Club mix, which is an e
                              xtended version of what was played on the radio, and most probably the version you'll have heard if you heard it at a club. It is a top quality track, with only one thing on which I can complain about it, which I'll get to later. This mix is 7 minutes 43 seconds long, which is about the standard length for this style of track. The track starts off with just a beat, which consists of 2 loops of 4 bars, before there is a vocal saying "For An Angel". Personally, I prefer it when tracks do not have these samples that simply say the name of the track, and these samples are usually only on the radio edit. However, it doesn't sound too bad on this track, which is good as radio edits of tracks such as "Gouryella" by Gouryella and "Airwave" by Rank 1 have, in my opinion, been ruined by having these needless samples. Anyway, on "For An Angel", it can be quite useful to just play this sample over the top of a track, and give anyone listening a hint at what is coming in next. After these two loops, they are played again, but this time with added cymbals as the track builds up. After these two loops, part of the "For An Angel" bass line kicks in, and this is where the track really starts to take off. After 4 loops of this, there is a mini breakdown where it says 'For An Angel' again and the full bass line comes in, as the track continues building up towards the breakdown. The track continues building until it reaches a very uplifting breakdown, featuring a brilliant, melodic piano tune. The beats come back in along with the bass line and the track continues, with a couple of 'For An Angel' vocal samples. The track then reaches the second breakdown, at which point the track is completely broken down and start building up again. This continues building, with beats and cymbals and the like being added to the track as it reaches the third breakdown.
                              The third breakdown, in my view, is the peak of the track, where it has been building up more and more to this breakdown, in which the piano tune comes back in. It is at this point the track is at its most uplifting, as more and more is added before the beats come back in and the sample saying "Do you really like it? Is it is wicked?" cuts back in to take the track to the next level. Actually, I lied about that last bit, and really it only has the 'For An Angel' vocal sample, which sounds considerably more pleasant than I expect the Pied Piper sample would do. There is another mini breakdown as the track starts breaking down as it reaches the end. The track continues breaking down until there are only beats going. Right at the end of the track, these beats stop and there is only the same sound going that featured on the second breakdown (when it was building up again). This sound again builds up until the end of the track, when it stops and echoes a little. Okay then, I said there was only one thing on which I can really complain about this track, and I consider it be a complaint of big enough proportion to prevent me from playing this track at any time other than as my last track. What I have noticed with a few tracks, mostly progressive trance ones, but most notably with this one is the way the track changes tempo, thus making it virtually impossible to mix it without the speeds of the records being wrong, making the mix sound like something from the Radio 1 Mix Selector. The track starts off quite quickly and remains at a constant tempo up until the second breakdown, which is good as you can mix it in fine without any problems. (I find it to be quite easy to mix in.) But once the track reaches the second breakdown, it slows down so dramatically, it is as if you have adjusted the pitch and moved it down by 2%. The track continues at this tempo until it reaches the third breakdown, where it decides to
                              speed up again to about the same tempo as at the start of the track, only to speed up even more at the final mini breakdown, after which you have to mix in the next track and, inevitably, it is too slow and you end up having to slow down "For An Angel" throughout the mix. I am sure top DJs such as Carl Cox would be able to mix this without any hassle, but for amateur DJs such as myself and Pete Tong, it is a nightmare. Surely, as it is produced on computer, it is not too difficult to set the tempo and stick to it throughout the track? Other than this major problem, the track is perfect in my opinion. I'd give this mix 9/10, only being prevented from reaching top marks by this tempo problem. So 10/10 if you are not a DJ and only listen to the track unmixed or whatever. Onto side B and the first mix is the Way Out West mix, which offers a different kind of track to van Dyk's belter. This track is a much darker track than the A side, and does not feature the bass line of the E-Werk club mix. This mix is only 5 minutes 48 seconds long. It starts off with just beats, with a cymbal coming in quite soon afterwards, and the track reaching a mini breakdown in which you hear a sneaky sample of the "For An Angel" tune. The beats come back in and the tune goes away again. The track then features quite a strong bass line and builds up a little towards the breakdown. There are plenty of sound effects going on at this time, up until the breakdown is reached. The breakdown has a break-beat drum throughout, and features the same chords as the tune from the PvD mix, making it quite uplifting all the same. This breakdown finishes and the beats come back in, along with the strong bass line from earlier and a few extra sound effects. This continues until fairly near the end, when there is another breakdown, which is the same as the first, with the same tune and break-beat running throughout. Aft
