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Thursday, January 31, 2019

Envoy: The Envoy Project (Self-Released, 2000)

Contemporary gospel and rap from Tacoma, Washington featuring Seattle rapper Kid Sensation (Steven Spence, known here by his later moniker Xola Malik.) Written and produced by Spence, some of the R&B tracks have a similar appeal to fellow contemporary gospel groups Mary Mary and Trin-i-tee 5:7. Unfortunately, not much information on the female vocalists involved (two sisters and their aunt) but one Rhonda Kinlow continues to work with Spence and provided vocals on his 2016 album "Looking Up."

My Prayer 1:10
One More Chance 4:39
Representin' 3:27
Hopin Wishin Prayin 4:11
He Lifts Me 3:55
God Times 4:27
Him 2:44
Single Mother's Anthem 4:07
Heaven 4:26
Keep Me 4:27


Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Golden Records Presents: The Block (Golden Records, 2000)

A further compilation from Seattle, Washington and a mixture of Hip Hop, G-Funk and R&B from a handful of local artists that only seem to exist here. With no artist names to any of the songs listed, this may well possibly be a group (I am not 100% certain) but the R&B tracks (7 in total) are all female-fronted.

New York, NY 4:44
Party Don't Stop 3:54
Soldier 3:09
Matrix 4:32
Can't Stop 3:43
Freakin 4:09 (R&B)
Total Package 4:17 (R&B)
Bonus Track 4:54
Last Days 5:03
Bump 4:40 (R&B)
Wanna Do Wrong 4:38 (R&B)
Still I Rise 4:16 (R&B)
What's Up 4:17
Been Around 3:59
Out The Door 4:18 (R&B)
U Don't Know Me 4:03
Me With U 4:17 (R&B)




Tuesday, January 29, 2019

State 2 State Compilation Vol. 1 (Micfiend Records, 2002)

From The Bay Area, a multi-state compilation featuring rap and R&B artists on Oakland-based label Micfiend Records, a label still owned and operated by female MC/producer Jymini (originally from Portland, Oregon.) The compilation features 18 artists from a variety of different states not limited to New York, Washington DC, Arkansas and Miami. Sadly very rap-heavy, the R&B tracks are few and far between (four out of a total of 18 tracks) but mostly they are quite good. Midwest female trio Authentik Soul bring the 90s R&B flava with "Being In Love" while Lock Down the G-Funk vibe on "Can't Maintain." Authentik Soul (active between 1995-1999) made regular appearances in talent

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Various Artists: Song Factory (Promo CDr) (Media Creature Music, 200x)

Demo compilation from Canadian production outfit Song Factory (Alex Tsisserev & Mark Ellis (AKA Audio Ninja) who offered a wide range of popular styles in the early 2000s not limited to R&B, Dance-Pop and Latin music. Their biggest accomplishment to date is penning "Monday Mi Amor" for Latina girl group Soluna in 2002. Other than that, they seemed to be based mainly in Asia under Sony's ATV Music Publishing arm. The artists featured on this disc are mainly unknown but for Soluna and two members formally of Canadian R&B/rap group D-Cru Aimee MacKenzie (who was also one third of Canadian New Jack Swing trio West End Girls in the 90s) and Tanessa Tompkins. Aside from Soluna's "Monday Mi Amor" all appear to have not been released and aside from this one known track, I have no idea who does what. The urban tracks range from soulful R&B in the vein of R. Kelly to early 2000s "urban crossover" to Urban-Pop. It can be assumed that the vocalists on the majority of these are either MacKenzie or Tompkins but not entirely sure. There may also be unreleased tracks by Soluna but not really being a fan of their music, I can't say for absolute certain. Regardless, this compilation has never been seen anywhere else. 

Monday Mi Amor 3:54 (Soluna) (Dance Pop)
Read My Lips 3:35 (Tanessa Tompkins?) (R&B)
Don't Wanna Be Your Friend 3:26 (Male Artist Urban Pop) 
What My Heart Deserves 3:20 (Dance Pop)
Extasy 3:41 (Aimee MacKenzie?) (Urban Pop) 
No Apologies 4:37 (Male Artist R&B)  
Wash Your Tears Away 4:02 (Soluna?) (Pop)
Rosalina 3:37 (Male Artist Urban Pop w/ Latin Flavor) 
Playing Casanova 3:31 (Female Artist Urban Pop w/ Latin Flavor) 
Head Over Heals 3:05 (Pop)
You Are The One 3:08 (Pop)
4 Letter Word 3:30 (Tanessa Tompkins?) (R&B)
Together 3:51 (Aimee MacKenzie?) (Latin Pop Ballad)
Your Man 3:10 (Male Artist Acoustic R&B)
Monday Mi Amor 3:46 (Soluna) (Dance Pop)


Monday, January 21, 2019

Kari Drue: Talk About Romancin' (Demo CDS) (Airdome Records, 200x)

The second of two aspiring Canadian artists produced by Juno Award winning producer Eddie Bullen in the early-to-mid 2000s and again possibly as part of his high school co-op program but not entirely certain. Appearing to be a demo that was not released, the disc itself is a silver Imitation CDr with a two-fold paper insert and unlike Small, it doesn't appear that the above artist ever went on to do anything else beyond this. 

