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Friday, August 23, 2013

Divas on My Turntables: Lady Gaga, Cher, Ultra Nate, Hazell Dean

I received a series of remixes of Lady Gaga's newest single, "Applause." The original version was released August 12 and bears a very techno '80s sound in which La Ga's vocals recall Lene Lovich's during the verses. Gaga is certainly a pop genius of sorts, able to process and recycle various musical styles into a fresh-sounding synthesis moving your spirit and your feet.

The Alessio Silvestro mix I listened to is upbeat enough, though I found the instrumental bridges to be a bit unimaginative and even a tad annoying. Jerry's Standing O remix was too busy to be completely satisfying. Matt Nevin gave his dance mix a nice, house-like flavor that focuses on the '80s New Wave-retro intent. Liam Keegan, of course, goes full throttle contempo-house, guaranteed to bring people onto the floor (posted below), though best of all is Felipe Angel's superlative prog-houser.

Cher, "(This Is a) Woman's World." Take that, Republicans! There are a new batch of top-drawer dance remixes. Jason Nevins does his typically smooth work on this song, wisely bringing the diva's vocals more to the forefront. I love Edson Pride's six-and-a-half-minute hands-in-the air big room sound. And David Morales' "Pride Anthem" mix is on hand with a brilliant classic touch that makes the most of a slow-build intro.

Predicting Ultra Nate to have another Billboard dance smash with "Everybody Loves the Night." It is always a special joy when this club diva's club diva releases a new song. Her distinctive voice and excellent songwriting skills are again on hand, though the original mix suffers a bit from a somewhat overly "busy" production.

WaWa's extended mix gives the number a beautifully retro-disco intro (funky guitar riff and synth strings included) leading into a satisfying hi-NRG beat, while Hector Fonseca's Big Room Mix is just that,with a pronounced overdub on vocals over pounding beats. Eddie Amadour's effort is a bit disappointing; neither here nor there with the material. We have David Morales again on hand, framing this song perfectly in '90s house-music style.

By the way, among the back-up vocals on "Everybody Loves the Night" are those of sister club diva Inaya Day, now on the Billboard dance chart with a hit of her own ("Make Some Noise").

You can download "Everybody Loves the Night" remixes at

Hazell Dean, the Petula Clark of  '80s/'90s hi-NRG, has just done a disco cover of "This Is My Life," famously rendered by Shirley Bassey. Dj Buddy B wouldn't dream of leaving this out of a set due to camp value alone, let alone the incredible clarity of Ms Dean's voice.

Almighty's remixes of this song come in all shapes and sizes: their 7" and 12" mixes (bigger is better), and their Piano mixes at both lengths, too. The Almighty Mix possibly appeals more to American djs though I prefer the Almighty Piano remix with its Euro-house piano keyboards in the blender.

My dj promo also included the 2012 Matt Pop and Sleazesisters remixes of "In the Name of Love," Hazell's cover of the Sharon Redd didsco classic from the '80s. (Sample below.)

Hazell Dean's "This Is My Life" is available on iTunes in mp3 format. (Sample below.)

Support your divas. Your disco needs you!

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