When I picked up the March issue of Identity and saw the caption, 'our 10th year,' I took a moment to reflect upon my contribution to this magazine. When I first discovered Blacklines, I was impressed about it's coverage of events concerning people of color and diversity. What caught my attention more was the poetry I would later discover ( and submit ) , introducing me to some very influential people within our community. After attending a function by DJ/Producer Frankie Knuckles, I decided to cover the event for an article and received a letter thanking me for covering the event, which over the years have evolved to the words on these pages before you. I am truly blessed to have the opportunity to express and inform readers of various music styles that I love to listen to and spin. Thank you to the local clubs here and far that allowed me to spin in their playground. Thank you to the DJ's who inspire me to keep pushing on. Thanks to the readers who embrace these pages they hold in their hands and thanks to Tracy Baim, for creating an outlet for people of color to inform and express themselves.
Congratulations to DJ/Producer, Ron Carroll on the launch of his own label, Body Music. His record release party held at Zentra nightclub packed the house and featured divalicious performances by Chicago's Own Shawn Christopher, performing her classic, "Another Sleepless Night" and her latest single, "You Can Make It." Also on stage was NYC's own Michelle Weeks and Veteran R&B diva, Melba Moore, who performed classics such as "Love's Commin' At Ya," "You Stepped Into My Life" and a new single produced by Ron himself. After 36 years of serving the music industry here and abroad, Gramaphone Records has packed its bags and moved up the street to a new space. That's right, their new location is at 2843 N Clark St; across from the Century Mall Parking Lot. More vinyl, more space, more everything!
Defected records have their hands full, dropping some hot singles this month. Kings of Tomorrow aka Sandy Rivera releases "Another Day," the follow-up single from his superb album, "Trouble." Copyright releases the uplifting house vocal "Time." Bobby Blanco and Miki Moto release "Black Sugar," a jazz-funk house stomper. Roland Clarke releases "The First Time" and DJ Technic releases "Gabryelle."
Later this month, Star 69 records will release the long-anticipated album by Chicago's own Suzanne Palmer, entitled "Home." Her first two singles, "Sound Of The Drum" and "Home" both have received extensive club and radio play. Contributing producers on the album include Peter Rauhofer, David Morales, Eric Kupper and more. Robbie Rivera releases volume one of his beatmix CD, "Juicy Music." Each track has been individually selected and packed with tribal flavors, bursting with guaranteed freshness. Selections include "Bang To The Beat" by Willie Morales, "Play It Loud" by The Kings Of Tribal, "Bass In Your Face" by DJ Rooster and Sammy Peralta and several of Robbie's own signature productions. Chicago's very own global conglomerate, 3 Degrees has released its first CD mix compilation. "Some Call It House, We Call It Home," is the first in what I hope to be a continuing tradition. A beautiful foundation of house mixed and arranged by 3 degrees DJ's, Julius "the Mad Thinker," Monna and FLX. Tracks featured include "Brighter Day" by DJ Pap, "Missing You" by Mr. Ali, "Good Life" by Roy Davis Jr. and "House Music" by 8 Mile featuring Felix Da Housecat, Jevon Jackson and house veterans Vince Lawrence and Farley 'Jackmaster' Funk. To purchase this CD, please visit their site at www.3degreesglobal.com .
Shout-outs & Shameless Plugs:
For all the serious house heads, deep, soulful house music is banging on the corner of Halsted and Belmont. Check out the Sunday Night Hustle with my friend, DJ Doug Brandt and the hostess with most, Czarina of Five Star Boogie Productions. The random acts of love and appreciation begin at 10pm. For more information, please visit www.spin-nightclub.com or www.djdougbrandt.com .
For those who listen to music via the web, tune into WGCR internet and satellite radio for a variety of R&B, hip-hop, blues, poetry and more. Discovered by music veterans, Ray Foreman and Diane Womack-Foreman, they have put together a station of great music and personalities. Visit their site at wgcr.freeservers.com .
Calling all serious house heads! Mark your calendar for a night sweat, joy and tears. Chicago Promoters United has put together an old-school house party featuring a slammin' line-up of DJ's for entertainment and in memory of legendary DJ Ron Hardy. If you remember clubs like Medusas, Bismark Pavilion, Powerhouse and Music Box just to name a few, you don't want to miss out on this event.
Saturday May 14th at the Americana Congress Hotel, a 2005 Chicago house music reunion featuring DJ's Pharris Thomas, Terry Hunter, Boo Williams, Gene Hunt, Andre Hatchett, Mike Dunn and the list goes on. The festivities kick off at 7pm and rocks until 3 am, with old school attire encouraged ( so find those zCavaricci and Girbaud jeans ) and be a part of history. For more information, visit www.deephousepage.com .
DJ Colette – Hypnotized ( OM Records )
DJ Sneak – House Of Om ( OM Records )
Joey Negro In The House ( Defected )
Danny Krivitt In The House ( Defected )
Robbie Rivera – Juicy Music ( Star 69 )
Verve Remixed 3 – Various Artists ( Verve )
Disco Heaven 01.05 – Various Artists ( Hed Kandi )
Faith Evans – The First Lady ( Capitol )
Victor Manuelle En Vivo Desde El Carnegie Hall ( Sony )
Breaks and Bossa 7 – Various Artists ( Schema )
Dance Ritual – Louie Vega ( R2 )
NRK Singles Vol 7 – Mixed by Hipp-e ( NRK )
Toni Braxton – The Remix Collection ( LaFace )
DJ Harry T's Beat Bangers
Sandcastles – Sydenham & Ferrer
Sound Of The Drum – Suzanne Palmer ( Airmale vs Peter Rauhofer )
Watermelon – Mendo
Feelin' Love ( The Ian Carey Mixes ) – Soulsearcher
Viva - DJ Meme presents Mandala
Change – Halo featuring Atwater & Mr. V
The Walk/Nightwalking – Divided Souls
So Alive ( Jamie Lewis Mix ) – Sandy Rivera
Back To The Raw – Kerri Chandler
Acid Jack – Maxx Renn
Music's Gotcha Jumpin' – Groove Junkies ft. Indeya
Kalakuta – Pepe Link
The Music – K&S Project
Rollergirl ( Inland Knights Mix ) – Magik Johnson
Everything ( Kaskade's Big Room Mix ) - Kaskade