Hi, Kids! Here’s this week’s look at new and upcoming Dance releases…
“Tommie Sunshine’s Megasix Smash-Up” – Katy Perry
Featured on the new deluxe re-issue of Katy Perry’s album “Teenage Dream” (repackaged under the title “The Complete Confection”) is the bonus “Megasix Smash-Up.” The track features vocal excerpts from the original album’s 6 hit singles (“Teenage Dream,” “California Gurls,” “The One That Got Away,” “Last Friday Night,” “E.T.,” and “Firework”), all rigidly steered by the constant metronome of computerized drum claps. Produced by Tommie Sunshine, the track is essentially a hijack of the basic track for his perfectly Summery mix of “California Gurls.” Though what we really have here is less a mash-up and more a good ol’ fashion medley. We’re in “Stars on 45” territory, people! The cut-and-paste editing isn’t particularly inspiring and that drum machine is unrelenting, but the inclusion of all six songs make this a crowd pleaser. And for a dance song, the annoyingly disparate tempos of “E.T.” have never been dealt with better!
“Feels So Good” – Groove State
Australian Dance duo Groove State is back with a completely infectious dance/pop tune. Anyone unfamiliar with lead vocalist Lisjana is in for a surprise when, in the refrain and seemingly out of nowhere, she employs the upper register of her sweet soprano. Most dramatically, it comes at the moment the song dramatically shifts keys. The lyrics are essentially “feels so good” and “I’m in love,” but they’re a fine fit for this uptempo number. We like both the Smash Mode and Original mixes. This one’s a feel-good celebration.
“Now That We Found Love” – Kathy Phillips feat. Danitto
Legendary songwriting team Gamble & Huff’s laid-back vibe “Now That We Found Love” has been fertile ground since it was initially released by The O’Jays in 1973. It’s been recorded as a soul track by Martha Reeves, a hit reggae/disco hit by the group Third World, an even bigger house/rap smash by Heavy D (which sampled the Third World refrain and featured new rap verses) and a 90s dancehall remake by Third World lead singer Bunny Rugs, which found itself mixed into a minor Dance success 6 years ago. Now comes a remake that follows the blue-print of the Heavy D version. The generic rapping by Danitto sorely lacks Heavy D’s personality, but the refrain is appealingly sung by female vocalist Kathy Phillips – a welcome twist. A new version for a new time, though we still recommend checking out or revisiting the earlier O’Jays and Third World versions.
[Not currently available online]
“MDNA” – Madonna
Madge is everywhere with her new album, including at the top of our chart below with latest single “Girl Gone Wild.” It’s an eclectic set that doesn’t always gel, but there are some stunning tracks: especially the middle trio of “I Don’t Give A,” “Love Spent” and “I’m a Sinner.” We also love the in-your-face “Gang Bang,” which recaptures her tough girl persona of “Thief Of Hearts, “ as well as “I F#cked Up,” which on paper seems like a B-Side throw-away, but sticks in your head long after listening. Of the many versions of the album out there, Smirnoff is offering the “Nightlife Edition” with several bonus mixes of “Give Me All Your Luvin’” and “Turn Up The Radio.” (“Like” the Smirnoff U.S. Facebook page and follow instructions on how to download for $3.50.) None are perhaps necessary for anyone but the hardcore Madonna fan, though the sensational and dubby “Just Blaze Bionic” of the former and “Leo Zero” of the latter have us eager for full vocal versions of both.
“Silver Splits The Blue” – Manufactured Superstars & Jeziel Quintela feat. Christian Burns
This terrific single features a truly motley crew: DJ duo Manufactured Superstars, producer Jeziel Quintela and singer Christian Burns, former member of the British boy band BBMack. Ethereal and yearning, the song takes it title referencing a lyric in Scottish 80s band Aztec Camera’s pop nugget “Somewhere in My Heart.” The Paul Oakenfold mix is a winner, as is the Original. Video trivia: Also featuring Arianny Celeste, the clip was shot at XS Club in Vegas, where Manufactured Superstars are resident DJs.
Nicki Minaj’s current “Starships” is such a perfect piece of pop perfection, we didn’t think we’d need dance mixes. And we certainly weren’t prepared to like them as much as we do. None stray too far from the original, with the best being the Stacy Meir Funky Mix featuring a terrific, beefed up drum kit. Fun. Fever has swept the country, and I’m hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t love “We Are Young.” Decidedly not built for the dance floor, especially with its seesaw-ing, bi-polar tempo, the song hasn’t yet found an ideal remix, though the best of the lot so far is the Alvin Risk.
On this week’s TOP 20 DANCE CHART, Madonna reigns at #1, Nicki rebounds to #3 and Groove State leads this week’s debuts at #14.
1) Girl Gone Wild (Justin Cognito, Dave Aude & Offer Nissim Mixes) – Madonna (3) *
2) Turn The Music Up (Remix) – Chris Brown feat. Rihanna (2) *
3) Starships (Original & Funk 3rd Party Anthem Mixes) – Nicki Minaj (6/12)
4) Love On Top (DJ Lynnwood’s Hate Disco Remix) – Beyonce (3/1) *
5) Raise Your Hands – C-Rod feat. Jason Walker (11)
6) F U Betta (Dave Aude Mix) – Neon Hitch (4) *
7) Keeping The Planets (Frank Minoia Disco Mix) – Joy Salinas (8)
8) Here We Go Again – Vicky Green feat. Kelly Rowland & Trina (10)
9) Boom Boom – Rye Rye (6)
10) We Party – The Kissboyz (15)
11) Turn This Club Around – R.I.O. feat. U-Jean (5)
12) Respect (Disco Tech Mixshow) – Melanie Amaro (13)
13) GBF (Gay Best Friend) – Heven (7) *
14) Feels So Good (Smash Mode Radio Mix)– Groove State [DEBUT]
15) Don’t Stop (Color On The Walls) (Karmatronic Mix) – Foster The People (18)
16) How We Do (Party) – Rita Ora (20)
17) Tommie Sunshine’s Megasix Mashup – Katy Perry (DEBUT)
18) Music Sound Better With U (Halatrax & Karmatronic Mixes)– Big Time Rush (9)
19) Silver Meets The Blue (Original & Paul Oakenfold Mixes) – Manufactured Superstars & Jeziel Quintela feat. Christian Burns (DEBUT)
20) Somebody That I Used To Know (Victor Menegaux Remix) by Gotye featuring Kimbra (DEBUT)
[not currently available online]
“Never Forget” – Dave Aude feat. Lena Katina
*Indicates current/former #1s