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Lewis Dene's Inside Track

The latest gossip, views and opinions in the dance music industry

ALY-US' 'Follow Me' gets re-released for the third time on Strictly Rhythm since its 1992 debut. This once haunting number now goes into the Harry 'Choo Choo' Romero & Jose Nunez big room drama blender to be transformed into a driving peak-time monster. Fred Everything adopts a more musical path to his re-varnish, where moody chords and deep basslines match the exquisite vocals in fine style and restore the deep house order.

Arthur Baker, the man who gave us such archetypical recordings as 'Planet Rock', 'Walking On Sunshine', 'IOU', 'Confusion' and a hundred other dance classics, returns with 'Tear Down The Walls'. For his long-awaited new single on This Is Music, he joins forces with songstresses Ladonna and Nona Hendrix (the original femme fatale of 'Lady Marmalade' and LaBelle fame) for a song that has on obvious retro appeal, while the string-drenched mix from Riva Starr reminds me of Patrice Rushen's 'Haven't You Heard'. It's clear to hear why Baker's longevity has outshone a bevy of wannabe producers, and on the strength of this will continue to do so for many more years to come.

BLAKE LEWIS, the unconventional singer who was selected as first runner-up on season six of American Idol in 2007, is now firmly heading down the club path with 'Heartbreak On Vinyl', his solid new album on Tommy Boy. The sharp and droll pop-rock-funk-and-electronica collection of self-penned songs are fun, flamboyant and oozing with wit and innuendo, and include the upcoming title track remixed by Steve AngelLo, LA Riots, Bimbo Jones and Danny Verde.

Most interesting collaboration of the month has to be that of DJ Hell with '70s pop icon Bryan Ferry. 'U Can Dance' features a magical array of remixes from Carl Craig, Tim Goldsworthy and Simian Mobile Disco. A serpentine Moroder-esque disco burner, fashioned with a little help from Peter Kruder, this update of a lost Ferry demo follows Hell's recent pairing with P.Diddy and similarly comes via the eclectic reaches of International Deejay Gigolo.

As we're all too aware, sales of DJ albums are under attack from all sides — podcasts, free downloads, countless internet radio stations, plus an ever-shrinking number of retailers who still sell physical product. This trend may deter many DJs from releasing albums, but not The Scumfrog. Having been at the forefront of the "free download" movement since 2002, The Scumfrog continues to be an online music pioneer with the release of his new album, 'Friends With Boats Vol.2' — a hybrid between a free promotional DJ-mix download and an official album release. The mixed version is available as a free mp3 download, but each individual track is listed with a direct link to a digital retailer where the songs are available for purchase. To guarantee maximum exposure, and sales for himself and the other artists, the mix is available from one exclusive MySpace page, where fans find themselves one click away from purchasing the featured songs on the mix, and from the pages of the artists involved.

Fresh off the back of being musical director for Dizzie Rascal's recent live shows, the Young Punx new MoFo HiFi album, 'Mashpop & Punkstep', is almost set to drop.

Triple Dee is the nom de plume of Hed Kandi residents David Dunne and Andy Daniels, who along with saxophonist Lady V, revisit the HK vaults for 'Fade' by Solu Music featuring Kimblee. Think soulful disco heaven and you'll be in the right ballpark.

Congrats to Nick Hook and his Jeepers! label. Both reach the 100th release mark with Hook's 'For Your Ears, Your Heart & Your Soul' complete with Jay-Kay and Martin Sharp mixes. In a 20-year recording career the man from Brighton has recorded for a plethora of acclaimed labels, while his own label has released cult singles by the likes of Anton Neumark, First Life, Full Blown, Nightstylers, Paolo Jackson and Deeyana.

