Groove Line

Thu. August 18, 2005 12:00 AM
by DJ Plez

Market Days 2005 Revisited: My Top 10 Observations

1. Yes, it was a bit on the humid side on Sunday, but all in all it was glorious weather throughout the weekend with shirtlessness a necessity – thankfully – for many.
2. The behind-the-scenes politics amongst the merchants association, the vendors, the police, and the City can be fascinatingly vicious. It's quite delicious to be a spectator to this blood sport.
3. Saturday night dance floors were booming along Halsted: DJ Matthew Harvat was ferociously working the Boystown Ball crowd at Circuit while Rosabel cast a spell upon the souls at Hydrate.
4. The logistical organization – providing tables and tons and tons of ice to the vendors, collecting trash, operating the performance stages, and solving on-site problem - is a well-oiled and efficient machine. Kudos to all on a job well done.
5. Best food item: chicken divine gyros sandwich. Best drink item: Sangria To Go.
6. The DJ-produced music at Hydrate's intersection as well as that provided in front of KAFKA wine co. again proved to be highly popular. Why DJs aren't more incorporated with the official performance stages is still a baffling mystery.
7. While the crowds were large for this year's event, in my non-scientific polling opinion, attendance seemed to be down compared to previous years.
8. There was a certain Bourbon Street quality visited onto Halsted by Sunday evening: lots of amateur drinkers stumbling around drunk and some even sitting curbside with their head in their hands.
9. There was lots of griping about the $6 entry fee ... I mean "contribution." It seems like a lot but considering the services provided (see Observation #4) and a portion of the "contribution" going to the Center on Hasted, it was money well spent.
10. Finally, the new Crobar felt like the Crobar of old on Sunday night. DJ Victor Calderone had folks in the jam packed club literally swinging from the rafters with his trademark sound (that defiantly meant the near banishment of diva vocal anthem tracks) and masterful delivery of beats so dark and heavy you felt the sexy energetic groove deep down in your boner ... .. I mean bones. It was a glorious end to a fantastic weekend.

"Go West"
Heeding the words of the Pet Shop Boys, Djeremy will soon be exiting Chicago and trading in subway transportation for the streetcar variety in San Franciso. A resident DJ at Cocktail and Hydrate, Jeremy will be following a long-standing tradition among truly talented Chicago DJs: leaving town. While those of us who like and appreciate house music with deep soulful grooves will surely miss him, we wish Jeremy the best of luck out there on the Left Coast.

The Singles Life

Some interesting dance singles are out currently getting much play on a variety of mediums: over the air radio, internet radio, and in the clubs. Here are three you should be listening for and taking notice of.

"Ride The Pain" – Juliet (Virgin Records)
This is the second single from Juliet's forthcoming album – which is called Random Order and will be out later this month – and could become an unofficial anthem of the S&M crowd or for those who just understand the concept of "making it hurt so good." The Thin White Duke mix by Jacques Lu Cont could easily be called the "drum attack" mix with it's clever and fun incorporation of all aspects of the drum kit. The Low End Specialist provide a Dominatrix Mix that is appropriately dark and progressive while the Dab Hands' mixes emphasize the electric guitar parts for a juicy and very satisfying electro-house experience.

"Be My World" – Milky (Robbins)
Milky, an Egyptian-born Brit, has an inviting accented-English voice that makes her new single "Be My World" quite interesting and appealing. The Extended Mix incorporates a nice complimentary guitar line that makes this song more than a general fluff piece of electronica. And the JJ Flores Mix, with its big room appeal, adds even more texture by giving the guitar part a filtered grunge treatment. A nice unique touch indeed!

"Lose Control" – Missy Elliott (Atlantic)
This song, the first single off the new The Cookbook album by Elliott, is garnering big reactions on dance floors near and far. The Stonebridge mix, with its funky attitude and booty-shaking breakdown rap by Fat Man Scoop, is my favorite version. The excellent mix provided by Jacques Luc Cont (boy is he hot these days) is a deep and moody electro prog re-rub that is truly a piece of musical art. Also floating around are a Scumfrog Mix and a Ranny's Club Mix: both of which will surely get big play for more progressive and tribal oriented dance floors.

CD Round-Up

Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield (Sony)
Here's a CD with broad appeal that has already gained international acclaim and that will undoubtedly please ears from coast to coast in the America. Unwritten combines Bedingfield's strong voice with a mix of pop, R&B, rock, and hip-hop tracks that works quite well and will maybe even invite comparisons to the likes of Beyonce, Gwen Stefani, and Nelly Furtado. Her first single from the album, "These Words," has already climbed to #1 in the UK and is rising on the singles chart in the U.S. Chart-topping status of this CD shouldn't be far behind.

Vivian by Vivian Green (Sony)
The sexy nu-soul songstress who gave us "Emotional Rollercoaster" on her 2002 debut CD is back with her bold sophomore effort that is sure to make her current fans happy and bring new admirers into the fold. The self-titled CD, which contains the hit "Gotta Go, Gotta Leave (Tired)," ably showcases Green's singing and emotional range as she infuses her soul roots with seductive elements of R&B and hip-hop.

Remade mixed by DJ Strobe (Koch)
This is a really good continuously mixed CD made up of remixes of mostly pop anthems that should be familiar to most. Highlights include re-workings of Sterling Void's "Alright," U2's "Where The Streets Have No Names," and Tears For Fear's "Shout." Fans of the recent wave of filtered disco remixes of AOR classics of the 1970s and 1980s will probably find much to like about Remade.

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