jeudi 15 février 2007

Now That's What I Call A Great Compilation! (Freemasons' Shakedown)

Freemasons, a duo of producers/remixers formed in mid 2004 by Russell Small, one half of hitmakers Phats & Small, and James Wiltshire, have just released their first album, "Shakedown", and it is a double CD compilation of their best remixes with a huge portion of self-made funky disco house anthems they've produced with great female vocalists like Siedah Garrett (of Michael jackson or Brand New Heavies fame), Sylvia Mason-James, Katherine Ellis or their usual favourite Amanda Wilson.

Here is the full tracklisting :

CD1 (mixed)
1. Intro
2. Beyonce : Déjà Vu (Freemasons remix)
3. Trick vs Freemasons : Zap Me Lovely
4. Freemasons feat. Amanda Wilson : I Feel Like
5. Freemasons : Atlantic *
6. Freemasons : Pacific (Saxapella)
7. Fatboy Slim : Right Here Right Now (Freemasons remix)
8. Loleatta Holloway : Love Sensation '06 (Freemasons remix)
9. Faith Evans : Mesmerized (Freemasons remix)
10. Freemasons feat. Sylvia Mason-James : Nothing But A Heartache
11. Angie Stone : I Wasn't Kidding (Freemasons remix)
12. Freemasons feat. Siedah Garrett : Rain Down Love
13 Blaze feat. Barbara Tucker : Most Precious Love (Freemasons remix)
14. Dirty Old Ann feat. Kathy Brown : Turn Me On (Freemasons remix)

CD2 (mixed)
1. Heather Headley : In My Mind (Freemasons remix)
2. Freemasons feat. Amanda Wilson : Love On My Mind
3. Freemasons : Vacancies *
4. Freemasons feat. Judie Tzuke : Love Don't Live Here Anymore
5. Disco Freaks feat. Rob Li & Amanda Wilson : Take Me To The Sun (Freemasons remix)
6. Studio B : C'mon Get It On (Freemasons dub mix)
7. Walken : Boy (Meets Girl) *
8. Freemasons feat. Katherine Ellis : When You Touch Me
9. Luther Vandross : Shine (Freemasons remix)
10. Freemasons feat. Amanda Wilson : Watchin'
11. Freemasons : Desperados *
12. Freemasons feat. Julie Thompson : I'm Not Alone Now *
13. Herd & Fitz feat. Abigail Bailey : I Just Can't Get Enough (Freemasons remix)
14. Freemasons feat. Siedah Garrett : Rain Down Love (After Hours mix)

Note that five tracks (noted with an * above) are included as bonus encoded tracks in full length versions.

Apart from the artists whose remixes are included on their album, Freemasons have remixed other peoples like Jamiroquai, Black Fras, The Disco Boys, Xavier, Steve Smith, Supafly Inc., The Beach & Tia, but since their version of Beyoncé's "Deja vu" has been airplayed as usual version in the UK, they must be in BIG demand for new remixes so I'd bet this list will soon expand...

So what's good with this compilation?
Well, all the tracks sound like hits, even the new Freemasons ones. Their choice of songs and vocalists is great. Some songs are pure disco house next-to-be singles like "I feel like" or "Nothing but a heartache" and some others are more indie balearic house numbers like "Atlantic" or "Vacancies". It sounds like there ain't a single track out of place here but I suppose it's the least for mixed CDs .

Naturally included are Freemasons first three singles, "Love on my mind" (UK#11), "Watchin' "(UK#19) and "Rain down love"(UK#12) and I can't help but wonder which song will be their fourth...

What's wrong then?
All I can say is that I don't really like mixed CDs because the song are mixed into each other and there's no intro and no ending to each track and this kind of album is best listened in one continuous play.
But apart from that letdown (for me), all I would say is that I miss some of their remixes like "Moving into light" by Black Fras and Jamiroquai's "(Don't) Give hate a chance" and I would have loved to see them included in the mix, maybe more than Studio B or Fatboy Slim but these ones have been greater hits in the UK charts... In fact, Russell & James have just let me know that they haven't been able to clear the rights for these two remixes and licence them for this Mix. That makes me think that it must have been a piece of hell to get all copyrights from mother record companies of the artists whose remixes are included here! .

Now the best you can do is go to their MySpace page and hear more of them and decide to check it out :
I have to say I won my "Shakedown" copy and would like to thank their label Loaded Records once more for picking me up .

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