April 2005

I’m dreaming of a White Party, just like the ones I used to know… To keep with the theme this month’s interviews with the DJ’s, I thought it would be interesting to take a look and listen to some of the best CD compilations of “Circuit” and “Club” music beginning with the present releases of 2005 to past releases dating back to 1999.

White Party Volume 6 – David Knapp (2005)
Centaur Records

A lot of my favorite new artists and legendary DJ’s make up this latest CD in series that has offered us some of the best mixes over the past six years. On this, Volume 6 set, we get a mix of Number One hits, and phenomenal new recordings from some this genres best performers. The CD kicks off with Alyson’s Hi-NRG hit “Feel You” and the pulse never slows down through tracks such as “Lola’s Theme” performed by Shape: UK remixed by SPIN-star Victor Calderone. The disc thumps straight through amazing mixes such as Amber’s “You Move Me,” Ralph Rosario’s “Mas Energia,” Raw Deal’s “Party Time” mixed by Tony Moran and one of the best remixes of Barry Manilow’s classic “Could It Be Magic” performed flawlessly by Vic & Chicola Featuring Mickiyagi. The entire CD is one big party that reminds us all why we come to these events in the first place. Party on!

Blue Ball Volume 4 – Lydia Prim (2005)
Centaur Records

Another new disc for 2005 is one of Lydia Prim’s best compilations. Prim just came off of the Blue Ball in Philadelphia a couple of months ago, and though she hasn’t changed her style, she changed the genre to more male-driven vocals, something you don’t usually hear at the parties. Being a fan of the Diva’s myself, I was a bit hesitant to Prim’s selection, but she has pulled it off spectacularly with such tribal cuts as “True Faith” by K and “Save The Music” by Gene Hunt. The energy is high and the selections are outstanding. All of the tracks deserve mention, especially “Stand Up” by Pussy Dub Foundation and the closing track The Matthew DeKay Band’s “Higher Thoughts.” This collection is fierce. Check it out!

Best of Club 69 - Various Artists (2004)
Star 69 Records

For the few fans of dance that didn't know, "Club 69" was Peter Rauhofer's alias before he went by his own name in 2000. With such a talent, what took him so long to be recognized? Go figure. But while you do, this CD is a must for your collection. It's all of Club 69's diva songs with 69's favorite vocalists Kim Cooper and dynamo Suzanne Palmer. Highlights include the campy "Let Me Be Your Underwear," "Sugar Pie Guy," "Twisted," "Diva," "Style" and "I Look Good." Other favorites include "Warm Leatherette" and "Drama." If your favorite isn't listed, chances are it's on this disc. It's not called "Best of" for nothing.

Queer As Folk - The Third Season (2003)
Tommy Boy Records

Going back to the third season of the popular television series gave us their best offering of music. This time the mixers at work have fine-tuned this two-disc set masterfully. What we get here is the entire soundtrack of songs from season three rather than selections. The set starts right out of the box with Murk vs. Kristine W. and the club-smash “Some Lovin” offered to us here by Peter Rauhofer. Other notable remixes include Danny Tenaglia’s reworking on Yoko Ono’s Number One smash, “Walking On Thin Ice,” a Junior Vasquez mix of Gioia’s “From The Inside” and “The Sound Of Violence” by Cassius which is a Dancefloor Killa Mix. As for disc number two, it’s a standout. It explores the daily lives of the central characters of the show with an alternative twist. It features such artists as the Sneaker Pimps, Underworld, Pete Townshend and more. In true QAF fashion, music and sex fit together like a fist to a glove. Did I say that?

Queer As Nervous - Top Club Tracks From Your Favorite Cable Show (2003)
Nervous Records

Two years ago, the QAF folks offered up “greatest hits” collection. This compilation is one solid hour of hard driving dance music. All the hits are here. Out of the twelve cuts, four went to Number One and five others were Top Five on the Billboard club chart. The CD begins with Wild Life’s “I Don’t Want You,” which slips ever so smoothly into Inaya Day and China Ro’s “Movin’ Up.” Other sure-fire tracks include Kim English’s “Everyday” to Sandy B’s thumper-bumper “Feel Like Singing.” This is one disc that can’t miss. C’mon, get “Nervous” and take a spin!

