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'.
Review: "Love Having You Around", a surging, celebratory peak-time treat that saw Louie Vega being joined in the studio by legendary vocalists Barbara Tucker and Rochelle Fleming, was the undoubted highlight of the sometime Masters at Work man's recent NYC Disco double-pack. Here Vega serves up a suite of reworks from his personal stash of alternative passes. The main mix - a nine-minute, gospel-influenced, organic disco-house shuffler laden with superb instrumentation - is undoubtedly the star of the show, though we're also enjoying the heavy and stripped-back Dope Dub, the sparse and bassline-driven early morning thrills of the Combo Dub and the Mute Horn dub, which boasts looser, more Afro-centric house beats and some notable trumpet solos.
Louie Vega starring Vikter Duplaix - "Gimme Some Love" (Sean McCabe remix with piano) - (8:00) 125 BPM
Review: After a successful run of vinyl editions, the Grammy award nominated XXVIII digital release series is taking it to another level with The Unreleased & Lost Mixes. One half of the legendary Masters At Work, Lil Louie Vega has stated that when making albums, there are more songs created than allocated for a project. In this case, there were said to be over 50 tracks created for this particular project. He selected 22 unreleased and lost tracks from the recordings and remixes, along with DJ friendly versions by close associates. The legendary and unmistakeable voice of Kenny Bobien is joined by the deep and soulful tones of Cindy Mizelle on "Together We Can" (Louie Vega dub), the lush and evocative Latin vibes that Vega is such as expert at are on display with Louie Vega starring Luis Salinas' "Es Vedra" (Louie Vega & Salinas Guitar dub) and for some simply straight up house magic by one of the dons of the scene: you really can't go wrong with "Gimme Some Love" (Sean Pad Main mix) featuring the wonderful Vikter Duplaix.