Saturday, December 29, 2007

Sometimes You Gotta Do It Yourself...

First things first, If you don't have a copy of Kylie Minogue's new CD "X", you are missing out on truly the best electronic CD of 2007 and arguably one of the best ones ever.

So yes, I'm obsessed with this CD and I was waiting to see how the lead single "2 Hearts" would translate to the dancefloor. I was surprised when all the mixes I did find just didn't cut it for me. There's some interesting ones out there but nothing mainstream with a nice steady thump thump that makes you wanna throw your hands up in the air.

Well, God bless Almighty for doing what they do best: Taking a song and adding a helluvalot of energy to it!

Almighty had Jamie Knight do two cover songs for them (which Almighty is famous for), one being "2 Hearts" and the other is the Leona Lewis smash "Bleeding Love". Both of which are good in their own right and Jamie's voice can parallel Kylie's in some ways but when all's said and done, it's just not Kylie.

However, Almighty released the instrumental of their "2 Hearts" mix and I had the Kylie accapella handy so I re-assigned the tempo of the accapella from the normal 112 it is to Almighty's 129 (thankfully with no distortion!) and started slicing and dicing it over the track.

It was a little difficult as Kylie's phrasing in the original song is very loose and doesn't always coincide with the beats, so having it sped up I had to piece apart almost every line seperately. Thank God I love this song so much cause I needed alot of patience haha!

I'm extremely happy with this mix and I hope that this will please the masses out there!! Feedback is always welcomed!!!

Kylie Minogue - 2 Hearts (John Michael's Almighty Mix)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

DJ Seth Gold, Deko Lounge and Why Gay Parties Run By Straight People Don't Always Work

Before I even allude to what I mean by the title of this blog, I'll give you a little back story.

Somewhere in 1997 I wandered in the Colosseeum Nightclub in Sayerville, NJ for the first time. I was only 17 years old and had never been to a gay club before in my life. At the time, it was some of my sister's friends (she's older) who took me, so it was a whole new world.

I'll never forget what it was like when I opened the door to the main room. It seemed like it all finally just clicked. I found what I was looking for for so long, a place where I could go to be around people who in one aspect were like me. I had no idea about all the intricacies that the gay community could/would hold but that excitement I got then, I still get when I walk into a gay place I've never been before.

For me, it's a symbol of freedom and beyond that, it was a place where I finally belonged.

Now, I'm 27 years old and while I still hold true to that ideal, things have definitely changed. I spent the better part of the last 10 years growing up within the gay community and becoming immersed in the culture but more importantly for me, the music.

Growing up with an older sister, I looked up to her and basically anything she listened to, I was on board.

Some of the first dance songs I ever heard (aside from Freestyle music) were LA Style's "James Brown Is Dead", Nomad's "I Wanna Give You Devotion" and The Adventure's of Stevie V's "Dirty Cash (Money Talks)" (which also had Eric Kupper on keyboards and David Morales on percussion btw).

I was fascinated by this music. It was disco, but it was kicked up a notch and within this music everything seemed possible. You could convey love, pain and all other emotions in a powerful way that still made everyone dance. I was sold!

Again, years later, I have my favorites but getting to the point of this blog I have to bring up a certain DJ. DJ Seth Gold. I had the opportunity of seeing something very interesting happen. I was able to watch the evolution of a DJ.

When I first heard the name Seth Gold, he was a young boy (as was I) DJ-ing for parties like Kurfew and Heaven in NYC and at the time he was playing all the pop music everyone came to love out of those types of parties...but over the years...things have changed.

Seth has grown up to become a DJ who I believe has the ability to become a front runner for the next generation of club music.

As a DJ groupie I've followed DJ's all over the eastern seaboard...from Junior Vasquez in NYC to Chad Jack in Ft Lauderdale, I've seen just about everyone I've ever wanted to see. I've also gotten many a chance to hear Seth DJ all over from NYC to DC and through friends have obtained copies of his live sets from all of the US.

If there's one thing that Seth has become a mastermind at, it's finding his own way to blend songs that you know with versions you may never have heard before. But always and I mean ALWAYS, he stays one step ahead of the crowd.

I wish that everyone reading this could've heard him the times I heard him spin at Nation in DC. Unbelievable! But I digress...

When I heard that last Friday at Deko Lounge (right down the block from where Colosseeum used to be--Sadly enough it's closed now and is a heterosexual strip club) was starting a gay party, I was definitely intrigued.

Deko Lounge has a reputation for their Thursday night straight parties as one of the best in the area. Tons of the girls I know and work with hang out there for DJ Klutch and DJ AM when he's in town. Week after week they're there having a great time in spite of inevitable drama that seems to linger there.