                              er this breakdown, there are only beats that run to the end of the track before stopping with an obscure vocal sample. I cannot really say if this track features the same tempo problem as the PvD mix, as I have never tried mixing it. This probably gives a clear indication as to which mix I prefer, although this is a refreshingly different take on the original. I would give this mix 6/10. The second mix on side B is the Terry Lee Brown Jnr mix, which is very different to the other two mixes. It is 6 minutes 28 seconds long and is a much more progressive track than the other two mixes. This mix starts with no beats, but they quickly come in to the track. This beat continues with a little bit more being added every few bars. This mix is deeper than the other two mixes and, I think, a little boring. There are many sound effects going on throughout the build up to the breakdown, where there is no real resemblance to the original mix. If I were to hear this mix on the radio, I would not expect it to be a remix of "For An Angel", as there is nothing from any of the other mixes in this one. The track has three breakdowns, and stays virtually the same throughout, with a few things changing gradually. After the third breakdown, when the beats come back in, the track gradually starts breaking down and sounds maybe as if it will continue breaking down until there is only a beat. Unfortunately, the beats then stop and the tune continues playing right until the end, which I imagine would be difficult to mix, but, as with the Way Out West mix, I have never actually tried mixing it myself. I would give this track 4/10, as it is a bit too boring for my liking. Since the success of "For An Angel", Paul van Dyk has released a further 7 tracks, and had commercial success in the UK with the tracks "Another Way", "Tell Me Why (The Riddle)" and "We Are Alive"
                              , as well as continuing to grow in the amount of fans of his DJ skills he has. Overall, a top tune by a top DJ. Thankyou for reading my opinion.

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                              • Gemini PS-626 Pro2 / DJ Equipment / 0 Readings / 28 Ratings
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                                27.07.2001 06:55
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                                The Gemini PS-626 Pro 2 then, also known to be the world's best selling DJ mixer. Featuring 3 channels, 6 inputs, bass, mid and treble EQs, beat sync LED indicators, 3 outputs, a user-replaceable cross-fader and many more features, it is clear to see just why it is selling so well. As a bedroom DJ, I have used four different mixers in my time in the mixing game, and I can certainly say that by far the best and most reliable mixer I have used is the very one I am writing this review on, yes, the Gemini PS-626 Pro 2. Gemini are well known for their production of DJ equipment, most notably for their turntables and mixers. I have always thought Gemini to make good quality turntables, but as this is a review of one of their mixers, I will not go into any detail, and you're best off looking at the ops on them if you want any more info on them. Back to the mixers, Gemini are most well known for this mixer and the BPM range, which are similar, but have the extra help of a BPM (Beats Per Minute) display, which helps set the tempo of each track to make sure they are the same speed. The PS-626 is priced at a reasonable £150, (but is available at a cheaper price when bought in a package with decks as well). The mixer features just about everything you would need and a bit more for when you first start out as a DJ. The mixer is quite a good size, being a about the same length and height as turntables usually are, and a reasonable width, making it slot in-between your decks and looking just right, in my view that is. The actual measurements of the mixer are 12" in length (same as the diameter of a record), 10" in width and ranging between 2.5" and 3.5" in height (is slopes a little). As already mentioned earlier on, the mixer can take 6 inputs and a mic, with three of these being able to be played at the same time. The mixer has 3 channels, with CH 1 being on the left hand side, CH 2 in the middle and C
                                H 3 on the right hand side of the mixer. CH 1 can have either a PHONO input, a LINE input or a MIC coming through it at any time. The PHONO is a record deck, and LINE being just about anything else. For example, you may want to link up a keyboard or computer to the mixer. In order to do this you would use a LINE input. The MIC option allows you to plug in a microphone and speak over the top of the music, if you are a budding MC. Personally, I don't use the MIC option, unless I feel like doing a bit of a Pete Tong impression, and speak over the top of a track, thus ruining it. This channel also has a talkover button and, when on, channels 2 and 3 are reduced by -16 decibels. This could be used to minimise the music and let anyone listening know when a new DJ is taking over. CH 1 is completely independent of the other channels and the cross-fader has no affect upon it. Usually it is CH 1 that is not used if mixing on 2 decks as the other channels have the added aid of the cross-fader but, if you're feeling daring, you could link up a third deck and go wild Carl Cox stylee. I have even been known to link up the mixer from another pair of decks on this channel and play on not 1, not 2, not 3 but 4 decks, which rather guarantees the music never gets boring. CH 2 and CH 3 are the same, both allowing either a LINE or PHONO input at any time. The main differences between channels 2 and 3 from channel 1 are :- 1) They have a cross-fader applying to them 2) Their outputs appear on the digital display. (I'll explain about this later in the review). The cross-fader is a horizontal slider, which allows you to decide the ratio of each channel getting played. When the cross-fader is on the left hand side, you can only hear whatever is being played out of channel 2, whilst if it is on the right hand side, you hear only what is being played through channel 2. If you have the cross-fader dead in the centre, you will hear the full amount
