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MUSIC: Underground Techniques
by DJ Harry T
2005-03-01

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Pictured Shawn Christopher, DJ Ron Carroll, Rafael Lego Rodriguez, DJ Colette.

This month, thousands of music industry giants, artists, producers and DJ's will network and showcase fresh vocal talent at the Winter Music Conference in Miami. What makes this conference even more fascinating is that they will be celebrating 20 years of putting together a wide variety of exhibits, workshops, competitions and of course, the legendary parties. Dates are March 22-26, see www.wintermusicconference.com .

Swing City records have released the third installment of their platinum collection, featuring classic and sought-after tracks which include 'Free' by Grant Nelson and 'Everybody' by Mousse T. The unreleased mixes of 'Step To Me' by Grant Nelson featuring Jean McClain are out now, featuring remixes by MJ Cole and Tom Gianelli.

Twisted records will soon release volume one of a box set packed with tracks by Stereo Soldiers, DJ Tomer and Rik Santiago. House Diva Shawn Christopher makes an impressive return to dance with 'You Can Make It' on Soulfuric Recordings and produced by Chicago's very own Ron Carroll. Congratulations to Ron for winning Best Live Performance 2004 at the first annual House Music Awards.

Oscar G. and Ralph Falcon, better known as Funky Green Dogs, plan to re-launch their signature label, Murk records, with classics remixed by Sander Kleinberg and Steve Lawler. In addition to their residency at Crobar in Miami and NYC, they have remixed a gritty version of Superchumbo's 'Dirty Filthy,' which should be released soon. Another Chicago hometown favorite, Suzanne Palmer, releases 'Home,' her overly anticipated long-player and single, with remixes by Beat Hustlerz and Offer Nissim.

Defected records have been keeping quite busy releasing quality CD compilations and singles. Continuing their signature 'In The House' series, they have enlisted disco house master, Joey Negro. This 3-disc compilation features disco classics re-edited by the man himself and other choice slabs of house which include 'Put Our Hands Together' by The O'Jays, 'Another Day' by Kings Of Tomorrow and 'Still' by Tamia. Sandy Rivera, the man behind Kings Of Tomorrow, releases his long-player, 'Trouble' featuring its first single, 'Thru,' with remixes by Junior Jack and Simon Grey. The album is said to be 100% sample-free and features a potpourri of talent which includes artists, Haze, Steve Edwards and live musicians including the Philippines Symphony Orchestra.

CD Releases

Mushroom Jazz 5 - Mark Farina ( OM Records )

I remember back when local DJ's would sell their mix tapes at Grammaphone Records to get other house heads to take notice of their style and spread the word so others would know, thus creating a following. I happened to be one of those DJ's who listened to others and appreciated what they did to make a dance floor happy and that first mix tape was Mark Farina. I listen to that mix cassette occasionally today and I am truly amazed at his ability to layer other beats or sounds with house music and make you sweat from beginning to end. As I pulled the envelope from my mailbox, viewing the mushroom logo, I knew this was going to get a workout in my player ( and still sits there to this day ) .

Mushroom Jazz 5, his latest installment in the long-standing series, is sure to keep your head nodding, fingers popping and body rocking. As you listen to the CD, it's evident that Mark has a gift to take broken, downtempo beats, hip-hop flava and jazz that hip-hop fans and jazz lovers will appreciate. Tracks here include 'Chali 2na Comin' Thru' by DJ Numark, 'Funky For You' by Blu Bizness, 'Hollywood' by DJ Dez and 'Maintain' by The Strange Fruit Project ( which my crowd loves at the end of the night ) . Once again, Mark Farina has pushed the envelope of music, wide, keeping our palette fresh and the beats funky.

remixed 2 - Various Artists ( OM Records )

As with their previous CD, Remixed 2 showcases familiar and remixed productions from their amazing roster of artists. Tracks included are 'Find A Way,' by Solidarity ( Jay-J ) , 'Dream Machine' by Mark Farina ( DJ Fluid ) , 'Natural' by Afro-Mystik ( Kaskade ) and 'Everyone Is Sleeping Today' by Rithma ( Jacob London ) .

Aphrodisio mix v.02 - Rafael Lego Rodriguez

As much as Chicago is known for house music, we are just as well known for having some of the most amazing talent. DJ's like Mark Farina, Derrick Carter, Colette and Ralphi Rosario have all made remarkable names for themselves behind the decks and their ability to create their own productions are carried in many a DJ's crates today.

When Aphrodisio decided to put out a mix CD, they selected Chicago DJ Johnny Fiasco. With their second CD mix release, they again turn to the windy city to showcase more of our greatest treasures; enter Rafael Rodriguez, aka Lego. A long-standing staple in the dance community, Lego continues to shine with his blend of deep and funky house grooves and Latin textures. This type of energy can be seen every Monday night at Green Dolphin Street and on the faces of many sweat-drenched party people as they swerve on the dance floor. Featured tracks include 'Bulo' by Copyright featuring Shovell, 'Save The Music' by Gene Hunt, 'Angels' by Matt Warren featuring Tonya Beecham and an unreleased version of 'Sax Addict' by Lego himself.

DJ Harry T CD Choices

Coral - David Sanchez

Elements Of Life: Extensions - Louie Vega

Winter Chill 6.04 - Various Artists

Nightbird - Erasure

DJ Harry T Playlist

Thank You Lord ( Jazz-n-Groove Graced Out Dub ) - Connie Harvey

It's All Jesus - DJ Spen presents Byron Stingily

4am Duet - Max & Brian

The Sun, The Moon, The Stars - Joshua & Karl Injex

Werk It - Johnny Fiasco

Trust Me - JT Donaldson featuring Symphony

Bahia - Bamboola Prod

Tribal Attack - Latin Players

Boogie 2Nite ( Seamus Haji Remix ) - Tweet

Right About Now - Mousse T featuring Emma Lanford

So Many Times - Gadjo

Freedom - Inaya Day


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