Now, I had been to Deko years and years ago on a straight night and I did have an ok time. I don't particularly care for the Staten Island hetero crowd because everyone thinks they're on the Sopranos but the music I heard when I was there was good. And I've had many a bad experience when it comes to straight people running a gay party.

Some of the problems that seem to happen over and over again are these, so pay attention!!

1) Cover Charge: Firstly, if you're a club in manhattan you might be able to get away with a $20/$30 cover. Not in NJ and not with a gay crowd. We're used to cheap covers 9 times out 10 because we drink so heavily lol

2) DJ: Do NOT expect your normal straight night DJ to come in a dazzle a gay crowd with the type of music the straight people go for. Odds are good that the gays have already heard it at least 6 months before the hetero's get their hands on it lol. We wanna hear fun music that we know and can sing, dance and vogue our way through if necessary!

3) Staff: If you're a straight club running a gay party with a straight staff, the gays are gonna pick up on it. If the staff is not in sync with the atmosphere, it's going to tank. Don't try to welcome us, take our money and pretend to be our friends when the bartenders, bouncers and coatcheck people have your typical straight guy "dont hit on me" attitude. It's a big turn off.

4) Drinks: Have some kind of drink specials and make it known. Very few gay people (in my experience) are willing to pay city prices outside of the city and even in the city we don't like paying city prices. Straight guys flash the money to get the girls. It's not the same ball game with us. If I order a Long Island Blue, I shouldn't be spending $12 on it and if I am, you can be assured the bartender isn't getting a tip for a drink that the price of two McDonald's Happy Meals.

Those are really the only things I can think of as of right now but simple as it may seem, we ran into some of these problems last Friday night.

Before I elaborate though, let me make ONE thing very very clear:

Colosseeum, barring the last two years, was a goldmine! They had THEE weekly party in the area and since their decline and eventually their demise, no one has stepped in a picked up where they left off.

Deko Lounge, being about 10 minutes from Colo, has the perfect chance to do it and do it right. I really hope they don't fuck it up. It's a great space with a great system and I even noticed bartender Chrissy from the Colo staff.

When I got the call that it was Seth Gold who was DJing that night (with Steve Sidewalk in the side room) I knew it was going to be a good night! I was so excited! I got to hear Seth and only travel 15 min from my house!!! What a dream come true!!! Hah!

My friends and I got in our cars and made the trip to Deko and when we go there, first thing I was put off by was the Valet service. Why do I have to pay $5.00 (which could be better spent at the bar) to have someone drive my car 3 feet? Colo tried to do this but at least they gave you the option. $5.00 for valet service or park it yourself, just do it a little bit further away.

This is not the Grammy Awards, I don't have a limo, I don't need valet service, however, it was unavoidable. First strike for Deko.

We get inside without a problem and make our way to the bar. The drinks were a little light on the alcohol but I really didn't care. Seth was in the booth and the crowd (even though it was early) was well on their way to being his. I'm 27 years old, I love Britney Spears even though she's crazy and Seth knows that there are plenty of people like me in his crowd as evidenced by playing Brit's "Piece of Me" and "Radar" back to back. It was great!!! My friends LOVED it!! Some of them have never heard Seth before and I told them they would love him and they did.

Oh but one thing I thought was a little strange was when we walked into the main room there were two boys laying on a table wrapped in saran wrap and covered in sushi.

Um, what?

I don't know what that was all about, but I hope that that was a one time only thing. Aside from being visually bizarre, I can't imagine eating raw fish (all puns intended) off of people I dont even know. Ick!!

But a few hours had passed the dancefloor filled up and things were going great! Then I noticed a shift in music. I started hearing songs I couldn't imagine Seth would play and when I looked up I saw someone DJing that wasnt Seth. I knew something was very very wrong.

After trying to hunt people down and get an explanation I finally was told that someone (although I can't imagine who) said that they wanted to hear deep house.


The music was such an unsettling switch from the fun and light stuff we were hearing to what seemed like a dark selection from Benny Benassi's greatest hits. Very strange. I doubt many of the people there that night knew that they were hearing Superchumbo's mix of "Dirty Filthy" among others.

Don't get me wrong, I do like that kinda music, but not for that place and not for that crowd. And of course, it turns out that management had something to do with it which doesn't surprised me in the least.

As soon as the DJ/music switched, the bartenders were banging on stuff and blowing whistles (which Im guessing is what they do on Thursday nights as well) to show they approved.

Unfortunately Deko Lounge, you're not there to please the staff.

Strike Two for Deko.

Oh and btw...Air Horns??? Really??? Welcome to 1998!!! This is not Djais in Belmar people!!! It gets so annoying over and over again and it's SOOOOO loud!!!!