                                of what is coming out of CH 2 and the full amount of what is being played through CH 3 at the same time. Also, if the cross-fader is a little to the right of centre, CH 3 will be louder, whilst CH 2 is quieter, and vice-versa. (It's quite simple really but I probably just confused anyone who doesn't already know about the cross-fader. Sorry for that.) The cross-fader is used when mixing two records together. For the purpose of this review, the record being played through CH 2 is record A, whilst the record being played through CH 3 is record B. If record A were nearing the end, you would start record B and gradually bring it in by moving the cross-fader slowly to the right. You would keep the cross-fader moving over so that by the time record A has finished, the cross fader is on the right hand side and so it is then record B being played, creating a seamless mix (hopefully). "If there's a cross-fader on channels 2 and 3, why have volume sliders?" I hear you ask. Well, personally, when I mix, I find that if you just move the cross-fader over without using the volume sliders, when you mix, there will be a massive increase in the volume as instead of just having the volume of CH 2 being played, CH 3 is also coming out. So therefore, when I mix, as I bring a the new record in, I also start to lower the volume of the record that is coming to an end, making the volume stay more constant and making the mix sound much smoother than if you were to only use the cross-fader. For those DJs who like to scratch, the cross-fader is an essential tool for making the scratching samples sound good. However, as I am a house/trance DJ, I do little amount of scratching and can go into only a small amount of detail about how to make it sound good using the cross-fader, although I have watched DMC world championships and similar competitions in amazement as I see how the DJs use the cross-fader when scratching. The three
                                outputs on the mixer are BOOTH, MASTER and RECORD. The master output is what should be linked to the amp. The balance controls on the mixer can affect how much is coming out of each speaker when linked to the MASTER output. The volume of the signal coming out of the MASTER output can be adjusted using MASTER control knob, which is situated towards the right hand side of the mixer. The BOOTH is meant for any additional speakers, and would most likely to be used by DJs as monitor speakers, so they can hear more clearly if their mix is in time. Clearly Judge Jules hasn't noticed the joy of a BOOTH output yet. Once again, the BOOTH volume can be controlled by the BOOTH knob on the right hand side of the mixer, just above the BALANCE and MASTER knobs in fact. The RECORD output is meant to link up to a tape recorder, in case you wanted to record a mix tape. The volume and balance of the RECORD output is pre-determined and cannot be altered. Just below these MASTER, BOOTH and BALANCE controls are where you will find the CUE controls, otherwise known as the headphone controls. This is one aspect of the mixer that I find to be very well produced, and set out so basically you can easily control which channels you are listening to and how loud they are. First of all, there is a knob, which controls the volume of the headphones. Just to the left of this are three buttons, each labelled CH 1, CH 2 and CH 3. When you press the button, you hear whatever is being played through that particular channel, an LED will also light up beside it just so you can see which channels you are currently listening to. You can listen to any combination of them, with one, two or all three being played through the headphones at the same time. On some mixers, I find one of the biggest problems they have is that you can only listen to one channel at a time, either channel 2 OR channel 3, and you are unable to listen to both at once, making it, in my opinion, much harder to tell if the two
                                tracks are in time. Just below these controls lies another horizontal fader. Labelled CUE on the left hand side and PGM on the right hand side. When on the left, you hear whichever channels are selected on the channel buttons I have just talked of. When it is on the right, you hear only what is being played out of the speakers at that time. You can slide this control along as with the cross-fader, with both being played equally when it is in the middle. I use this a lot during the mix, as I can hear the record I am bringing clearly and make sure I do not bring it in too suddenly and it is not out of time with the other record. Situated above the volume sliders are the EQs. These are featured on all three channels, doing the same thing on each. There is a BASS, a MID and a TREBLE controller on each channel and they allow you to turn that particular element of a track either up +12 decibels or down -26 decibels. The BASS controller alters the volume of the beat and bass line, the MID alters the volume of mid range frequencies such as vocals and maybe a piano tune and the TREBLE can alter the volume of high frequencies, such as cymbals. These can be used to do smoother mixes, for example, if