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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Shontae: I Believe I Can Fly (CDS) (Nu Groov Music, 1997)

Although it sounds almost identical to the original, the above singer - from NC - did a good performance of this well-known song. Unfortunately I don't know if she ever recorded anything else back then but she released a gospel album in 2004 titled I'm Determined. 

I Believe I Can Fly 5:15
I Believe I Can Fly (Instrumental) 5:13

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Shaquenta: Tha Solo Project (Twin Labels Records, 2004)

A very short but sweet first effort from Dallas singer Shaquenta whose limited range puts her in the Ashanti-class of female vocalists although without her annoying habit of trying too hard. Mostly a mixture of mellow cuts and garish electro-hop tunes (think Ciara on the way back machine), I don't know much about her but I am inclined to believe that maybe she started out as a supporting singer on the underground Dallas rap scene.

Step 2 Me 3:26
Interlude 0:30
Come Into My World 4:00
Fantasy 3:33
Radio Skit 0:41
D-Town Swing featuring ICE and Knack 3:51
Freak Me featuring McNastee 3:46
Check Out My Gurls featuring Tajuana Ray 3:29
So Long 4:09
Ghetto Love Poem 3:13
Lula Lee Pea 0:22
I Won't Complain 3:12

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Ebonée: The Odysey (EP) (RF Productions Ltd., 200x)

A further super obscure pressing out of Irvington, NJ that I cannot find a scrap of information on. It contains 2 main tracks It's Me, Baby and Conspiracy which are of the modern soul-blues genre with real instruments and one remix of the earlier track which is 90s quiet-storm R&B at its best. All songs were were written by the artists herself and appear in the BMI repertoire credited to Jackie Denise Fields. She wrote 33 songs in total so the possibility of other projects looks quite likely. No date of release but the mention of the 'new millennium' in the intro possibly points to the year 2000 or 1999 at the earliest. Once again many thanks to my good friend Stuaaart for the exclusivity. Maybe one day we'll find her whole album.

Intro 0:45
It's Me, Baby (Original) 4:58
Conspiracy 3:34
It's Me, Baby (Remix) 4:49
It's Me, Baby (Remix Instrumental) 4:46
It's Me, Baby (Instrumental) 4:08

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Tani: See Your Face (Self-released, 2000)

Not a massive fan of gospel but this is an amazingly smooth album and so deserves a mention here. Not really church-y in the slightest but more of a mixture of quiet storm soul and contemporary R&B with soft, calming vocals. Unfortunately I don't know much about the artist but she hails from Flint, Michigan.

Trust In Me 4:37
When Will It Stop 4:36
See Your Face 4:52
Never Lose Sight 5:23
Jesus Can You Hear Me 4:20
The Setting Sun (A Cappella) 2:50
Better Day 4:15
Finally 5:06
Just A Friend 4:35
Bended Knee 4:41
Dancing With The Angels 4:37

Sweet Success: Forever Lover (CDM) (Gyspsy Record Co., 1993)

Further indie from the Great Lakes with this super obscure new jack swing/rap duo from Muskegon Heights, MI. Rapped with partially sung hooks and backing vocals, they are pretty similar to other outfits in this genre I've posted such as Flyy Gyrlz, Out Uv Kontrol and others signed to Wrap Records in the early to mid 90s. The title track is smooth R&B with male backing vocals while the b-side track is a more in-your-face new jack swing/rap number along the lines of early TLC. Not a promo as far as I can tell but most likely a local-only release. You probably won't find many of these discs outside of their home state.

Forever Lover (Radio Mix) 3:42
Forever Lover (Extended Mix) 5:24
Forever Lover (Echo-pella Mix) 3:33
Forever Lover (Instrumental) 5:25
Two Can Play That Game (Radio Mix) 4:04
Two Can Play That Game (Instrumental) 3:35
Two Can Play That Game (Break-down Mix) 1:54

Indonesia: Do Thangz (Promo CDM) (EMI Records, 1994)

Along with NKRU and Ladies 1st, here is yet another 90s R&B/New Jack Swing group that sadly went nowhere despite being hyped by their label as bringing a "fresh street perspective to R&B music." Unfortunately, there was no shortage of groups like this during the early to mid 90s (SWV, TLC to name a few) and although it got a positive review from Billboard Magazine (April 22nd, 1994 issue) and made a noticeable impact on the Hot R&B Singles chart, these "sassy chirping street dolls" quickly followed the others back into obscurity. The above song - a chilled West Coast vibe - never made it off the radio (meaning it was never distributed to the general public) but a video to the song must've been made as it did appear on MTV's on-demand station The Box. Again such a shame that they went nowhere. Like many other R&B groups and singers during the 90s and early 2000s, it seems they were just around to fill that given year's quota for black and urban music.Many thanks again to Stuaaart for this great score!

