REVIEWS - Albums

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(November - December 2006)

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September - October
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Title: Home - reviewed on 11/28/06
Artist: DJ TOXIC
Label: 2005 Free Power Entertainment / TBA (Switzerland)
Style: Trance
Index #: TBA 9524-2
Review:

DJ TOXIC - Home Back in 2004 I have reviewed the debut album "Anastasia" released in December of 2003 by upcoming Swiss DJ TOXIC. I was pretty amazed than by the music of this talented, now 23 years old DJ TOXIC aka PHILIPP BRACCINI. You might recall that originally his music interest focused in POP/ROCK category, however after experiencing live performances of leading Swiss female TRANCE DJ TATANA and TRANCE DJ - DJ ENERGY he shifted his interest to electronic sound. Until today he released all together three albums. There were many of you interested in his music, so I am now presenting you the lastest album "Home" that was released in the end of 2005, but became available in 2006. This album is filled with 18 tracks plus 4 bonus tracks. DJ TOXIC fame is still rather limited to Switzerland. He still waits to be discovered worldwide, I guess. He still have time being quite young. How about the music? In general it represents rhythmic and poetic TRANCE on the uptempo side. However, DJ TOXIC does experiment with different flavors as well as tempos. This newest album is a good example. It has combinations of high and low BPM tunes to match your moods. Let me present you some of the very exciting titles. One of them is the title song "Home" for instance. Album has two versions: the album version and Wavetraxx Mix. The first mix is NRG/TRANCE style with both DJ TOXIC and female vocals provided by SUSI FLÜCKINGER (she also sang in the first album). Very passionate and catchy tune. The second version is more club-friendly with basically similar drama retained but maybe more whistles here and there. If you are looking for more NRG-oriented tunes, you are for a treat. "Piano In Heaven" carries both the quality and drama. loaded with electronica yet sporting NRG feel. Another example is Eurodance Mix of "Never Again". If you missed classic EURODANCE, this one is as close as it can get to that sound these days. If you are still hungry for more driving and coloroful synths topped by great hooks there are more tunes such "Light A Rainbow" in prime-cut Mystical Mix that delivers gorgeous TRANCE sound. "Too Late" seasoned perfectly with SUSI vocals and outstanding production. There are more synth-driven fares in this album. If you need some rest, there are some slower tunes such "24-7" or Trip Hop Mix of "Let It Rain" to chill you out. Taken together it is a nice album. It has both commercial and more ambitious sides. You have to judge yourself. I prepared a sound sampler featuring 10 tunes taken from this album. As a last comment. Surprisingly, there was not a single tune from this album released as single at the time this review was written. I found this dissapointing, definately "Home" could be a candidate. Anyway, listen to the sound sampler and enjoy the music!

For more info about DJ TOXIC , please visit his homepage at:
www.djtoxic.ch

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01. Intro
02. Home
03. Light A Rainbow
04. The Reason (7)
05. Piano In The Heaven (In Memory Of Mom) (1)
06. The Heart Of Dragon (10)
07. Anastasia's World
08. Too Late (4)
09. Summer (8)
10. Let It Rain (Toxic & Lady Flash Mix)
11. Let Me Go
12. The Fly
13. When The Snow Falls (9)
14. 24-7
15. Let Love Rise Again
16. Home (Wavetraxx Mix) (5)
17. Never Again (Unique & Toxic Mix) (6)
18. Inspiration

BONUS TRACKS
19. I Wish I Could Fly (Ibiza Mix)
20. Never Again (Eurodance Mix) (2)
21. Light A Rainbow (Mystical Mix) (3)
22. Let It Rain (Trip Hop Mix-feat. Lady Flash)

( ) - number in parenthesis indicates the order in sound sampler from this album


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Title: Echoes Of Nature - reviewed on 11/28/06
Artist: DJ TOXIC
Label: 2004 Free Power Entertainment / TBA (Switzerland)
Style: Trance/Techno
Index #: TBA 9450-2
Review:

