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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Perennials



The world of dance music is full of performers, djs and labels that burned brightly and then went out of existence in what seemed like a flash. It's not unusual in the entertainment world but it's especially applicable to the trendy, flavor-of-the-moment dance-music microcosm. So, it's always heartening to look at perennials of the industry who seem to be around forever and without whom the dance-music world would be the poorer. Take for example, Almighty Records in the U.K.

Almighty is a true phenomenon not only of dance music labels but of indy labels generally. This London-based, hiNRG organization has been going strong since 1990 with their remixes and NRGized cover-versions for the dance floor. They've famously remixed Cher, Diana Ross, Elton John, Liza Minnelli, Pet Shop Boys, Wynonna Judd, Pamala Stanley, Katy Perry and countless more. Almighty have produced singles by Hannah Jones, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Gloria Gaynor, Donna Summer, Freda Payne, and have gone platinum internationally with their Abbacadabra (NRG covers of you-know-who) project.

Martyn Norris is head producer and CEO of Almighty Records and monitors and runs everything, from creating new projects to creating the music to searching for vocalists for Almighty's in-house productions like Almighty Gaga Girls and Obsession. Martyn is the head of Almighty Associates and a member of the Almighty remix team. Since the '80s, he has been something of a hiNRG wunderkind and, apparently, savvy businessman. Congratulations to Almighty for such fantastic, make-you-wanna-dance music for 21 years so far.

The ageless Tony Moran is a one-man producer/remixer who evolved from freestyle (he remixed "Show Me" by The Cover Girls) to a fusion of freestyle, house and NRG. Tony is, along with Junior Vasquez, one of the USA's most influential producers/remixers over the past two decades and is still going strong. He has a new compilation, the continuously mixed Mix Magic Music on his current Sugarhouse label. It includes his work with powerhouse divas the likes of Nicki Richards, Frenchie Davis, Ultra Nate, Deborah Cox and Jennifer Holliday. (Wow!) Highly recommended, currently available for download or, in NYC, at Rainbows and Triangles in Chelsea (8th Ave., 19th-20th Streets)and Rebel Rebel on Bleecker, off Christopher.

This week on Billboard's Dance Club Songs chart, Ricky Martin moving up to #11 with "Freak of Nature" (to hit the top 10 by next week), "I Wanna Go" by Britney Spears is the new Power Pick as it leaps to 23 from its debut, last week, at 45. Yoko's "Talking to the Universe" captures the 17th spot from last week's 25 and Kylie's "Put Your Hands Up" hits #10. Gaga's "Edge of Glory" (with Clarence Clemons on sax) is up at #5 while her Judas makes its way down the chart at 43 after a solid 12 weeks.

On the Dance Airplay chart, the fab Kim Sozzi rises, now at 16, with "Little Bird," her cover of the Annie Lennox number. I recently mixed the intro to the extended version with dialogue and loops from Hitchcock's "The Birds" featuring Tippi Hedren. Hopefully, this track will find its way to the club chart.

2 comments:

  1. Great column; very informative. Never knew all that about Almighty. And now I"m dying to hear the inventive Little Bird/Birds remix.

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  2. On my upcoming dj-promo-only cd-r, "Beach Party."

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