Soul Central – In-Ten-City (Soul Heaven Records)

If their version of Strings of life was the club hit for last year, In-Ten-City can definitely become the one for 2006. Like all potential instrumental anthems a vocal mix is needed to please anyone who can’t bare more than 10 minutes of instrumental house music. But what about it? To start with the original instrumental mix this one has all these powerful chord lines to create a huge track. Softly build up with piano and keys these melodies are getting stronger and stronger till you cannot get out of it’s spell anymore. With an early break and one halfway the track, peaks are created to keep the dance floor’s attention.
As contrasted with Strings of life, In-Ten-City is fully composed and produced by Timmy Vegas and Andy Ward from Soul Central.
Then the vocal mix. The lyrics are written and sung by Billie a common name in the scene. It’s hard to value a vocal mix when there first was an original mix which is instrumental and is as good as it is. But sometimes vocals really add a good vibe to the track. In this particular case the results are not very positive. The vocals are not strong enough to match the original production, maybe because Billie’s voice is too tiny or maybe because there’s no good timing between the music and the lyrics. Anyway the vocal mix could be a big radio hit but hey, since when has that become an argument?

Release date: 22th of May 2006
Rating: 8,5 (for the instrumental mix)

Franck Roger – 'Mysticism of sound EP' (Space Kat)

Space Kat releases another fine piece of underground deephouse with the new E.P. of France producer Franck Roger. 'The Mysticism of sound EP' contains two tracks: Jamal and Mysticism of sound. First track Jamal takes you deep with a nice build up of rhodes and organ melodies. A very steady bass line gives Jamal the right foundation to build on. In the end even some steel drums are adding just a little summer feeling. Everything is in proportion and Franck Roger proves he is one of today’s top producers in deephouse.
On the flip you’ll find Mysticism of sound, another deep deep production. Right from the kick off you’re wrapped in with multiple layers of warm synths. It leads you into a dream world and of course Mysticism of sound is the right name for it.

Release date: 12th of April 2006
Rating: 8.5

Jon Cutler & Matthias Heilbronn - 640 (Inc. Brian Tappert & Marlon D. Mixes) (Distant Music)

Jon Cutler teams up with New York based German Matthias Heilbronn and they deliver us 640. When you hear the names of these producers you automatically think of soulful vocal house tracks. But 640 is nothing like that, it’s far more tech-house than you would expect. The beats and hi-hats lay down a decent house track but the panned and echoed synths are very tech based. After a while though you realise the track doesn’t create enough tension to keep it as interesting as it eventually seems.
One remix comes from Brian Tappert. He gives the track more drive and creates more peaks. It’s called a house rework and that covers it very well.
The other remix is from another New Yorker Marlon D., actually it’s called an edit. He uses a heavy bass drum under the track and keeps the track hard and dry. Of all three mixes this is the most interesting one.

Release date: 29th of May 2006
Rating: 7

Stacey Mallory – Synergy (4 Real)

You got to take the whole ride to experience the full journey which is Synergy. More than 10 minutes in two versions and a beats version brings us this release of Stacey Mallory. Synergy is a subtle but very driven track with a build up of different key chords. Deep house to the max in which you could loose yourself completely.
The Guitar Mix has fewer keys in it and instead adds a guitar solo to it as if Mark Knopfler himself has recorded it.

Release date: 26th of April 2006
Rating: 7.5

DJ Gregory - S2 & 'Faya Combo Cuts 2' (Faya Combo)

Been a while since we've heard a new release of this French producer Gregory. He takes off where he left us with tracks like Solaris and Head Talking back in 2005 and 2004. S2 has a strong build-up with a catchy electronic bass line to begin with. Then different synths are added as multiple layers to create a great atmospheric track. Of course there's the break from which the track builds up again for yet another peak. The Dubarash version leaves us hanging a bit longer with an early break and a climax which is positioned later in the track. As third we find the clean beats of S2 on this superb release.
Short after the release of S2 Gregory released another 12inch on his Faya Combo label which is called: 'Faya Combo Cuts 2'. On the A-side there's Traffic a track loaded with a heavy bass and dark drums. On top of that some darker techy pads are spun. On side B it's Work Me starting of with a heavy bass as well. Heavy percussion and a distorted bass drum gets this thing really started. A male vocal whispers loud: Work Me and then a bass line makes this one complete. The last minutes we are left alone with the bass line to get some rest after this killer track.

Release date: 10th and 22nd of March 2006
Rating: 8

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