Groove Line

Wed. January 10, 2007 12:00 AM
by DJ Plez

She's BAAAACK! –
The Hollaback girl, Gwen Stefani, seemingly has it all: a greatly admired musical career, a beautiful face and knock-out body, a handsome family, and an ultra-cool personality. She also has what looks to be another hit solo album: a 12-track sophomore effort called The Sweet Escape (Interscope Records). Much more diverse in style than 2004's Love.Angel.Music.Baby. , this new CD starts off with The Neptunes-produced “Wind It Up,” a song described as an unlikely meeting ground of hip-hop, a drum line, and inexplicably, “The Sound Of Music.” Don't worry, it works and should end up as another chart-topping success for Stefani. In fact the entire CD, with wide-ranging influences and assistance throughout from the likes of No Doubt's Tony Kanal, Akon, and Keane's Tim Rice-Oxley, just plain works on so many appealing levels and should firmly establish Stefani as a solo star to be reckoned with for some time to come.

A Disco Queens' Must-Have -
Be on the look-out for a 15-volume CD series called MightyREAL , a compilation of the “hymns and national anthems” that defined the disco and early dance music eras. This finely tailored collection of music, which were the signature songs of clubs like The Saint and Studio 54, is being produced by CANDYSTORERECORDS and distributed by Centaur. The first disc in the series is called Showstoppers and features hits such as “Love Is In The Air” by John Paul Young and “Shine On Silver Moon” by McCoo & Davis. MightyREAL is sure to make any dance music buff giddy.

Rauhofer On SoBe -
Thank god for Peter Rauhofer! While many DJs find it lucrative to stay within well-defined and easily accessible style parameters in order to please the masses, Rauhofer seems to always be pushing the dance music envelope. His latest release, a 2-disc continuously mixed compilation called I Love Miami (Star 69 Records), is a daring and edgy mix with a funky and energetic electro-vibe style. It features tracks by Goldfrapp, Depeche Mode, Offer Nissim, and Starkillers and concludes with the haunting tech house hit “Rej” by Ame. With no standard diva vocal track in the mix, I Love Miami may not be everyone's cup of tea, but as far as I'm concerned it's one of the best mixed compilations of the year.

Lately, I've been groovin' on...

...“Runaway” by Jamiroquai, the lead single – and a very funky one at that - from their greatest hits album called High Times - Singles 1992 – 2006 (Epic Records). It comes in three different dance remix versions: the electro-fied Alan Braxe & Fred Falke Remix; a big room Freemason-ish effort by Tom Belton; and the soulful and housey Grant Nelson Remix, which with its very strong and full instrumentation is my favorite.

...the Dennis Ferrer Remix of “The Cure & The Cause” by Fish Go Deep featuring Tracy K (Defected Records). Its smooth as silk sultriness and intoxicating sexy groove make it a perfect deep house track for a lounge environment and a must on your iPod playlist.

...the newest mixed compilation CD from DJ Brett Henrichsen, White Party 2006 (Masterbeat). It's an 11-track journey that includes the tribal hit “Café Com Alegria” by Tony Moran, the circuit anthem “Party People” by Altar featuring Jeanie Tracy, and a terrific upbeat remix of the houser “Rise Up” by Sunkids featuring Chance.

...the Georgie Porgie Tribal mix of “Day To Day” by the electro-pop duo Tricky Bizzniss (EsNtion Records). This solid production, with catchy vocals and a solid hook, is sure to have clubbers bouncing on the dance floor.

...the mixed compilation COAST2COAST by Kerri Chandler (NRK Music). This is a soulful and silky presentation of deep house tracks and piano-laced garage grooves guaranteed to warm you up on even the coldest of winter nights.

[Note: Kerri Chandler will be appearing at Ohm Nightclub, 1958 W. North Avenue, with DJ Michael Serafini on Friday, January 12, 2007]