record A is at the end but has no beats right at the end, you could mix in record B whilst gradually turning down the bass of record A, making it less noticeable when the beat ends, and therefore making the mix sound much smoother. These EQs could also be used just for adding effect to the track, as you may have seen DJs doing when playing at clubs. Personally, I don't use these too much as I find there to be a few slight problems with them. 1)They are too close together. When altering one EQ, if you have chubby fingers, you may find you accidentally knock the one above or below it, making it sound different to how you wanted it to. 2)Turning down the TREBLE simply makes it sound as if you are listening to a tape and it suddenly starts being chewed up. 3)When turning down the bass, nothing seems to happen until you reach about -22 decibels, when the bass cuts out quite suddenly. Also, I suppose if maybe you were using the mic to talk over the music, you could turn up the bass to make your voice sound more a little less like a 10 year old, Judge Jules. At the top of the mixer, you will find two things that are both vitally important, and both useless without each other. First of all, on all three channels are gain controls. These allow you to adjust the volume of the channel. This is to prevent you from bringing in a new track which is much louder or quieter than the previous one, making the volume remain constant. These are very useful, as, with mixers that do not have these, it can sound awfully stupid if one track comes to an end and the one coming in is only half as loud, meaning there is a massive volume drop. However, these are not too useful without the display above them, which can either be 1) a display showing the volume of the signal coming out of each speaker or 2) the volume of the signal coming out of each channel. When set to number 1, I find it to be of little use as my mixer doesn't seem to work properly here anyway, and says that the right speaker is much quieter than the left, when it is the same in both. Number 2 is very useful though. This tells you the volume of the signal coming out of each channel, meaning you can alter the gain controls to make sure they are the same volume on each channel. Unfortunately, this display only applies to channels 2 and 3, but it is rare for channel 1 to be used anyway but, if it were used, you would have to listen through the headphones to make sure they are the same volume as each other. There is also a socket in which you can insert a lamp into the speaker, so you can see what you are doing. I have never used one on it though, so cannot really comment on it other than I have never felt I needed one. Finally, th
                                e only problem I have had with this mixer is that the channel volume faders are non replaceable, so if one was to break, there is nothing you can do about it really. This aside though, I would recommend to anyone who is just starting out at DJing or only has a basic mixer and would like to upgrade that they consider this mixer, probably the best available at this sort of price.

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                                • Ayla Remixes - Ayla / Music Album / 0 Readings / 12 Ratings
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                                  26.07.2001 22:07
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                                  In October 1998, a trance track called "Ayla", by Ayla was released on Additive records. Written and produced by I. Kunzi, "Ayla" was a hugely successful underground tune, being played at clubs throughout Europe. In the summer of 1999, commercial success was achieved with remixes from the likes of Veracocha, DJ Tandu and DJ Taucher. The 1999 remixes were released on 20th July, on one of the biggest dance record labels, Positiva. Positiva are responsible for classics such as Binary Finary - "1998" and Spiller - "Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)", but have also been known to bring out some incredibly poor tunes as well, for example, The Vengaboys selection of dairy products and numerous Alice Deejay 'tracks'. The Ayla remixes are Positiva's 117th release, which just goes to show how big a record label they are. At the time of writing this op, Positiva have 157 records in their back catalogue, with their latest offering being the new track from Spiller - "Cry Baby". On the A-side of the 12" vinyl copy, are the remixes by Veracocha and DJ Tandu. You may also know Veracocha as the DJs/Producers, Ferry Corsten (System F, Gouryella, Transa) and Vincent De Moor, who was responsible for one of last year's biggest tracks, "Fly Away". If you haven't heard of them, they are both big European trance DJs and well-respected producers. If you've ever heard "Carte Blanche" by Veracocha, you'll be instantly familiar with the first mix on this side, which, funnily enough, is the Veracocha remix. This mix has a feel to it typical of European trance. It is about 6 minutes long, which, for a trance record, is quite short, with many trance tracks exceeding ten minutes in length (usually they are more progressive than this one though). It starts off with just beats and builds up with more cymbals being added as the track goes on, like most t
