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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Ashanti: Don't Ever Let Me Go (German CDM) (Black Claw, 2005)

The second of three unofficial Ashanti singles released in Europe on German record label ZYX Music in the mid 2000s. The upbeat version on this CD is markedly different from the version off the heavily bootlegged compilation Can't Stop, which was a dull-as-dishwater slow jam. The featured rapper, Shockwave, is a former member of Dutch hip hop group Zombi Squad and of the Holland chapter of hip hop awareness group Zulu Nation. I don't know whether this is official or not but the 12" vinyl single features an additional version with a verse from Fat Joe.

1. Don't Ever Let Me Go feat. Shockwave (Radio Edit)
2. Don't Ever Let Me Go feat. Shockwave (Extended Mix)
3. Don't Ever Let Me Go feat. Shockwave (Instrumental)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Beyoncé: Me, Myself And I (VLS) (Columbia, 2004)

'Bangin'  mixes of Knowles' Dangerously In Love lamentation and released as the third single from the album in 2004. Side A includes urban mixes with Ghostface Killah and Queens MC Grafh whereas side B features an Indian Bhaṅgṛā-R&B fusion mix and a rather cheesy 80s throwback mix by frequent collaborators The Bama Boys (an ode to the De La Soul song of the same name.) None beat the original SS production but it is nice to hear a different spin on this memorable track. Knowles at her peak. 

A1 Grizzly Remix featuring Ghostface Killah
A2 J'Ty Remix featuring Grafh*
A3 J'Ty Remix [without rap]*
B1 Bama Boys Throwback Remix
B2 Eastern Delight Mix
B3 J'Ty Remix [Acapella with rap]
B4 J'Ty Remix [Instrumental]*

*featuring replayed elements from Steely Dan's 1977 song Black Cow. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Beyoncé: Work It Out (VLS) (Columbia, 2002)

Vinyl-only R&B remixes of Knowles' 2002 Austin Powers soundtrack cut Work It Out featuring remixes by Rockwilder, Damon Elliott and southern rapper Juvenile (Terius Gray.) Rockwilder's mix features a guest slot from Redman (who later featured on the Eric Sermon remix to her 2004 song Naughty Girl). All mixes sound quite different from the original; the Rockwilder and D.Elliott remixes are more poppy whereas Gray's mix is slightly more urban. All mixes use the original vocals though for some reason, on the Rockwilder remix, they have been weirdly pitched up.

A1 Work It Out (Album Version)
A2 Work It Out (Rockwilder Remix) featuring Redman
A3 Work It Out (Rockwilder Remix Instrumental)
B1 Work It Out (D.Elliott Remix)
B2 Work It Out (D. Elliott Remix Instrumental)
B3 Work It Out (T.Gray Remix)

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Whitney: Fine (Remixes) (Promo VLS) (Q-Tip Productions, 2000)

Unofficial Nippy featuring RARE promo mixes of the Q-Tip and Raphael Saadiq production Fine and issued to DJs only in 2000. The song saw Houston at her most urban but sadly it never really got the recognition it deserved. It performed badly in the charts and no remixes were ever commissioned. It got a wider release in Europe where it was issued with remixes of Heartbreak Hotel and Same Script, Different Cast. The Q-TIP Club Mix is the same as featured on Whitney: The Greatest Hits but the unofficial hip hop mix by The 45-King makes use of the extended acapella that includes some ab-libs cuts from the original version.

Brilliant. 

1. The 45-King Hip Hop Mix
2. Instrumental 
3. Original Q-TIP Club Mix
4. Instrumental

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Kelis: The EP (White Label Vinyl EP) (2005)

More obscure white label from Kelis, this time featuring a selection of dance remixes and one mash-up.  It rather sounds like it was inspired by her 2010 album Flesh Tone, even though it was pressed about five years before. It features two guest appearances that she did for European dance/techno acts and two reworks of her 2004 song Milkshake – one unreleased Soundfactory remix by Junior Vasquez and one unofficial mash-up with ex-Shady Records rapper Obie Trice's 2003 song Got Some Teeth.