Radio Edit (No Rap) 3:36
Album Version 3:55
Indo Mix 3:37

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Di'mond: So Amazing (UK VLS) (A.T. Records. 199x)

Further release from obscure British R&B artist Di'mond. Unfortunately I can't tell you anything about her but I believe she might've been signed to UK label Dome Records at one point as the above song appeared on their UK Flava compilation from 1999. As with her previous song, the production is smooth late 90s R&B and comes backed with the usual onslaught of 2-step garage remixes with little vocals. No exact date of release but guessing 1999 as based off the compilation it appeared on.

Many thanks once again to Stuaaart for his rip ;-)

So Amazing (Radio Edit) 3:55
So Amazing (Bass Master Edit) 4:50
So Amazing (Bump'N' Flex Phat Daddy Escaba) 4:15
So Amazing (Es-Pe-Dee Remix) 5:49

Di'mond: Summer Holiday (UK CDM) (A.T. Records, 1998)

More amazing UK street soul that somehow got lost in the 2-step garage category. The artist might've been signed to Dome Records at one point as a further song appeared on their UK Flava comp from 1999 but outside of this and two very obscure singles I know little else about her. Again comes backed with the usual onslaught of 2-step garage remixes but the Big Lik Klub Mix is to die for. So smooth and silky, it's almost transcendental. 

Summer Holiday (Radio Edit) 3:46
Summer Holiday (Big Lik Klub Mix) 5:00
Summer Holiday (Relax &Flex Garage Mix) 6:23
Work It (Slow Groove) 4:28

Melissa Mann: Unmixed & Unmastered (Promo CDr) (Sagestone Entertainment, 1999)

I don't know much about this artist but she originally had a single out in '95 titled Still In Luv on KB4 Records. It didn't get very good write ups back then and she pretty much went unnoticed until a later demonstration was discovered by the plethora of usual European bloggers and You Tube users. Back in '95 she was slated by Billboard magazine as having a "slightly limited range" but either she got better with age or they were simply wrong about her. She has a jazzy mezzo-soprano range with the ability to hit the whistle register, not unlike Chanté Moore. The unreleased music here - produced by a company based out of Beverly Hills, CA - is a mixture of funky 90s R&B and J-Lo-esque urban pop. Very polished and contemporary-sounding, I have no idea why she didn't make it, not even as an independent artist.

Player 3:58
Hooked On You 3:33
Bonafide 4:03
Over And Done 4:13

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Robin: Come And Get This "Hot Stuff" (Promo EP) (Dunmore Music, 1999)

Only single from contemporary R&B singer Robin McGregor who was one of a few artists signed to Dunmore Music Promotions in the late 90s. More urban-pop than other artists on the label, I don't think any of her additional work made it off SoundClick but the b-side to the above single was re-recorded in 2011. Although no longer active as far as I can tell, most of her work can still be found there so I will not be posting any of my own samplers to You Tube.

Come And Get This Hot Stuff 5:11
Why You Lie To Me - Short Version 4:19
Why You Lie To Me - Long Version 10:23

Artist's SoundClick profile

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Diamond & 2 Tall (Promo EP) (Mystic Rhythm Records, 199x)

A further sampler of music from yet another obscure label that I cannot find one iota of information on but possibly had some input from classic soul producer Harvey Fuqua (Etta James, Marvin Gaye.) The female group is a mixture of early 90s R&B and hip-house while the male duo more golden-age rap and R&B with doo-wop influences. No idea where either is from but songs appeared to have been recorded & mastered at many locations including Las Vegas, NV, Southfield, MI and Sherman Oaks, CA.

Where Are You? 4:01
I'm Gonna Dance 3:53
Come With Me 3:55
When I'm With You 4:08