                                  rance tracks really. A piano tune comes in pretty early, and a short breakdown follows soon after. The tune is the same as on the original "Ayla", and is quite uplifting. This tune carries on for a bit until the track reaches the main breakdown. This breakdown has just a few simple chords to begin with but then builds up with the piano coming back in and more and more being added to it. The track builds up when the beats come back in until everything is going, beats, tune, cymbals, all sound effects and so on. This tune then gradually breaks down to just beats at the end of the track. A good thing about this mix and something I have noticed with most tracks by Ferry Corsten is the way they are quite easy to mix. Because this mix just has a strong beat at the start and end, it is quite easy to mix in and out of, as there is never too much going on. I find that if a track has lots of noises going from the start, it is difficult to mix in, as it is very noticeable when you bring it into a track. An example of a difficult track to mix due to it having too much going on at the start is "Strange World" by Push. This mix is quite catchy, but I feel is a bit cheesy as well. If you've heard any of Ferry Corsten's work in the past and liked that, you'll probably like this mix as well, but I personally feel it is not the best of the three mixes. I would give this mix 7/10. The second mix on side A is the DJ Tandu mix. I had never heard of DJ Tandu before buying this record, and have not seen his name anywhere since. If anyone can give me some information on him, I'd be most grateful. This mix is 6.5 minutes long, which, as I said earlier in this op, is quite short for a trance record. It has a different feel to it to the Veracocha remix, with it being a little less cheesy. The track starts off with just beats, but is accompanied by what sounds like bongos and, unfortunately in my view, has a be
                                  at that sounds similar to that of Storm's "Storm". This mix is a little less uplifting than the Veracocha remix, but still has the same tune. There is quite a short breakdown quite early on, after which the tune begins to come into the track. The main breakdown follows soon after and starts off very quiet, with the tune gradually getting louder and louder. The beats then come back in as the track reaches its peak. The tune breaks down a bit as the track reaches another breakdown, when the tune comes back in. This tune then continues to near the end of the track, when it returns to having just the same beats as at the start. As with the Veracocha mix, this mix is not bad, but I don't think it's brilliant and wouldn't purchase the record for it. I would give this mix 6/10. Anybody who has read this far on this op must surely be close to falling asleep, so I decided to add in a small quiz to keep your mind occupied : Q: There are three different mixes on this record; the Veracocha, DJ Tandu and DJ Taucher mixes. I have bought this record, but neither the Veracocha or DJ Tandu mixes were my favourite mix and wouldn't have warranted my purchase of it. Which mix do I consider to be the best mix and the reason I bought the record? A: The DJ Taucher mix. ------------- End of questions -------------- That's right, situated on the AA side of this record is the little gem known as the DJ Taucher remix. Again DJ Taucher is a DJ I have not heard of other than for this track, and so would be grateful for any information anyone could give me on him. This mix is 7.5 minutes long, which is more the length you might expect from a trance track. This is a much more depressing mix than the other two mixes, but happens to be one of my favourite tracks of all time. Right from start to end, it is a track oozing with quality. The track starts off with a crash of thunder (I thin
                                  k) and the tune then starts playing. It is quite a depressing tune and loops four times before a beat comes in. This beat goes on for four blocks of 16 beats with more and more being added as it builds up. There is another crash of thunder before the bass line comes in. This carries on building, with a drum roll being added as it builds up to the breakdown, which starts with a big crash of thunder. There is then a vocal saying "Ayla" and a spine tingling tune comes in. As with the build up to the first breakdown, this tune continues building as the beat kicks back in with more and more being added each bar. The track then reaches the main breakdown, which is quite long. At this breakdown, the tune carries on for a while, breaking down bit by bit. The main tune, which is featured on the other mixes, then starts to come into the track, building up more and more as it goes on. A drum roll then starts as the track continues to build. This drum roll then gets quicker and quicker until everything cuts out for a moment before the beats, bass line, tune and all come in. This tune continues up to a mini breakdown, after the track gradually starts to break down, with the tune and the like being filtered out as the track reaches its end. The beats then stop, the vocal saying "Ayla" plays once more and the track ends with a final crash of thunder. Whilst the track has no beats at the start, it is not too difficult to mix in as you simply skip the start and start mixing from when the beats come in. Also, at the end of the track, because the track breaks down gradually, it is quite easy to mix something in as one track will be building up whilst the other is breaking down. The only complaints I can think of about this mix are: 1) It is very quick, thus meaning I have to play it at about -4% in order to mix it with other tracks. This is not good. 2) Whilst the A-side runs at 33 rpm, the AA-side runs at 45 rpm and, as I said in my &qu
                                  ot;Bel Amour" op, this can be confusing for people as stupid as me. Other than these slight complaints, there really is nothing bad I can say about this mix, which is already considered to be a classic by many people. I would give this mix 10/10. Thank you for taking the time to read my op.

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