Thursday, July 10, 2014

Todd Terry Presents Freestyle Forever, Vol. 1 (2013)


If you're gonna have a Freestyle party, you may as well ride that party on forever! You can get pretty darn near close to that with the first volume in what looks to be a thrilling compilation series of hits produced by renowned DJ and remix extraordinaire, Todd Terry. Many of you Freestyle lovers out there will surely recognize the majority of the names among the track-listing, including Shannon, the voice behind the 1984 jam, "Let The Music Play", and renowned fellow remixer/producer Tony Moran, whose Track #10 offering, "Take It All The Way", was THE one song that had originally drawn me to get this first volume! Gotta say a little more about the latter, because it is a total jam that rocks the house big time! Tony may lend very much on the vocals with this one, but the bombastic club-worthy beats is more than enough to keep the listener satisfied and aching for more! Yeah, I myself was aching alright.....right after my very first round with it, wishing the music lasted for more than just the short three-and-a-half minutes. Well, that just gave me a reason to go out a seek any and all of the available extended trance remixes of it that I knew were out there, considering that the club beat sounds like it's ready to rocket jump from the middle tempo to the high-octane Eurodance tempo at any moment all throughout. A name that I hadn't expected to see on a Freestyle compilation is seen as clear as day on the seventh track: sultry r&b sensation Faith Evans. Faith Evans?! I suppose her hit "Love Like This" had gotten the Todd Terry remix treatment sometime after its 1998 release, and the end result entitled "Last Forever" (taken from the main chorus of the lyrics) is nothing short of fabulous, even if it may take the r&b crowd a bit of getting used to in its reinvented electronic dance format. My favorite thing about it—other than the cool beat, of course—is hearing Faith's eerie, haunting vocals trail off as she sings 'oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-oh' before 'love like this'. Freestyle beats don't come any cooler than Scarlet Santana's "You And Me", a tune which I've heard many times previously, but I'm thinking by somebody else in the dance genre. It gets a nice kick near the end when the tempo speeds up and that dreamy ambiance sweeps in. And voices don't come any more delightful than the one singing Track #4's "Destination". Had never heard of this lady who calls herself Eliki prior to getting this compilation, but she sure game me a reason to keep her in mind for future listening! Reminds me of British singer Dido or any number of those guest female vocalists whom you often hear on those chill-out lounge instrumental collections. Totally, totally captivating! Didn't know too much about THE BURRELL BROTHERS either, except for the fact that they were active as early as the 80's. And it's that wonderful 80's Freestyle sound that's captured on their fantastic offering, "Love Never Dies". If this song really was originally recorded back in the 80's, I thank you Todd Terry so very much for revamping that one, too! If an hour and some odd minutes ain't enough time for you to get your Freestyle groove on—that being the compilation's first twelve tracks—then how about a super-duper 50+ minute uninterrupted megamix? That's the amazing treat waiting for you at the very end with the 'Housestyle Mix' of the honorary title track, featuring a dizzying array of beats and a variety of different singers. But just because "Freestyle Forever" is this compilation's final track doesn't mean that the Freestyle party itself has to end after those 50+ minutes have expired.....

1. Chioma - Love Doctor
2. Shannon - Turn It Up
3. Charley Page - Dreamer
4. Eliki - Destination
5. Jill Tirrell - Be With You Tonight
6. Scarlet Santana - You And Me
7. Faith Evans - Last Forever
8. Tony Moran - Take It All The Way
9. Burrell Brothers - Love Never Dies
10. Kelly Sadja - Afffection
11. Opera Steve - Lovers
12. Todd Terry - Alright Alright
13. Todd Terry - Freestyle Forever [Housestyle Mix]

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