Much like the first volume, 2003's mix is also a 2 CD set, the first one encompassing the soulful sounds of deep house while the second one takes the listener through a journey of pumped up house.
Deep and soulful, one could get absorbed in the sounds on the first CD - what I personally appreciate about deep house is the emotion it gives off - happy, moody or just plain heart stirring - it just hits you right there (motion of a fist hitting my chest where the heart is) and the first CD is no different. From the very sweet vocals on Dubtribe Sound System's (one of my favourites) Rhythm In Your Mind and Solu Music's Naturally, Roger mixes in tunes by deep house's major players in the scene today. San Fran's Kaskade gets not one but two inclusions with Be There also being licensed to Andy Caldwell's InSoul Sessions mix.
Sandy Rivera and Haze feature yet again with Changes - destined to be a big tune in 2003 (it probably already is) and this time around it's in funky deep house mode, reserving the big, monotonic bassline for harder dancefloors to incorporate a funky keyboard and melodic bassline.
Syncopating the beats and moving the mix to nu-jazz is Ashen by Rise providing a welcome change to the four/four beats already featured on ost of the mix, and to finish off, Chris Lum with Por Que Amor, which when translated means "For The Love" - showing Chris' love for the scene which he and others in the Bay Area have been pioneering in the last few years.
It's quite similar to Jay-J and Miguel Migs 'In The House' mix CD volume released earlier and as the current master's of deep house that they are, I would prefer to leave the deep house selections to them and have Sanchez do the harder, dancefloor oriented tunes which is where the second CD comes in.
Saxed up and calling for the dancefloor are the two opening tracks - Boca Grande's Push and Gattacca's Supersax - the latter seems to be the basis of the title chosen for the mix series as the announcer commands the listener to "release themselves" and get in tune with the music.
Jay-J & Chris Lum represent the uplifting side of house music with Freaks Like Us, with a robotic freak on vocodered vocals only to be complimented by Vibe Resident's The DJ Is Calling - a personal highlight of the mix.
Melbourne's Djeep gets a track licensed for this release and What's Come Over Me is just one example of the quality of house music being produced on our side of the world and makes for a great inclusion here. For more examples of great Aussie house music check out A Night Out With Vicious Grooves
To finish off, a house cover of Gil Scott Heron's The Revolution Will Not Be Televised this time done by the Soul Rebels... errr covers! As much as I personally dislike having classics covered into the house genre, house music would probably be less popular today as it would be without them - as they provide that crossover appeal. Gil Scott Heron's beat poetry classic is one I feel they should have stayed away from though and would no doubt have the funk masses screaming and yelling at the top of their lungs.
Overall, it's a decent selection of house tunes, either deep or uplifting, whatever your fancy, it should be featured here. One could argue that house mixed CD's are far too common nowadays and it's true - but it takes a skilled DJ to sort out the best tunes and paste them nicely into a coherent mix - and then there are those who couldn't care as long as it's a big name behind the decks - someone they can trust to deliver the goods. Nothing groundbreaking here - just straight up house music.