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Relight by Ananda Project

Smooth House has never sounded so good. This is not the quote that someone might expect hearing concerning an Atlanta based production - then again, maybe it’s time for a change. The Southeast US is increasingly dominating the global music market with its world-class studios and eternal wealth of underground talent. Dance music is just another genre of music to surrender to the awesome power of the force.... .wait, strike that.

Atlanta based producer Chris Brann ads fuel to the fire of an already brightly burning flame; his Ananda Project is one of the most celebrated names in house music, and whose singles continue to slash/burn their way through the house-jock charts. This new addition to Brann’s victorious catalogue of sounds also proves to be a champion. With disc 1 containing new/unreleased music from the Ananda moniker, disc 2 contains throwback favorites and re-works from the recent past.

Disc 1 begins with "Twilight" - an abundance of tribal instrumentation and percussion that instantly prepares the listener for the deep journey that awaits. A Relight mix of "Secrets" features swooningly sexy vocals from Marta Gazman; soft rhythmic house grooves set the pace. Mixing straight out of the previous sounds, the tribal percussion and chants of "Wasting My Love" are elevated even further by the by the soulful harmonies of Heather Johnson and Terrance Downs. The funky electric bassline bouncing 4/4 of "Everything You Are" turns the heat up a notch; I should also mention that Ede Wright steps in to swing the track out with a few grooving electric guitar licks, while Clive Stevens adds his own smoky touch on soprano sax. "Big Boat" continues to rock the jazz/Latin sound with Terrance taking the lead vox again. Lydia Rhodes gives the R&B styled "Suite Dreams" wings, and Heather Johnson’s trippy vocals echo over the very dark and tribal sounds of "I Hear You Dreaming."

"Justice, Mercy" has Terrance pleading his soul, while the deep house of Brann’s production rumbles on. "ICU" is a deep, funky groove featuring DJ Spinna and an assortment of synthetic instrumentation and vocals. Hitting a slightly clubbier tone with "Kiss, Kiss, Kiss," Heather and Terrance both wail to the rafters. The album continues to wind its way out on a harder note as Terrance Downs adds vocals to "Shouldn’t Have Left Me." Terrance Downs bring back the funk on "The One," and vocalist Nicola Hitchcock finishes us off with a very groovy track entitled "Can You Find the Heart."

Disc 2 (Selected Works) begins with the acid laden club-house of "Breaking Down" (Morel’s Pink Noise Vocal Mix), an immediate attention grabber. It’s one of those vocal tracks that would move a 4am graveyard (house jocks take note). "Cascades of Colour" (Wally Lopez Weekend Radio Mix) is yet another harder synth-bass single that has that certain edge that would snuggle in nicely with any tribal, prog/trog, or deep house jock set. Taking a more tribal turn comes the rocking rhythms of "Falling For You" (G-Pal’s New York Mix), directly followed by the deep gospel house of "Glory Glory" (Timewriter’s Saints and Sinners Mix). Again with the "Big Boat" - this time it’s a broken down Relight Acoustic Dub. Breaking it down even further is the minimal Afro percussion of "In the Skies" (Wamdue Mix Edited Edition). "Tangerine" gets us back to the club styled house side of things and features hot Afro percussion matched with smoky male vocals and jazzy synthwork. The funk-groove and broken rhythms of "Bahia" (Kyoto Jazz Massive D&B Mix Edit) offers a different sound to standard 4/4 of Wamdue’s other works. The smoke filled and loungy nu-jazz sound of "Fantasy Suite" finishes us off like a cool breeze over a sun drenched beach.

So, another album from the Wamdue Studios has come and gone, only proving that amidst sunny Atlanta’s blossoming urban declaration, the sound of house music can be heard echoing loud and clear for the world to groove to.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Ananda Project
  • CD Title: Relight
  • Genre: Electronica
  • Year Released: 2005
  • Record Label: NiteGrooves
  • Rating: Five Stars
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