**Mosquitos at Hot House, (312) 362-9707, Feb. 5
Best Dance CDs of 2003
1. On its self-titled debut disc A.R.E. Weapons (Rough Trade) creates a near seamless blend of electric rock and funky dance beats, making them one of the most refreshing acts to emerge from the electroclash scene.
2. Ideally suited to be the first act signed to Toast Hawaii, Depeche Mode's Andy Fletcher's label, Client (Toast Hawaii/Mute), who "never miss a trick" and go by the names Client A and Client B, revive the new wave nuances that first made DM so appealing, but they do it from a female perspective.
3. The "official Fanny Pack joint," So Stylistic (Tommy Boy) is so funny, you better take it seriously. Cat, Belinda and Jessibel add Salt, Pepa, hot sauce, and some catnip to their electroclash TLC jams, and if you aren't on your feet yet, they're likely to pull the chair out from under your ass. Imagine if Le Tigre was street and not academic, femmy and not feminist, and you have a good idea of Fanny Pack's style.
4. Not since she teamed up with Scritti Politti a few years ago has Me'shell Ndegeocello sounded like she was having as much fun as she's having on the fierce and non-stop dance party of "Right Here's The Spot," from Kish Kash (Astralwerks) the dynamite new disc by Basement Jaxx. This is one spot she doesn't want removed, and neither will you.
5. Morrissey exhibits his great taste in tunes, music that is both accessible and familiar, vintage and peculiar, and altogether exciting on his mix disc Morrissey: Under The Influence (DMC).
6. Picking up where Yellow Magic Orchestra and Pizzicato Five left off, the duo of Korean American Sukho Lee and Japanese Lun*na Menoh, known as Seksu Roba, takes its place at the electroclash table with Pleasure Vibrations (Eenie Meenie), and passes the peas. [SEE ALSO: Puffy AmiYumi – Nice (Bar/None)].
7. Tasty as crepes and stylish as a vintage Hermes scarf, the eleven songs on The Catnap (tsk! tsk!) by eclectic and electric French trio Margo are as seductive as Catherine Deneuve. Essential chill-out music.
8. Much less irritating than the pesky insects for which they are named, Chris Root, Jon Marshall Smith and genuine girl from Ipanema Juju Stulbach give Sergio Mendez's nearly forty year old way with a Brazilian beat a face lift, and the results are as friendly as SPF 40 sunblock on the self-titled debut disc by the trio which calls itself Mosquitos (Bar.None). [SEE ALSO: Smokey and Miho – The Two EPs (El Diablo/Afro Sambas) and Astrud Gilberto: The Diva Series (Verve)]
9. Queer Canadian trio Brother Love Canal (Leslea K, Matthew Lucien and Steve Diguer) has a way with glossy and glimmering dance numbers on its full-length debut CD Little Tingles (www. brotherlovecanal .com).
10. The centerpiece of The Music Is So Beautiful (D1 Music), a compilation of tracks by D1 Music (out gay dance artist Peter McLean) is a love song to "the music" itself and the way it can get the listener "in a spin."
11. The first thing you will notice on Echoes by The Rapture (Strummer/DFA/Universal) is the insistent synthesized beat, followed by the catchy keyboards and the new-wave vocals of Luke Jenner, sounding like the love child of Jeff Buckley, The Cure's Robert Smith and Human Sexual Response's Larry Bangor and Jeff. Don't get me wrong, there are electric guitars on this album. However, they take an unexpected and buckled-in back seat to the percolating dance tracks and driving disco that dominate the disc.
12. In their Murk (Tommy Boy) incarnation, Oscar Gaetan and Ralph Falcon, are all about the underground sound and the things that happen when the lights are dimmed.
Goldfrapp - Black Cherry (Mute) Fischerspooner - #1 (Capitol)
Various Artists - Verve Remixed 2 (Verve)
Deborah Cox - Deborah Cox
The Latin Project – Nueva Musica (Electric Monkey)