Disco Kandi (2003)
Hed Kandi Records

This disc is pure S-E-X. Disco Kandi is the accumulation of 24 tracks that have rocked the Disco Heaven dance floor at Hed Kandi’s monthly night at Rouge in London. New Yorkers have had a taste of Kandi, and the sound moved west at a rapid speed. This collection includes favorite dance offerings from house music’s most prolific labels including Subliminal’s “Whatever” by Todd Gardner, Defected’s “That’s How Good Your Love Is” featuring Jocelyn Brown and Strictly Rhythm’s “Follow Me” by Aly-us. A major highlight includes a wild Latin house track from the Latin Hustlers, “So Much Better At Bad.” This disc is mixed with a harder techno edge and a mix of old-style diva vocals. Whoever said disco was dead never tasted this Kandi. It’s the sweetest “disco” record in ages.

djicey: differentday (2003)
Zone Records/System Recordings

Chances are, if you’re into this CD, you’re into sweating your ass off on the dance floor. This time around, legendary DJ Icey has compiled a mix for his second disc that breaks and bumps like never before. What’s most interesting about this CD is that Icey loves to incorporate larger than life vocalists with house sensibilities. “Freaks In The House,” “Searching” and “Dreams” are among the standouts. Icey explains, “I wanted to make a record that would bump in the clubs, but still be vibey for listening to at home or in the car.” I’d say he’s succeeded beautifully.

Party Groove: The Fireball-Rosabel (2003)
Centaur Records

The legendary remixing team of Ralph Rosario and Abel personified this disc beautifully. This is an explosive CD of music from 2003. It’s almost as good as attending the party itself, with inclusions such as the Number One hits “That Sound” and “Some Lovin’,” which features circuit party diva Kristine W. Other notable tracks are Deborah Cooper’s “Real Love,” Pat Hodges’ “Love Revolution” and closing with the party anthem of all ages, “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” by the legendary, late-great Sylvester. Your audio library wouldn’t be complete without this outstanding compilation.

Club Cutz USA – The 12” Mixes (2000)
GTV Records

If you have a hankering for the pop Diva’s, you can’t do better than this non-stop mix of some of the best hits of 1999 and 2000. There is something for every one in this collection of “radio” and club tracks that carry a special edge with their unique brand of remixes. To kick off the set we have one of my favorites, Pink, and her debut smash single “There You Go” (Hani Mix) that segues into Toni Braxton’s “He Wasn’t Man Enough” (Junior Marathon Mix) and 14 other cuts that include artists and remixes such as Christina Aguilera’s “What A Girl Wants,” Amber’s “Sexual,”, Cher’s “Strong Enough,” Tina Turner’s “When The Heartache Is Over,” Cyndi Lauper’s “Disco Inferno,” Taylor Dayne’s “Naked Without You,” Deborah Cox’s “Things Just Ain’t The Same,” and the queen herself, Donna Summer and her anthem “I Will Go With You.” This may be old school, but these Diva’s are the reason this genre is still popular. It’s over one hour of pop heaven that segues one hit into the other seamlessly. It may be a guilty pleasure, but as Groove Armada chants on track 8, “I See You Baby Shakin’ That Ass.” Believe me, you will be.

Circuit Girl - Volume 1 (1999)

You may have to log on to the internet or stray into your rare record dance shop to find this rarity from 1999, but it’s well worth the trouble. This is another set that offers up the Diva anthems that are so sadly missed in the past year. Don’t get me wrong, the music in 2005 is still fabulous, but as the DJ’s proclaim, they just aren’t cranking out the vocal anthems like they used to. This set is so unique, it’s doubtful you’ve heard these versions anywhere else, unless you were in P-Town in the summer of ’99. I was, and that’s why I had to tell you about this set. It kicks off with the Madonna gem “Beautiful Stranger” and works its way through all ten tracks without missing a beat (Literally)! Other cuts include “Testify” by M People, “I Will Go With You (Con Ti Partiro)” by Donna Summer, “Pray” by Tina Cousins and the closer “Exodus” by Sunscreem. Didn’t see your favorite? Other artists include vocal anthems by Lisa Frazier, Cher, Jennifer Paige, Martha Wash, and M.B. Industry Featuring Toni Ann. This is one ferocious set of vocals that’ll transport you back to last millennium. I don’t know where you were, but the memory of the summer of ’99 always puts a devilish smile on my face.

© 2005 Steven M. Housman. All Rights Reserved.