DJ TOXIC - Echoes Of Nature I also owed you the review of the second album from DJ TOXIC discography. "Echoes Of Nature" was released in the end of 2004 and became available in the beginning of 2005. This one is a follow up to 2003 album "Anastasia". Style-wise it shares some similarities to the first one. Unfortunately only one tune from this release made as a single. It is: "Feel You Again". Quite rightfully so, since it is indeed one of the strongest tune featured on this CD. As a matter of fact you will find three versions of this fare. The album version is done in uplifting NRG/TRANCE style with fresh set of amazing female vocal provided by SOETJI WULANSARI BILL and melodic hooks that are sure to move the dance floor. DJ TOXIC remix sports more club-friendly version. There is a dome subtile difference in style though. It has some CHICANE-styled ambience here and there before bigger synths and massive, mesmerizing. floor-packing rhythms take over. The third mix by DJ Hypnotic vs. Synthetic Mix is even more aggressive with even more powerful synth work and killer TRANCE/PROGRESSIVE edge. This is the version you are looking for if you want to play in club. The album starts with almost 8 minutes long "Echoes Of Nature Part" fare. Well... the beginning fits the title perfectly. You hear singing birds and sound of Amazonian rainforest. It is down-tempo tune with TRIBAL influence. Reminds me one of those 90's ambient TECHNO tunes. It is actually very beautiful and mood setting. "No Good" is also more in RAVE style. Up-tempo with some massive synths and dramatic breaks. "Shelter From The Cold" is done in EURO/TRANCE style with female vocal of NADJA QUARANTA having some similarities to SYLVER. Amazing synths and incredible melody. When I started listening to "Elements Of Culture" I thought I was beamed to Jamaica. Gosh! Was I fooled! The tune rapidly changes the mode and become fast past BIG ROOM TRANCE. Well it has some REGGAE elements here and there, but it really deceives the true nature of this brillantly composed fare. There is more electronica in other tunes such as following "Joana" that has some love piano section embedded, "Who Let Me See" a catchy tune with galloping synths and a big, busy bottom line. NADJA voice sounds beautifully and reminds me a texture of JAN JOHNSTON vocals. Taken together it is a very good album. It does not repeat the success of the debut album, but still has its own quality. I also should mention that the album contains a video clip to "Feel You Again". I have prepared a sound sampler featuring 7 tunes taken from this album. Enjoy!

For more info about DJ TOXIC , please visit his homepage at:
www.djtoxic.ch

Comment this review/album in our DISCUSSION FORUMS
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01. Echoes Of Nature Part - 7:22
02. Feel You Again - 3:49 (1)
03. No Good [The Starter Dance] - 3:20 (4)
04. Shelter From The Cold - 3:50
05. Elements Of Culture - 3:32 (7)
06. Joana - 3:37 (2)
07. Who Let Me See - 4:42 (3)
08. Across The Horizon - 6:01 (6)
09. Rising Sun - 8:56 (5)
10. Feel You Again [DJ Toxic Remix] - 6:41
11. Feel You Again [DJ Hypnotic vs. Synthetic Mix] - 6:46

BONUS TRACK
12. Don't Leave Now (feat. Nadja Quaranta & Freakout) - 3:29

VIDEO
01. Feel You Again

( ) - number in parenthesis indicates the order in sound sampler from this album


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Title: French Kiss with Kylie - reviewed on 11/24/06
Artist: AKCENT
Label: 2006 Magic Records (Poland) / Roton (Romania)
Style: EURO POP
Index #: 170977-7
Review:

AKCENT - French Kiss With Kylie Once again I have to thank to EuropeMusic.com for providing me this release. While some of you might be familiar with this quartet from Romania, I was not aware that they have released this new album. Actually I should elaborate on the group first. AKCENT was established back in 2001 (four members: ADRIAN SANA, MIHAI GRUIA, MARIUS NEDELCU, SORIN BROTNEI) and now is the most popular "boys-band" in Romania. Their debut album "In Culiori" became a platinum record in 2001. in 2003 group released their next album "100 BPM". The title refers to heart's bpm during kisses (were there any research conduct on this issue? Must be!). In 2004 group started working with Italian label Media Records. As a result track "I'm The Only One Crying Today" appeared in GIGI's D'AGOSTINO compilation "Benessere" and "Rose Bouquet" on another one "Laboratorio 2". In 2004 group released the third album "Proveste de Vieta (Life Story)". In May 2005 group released their next album "S.O.S." that became an instant hit. This album contained their mega hit "Dragoste De Închiriat" that most of you probably know in English version as "Kylie". In January 2006 group recorded a new hit "JoKero" with lyrics both in English and Spanish featuring sensual female vocals. Presented today "French Kiss With Kylie" album was exlusively released in Poland. The album features group's current hits: "Kylie" and it's original Romanian version "Dragoste de închiriat" and "JoKero". You will also find the title tune from their 2005 album "S.O.S." as well as other tunes. AKCENT's music can be characterized as dynamic mainstream EURO-POP with melodic core that will appeal to many of you. Most of the music is catchy and moving. You will have fun both listening to it and dancing to it. Their music is accessible virtually to everyone and is universal for any dance floor. If you are looking for some commercial floorpacker, here it is. Music will stick in your head after the first listen. Good examples are "Kylie" and "JoKero" but there are others such as "Phonesex" (with some native language provided by female vocal here in there) or "French Kiss" (a powerful turbo-charged DANCE fare). This album features also few down-tempo tunes such as "I Swear" or "4 Seasons In One Day". If you had limited exposure to AKCENT music before, this album is a must. I have prepared mix featuring 7 songs from this release to give you some ideas. I hope you will support these boys by buying this product. As usually we recommend Europemusic.com as source since they are reliable source and long-time supporters of this website. Enjoy!

