Tennerz: Vanessa Daou – Near The Black Forest 2.0 (Severino & D. Ramirez Sleazy Disco Mix) (KID Recordings)
Summer’s just around with Vanessa Daou‘s new offering – ‘Near The Black Forest 2.0’ – arriving right on time. As you’ll probably expect, ‘Near The Back Forest 2.0.’ pretty much suggests the existence of a 1.0 version. And that brings up back to 1994 and the release of the lady’s ‘Zipless’ album. A collection of songs inspired by the work of poetess Erica Jong which saw Daou pretty much standing apart. Meanwhile exploring sounds and vibes one would soon after find in genres such as Nu Jazz, Trip Hop or, more recently, Nu Disco.
Bliss would most likely be the word when thinkin’ of this ‘Zipless’ album. From its soothing arrangements to Vanessa Daou‘s vocal performances. Therefore contributing to the unique sensuality of its atmospheres and, as a result, the intimacy of the whole. Not to mention the body expression of the singer which would make Sade seem vapid and Madonna sort of too much in comparison. A quick listen to the original version of ‘Near The Black Forest’ leavin’ a feeling of floating in a kind of sexual langour.
More than 20 years have gone since, and ‘Near The Black Forest 2.0′ has the same magnetism at its predecessor. Meanwhile bringin’ Daou‘s tones and vibes into the third Millenium. Here we have a timeless piece of sexy music which Severino (Panzetta) and D. Ramirez have slightly boosted while enhancing its rhythm part.
What I would tend to consider as a piece of Chill R&B or lascivious Nu-Disco. If not so to say ‘Electrotica’…
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As far as I can remember, the very first time I’ve ever heard Vanessa Daou singin’ brings us back to 1990. And, in the meantime, to the souvenir of memorable NYC House label Nu Groove. Back then, she would share the lead on Critical Rhythm‘s lazy ‘It Could Not Happen’. A cut which received mixing work courtesy of The Brooklyn Funk Essentials, Lenny Dee and Victor Simonelli. Meanwhile, she also performed as Vandal, delivering ‘The Laws Of Chants’ vol. 1 & 2 that same year for the label.
She soon after caught up the attention of Columbia Records who offered her a 7-album record deal. Signed then as The Daou, a 5 piece-band comprising her husband (a producer and keyboardist), they released their debut-album – ‘Head Music’ – 2 years after. Its opening cut – ‘Surrounder Yourself’ – with remix courtesy of Danny Tenaglia eventually went to #1 on Billboard’s Dance Chart. But creative disagreements soon after led both parts to break their deal. With their two following singles – ‘Give Myself To You’ and ‘Are You Satisfied?’ – soon after finding a new home on Indie label Tribal Records America.
On her own account, from then, Vanessa Daou released her (solo) debut-album – ‘Zipless’ – on MCA back in 1994. Comin’ up with a collection of songs which most likely took their inspiration from the work of the poet/novelist Erica Jong. There, she showed up a rare sensuality. This, with gems such as ‘Near The Black Forest’, the first single from the album. But also ‘Alecestis On The Poetry Circuit’. Not to mention ‘Becoming A Nun’ or ‘Sunday Afternoons’, displaying avant-gardist arrangements for the time being. Like Serge Gainsbourg eventually did it on his side. With both of them inspiring a new generation of artists which would explore territories such as Nu Jazz, Trip Hop and Electro Chill vibes. Not to mention Nu Disco…
The sweet and groovy ‘Two To Tango’ headlined her follow-up album – ‘Slow To Burn’ – in 1996. With Danny Tenaglia eventually remixing it. Alas, significant changes in the label management the year before affected its running for a few months. Therefore contributing to the overshadowing of a few album releases at the time. With ‘Slow To Burn’ makin’ no exception.
From then, Daou would release her music independently. Beginning with her 1997 ‘Plutonium Glow’ album which saw the light on her own DaouMusic label. The latter stands among the first albums by a former major label artist that marketed and sold on Internet.
She has released 4 extra albums since with the latest – ‘Light Sweet Crude (Act One: Hybrid)’ – back in December 2013. Meawnhile ‘Near The Black Forest 2.0’ is the first in a series of scintillating new remix singles to be issued from Vanessa‘s forthcoming ‘Zipless 2.0: Songs From The Works of Erica Jong [Remixed & Reimagined]’ album project
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