Friday, March 17, 2006

Full Intention vs. Satoshi Tomiie

This week I got my hands on two of the most-awaited CD-releases so far this year (at least by yours truly). They're both super-sized (at 3 cd's per package) and they both come from the UK (big surprise). They are also efforts by two different record labels to honor the legacy of unsung dance DJ's and producers.

Under their In The House imprint, Defected has released the 2nd in their "DJ Producer Series" and this time around they have chosen to honor Full Intention - Perhaps the greatest DJ team in the world (aside from Masters at Work / Nuyorican Soul).

"Connected: 10 Years of Full Intention" is chuck-full of mostly unheard classics (at least in this side of the pond) and is as great a showcase for their amazing work. For a producing team, it must have been hard to seamlessly remix some of their best work over a period of 10 years without making the tracks sound repetitive but they have managed to integrate their sound and update some of their classics as well. Full Intention's mix of Brandy's "Full Moon?" It's there! Their take on Master at Work's "To Be in Love" featuring India? Check! But there's also Da Mob feat. Jocelyn Brown's "It's All Good," Una Mass' "I Will Follow," and their own "Can't Get Away." A 3rd 'unmixed' CD has some gold nuggets including the club mix of the Salsoul Orchestra's "Ooh, I Love It (Love Break)," Essence's "How Long" and the amazing dub mix of Satoshi Tommiie's "Tears" (featuring the amazing vocals of Robert Owens). I would have appreciated an unmixed 3-cd retrospective instead of 2 mix cd's and an umixed one and that they had left the awful Bob Sinclair "Love Generation" song outta the mix, but it's nevertheless a stellar set.

Reinaissance Records take another approach at honoring a progressive house legend on their first release under the 3D imprint devoted to Satoshi Tomiie. Instead of a 3-cd retrospective, the 1st mixed CD takes a look at Satoshi's current sound as he highlights a DJ set of current and future club hits. It's pretty retro tech-y (which means the sound of today) and that's not necessarily good. Standouts are Viper Vapour's "Only Freak," Electrochemie's "Big One," and the future classic "I Love Your Shoes" by Cass & Mangan with a great and dirty teuchtronic beat, squiggly noodles, a great fun vocal, and a warm awash of synths bubbling up behind it all. Disc two is the standout and not only because it has a brad new Satoshi mix of "Tears," but also new amazing edits and remixes of past classics from Kosheen ("Are You Hungry"), Hybrid ("Higher than a Skyscraper") and Photek ("Mine to Give" which also features Robert Owen on vocals) and Satoshi himself ("Love in Traffic" featuring the Sneaker Pimp's Kelli Ali from Satoshi's much underrated solo debut "Full Lick"). CD 3 is unmixed and features an eclectic selection of some of Satoshi's favorite songs including the Sneaker Pimp's "6 Feet Underground" and Roy Ayers "Running Away" which he names as influences.

You can check other Satoshi Tomiie productions and releases at his record production imprint SAW.RECORDINGS. Some amazing stuff there as well.

All in all both are nearly perfect packages which truly honor these legends.

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