For more information about AKCENT visit their home page at:
www.akcentonline.com

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01. Kylie - 4:06 (1)
02. JoKero - 4:02 (2)
03. Phonesex - 3:06 (5)
04. French Kiss - 4:00 (3)
05. I Swear - 3:25
06. Seasons On One Day - 3:39
07. I'm Buying You Whisky - 3:19 (4)
08. S.O.S. - 3:45 (6)
09. Last Summer - 3:30 (7)
10. Spune-mi (Hey Baby!) - 3:24
11. Suflet pereche - 4:20
12. Dragoste de Ónchiriat - 4:06
13. Kylie (Crush Rock Remix) - 3:35
14. JoKero (Activ & Optick Remix Edit) - 4:32

( ) - number in parenthesis indicates the order in sound sampler from this album


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Title: Colours - reviewed on 11/24/06
Artist: HELENE RASK
Label: 2006 Hit 'N' Hot Music (Poland), Nordic Records (Norway)
Style: EURO POP
Index #: 0911158
Review:

HELENE RASK - Colours HELENE RASK is one of the Norwegian TOP models and vocalist in one person. Born in 1980 HELENE is well known as the first glamour model and the Queen of racing cars in Norway. She has been featured on covers of major national magazines and Swimwear Illustrated magazine in the US. She also won Miss Calendar and Miss Catalogue titles in 2005. Her curriculim vitae includes position of being Norwegian Street Car Festival Girl for four consecutive year and works as a writer for the Street Car Magazine. She also own Rask Models, the biggest Norwegian agency that provides models for music videos, photo shoots, events, shows etc. In 2004 she has decided to explore her yet another dream; become a singer. In the beginning of 2005 she has recorded her first single "No Love" that was released by Nordic Records. It was produced by DEEP FOREST known from their collaboration with STEVE WONDER. The video clip to this song was one of the most expensive ever recorded in Norway. This video clip also won top prize in Norwegian television as the top video of 2005. Since than HELENE RASK released two more singles "Get On" and "Summer Magic". All these three tracks along with new material appears on this debut album "Colours". The first tune featured in album is forementioned "No Love". This is soft EURO-POP fare with lotsa energy built in. There is also an Extended Version featured as bonus track. It might be of particular interest for DJs. A bouncy fare with intense club feel that includes enough fluff for both POP and EURO fans. "Coming Home" is down tempo tune on ENIGMA/FARMER edge. Very sexy and passionate all together. "Get On" comes as commercially charged DANCE tune. Mainstream floors loved this DISCO-y, femme fronted EURO POP with it's slick production, ear catching melodic hooks and more bounce-to-the-ounce than the fainted-hearted can handle. "Don't Ever Stop" is similar in style. Very commercial, but very good. "Always A Reason" is a down tempo POP fare. Not exactly the dance tune. I consider this one a filler to otherwise outstanding selection featured in this album. "Magic Summer" fits a bill to be a hit and indeed it is. Pure NRG all over and effective HELENE's vocals make this one a solid offering for any DANCE mavens. Planet Nordic Mix of this tune is offered as bonus track. I like that mix because it has even more smooth melodic lines and NRG-etic production. "Same Colour" is yet another happy tune. Some computer-based alteration gives HELENE's vocal a bit of higher pitch and a distant feel of AQUA. Very rhythmic and catchy though. You should also check Extended version of this tune that is DJ console friendly. "A Stranger Appear" is mid-tempo stomper. Commercially sound with a powerful bottom. I like it very much. The last track featured in the album is "Eskimo & Icebird Mega Mix". More than 17 minutes lasting mix featuring tracks form the album. Taken together very successful debut album from this newcomer Norwegian beauty, who is not only beautiful but can sing very well. This album is still available from Europemusic.com but at limited quantity, so if you like it you should hurry up before it is too late. I have prepared the sound sampler with 7 tunes taken from this release to give you some idea. I highly recommend it to all of you who like EURO-POP/DANCE sound. I am sure we will hear more from HELENE in near future.

For more information about HELENE RASK visit her home page at:
www.helenerask.com

Comment this review/album in our DISCUSSION FORUMS
Buy this album from Europemusic.com

01. Colours - Intro - 1:22
02. No Love - 3:05 (1)
03. Coming Home - 3:40
04. Get On - 3:19 (2)
05. Don't Ever Stop - 3:32 (4)
06. Always A Reason - 3:56
07. Magic Summer - 3:54 (5)
08. Same Colour - 2:54 (6)
09. A Stranger Appear - 3:05 (7)
10. Love At First Sight - 3:23 (3)
11. Hyperreal Extension - 3:51

BONUS TRACKS & REMIXES
12. No Love (Extended Version) - 5:02
13. Magic Summer (Planet Nord Mix) - 3:27
14. Same Colour (Extended Version) - 4:52
15. Eskimo & Iceberg Mega Mix - 17:02

( ) - number in parenthesis indicates the order in sound sampler from this album


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