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West End Records: The 25th Anniversary Edition Mastermix

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Masters at Work 4/23/2002

Review

During the late '70s and early '80s, when New York City's garage scene was in full swing, West End Records released a run of legendary 12"s like Taana Gardner's "Heartbeat" and Loose Joints' "Is It All Over My Face" that never went out of style, unlike most disco of the era, and most importantly set the precedent for the advent of New York's house scene later on during the early '90s. One of those early-'90s New York house pioneers -- and probably the most accomplished of the era -- was Masters at Work, a duo comprised of Louie Vega and Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez who were known for their DJing as well as their producing and remixing. It's only fitting then that West End Records teamed up with Masters at Work for The 25th Anniversary Edition Mastermix, a double-disc commemorative collection of West End classics mixed with evident precision and passion. In fact, Masters at Work felt so indebted to the West End legacy that the duo spent hours in the studio remixing approximately half of the 17 tracks featured on the collection. These remixes aren't much of a departure from the original versions; actually, you'd be pressed to find what it is, besides overall sound quality, that has been altered. The resulting album, then, is somewhat of a godsend: for one, because these tracks hadn't been readily available on CD (the four-disc West End Story series had long been out of print), particularly in one handy collection like this; two, because they've never sounded better, as these remixes make them sound brand new again and anything but dated; and three, because the mix is downright breathtaking. Masters at Work spread out all the big favorites like the aforementioned "Heartbeat" (which gets the party started) and "Is It All Over My Face" (which crowns the outstanding first set) as well as Gardner's other classics, "When You Touch Me" (which appears here in a seemingly never-ending 14-minute re-edit that kick-starts the second set) and "Work That Body." The standouts don't end there though, as Masters at Work also throw down Michele's "Can't You Feel It," Mahogany's "Ride on the Rhythm," and North End's "Kind of Life (Kind of Love)," among others. They also sneak in a few looped breaks to aid the all-around seamless mixing and close out the album with a West End-style production of their own, "All Night (I Can Do It Right)." The result is an album that should appeal to most fans of dance music: from those who boogied down to these tracks when Larry Levan was spinning them at the Paradise Garage the first time around, to those who have heard of West End but not the tracks themselves, to those who generally enjoy Masters at Work and their New York house ilk, to those who simply adore well-mixed, truly timeless dance music. ~ Jason Birchmeier
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 West End 25th Anniversary Intro Cevin Fisher 0:51
  3. 2 Serious Sirius Space Party Ednah Holt 3:8
  4. 3 Heartbeat Taana Gardner 5:50
  5. 4 Ride on the Rhythm Mahogany 6:36
  6. 5 You Can't Have Your Cake and Eat It Too Brenda Taylor 5:42
  7. 6 Do It to the Music Raw Silk 6:41
  8. 7 Raw Silk/Michele Loop [Break] Masters at Work 0:47
  9. 8 Can't You Feel It Masters at Work 8:17
  10. 9 Don't Make Me Wait Masters at Work 6:43
  11. 10 Let's Go Dancin' Sparque 8:38
  12. 11 Is It All Over My Face Loose Joints 6:35
  13. 12 Loose Joints/Karen Youn Loop + Intro [Break] Masters at Work 1:17
  14. 13 Hot Shot Karen Young 8:46
  15. 1 When You Touch Me Taana Gardner 13:43
  16. 2 Taana Gardner/Billy Nichols Loop [Break] Masters at Work 0:43
  17. 3 Give Your Body Up to the Music Billy Nichols 7:9
  18. 4 Kind of Life (Kind of Love) Masters at Work 11:50
  19. 5 Work That Body Taana Gardner 7:35
  20. 6 Just in Time Raw Silk 7:35
  21. 7 Heat You Up (Melt You Down) Shirley Lites 5:15
  22. 8 Keep on Dancin' Masters at Work 4:14
  23. 9 Time Stone 2:39
  24. 10 All Night (I Can Do It Right) Masters at Work 7:9

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