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  Nude Dimensions Vol. 2
by Sterling McGarvey

Naked Music is a relatively new deep house label based in San Francisco and New York. With artists such as Blue Six, Lovetronic, and Lisa Shaw, Naked Music is making quite a name for itself through its sounds. Then there's the covers. Oh, those luscious neo-70s kitschy covers. Lavishly and lovingly illustrated, they depict nude women frolicking and posing in a variety of ways. The smoothness of the covers requires — no, demands that the sounds be equally on par with the art. They say you can't judge a book by its cover? You can damn sure judge this album by its cover. As a follow up to the first Nude Dimensions CD mixed by Miguel "Migs," Nude Dimensions 2 makes a fine sequel to the first disc. In terms of sequels, this one is much more like a video game sequel than a movie sequel: It surpasses the strengths of the original. Mixed by SF deep house DJ Mauricio Aviles, Nude Dimensions 2 is a versatile album that fits in so perfectly with the right moods.

When you grow tired of the intensity of DnB or the ethereal sounds of progressive house, and you need something different, this is the disc to pick up. Soulful down to the last detail, and even sexier, it is an album that seems almost aquatic in nature. It ebbs and flows, like a tide. One track might feel like a small wave that buffers big tracks from colliding into one another excessively. The mood is mixed appropriately, so that one doesn't hear too much energy or too little from the track selection. The album kicks off with a nice warm up in Bougie Solitierre's "Superficial," which blends right into Deep Six's hit, "Pure," this version being a Petalpusher Dub. For those not in the know on Naked Music, Miguel "Migs" produces tracks under the alter ego Petalpusher. Any quest for "Pure" on a music search engine will yield one hell of a lot of remixes, rivaled only by one other track that appears as a remix on this CD, but that is later on in the disc.

Aviles' mixing skills are absolutely no joke. He weaves in and out of tracks with the smoothness of aged brandy. Afro Elements' "Chocolat" is, plainly put, a very, very sexy and seductive track. As a bass plays over a relatively downtempo House track, an organ lingers and loops in the background. It has the type of ambience that goes well with amber-lit chillout rooms at clubs, or a candlelit finale to a romantic evening. Undercover Elements' "I Need You in My Life" keeps the tempo rather chill over a relatively sparse and simple track. It makes a nice lead-in to one of the album's highlights, Aquanote's "True Love"...a track that is inexplicably gorgeous. The most House-phobic person couldn't help but nod or tap a foot to this track. Warm, vibrant, soulful, and more uptempo than the prior two tracks, "True Love" is one that you'll skip ahead to if you lack the patience to handle the buildup of Aviles' mixing.

"True Love" melts away to Vibe Delight's "Keep It Coming," which is another smooth and sparse track. Once again, the simple yet smooth track flows into Lovebirds' "The Limit." "The Limit" is one of those tracks that commands you to just move something. That, and the way it breaks and builds back up, has you ready to get down. It doesn't stop there, though. The tribal house magic of Sirus' "Big Ben" enraptures. Butter smooth jazziness over a tribal percussion makes this another high point of the album. As "Big Ben" fades away, Astro Traxx's "Losing Control" brings back the vocals and leads into the 21st century's nomination for most remixed track: MJ Cole's "Sincere," this time remixed by Petalpusher. I swear, if they came out with a show like "Iron Chef" (on Food Network), but instead of focusing on chefs using one type of food, they focused on music producers using one type of track ("Iron Remixer," you say?), then "Sincere" would have to be the first track they'd use. Remixed into DnB by Marcus Intalex, made into acid jazz by Jazzanova, remixed and redubbed time and time by MJ Cole himself, and now redone in deep, smooth house courtesy of Miguel "Migs."

After the "Sincere" remix, Solar House bangs out a nice vocal tune in "Got 2 B U." One of the biggest highlights of the album hits with Cooly's Hot Box's "Could You Love Me? (Crash Dub)." The production on this track just feels right. The deep bassline, the vocals and the synths come together just right to create one of the tastiest deep house tracks I've heard in a while. The Atjazz remix of James Perri's "The Power" builds us up for the climax, one of Naked Music's crown jewels. Lisa Shaw's "Always" is one of the label's biggest releases. Shaw's gorgeous vocals glide along the gentle percussion and the killer bassline so perfectly. Aviles allows the track to fully play into a very lengthy fadeout.

I highly recommend this CD to any House enthusiast out there. There are some moments in which Richard "Humpty" Vission just doesn't fit the mood (no offense to him; I'm sure he'd say the same thing). For those moments in which a listener might find himself or herself wanting some deep, soulful sounds to unwind, or some smooth music to have playing in the background while entertaining company (you know, the kind that makes people stop and say "Ooh, what's this CD you're playing?"), then I highly recommend Nude Dimensions 2. And yes, it's good for getting naked.

At Amazon.com

Nude Dimensions 1 cover art Nude Dimensions Vol. 1
Record Label:
Crown
Track Listing:

  1. Breakin It Down (Jay's Naked Vocal)
  2. Take Me To Paradise (Summer Lover's Dub)
  3. On My Own (Acapella Mix)
  4. That's Why I'm Her E (Migs Transporters Vocal)
  5. Surrender (Original Vocal)
  6. Rise Above (Origianl Version)
  7. You Are Love (Si Brad's Payback Dub)
  8. Spirit In Your Soul (Original Version)
  9. Music & Wine (Th Attaboy Vocal)
  10. No Communication No Love (Salt City Orch Remix)
  11. Wind & Sea (Nall Remix)
  12. Mood Is Right (Migs & Jelly Mix)
  13. You Are Love (Jay's Afrotronic Ext Vocal)
  14. Ghetto (Atjazz Remix)
  15. Music & Wine (Mig's Love Deluxe Mix)
  16. Soulmate (Restless Soul Peaktime Vocal Mix)
  17. Soulmate (Naked Naj Original)

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