Groove Line

Mon. September 18, 2006 12:00 AM
by DJ Plez

"Pure" Labor Day Love
Over Labor Day I went to the Pure Nation Global Dance Music Festival at the Charter One Pavilion on Northerly Island and had an incredible time. The large, mostly straight crowd was enthusiastic, friendly, fun, generally quite attractive, and a great match for stellar performances by the headlining DJs. Hometown hero Bad Boy Bill infused the early evening hours with a varied and energetic set that was vintage hard house Chicago. He was followed by Deep Dish’s (pictured) beautiful tapestry of 4/4 beats that included a spot-on remake of Eddie Murphy’s "Party All The Time" (believe me, it really is good) and their recent hits "Dreams" and "Say Hello." Then Tiesto, the man that many consider to be the greatest DJ in the world at the moment, finished off the night with a performance that pleased all. Major kudos and congrats to the folks at Pure Future for making this first ever Chicago Dance Music fest such a huge and satisfying success.

Labor Day - Part 2
Being the jetsetter that I am, the second half of my Labor Day weekend saw me over in Michigan with somewhat surprisingly large crowds at the Dunes Resort. The hospitality and service shown by the Dunes staff was again top-notch and the music provided by guest DJs David Knapp and Kimberly S (pictured) and resident Mark Vallese throughout the weekend was just right. All in all it was great end to the weekend and a fantastic way to close out the summer season in Saugatuck – Douglas.

The Passing of A Legend: Willi Ninja
In the very early 90s when the documentary "Paris Is Burning" was released, the name and face of Willi Ninja - who died recently - became synonymous with the "ballroom" and "vogue-ing" sub-cultures that emanated from New York City. He starred in that documentary and inspired Madonna's "Vogue" video, leading clubbers the world over to strike model-esque poses to the beat of the music while on the dance floor. While Willi's kindness of heart and gentle spirit were legendary and will be missed by many, his iconic influences within the intersection of fashion, dance music, and gay culture - both in NYC and worldwide - will long be remembered.

Forward Thinking
Mark your calendars for the following upcoming dance music events in Chicago with truly global superstar DJs: Junior Vasquez finally in town on a Saturday night @ Circuit on September 23; Paul Oakenfold with a club date @ Vision on September 30; Paul van Dyk @ Congress Theater on October 7 for an all ages show; and then there’s Sasha @ Vision on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend, November 25.

Lately I’ve been GROOVIN’ on ...

...our girl Christina Aguilera’s new album, Back To Basics (RCA) . It’s a 2-CD set that has the three-time Grammy winner paying tribute to the music that inspired her as a child: the jazz, soul, and blues stylings of legends such as Billie Holiday, Etta James, Otis Redding, and Ella Fitzgerald. But far from being a presentation of classics, Back To Basics is modern and inventive and will surely thrill a large part of today’s pop music audience. It definitely is thrilling – and pleasing - me.

...the fresh full length offering by Basement Jaxx, Crazy Itch Radio (XL Recordings) . I’ve always loved the soulful and funky electronica style of Basement Jaxx and this new CD, with sure fire hits "Hush Boy" and "Everybody," proves that they still know how to make great music.

...the latest continuous mix in the Party Groove series called Soakin Wet 3, mixed by DJ Rob Harris (Centaur Music) . With a very interesting tracklisting that’s less predictable than other recent Centaur offerings, the Washington, DC-based Harris presents a big room energetic mix that’s got pulsing tribal beats, a flash of hard house, and plenty of soaring vocals.