dimanche 16 novembre 2008

Disco-Soul Divas Alert : The Plan !

It's been nearly two years I think that I know Soren Jensen in the networld. He is a HUGE Ian Levine addict and completist and as I like a lot the 90's productions of the man, I first surfed pages about the man's discography that Soren put online and asked him a couple of questions before sharing more info and becoming MySpace friends.
He first reached one goal when he became close to his beloved producer, being able to touch old demos and unreleased material then releasing newsletters for every new Ian Levine releases.
Now he has reached another limit : create his own music label, Night Dance Records, and release his first record, a 2CD package of soul flavoured discopop like a fan of Ian Levine could do : The Plan.
Named after the first single Stick to the plan, this album includes 20 (!) original songs written or co-written by Soren, some with Ian Levine partner in crime Clive Scott, some with UK lyricist Philip Carter, all sung by several disco soul divas, from yesterday to nowadays, but all sounding better than ever.
First, there's Evelyn Thomas, the never forgotten performer of the Ian Levine hit of the 80's High Energy. Here she sings the great Stick to the plan she co-wrote with Soren, whose single release includes fabulous electro house remixes by french Laurent Schark or Wayne G & Porl Young.
She sings three other songs, the equally disco stomping Infidelity, the laid-back melancholic & breezy Why must the sunrise and the galloping disco-fun number Missing the target. The lady's voice hasn't lost any power at all and this collaboration must have been a blessed one for the young producer.
Then there is Tahira Jumah, a young session singer that has previously worked with Ian Levine. Soren tried to get qualified for the danish pre-selection for Eurovision in 2008 with a song he wrote and make her sing, Every day's a new day. He wasn't selected but this song, all soulish and poppy, ends the CD and is the only track which Ian Levine put his production skills on along with Soren & Clive Scott. She has been given 3 other songs here, Been there, done that and Seasons come around again, Motown-inspired as well, and To be loved by him, which sounds to me like a My man, the sequel.
Another Ian Levine's young session lady, Corine Armstrong, has 4 songs here, the full-on dreamy mid-tempo Point of no return, and 3 disco numbers that could all compete for being the next single : The challenge, a powerful up-to-date disco house anthem, Feet keep on movin', another galloping disco stomp on which you can't help your feet movin'..., and Stronger than ever, a beautiful orchestred disco soul song with a strong anthemic chorus. The lady co-wrote the latter with both Soren Jensen & Clive Scott and Ian Levine's partner's influence on these tracks is clear. They could have been featured on any recent Northern Soul compilation for sure.
Another session singer, Donna Williams, sings on Thinking of you and on the euro-cheese I will follow my dream, all wrapped with key change & a good rhythm, and brings us back in the days when europop was all over radios.
Pamela Ivonne-Cole, a talented background vocalist, has another contender for next single with the pure anthem Spider in a cobweb. This powerful disco hit has all the right spots : good vocals, good melody, good lyrics & a good beat. The chemistry's all here to make it a hit ! The other song she sings here, Let us try again, is a sweet ballad with a spanish guitar intro, pleasant & nice like a necessary pause between the dance tracks to take a sip and then get back on the dancefloor.
Then there is Pearly Gates (of The Flirtations) who's been given an old school flavoured disco soul number, One time too many, and another Motown inspired winner Stop for love where her voice shines all bright.
Finally, there is dance diva Erire who sings the hit-written-all-over-it Come to the decision, an incredibly memorable anthem where her powerful vocals suit the track & arrangements very well, as well as Standing on top of the world, which starts with a calm intro then builds up around uplifting strings to become a full on vocal disco soul powertrack.
So let's count with me, there's just enough fingers on my hands and your hands for the extra value tracklisting of The Plan CD except... that was just the first !
For a first release, Night Dance Records have chosen to give us no choice BUT buy it for this release comes all in a glossy digipack with classy booklet and two (!) CDs. The second one includes remixes of 10 songs from the first CD, all in full length version and housefully made by Laurent Schark plus a megamix of The Plan songs by MySpace man Crazy Pitcher.
So what do you think?
Isn't this release a must-have for every -disco soul lover?, -northern soul completist?, -Ian Levine follower?, -disco house addict?, -good pop songs fan?
All you have to do is get to the Night Dance Records MySpace page http://www.myspace.com/nightdancerecords, then click on the Add to cart button for a worthy price of £15.00 (incl. p&p), then wait for Mr. Postman and then lay down for over an hour and a half to surrender to the power of this disco souled divas' heaven.

Another useful link, for those who like it more housey is the remixer's page : http://www.myspace.com/laurentschark for he has had a couple of good releases and I can't wait for his second album coming...