A1 Timo Maas feat. Kelis - Help Me (Deep Dish Remix)
A2 Richard X vs Kelis - Finest Dreams
B1 Kelis - Milkshake (Junior Vasquez Remix)
B2 Kelis vs Obie Trice

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Mary J. Blige: Anything You Want/Each Tear (UK VLS) (Boom, 2010)

Rare reggae 7" from the Queen of Hip Hop Soul featuring the unreleased Jerry "Wonda" Duplessis production Anything You Want and a reggae remix of the 2010 song Each Tear featuring Jamaican reggae performer Jah Cure. Anything You Want (which leaked in 2010 during the recording process for Blige's then untitled tenth studio album) is a dance hall-inspired production whereas side B is straight-up ska reggae. 

Each Tear was remixed by Dwayne Chin-Quee, aka Supa Dups

A1 Anything You Want - Mary J. Blige, Busta Rhymes & Gyptian
B1 Each Tear - Mary J. Blige & Jah Cure

Inspired by my better half over at Tone and Wave. Perhaps more to follow...
Hopefully next time the shit isn't warped!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Mary J. Blige: Beautiful (Black Label VLS) (1999)

Bootlegged pressing of Blige's 1999 song, featuring official remixes by Hi-Tek and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. Hi-Tek's "Black Star" remix was later issued as a B-side track to All That I Can Say but the other two mixes were only ever available on a very scarce Flyte Tyme promo CD and on two different bootlegged 12" pressings (one yellow label, one black.) Both have the same printing error on side B that states track B2 is an "Instrumental" but it is in fact Hi-Tek's "Black Star" remix. The "Bounce" Mix is unique in that it includes a newly sung chorus, whereas the "B.B.Q." mix is a bit more uptempo. Track A1 also uses some of the piano loop from Blige's 1995 song I Love You (which is actually borrowed from Isaac Hayes 1970 song Ike's Mood.)

Classic Mary J at her best.

A1 Bounce Mix
A2 B.B.Q. Mix
B1 Radio (edit of original)
B2 Black Star Mix

Funkmaster Flex feat. Faith Evans: Good Life (The Remixes) (VLS) (Franchise Records, 2001)

Old school FunkFlex with Faith Evans on this summery jam, originally taken from his 2000 compilation 60 Minutes of Funk Vol. 4. It was later remixed by Irv Gotti and his team and featured on the soundtrack to the (rather shitty) 2001 movie  The Fast and The Furious. Instead of the Gwen Guthrie sample, the remix uses the bassline from Whole Darn Family's Seven Minutes Of Funk instead. Though it retains all the original vocals, it sounds vastly different to the original. 3 versions of each are featured on this white label vinyl, including a mix of the original with Ja Rule and clean and dirty versions of Gotti's remix.

A1. Remix -feat Ja Rule
A2. Original
A3. Instrumental
B1. Remix -feat. The Murderers
B2. Remix -feat. The Murderers (Clean)
B3. Remix Instrumental

Monday, June 2, 2014

Ashanti: Can't Stop (German CDM) (Black Claw, 2006)

German bootleg CD single release from Ashanti featuring R&B and reggaeton remixes of Can't Stop, a slow jam from her unofficial CD of the same name which was released only in Europe and Japan. It is one of three 'singles' released from the compilation of old demo tracks, the others being Baby Baby and Don't Ever Let Me Go. The R&B remix in particular gives a little more of a poppy feel to this rather dull track but is unfortunately missing the rap part from Jadakiss. This version can be found only on the 12", though the rap's not official and is borrowed from a 2002 song Day & Night by disbanded R&B group Issys.

1. Lil Tommy's Radio Mix
2. LT's Red Boy X-Tended Mix
3. Esteban Raggatone Remix
4. Original Mix