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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Of Note: ‘I’ll Bring My Love’ by Jutty Ranx

Of Note: ‘I’ll Bring My Love’ by Jutty Ranx

Yet another lovely single that is not getting the attention it deserves.

‘I’ll Bring My Love’ lilts along on a subtle bed of reggae-infused backbeats, lulling the listener while seducing the senses.  It’s sunny and upbeat and a tad slick – in that seamless late 1970’s era kind of way (think of the lushness brought by the likes of Player, Gino Vanelli, Jerry Rafferty, and Ambrosia – though not as heavy-handed).  

Claiming Los Angeles as home base, the electronic/pop group, Jutty Ranx, consists of Justin Taylor, Ryan Malina, and Jaakko Manninen.  They found an immediate audience in Italy, where their debut single ‘I See You’ peaked at #3, spent 13 weeks on the charts and shipped double-platinum (60,000 copies).

I simply find the song’s plushness alluring, losing myself, as I do when lying on my back on a hillside, deciphering the dreamy messages to be found in the clouds. It serves as a lovely oasis.  So, take a listen and allow yourself to be carried away in its sweet glow.

In 2015, the group released their new album, ‘Discordia’. 


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Of Note: ‘Show Some Love’ by The First Ladies of Disco

Of Note: ‘Show Some Love’ by The First Ladies of Disco

Somebody pinch me.  I must be dreaming!

How can one not applaud this effort?  Each diva (Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King, Linda Clifford, Martha Wash) is a legend of the dance floor.  To bring them all together?  Divine!

Linda Clifford’s disco version of ‘Sweet Charity’s’ ‘If My Friends Could See Me Now’ was one of my childhood’s guiltiest of pleasures.  She enjoyed a string of hits, including four #1 hits on Billboard’s dance chart.  Her duets with the iconic Curtis Mayfield also made quite an impression on the R&B charts.

Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King?  I bow down before this woman.  ‘Shame’ hit the airwaves, scorching everyone’s ears.  I was captivated and never stopped listening.  She enjoyed four Top 10 hits on the Billboard’s Hot 100, while her music fared even better on the R&B and dance charts.

Martha Wash: (Sylvester, Two Tons of Fun, Black Box, C&C Music Factory).  Need I say more?  The lady is still filling dance floors.  Her most recent singles (‘I’m Not Coming Down’ and ‘Free People’ with Tony Moran) both topped the dance chart.  There’s simply no stopping this powerhouse vocalist and she is looking better than ever these days.

The First Ladies of Disco is the brainchild of artistic director James Washington, inspired by James Arena’s same-named book in which Arena interviewed 32 stars of the disco era. 

Oh, I do hope there is more where this came from. Such quintessential voices must be heard.



Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Of Note: ‘Beginning at the End’ by Samsaya

Of Note: ‘Beginning at the End’ 
by Samsaya

Sometimes a song can remain winning in spite of some flaw, such as lyrics that cause one’s brow to furrow, as in, ‘Huh?’.  Such is the case with today’s ‘Of Note’ selection, Samsaya’s infectious ‘Beginning at the End’.

Born in India, Samsaya moved to Norway at the age of 11 months old.  She started her first band at nineteen, working with other hip-hop musicians heavily influenced by NWA.  Her breakthrough actually came as an actress in a string of three films, two of which were horror movies. 

She released her second album, ‘Bombay Calling’ earlier this year.  ‘Beginning at the End’ reflects her time spent in New York; a smoother, more pop oriented sound.

Catchy and hook-laden, ‘Beginning’ remains buoyant, despite its depiction of a ‘doomed from the start’ romance.  Sure, the lyrics are a bit forced at times, nonsensical, even, but it’s hard to deny those sunny sounding ear worms and that irresistible chorus.   


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Of Note: ‘Love Over Everything’ by REMODY

Of Note: ‘Love Over Everything’ by REMODY

This week (time permitting) we’ll focus on that lovely blend of R&B empowered by soulful young women. It’s positive.  It’s nurturing.  It’s sensual and soothing.  And, currently, it’s not getting much attention, failing to find footing on the sales charts or the airwaves.

That’s a shame, because most of it, when not overtly sexual, tends to be rather healing to the psyche.

Bronx/Baltimore native REMODY has one such example. 

Having returned to New York when she was 19, over the years she’s collaborated with the likes of Rick Ross, Young Berg, and Fred The Godson and a host of top-shelf producers.  And in that time, for her, it has been “all about the love”.  In fact, her motto is #LOE (Love Over Everything).

‘Love Over Everything’ finds her in the silkiest of modes and I simply adore the chorus and the sentiment expressed.  It is a tad old-school, save for the rap, but that vintage feel is part of its charm.

Trivia: Her father, Roberto Pena Jr. and uncle, Ray Pena, are founding members of 4PM (For Positive Music).  Their single ‘Sukiayaki’ reached #8 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart in 1995 and was a worldwide hit. 

Monday, July 06, 2015

Of Note: ‘Déjà Vu’ by Georgio Moroder feat. Sia

Of Note: ‘Déjà Vu’ by 
Georgio Moroder feat. Sia

Mr. Moroder is two for two with the release of the title song from his 2015 effort, ‘Déjà vu’.  His last one, ‘Right Here, Right Now’, featuring the note-perfect Kylie Minogue, was as sweet as it gets and a dance chart topper to boot.

Listening to ‘Déjà Vu’ One can’t help but imagine it purring forth from the depths of former frequent collaborator, the late, Donna Summers.  God, how I miss that woman. 

But no worries – Sia does an outstanding job, putting her own unique pipes to good use.  Sure, the chorus doesn’t blister the way it might have had Ms. Summers been around, but Sia’s demurring European chanteuse sound brings something unexpected to the mix. 

No, this is not modern dance music – this is old-school; where disco meets pop and the world is all the more joyful for it.  This is about song and structure, not ramping synths and bleating beats.

I have a feeling, given his many recent collaborators (Charli XCX, Sia, Haim, Britney Spears, Kylie Minogue, Mikky Ekko, Foxes, Matthew Koma), that there is much more forthcoming from Georgio.  'Tom's Diner' is already getting a lot of airplay.  

Who knows? Perhaps even another full album?

Though, should this be his final piece of work? 

What a great note to go out on!