The new year heralds Wall of Sound's 15th anniversary and to mark the occasion they're releasing a compilation of their top 15 tracks. 'Where There's A Wall… There's A Way' will includes hits from Propellerheads, Grace Jones, The Wiseguys, RÖyksopp, Reverend and The Makers, Les Rythmes Digitales and The Shortwave Set amongst others. In other WoS news, Grace Jones returns with the Mala, Digital Mystikz, Cagedbaby & Guy Williams and Patron & Sanna mixed 'Love You To Life'; New York duo Shy Child deliver 'Liquid Love', their sophomore set for the label in March, with the single 'Disconnected' a month earlier. There will also be two albums worth of remixes of RÖyksopp singles: the iTunes edition featuring remixes from Thin White Duke, Angello & Ingrosso, TrentemØller, Alan Braxe & Fred Falke, Murk, Derrick Carter, Tom Middleton and Sander Kleinenberg, along with a brace of exclusive Röyksopp mixes. While the Beatport edition will feature versions from Black Strobe, M.A.N.D.Y., Boys Noize, Joakim, The Emperor Machine, Silicone Soul and Wighnomy & Robag Wruhme. Both will also include the DJmag Royksopp remix competition winner as part of the package.

Dr Rubberfunk follow up the mighty 'Trouble Woman' with the equally sublime 'Something Special'. The Max Sedgley track is lifted from their killer Jalapeno album 'Hot Stone', and newly mixed by Crazy P, Spirit Catcher and Neighbour.

Digitalism, whose classic tune 'Zdarlight' is now airing worldwide with the BMW campaign, are in the studio working on their new album.

HEY TODAY!, who've remixed the likes of Digitalism, Zombie Nation and Empire Of The Sun, deliver a stunning club bomb in 'Talk To Me', part of an EP for Tiga's Turbo imprint. Incidentally one of the guys of Hey Today! also co-produced Boris Dlugosch's 'Bangkok' for Erol Alkan's Phantasy imprint.

Tom Middleton continues his sterling work with new re-toolings for Editors ('You Don't Know Love'), Stereophonics ('Could You Be The One') and Noisettes ('Saturday Night').

Look out for a new Timo Garcia remix album featuring a bevy of top names adding their own stamp to his previous releases. Amongst those revisiting 'Wonderlust Bug' are DJ Pierre, Onionz, Eric Kupper, Luzenkirchen, James Harcourt, Trisco, Demarkus Lewis and Justin 'Freaks' Harris.

The Tempered DJs remix of the techno classic 'Age Of Love' has been picked up for official release outta Belgium on NEWS.

Rulers Of The Deep follow up 'Last Survivor' on M.U.M. with 'Track Three', taken from their album 'Untitled Secret'. Remixes on the package include Tempered DJs, Jaimy (Fatal Music) and Curious George & The Agent.

Burn The Negative and Gung-Ho! are to re-release 'Wonder Why' along with the bonus cut, 'Only For Tonight'. New mixes are supplied by 10 Rapid, Solitaire, Leatherhead and Richard Murray.

Fresh from mixing Depeche Mode's 'Hole To Feed', Paul Woolford has been commission to add is post-production sound to Simian Mobile Disco and Jamie Lidell's 'Off The Map', in addition to mixing a two-CD compilation for Renaissance.

Soulful house head Matthias Heilbronn has just mixed Toni Braxton's comeback single, 'So Yesterday', and nu soul starlette N'Damby and her sublime 'The World Is A Beat'. Further additions to his discography include Gerideau's 'Day In The Life Of JoJo', 'Cosmic Journey' from Solange & Bilal and a brace of new releases with Joeski — 'Stuck In A Dream' and 'A Lil' Bit More' both forthcoming on Maya Records.

We hear Static Revenger and Vandalism's Andy Van have been collaborating on new material in LA. Watch this space for more news soon.

Jason 'Phats' Hayward, one half of the late-'90s dance sensation Phats & Small, launches his new label Jason Phats Digital this month with Jason Phats & The Orange Box 'Fly By (Give It To Me)'. Other material scheduled includes singles by DJ Phats, Playright and Manik.

Prok & Fitch release a slew of tunes kicking off with their hotly anticipated 'Freakshow EP' on Toolroom Trax. The Brighton duo have also signed their 'Walk With Me' to Axwell's Axtone imprint and 'The Heat' to Roger Sanchez's Stealth home. Add 'Umbeki', a collaboration My Digital Enemy, and a remix for Strictly Rhythm act Leventina on 'Nightshift', and it's easy to see why the producers are currently in such demand.