Groove Line

Mon. January 5, 2009 12:00 AM
by DJ Plez

Celebrating the best in music – at least from my perspective – for 2008, here are the 10th Annual Plez Awards.

Club Song of the Year: "Let Me Think About It" by Ida Corr vs. Fedde Le Grand. This track never failed to fill the dance floor when played, especially Chicagoan DJ Ron G's electro-tinged Funk'd Reconstruction Edit.

Best Dance Party Event: Two frontrunner here, including the IML "Black & Blue Ball" @ Excalibur w/ DJ Matthew Harvat, which once again was a rousing success. The other finalist is the Market Days edition of "Superstar Sundays - Space Disco 2: The Revenge" @ Crobar w/ DJs Ralphi Rosario & Ted Eiel, both of whom were on fire that night. I can't determine a clear winner so I declare a tie.

Best Madonna Track: Madge came out with her Hard Candy album in 2008 and it spawned three hit singles: "4 Minutes," "Give It 2 Me," and "Miles Away." Of all the various versions of the trio, my fave was Peter Rauhofer's 'Peter Saves Paris' Mix of "4 Minutes."

Best Talent Exported from the U.K.: In my estimation it's Duffy. This blue-eyed soul sister's Rockferry album achieved global multi-platinum success while the single "Mercy" topped the charts and earned her a Grammy nomination.

Best Vocal Dance Track: The varied Moto Blanco, David Harness, and Quentin Harris remixes of Jennifer Hudson's "Spotlight" are really quite special. Honorable mentions: "When You Touch Me" (Club Mix) by Freemasons featuring Katherine Ellis and "Just Fine" (Moto Blanco Vocal Mix) by Mary J. Blige.

Best Weekly Party Event: While Monday's "Boom Boom Room" @ Green Dolphin has earned Hall of Fame status, Sunday's "First Ward Ball" @ Scarlet has made a huge impact in Boystown w/ DJ Luis M consistently delivering the goods.

Best Big Room Track: Craig C's Vocal Mix of Mariah Carey's "Touch My Body gets the nod over the DJ Paulo Sexy Club Mix of Janet Jackson's "Feedback."

Best Tribal/Progressive Track: Hector Fonseca's remix of "Apologize" by Timbaland featuring One Republic gets the prize, just edging out the Bryan Reyes In Mexico Mix of Beyoncé's "If I Were A Boy."

Albums of the Year: Bring Ya To The Brink by Cyndi Lauper gets my seal of approval for best dance album while the non-dance album awards goes to Rockferry by Duffy.

Breakout Dance Artist & Remixer: Lady GaGa hit it big this year with her edgy pop-dance style that produced hits "Just Dance" and "Poker Face." Remixers? I'm really feeling the punchy electro sound of Bart B More from Holland.

Best Urban Dance Track: 1(a) is Ne-Yo's "Closer," a great song that was masterfully remixed by Stonebridge for the dance market. 1(b) is "Single Ladies" by Beyoncé. The original album version of the song - and the video that accompanies it – are absolutely fantastic. My favorite remix for a dance floor is the funky and housey Red Top Club Mix.

Best DJ Continuous Mixes: In the House Music Division, the winner is Defected's The Shapeshifters In The House while the Gay Club/Circuit Division nod goes to Masterbeat's One Mighty Weekend 2008, mixed by Brett Henrichsen and Alyson Calagna.

Best Sing-Songy Song: "I Kissed A Girl" by Katy Perry wins this category with "When I Grow Up" by Pussycat Dolls nipping at their heels.

Best House Music Tracks: In the Chicago House sub-category, it's the delightfully groovy Andre Harris Mix of "Truth Hurts" by Bernard Badie featuring Dajae. For the Jackin' House sub-category it's the driving beats of "Enjoy The Ride" (Sneak's Bumpin Ride Mix) by Craig C. On the International House front, the Award goes to "What A Wonderful World" by Axwell & Bob Sinclar featuring Ron Carroll.

Remake of The Year: ATFC and Lisa Millett remade their classic "Bad Habit" and the Lektrotek Re-Visit mix is perfect for today's electro sound. Honorable mention: the Bart B More remix of CeCe Peniston's "Finally."

Best Pop Music Remix: The best effort I heard this past year was Chicago's own DJ Timmy Loop's Reconstruction Mix of "Circus" by Britney Spears. FIERCE!

Best International Dance Artist: Groove Armada. Their fantastic Soundboy Rock includes the popular "Get Down" and my Best Dance Music Remix of 2008, the Friscia & Lamboy House Remix of "Love Sweet Sound." To top it all off: they released the superlative Muthafunkaz Remix of "Feel The Same" featuring Angie Stone. While the official release date for Soundboy Rock was in 2007, it really didn't hit the U.S. until this past year. It was indeed a very good year for Groove Armada, good enough to get this most vaunted Plez Award.