Review: Here's something to genuinely set the pulse racing: a cover of Barabbas' Afro-fired funk-rock classic, "Woman", which brings together producer extraordinaire Louie Vega (and his Elements of Life Band) and legendary freestyle singer George LaMond. Vega's EP-leading "Main Mix" is the bomb: a richly percussive, 11-minute fusion of Latin disco and funk rock topped off with clipped guitar riffs, heavy organ chords and a killer lead vocal from LaMond. Vega provides numerous remixes himself, including an extra-percussive "Dub Bass Organ" mix and a salsa-inspired "Latin Soul Mix" that's almost as essential as the main version. Elsewhere, old pal David Morales provides a breezy house remix and an organ-heavy dub, while Frankie C's "Brazilian Mix" is a carnival-friendly affair that's seriously infectious and life-affirming. In a word: brilliant.
Review: Really this should be called 'Elements Of Life Extensions: Extensions', because for this reissue the 2004 remixed version of Vega's landmark 2003 long-player has been beefed up from eight tracks to 16. 'Elements Of Life' saw Vega turning his back on tuff NYC house in favour of summery, Latin- and jazz-infused soul, and for anyone who loved the original album this is an essential purchase - Jazz N' Grooves blissed-out take on 'Mozalounge' is worth the price of admission on its own! But check it out even if you weren't a fan, if only for the dreamaway space disco of 'Steel Congo' and a very respectable cover of Candido's classic 'Thousand Finger Man'.