Groove Line

Wed. October 24, 2007 12:00 AM
by DJ Plez

A Bit & A Few Pieces
It sure was a pleasant surprise to have Kristine W. show up at Crobar over the Columbus Day weekend at the Operation M.A.R.Y. party. Madame W.'s appearance included a performance of her smash new hit, "Walk Away," and helped provide additional energy to another successful Superstars Sunday party.

I was hanging out at Jackhammer recently and finally saw the stripper - go-go boy - porn star Ricky Sinz perform on stage. I now know why his nickname is "The Hammer." Wow! Impressive indeed!

Minibar recently celebrated its 2nd anniversary. Congrats to owners Stu & John and all the other folks over there.

Looking for a lot of the music you hear on the late night dance floors at Hydrate, Jackhammer, Charlie's, and Circuit? Well, if you can't find it at Borderline Music brick & mortar stores in Boystown and Andersonville, then be sure to check This site offers a great selection of dance CD singles, including many exclusives, and is steadily increasing the number of digital downloads available for purchase. Speaking of digital downloads, did you know that you can now buy them on Same 99 cents price per song as iTunes, but in the more convenient MP3 format.

Chaka: In Long Form
To say I was excited to get my copy of the new Chaka Khan CD is an understatement. I was absolutely ecstatic! It my estimation, Chaka is one of the best singers EVER, ranking right up there with Aretha Franklin and Frank Sinatra (who by the way are #1 and #2, respectively on my all-time list), and so to have a new album by her in my possession basically gets me moist in all the right places. After my first hearing of FUNK THIS (Burgundy Records), the new 12-track long-player in question, I was reaching for a towel.

After more than three decades on the music scene, Chaka's voice still sounds as strong as ever and on FUNK THIS it possesses the soulful funkiness that she showcased during the early years of her career when she fronted the band Rufus. Executive producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis are at the helm of FUNK THIS and they have led Chaka back to her musical roots on this collection of tracks: some of which are her own original compositions and others from the likes of Prince ("Sign ‘O' The Times"), Joni Mitchell (Ladies' Man"), and Carly Simon ("You Belong To Me" sung with Michael McDonald).

The highlight of the new album is the first single, "Disrespectful," which was penned by Mary J. Blige and performed as a duet with her. These two women singing this song about needing to move on from a man who used to love them is a powerful and winning combination. Speaking of winning combinations, Chaka delivers a bit of old-school on the album with a fantastic medley of the Rufus-era "Pack'd My Bags" and "You Got The Love." Basically, FUNK THIS is a winning combination to a remarkable artistic achievement by a remarkable artist. "Bravo, Ms. Khan!"

Chaka: In Short Form
Given the strength of "Disrespectful" on the album, it comes as no surprise that it sparkles bright in dance remix form. Matthias Heilbronn is a current white hot remixer on the dance music scene and his Matty's Soulflower Mix is a deliberate paced deep house funk-a-tronic track that will have even the dead waking up snapping their fingers. It is fabulously good! Farther up the bpm meter, with a more bouncy rhythm to it, Matty's PDP Club Mix is another strong effort that is sure to swing any dance floor into high gear.

Then there's the Creative Mix by DJ Paulo & Todd Dutkevitch, who magically transform "Disrespectful" into an exceptional progressive house track - with a semi-tribal feel to it - that will undoubtedly delight late night dance floors that already have a strong pulse. This mix has that extra special something to take clubbers to the next level. I have witnessed it first-hand as my dance floors exploded with uncontained energy at the peak point of this mix when I played it. Mucho kudos to Paulo and Dutkevitch for turning out such an inspired effort.

Don't Hate The Funk
Well, the funk train by beautiful-voiced black women continues this Fall with the oh so delicious "Hate On Me" by neo-soultress Jill Scott. This is the first single from her new album THE REAL THING: WORDS AND SOUNDS VOL. 3, and while she may have relaxed her hair, her voice is as strong and as intense as ever. "Hate On Me" is a funk monster in album form (a definite mp3 buy), but what Quentin Harris does with it for his Shelter Dance Remix will be seriously rocking dance floors for the rest of the year.

One of the more pleasing continuous mixed CDs to come across my desk of late is NOCTURNAL (Koch / Twisted) from DJ Matt Darey. The U.K.-based Darey has been a fixture on the dance music scene since the mid-1990s and has gained worldwide acclaim for his weekly Nocturnal Radio mixshow. While Darey is especially well-known and respected within progressive house and trance music circles – he is cited as a major influence on DJs such as Oakenfold, Tiësto, and Paul van Dyk - this new CD explores a wide range of genres (progressive, trance, electro, breaks, tech, and house). It includes three exclusive Darey tracks as well as key cuts from Robbie Rivera, Gabriel & Dresden, and Tocadisco. This is good stuff here!