There are, in fact, second acts to American lives and John Morales is in the middle of one. While the M+M mixer has released numerous disco- and soul-related projects over the last five years, his original productions and new remixes land in the one dance genre which still has room for good, well-written and emotional songwriting these days: Soulful House. With DJ Spen, John has released a huge number of these tracks on Spen’s Quantize, featuring full-bodied sound with multiple instrumentalists, grooves like laser-cut diamonds and nearly always vocals from some of the most familiar, most accomplished singers in dance music.

All Q’d Up is a collection and a celebration of this partnership, dropped on mixed and unmixed CDs. Among the top line tracks here are “Supernatural” by Marc Evans (which itself had a catalog of contributors in the credits that read like a Southport Weekender flyer), Tracy Hamlin’s “Never Too Much” and “Without Your Love” and “Are You A Winner,” the latter two direct collaborations between Spen and John under the “Spencer Morales” moniker. There are some spectacular songs here, released in an era when people all-too-often in the dance bizniz have discounted songs as secondary, disposable and a little embarrassing. That’s why these will last and everyone will be hiding their Nu Deep shit in a closet four years from now. (Also: vocals from Ann Nesby, Jocelyn Brown and Sheila Ford don’t hurt either.)

On the whole, if you’ve been sleepwalking on Soulful House for the last decade while you became 2Deep4Us, this is a spectacular primer to some of the best of what’s been going on.

 

Published first in 5 Magazine Issue 138, featuring Dave Pezzner, Jeff Derringer, a tribute to Earl Smith of Acid House pioneers Phuture, mixes and interviews from Boorane, Jay Hill, Tim Zawada & more. Become a member of 5 Magazine for First & Full Access to Real House Music.