2006 Plez Awards

Sat. January 20, 2007 12:00 AM
by DJ Plez

"Drum Roll Please!"
Ok, I know we are nearing the end of January and your memories of 2006 are already fading, but I'd be remiss if I didn't share with my peeps what I thought was the very best of 2006. So here are the recipients of my 2006 Plez Awards !

Best Dance Compilation CD (House Music Division): Om: Winter Sessions . For the third year in a row Om Records comes out on top with a great 2-CD set mixed by Justin Martin (CD1) and Chicago's Johnny Fiasco (CD2). This is funky tech and jack house at its best. Honorable mention goes to Bargrooves: Citrus with Matthias Heilbronn mixing a sublime CD2 of this double-disc offering.

Best Dance Compilation CD (Club/Circuit Music Division): Overall I was a bit under whelmed by the offerings this past year in this category: too many cookie-cutter mixes with too little imagination. Fortunately bucking this annoying trend were Soakin Wet 3 , mixed by DJ Rob Harris and I Love Miami mixed by Peter Rauhofer.

Best Dance Music Single: "Simpler" by Pete Heller. Many of you have probably never heard of this instrumental track, but it's a hauntingly lush and beautiful piece of music that melds tech house, trance, and techno. Devastatingly effective for a wide range of dance floors, this is a truly great piece of dance music. Honorable mentions include "The Cure & The Cause" by Fish Go Deep, "Stay Around" by Milk ‘N Sugar, "Spellbound" by Grant Nelson, "God Is Good" by Roland Clark, "Love Will Find A Way" by Vernessa Mitchell, and "Lay Down" by 10 Monkeys featuring Abigail.

Best Dance Remixes: In a year with a ton of high quality remixes aimed at the dance market, it was impossible to pick the best. I really really liked all of the following: "My Love" (Poker Face House Remix) by Justin Timberlake; "SOS" (Chris Cox Remix) by Rihanna; "Ain't No Other Man" (Shapeshifter and Scotty K Remixes) by Christina Aguilera; and "My Joy" (Quentin Harris Mix) by Leela James.

Best Event/Party (Indoor Division): More than twelve months ago the New Year's Gay Party at Crobar with DJ Abel was an astoundingly fun event that kicked 2006 off in grand style. It was probably the last time Chicago boyz really had a great time at the megaclub on Kingsbury.

Best Event/Party (Outdoor Division): The Pure Nation Global Dance Music Festival - with headliners Deep Dish, Tiesto, and Bad Boy Bill - at Charter One Pavilion over Labor Day was a smashing success: well organized and well attended and loads of fun.

Best Recurring Chicago Residency/Event: The Urbano parties presented by Clubhouse and Smooth Productions on the last Friday night of every month at Circuit. DJs Anton and Kenae pump out a blend of hip-hop, reggaeton, and house tracks that keep the dance floor moving. This has been a welcomed and colorful shot in the arm for Boystown's nightlife scene.

Best Live DJ Performance: There were only a handful of folks to witness it, but Danny Tenaglia's 4-1/2 hour set at July's House Music Festival at Charter One Pavilion on Northerly Island was a transcendent tour de force performance. There is a reason why they describe him as legendary and he confirmed said status on that night.