Talk About Romancin' (Original) 4:38
Talk About Romancin' (Remix 1) 4:39
Talk About Romancin' (Remix 2) 3:46


Haley Small: Everytime (Promo CDS) (Airdome Records, 200x)

 From Toronto, Canada, the first of two tween/teen artists produced by Eddie Bullen and possibly a part of his high school co-op program but not entirely certain. He has a very diverse producing style from jazz to reggae to contemporary R&B music and still works out of his studio Thunder Dome Sounds in Toronto, Ontario. Small was only 14 when this track was recorded although her powerful pipes belie her young age. Recorded for Bullen's then-label Airdome Records, I can't find any information as to whether it was actually released or not - the disc itself is an inkjet-printed CDr - but an article was written about it in the Netherlands. I am inclined to think that it may be a promo at least.

Small has since gone on to work with Drake's producer Boi-1da and these days now specializes in slow jams and ballads with "attitude."

Won't Sleep Tonite (Radio Mix)    3:51 
Bring Back The Funk (Radio Mix)    3:59 
Hip Hop (Radio Mix)    4:00 

Despite the discrepancies in the song titles, all tracks are different remixes/edits of the title track. 


Friday, January 18, 2019

Boo Boo Brown (AKA Divine Brown): Peak-A-Boo [EP] (DefTone Productions, 199x)

Known by many names not limited to Divine Brown and Divine Earth Essence, Brown (real name Michelle Brown) is a Juno-award winning vocalist from Toronto, Canada. I don't know when the above EP was recorded but probably mid-to-late 90s at the very least owing to the New Jack Swing influences on track 1 ("Sista Moon") and the quiet storm-infused soul of "Take Me With You." Her most notable song to date is 2005's "Old Skool Love" and a follow up "Twist My Hair" featured an early appearance from Drake. Prior to this, she was known as Divine Earth Essence and her songs mainly showed up on compilations related to now-defunct Canadian urban label BeatFactory. She also recorded a duet with Detroit vocalist Wade O Brown (no relation as far as I can tell) which appeared on his 2002 album "Complete."

Intro 0:13
Sista Moon 3:25
Your Words R' Like The Wind 2:55
Take Me With You 3:22
The Way Love Feels 3:35


Sunday, January 13, 2019

Phillippa: Earth Child...Rebirth (Self-Released, 2002)

From 2002, smooth neo soul with big vocals from Atlanta-area musician Phillippa (Williams) who in 2005 appeared with an original song in the Tyler Perry movie Madea’s Family Reunion. She was later snapped up by UK producer Errol Henry (formally of the gospel duo True Solace) and signed to his independent label i2 Recordings but aside from one feature (from 2017) it seems she never really did anything else. The above album was supposedly re-released in 2006 (with the Tyler Perry track "Look In The Mirror" included) but either it never was or as in the case of the above CD is extremely hard to find.

Both the Tyler Perry track and Errol's feature "Because You Loved Me" are available to download on iTunes.

Earth Child (Intro)    2:47   
You Got Me Thinking    3:55   
Come On Over    4:55   
I Gotta Get Away    3:18   
Is He    3:07   
Why I Call    3:53   
Hey Love    4:23   
Gotta Go To The Studio (Interlude)    0:53   
Juicy's Got Yo Back (A Best Friends Story)    3:18   
We Gonna Party    5:16   
Blaze 1    3:53   
Earth Child (Outro)    2:42   
Bonus Track(s)    3:16   

 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

KRI: It's About Time (UK CDM) (Daco International, 1996)

Further music from an unknown UK female duo in the mid 90s and again something that seems to have gotten lost in the electronic/house genre. This most likely down to the indie label they were on Daco International having mostly artists in this genre but the original version was 90s UK urban-pop in a similar vein to Akin (see previous post.) Sadly I know nothing about them but they never released anything else.

It's About Time (Radio Edit) 3:55
It's About Time (Saturday Night Mix) 5:16
It's About Time (Campfire Mix) 5:23
It's About Time (Exile Club Mix) 5:04


Saturday, January 5, 2019

Akin: Akin (Promo Cassette) (WEA Records, 1998)

From the Warner/Electra/Atlantic label in the UK, a further female duo that never made it beyond 2 singles in the late 90s. Sadly, I cannot find any information about them anywhere but the larger known debut single "Stay Right Here" was produced by Cutfather & Joe and is pretty much synonymous with much of their work in the mid-to-late 90s ("Do You Have A Girlfriend" by First Class et al.) Other tracks are a mixture of 90s sophisticated laid back R&B and acoustic-driven folksy-soul numbers a la Tracy Chapman and Gabrielle. The album above is a test press and presents itself on a generic studio master. According to the inlay to the second single (which seemed to have only ever had a wide release in Germany), it was to be called "Private Party" but here it has been left untitled. I believe it was only ever released on this format and the validity of it being released in Japan is debatable. Many thanks again to Stuaaart for sourcing it at long last.

Stay Right Here 4:00
Private Party 3:42
I Can't Find My Way Back To You 4:32
You Give Good Love 4:16
It's Cool, I Still Have You 4:17
Keeps Getting Better 5:04
I Just Wanna Love You 4:25
Tell Me 4:17
Everything's Gonna Be Alright 4:19
You And I 4:01
Baby Crush 4:30
Haven't We Met Somewhere Before 4:55