Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Axe's Steelo

Sat-R-Day is a Dutch R&B trio that specializes in club tunes. "(I'm Diggin' Yo) Steelo" is the second single off of their 2001 ZYX debut album, The Weekend Is Yours, and their biggest hit. Their lead singer later left the group and they replaced him with another guy for their second album, which wasn't as well received. But I don't care about any of that any more than you do. If you're not DJing for a nightclub eight nine years ago, there's one reason to note this single: it features a surprising guest appearance by The Outsidaz' Axe.

So, you get six on the CD single or five on the vinyl (take THAT, traditional DJs!), and as you can see from the pic, the cover promises us a 2-step mix. In fact, two of the mixes are 2-step mixes. For those who don't know, Wikipedia tells us that, "2-step, is a typically British style of modern electronic dance music... In 1999 and 2000, 2-step reached the peak of the genre's commercial success." That's pretty much why you can scoop this up super cheap today if you're so inclined.

Ok, so let's get this out of the way real quick. You've got the two 2-step mixes, "Mike's Ministry Mix" and "CC Lounge Mix," neither of which feature Axe (and one of which barely features Sat-R-Day). By the way, according to the liner notes, all six tracks are produced by Rutti. I don't know who the Mike of "Mike's Ministry Mix" would be, then... maybe Rutti's first name is Mike?). There's also the "For AM Mix," which plays it more traditionally R&B and the "Bubbeling[sic.] Mix," which features some silly reggae verses. No one is credited for doing that either, so I suppose it's one of the guys from Sat-R-Day. Those mixes don't feature Axe either.

So that leaves us with the tracks we actually do care about, the ones featuring Axe: the Radio and Extended mixes. The Extended mix is that sixth track that was left off the vinyl, by the way. It's basically the same as the Radio Mix but features some additional riffing (50 seconds worth) by Sat-R-Day at the end.

So how is the actual song? It's not bad. For a dollar bin pick-up, I was satisfied with it. Sat-R-Day are some genuinely decent singers with a Jodeci-like sound (some of their online fans praise them for sounding American), but the song is faster and more upbeat than anything those boys'd do. The subject matter is pretty obvious from the title - they're digging some girl's style - but they already have a girlfriend so we've gotta "keep it on the low-low." The production won't impress any Paul C. stans, but it's certainly competent enough and keeps you following along.

And the good news is that Axe's verse is tight. The beat is much more poppy than traditional Outsidaz material, of course; but it's fast and upbeat, so it actually works surprisingly well with Axe's flow. Despite its name, the Radio Mix actually leaves Axe's curse words and drug references intact, so if you got the vinyl you're not missing out on anything important.

I mean, I don't want to overhype his contribution here; it's not "oh my god, how incredible"... there's no really ill, stand-out lines, and I'm not suggesting most heads should go seek this out like the next hidden jewel. But he sounds good here. So if you're serious a fan, go ahead and spend that penny for a used copy on Amazon. And if you're with your girl and you have to listen to some clubby R&B-type joints, definitely go for the one with the Outsida on it.

No comments:

Post a Comment