March 23, 2005
Full-Length Compilation CDs
Live @ Roxy 4 – mixed by Peter Rauhofer (Star 69)
Freedom - mixed by Manny Lehman (Tommy Boy)
Following the success of last year’s releases by Abel, Escape, and Tony Moran, Tommy Boy Records is on a roll as Freedom is another solid effort. This is a double-disc beat-mixed compilation from a member of the gay club/circuit DJing royalty that according to its marketing literature, “celebrates the accomplishments the gay community has made in its continuing battle for life, liberty and equality.” While individuals can judge for themselves its effectiveness as a celebratory vehicle, my evaluation of Freedom as a creative presentation is that it will truly delight those who prefer their dance music filled with high-energy tribal passion and a very limited number of true diva vocal tracks. CD1, the stronger of the two discs in my estimation, is subtitled “Big Room Session” and accordingly has more of a peak-hour flair to it. CD2 goes by the name of “Tribal Sessions.” It has more of an underground progressive feel to it, thus making it most appropriate as a follow-up after-hours mix to CD1.
Heartbeat Volume 2 – mixed by Julius Papp (Loveslap Recordings)
Artists’s Long Players
Free Yourself – Fantasia (J Records)
Hotel – Moby (V2 Records)
The “IT!” group at the moment within the GLBT community - Scissor Sisters - is out with remixes of “Filthy Gorgeous.” While the 12 inch remix is most likely to get club play as the DJ mines their electro fare, the other mixes are more interesting and exciting. The Paper Faces mixes have a smoother, groovier feel to them and the Martini Brothers Mix is a tremendous tech house effort which I will surely incorporate into the sets for my more sophisticated audiences.
For the second time in this article I bring up Loleatta Holloway’s name as there are new remixes to her classic “Stand Up.” Live Element has re-worked the original with some modern touches and a bit more of a darker chug to it that builds nicely to the break-out point where Ms. Holloway, too too happy to be with the man that she has, exclaims to the listener to “Stand up. Tell everybody I got him!” The Hott 22 remix is an interesting full-bodied general house mix infused with an incessant piano. Finally, there’s the jazzy Audiowhores Bootleg Edit and its dominating bass line for those who are looking for more of a deeper house vibe.
Proving again why they are one of the most interesting record labels around, Saw Recordings is offering up “Like This” by Matty Heilbronn. Yes, it seems strange that someone like Heilbronn would show up on Saw, but that’s what I mean by this label being the so damn interesting. On “Like This” Heilbronn presents a hybrid of tech house and progressive infused with a bouncy and soulful bongo percussive line. For those of us looking for blurred lines of demarcation in our dance music, this is s prime offering.
Chicagoan Suzanne Palmer is back in our consciousness with “Home”, also out on Star 69. Both the Beat Hustlerz and Offer Nissim have mixes of this track, which in my opinion is even better than Palmer’s big hot last year: “Luv 2 Luv.”