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November 18, 2009

Groove Line

BY
DJ PLEZ

A Fond Farewell...
After a fairly successful run over the past few years, Circuit Night Club's monthly Nitro party came to an end in October. During its heyday in 2007 and 2008, Nitro (which ChicagoPride.com was initially involved with as a media sponsor) was a reliably fun big room Saturday night event featuring superstar DJs – Peter Rauhofer and Junior Vasquez made Nitro their exclusive Chicago home during its run – and a thematic visual presentation that was always meticulously planned and flawlessly executed under the watchful eye of Will Harrison and his Visuwil design firm. But as they say, all good things must come to an end and Nitro was apparently no exception.

...And a Hearty Welcome
Actually it's a "welcome back" to Scarlet, which has been going strong since its autumn re-opening with a wide ranging line-up of weekly events featuring the likes of Adam Guerino, and DJs Greg Haus and Psycho Bitch (pictured). Congrats to all involved and may this second incarnation live long and prosper ... When it comes to Clubhouse Productions and its "hip-hop for all" Urbano party, the welcome greeting is for their new weekly Saturday night status at Circuit. With DJs Anton, Kenae, and Corona spinning their unique urban blend of hip-hop, R&B, reggaeton and house, the flavor profile of dance music in Boystown got some much needed spice.

Janet: 4 Ways
While most of the Jackson family news in recent months has been about Michael, his untimely death, and the fabulous This Is It movie, his little sister Janet has still been busy making music. And what good music it is as the most recent offering "Make Me" is just oh so delicious. The original radio edit is an up-tempo track that has some familiar 1970s funk elements and that is sure to energize any and all listeners, probably even more so than "Feedback" did. I can just see folks flocking to the dance floor once the DJ drops "Make Me" and a resulting chorus of voices simultaneously exalting, "This is my jam!"

As happens with a strong underlying song, the dance remixes that have come my way for "Make Me" are for the most part quite impressive and serve the track well. Homeboy Ralphi Rosario has two of the remixes, including the ultra smooth houser Martini Mix that works perfectly in a lounge setting with patrons happily sipping on cocktails. While his Vocal Club Mix is appropriate for a dance floor, it's not quite the big room "throw your hands in the air" tribal presentation that you might expect. It actually has more of a transitioning feel to it: a song a DJ can use to help connect different parts of a set. The dance remix that's actually likely to get a dance floor jumpin' is the Moto Blanco Club Mix. Retaining the funky bass lines of the original version, this club mix of "Make Me" is arguably the strongest Moto Blanco production since their effort on Mary J Blige's "Just Fine." Finally, there is a Bimbo Jones remix that is decent enough; but frankly, I found it lacking when compared to the others. All in all, "Make Me" is a fantastic piece of music that should be added to your collection and playlist.

I prefer a Hilton or Hyatt
Pitbull's "Hotel Room Service" is his latest chart-topper and frankly I'm a big fan … of both the original radio edit as well as three of the dance remixes that are floating around. The Mike Cole Remix, my favorite, is a twisty proggish affair with a quirky syncopated lyrical beat pattern that makes this version perfect for an after-hours affair. The Ultimix by DJ Volume and DJ Richie Rich stays fairly true to the original with its sampling of Nightcrawlers' "Push The Feeling On" and Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper Delight." As for a big room banger with a taste of tribal drums and an even more significant sampling of the Nightcrawlers, you can't go wrong with the Dope Boys Remix.

Yes, I'll Follow
One of the biggest house music hits "back in the day" was "Follow Me" by Aly-Us. This uplifting anthem never failed to excite, often leading to a dance floor singing the chorus in unison. Well, as with most other good classic house tracks, "Follow Me" is being introduced to a new generation of house music lovers with a collection of 2009 remixes on Strictly Rhythm Records. Fred Everything & Olivier Desment's SF Vocal Mix is an impressive piece for groovy soulful house that will delight the folks over at Cocktail and those looking for a Body & Soul type of jam. On the Deep House side of things Mauritzio's effort is a gorgeous creation that is silky smooth and sexy. "Follow Me" really is a timeless piece of music.

 
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