John Morales

The M&M Mixes, Vol. 2

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Most of the selections on the first volume of The M&M Mixes were previously unreleased, alternate versions John Morales prepared for DJ’ing gigs and his radio sets for New York City’s WBLS. The focus on the second volume, however, is on commercially issued versions; only one-third of the material comes from Morales' deep private stock. The compilation begins with Inner Life's “I’m Caught Up (In a One Night Love Affair),” Morales' first credited studio effort for producers Patrick Adams and Greg Carmichael, but it also features a handful of his earlier underground mixes and an additional batch of solo mixes from 1980 and 1981: the Fantastic Aleems' ecstatic “Hooked on Your Love” (fronted by Adams/Carmichael associate Leroy Burgess, with backing vocals from Luther Vandross), Inner Life's sensual “Make It Last Forever,” and Logg’s “Dancing Into the Stars” (another gold Burgess/Carmichael nugget). Several true “M & M” mixes -- credited to Morales and partner Sergio Munzibai -- are featured. The finest is the Aleems' “Get Down Friday Night,” a nine-minute mix incorporating a breakdown that fluidly emphasizes Burgess’ electric piano and vocal ad libs, streams of hand percussion, and a nimble bassline. A pair of mixes from 1984, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes' “Don’t Give Me Up” and Evelyn Thomas' “Heartless,” shows how Morales and Munzibai had no trouble working with the brighter and more mechanized sounds of the mid-‘80s. Six mixes, mostly 1976 and 1977-era Salsoul, make their first appearance, which is enough to pique the interest of disco collectors who have the package’s other tracks. True to Morales' form, they’re all in the nine to ten minute range, not as radical as Walter Gibbons' output but rich with delightful nuances.

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