Monday, September 28, 2009
But What I Really Want to Do Is DJ
My latest "dj-promo/not-for-sale" cd-r is entitled Radio Active Love, after the latest track by Carol Jiani. This is a very welcome comeback for Ms Jiani of sorts (because she never went away but you may not have known it) by the Nigerian-Canadian singer with a unique, quasi-Tina Turner-like voice that cuts like a razor. Best known for dance classics like "Mercy", "Get On Up & Do It Again" and, especially, "Hit'n'Run Lover", Ms Jiani became a victim of her own success as that last song was remixed to death in the '80s, '90s and '00s. But "Radio Active Love" may well put her back on the dance charts with its ballsy interpretation and driving, infectious style. The Klubjumpers -- always dependable -- provide the mix most distinctly to be checked out.
Melodic, classic-styled disco with an updated beat sweeps onto turntables everywhere like a fresh breeze. One stand-out is "Piano in the Dark" by Shanie. It's a cover of the Brenda Russell pop classic beautifully realized as a dance tune, with a rich, powerful vocal and mixes by 7th Heaven, Soulshakers and Bass Monkeys. Guaranteed to inspire you to get up and shake shake shake your booty.
Think Lady Gaga crossed with Amy Winehouse and you, perhaps, have a concept of British-born Paloma Faith. Backed by a gospel choir, her song "New York", as remixed by Cutmore, is a classically soulful disco ditty guaranteed to sweep you up in its swirling strings and Paloma's rich, bluesy vocals, not to mention its catchy chorus. Paloma used to be a magician's assistant and performance artist. I assume she, too, really wants to dj.
Then there's Julliard-graduate-turned-2009 Playboy-cover girl, America Olivo, who arrives on the dance-music scene with a lively, 80s-Latin-flavored song, "Deja Vu." Debuting on the Billboard dance chart at #43 and currently at #36, it's the Dj Escape & Tony Coluccio remix that has helped propel this offering.
Echos of 80s electropop are to be found in Brit synth duo La Roux's "Bulletproof", now charting in America at #9 on the Billboard Dance/Club Play list. While credible mixes are at hand from Dave Aude and Fred Falke, my favorite is the Tiborg remix; just pure, poppy dance floor fun without pretension.
"You're still the prettiest Supreme," I told her later, as she signed a copy of her solo album. She thanked me demurely and I impulsively added, "And the one with the best voice." Take that, Miss Ross, I thought. But Mary added, with a chilly Joan Crawford-like sweetness, "Oh, we all have good voices."
Mary said she is currently negotiating doing a tour with Diana. And who knows? She may also harbor a desire to dj!