The long and the short of it is this and this is an open letter to club management everywhere. You hired a DJ for a reason. This DJ knows the crowd and knows what they want or else you wouldn't have him there.

Let him do his job. Seth is an incredible DJ and provided that he's not ripped out of the booth again, all my friends and I (and we were about 30 people deep that night) will be back again and again. It's extremely rude to do what they did to Seth and I'll tell you this, if he's not DJing there, we will not be there. The other no-name DJ who played that night, while his mixing and music were alright, could be used at a different party, if not a different venue altogether.

As it stands right now, Im told that Seth will be there again on Friday and so will my friends and I.

So Deko, do yourselves the favor!! You have such a good chance to make this not only a good party but THEE party in the area. No one else around has the chance to pick up Colo's slack and do it right!!

If you do right by us we'll do right by you!!!!

So here's to a good party and good music!!!!

Happy Holidays everyone!! I will be back soon posting some more music for you all!!

Thanks for letting me rant! :-D

~ John Michael ~

Sunday, December 23, 2007


This is a really hot song!! Bravo to Rafael Lelis for this slammin mix!!

Altar feat Amanda - Sound Of Your Voice (JM's Rafael Lelis Radio Edit)

Kelly Rowland - Work (JM's Reworked Freemasons Radio Edit)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Pop Till You Drop!

So when the pop music scene exploded in 1999/2000 with artists like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Backstreet Boys and NSYNC, it was only natural that these songs would make their way to the dancefloor and it caused a tidal wave remixes! Some good, some cheesy but of course I've gotta represent them here! Haha!

I'll break these down by remixer for everyone. All of these are official edits unless otherwise noted.

There's plenty more but for now, I only have the time to post two remixers.

Hex Hector:

At the time, there seemed to be no one else around who was really transforming these songs for the dancefloor en masse quite like Hex Hector. Depending on who he was working with, namely Mac Quayle (HQ2) and Dezrok, we would get two totally different sounds. One was a little rough and packed a punch, as was the case with Mac or with Dezrok's influence we got a stunningly orchestrated, slick and trance-like sound that was full of build up after build up.

98 Degrees - Because Of You (Hex Hector Radio Edit)

Britney Spears - Don't Let Me The Last To Know (Hex Hector Radio Edit)
**STUNNING!!!!! I think this version outshines the original ten-fold! The breakdown at 2:50 is my favorite!**

Faith Hill - Breathe (Hex Hector Radio Edit)

I5 - Distracted (Hex Hector & Dezrok Radio Edit)

Lara Fabian - I Am What I Am (Hex Hector Radio Edit)
** To this day I'll never know why her career in the US dissipated like it did. A phenomenal voice and a really hard hitting mix by Hex!**

Mandy Moore - Candy (Hex Hector Radio Edit)

Melanie C - I Turn To You (Hex Hector Radio Edit)
** Does anyone on earth NOT know this song?? All these years later and I never get sick of it. If you get a chance, check out Hex's Dub for this--Also amazing **

NSYNC - This I Promise You (Hex Hector Radio Edit)
** This is one of the cheesier ones Hex has done **

NSYNC & Gloria Estefan - Music Of My Heart (Hex Hector Radio Edit)
** I was very surprised to find out that Gomi actually helped engineer this mix. One listen and you'll see why--CHEESE CENTRAL!! **

O-Town - All Or Nothing (HQ2 Radio Edit)

O-Town - Liquid Dreams (HQ2 Radio Edit)

Toni Braxton - Spanish Guitar (HQ2 Radio Edit)
** I know that Toni's not in the same catagory as these artists but I had to throw this one in. The live guitar in this one takes the song to a completely new level as does the breakdown at 2:24. **

Soul Solution:

Producer Ernie Lake formed Soul Solution around this time and had his hand in producing a slew of pop mixes as well. He seemed to have a knack for taking the pop ballad songs and give them a driving beat.

Amanda - Everybody Doesn't (Soul Solution Radio Edit)

Backstreet Boys - All I Have To Give (Soul Solution Radio Edit)

Shania Twain - You're Still The One (Soul Solution Radio Edit)

Monday, December 10, 2007

A man pretending to be a woman pretending to be a man! Preposterous!!

First, I am truly biased. I have always been a huge Jason Walker fan!! I, like many others before me, thought it was a woman when I first heard his voice (think male Kristine W) but this big black diva voice comes out of a skinny little boy from Pennsylvania!

However, having just gotten a copy of his new CD "Flexible", I have a new obsession!!

His first CD "This Is My Life" was amazing and spawned 3 #1 Billboard Club hits including "My Life" which was voted best gay pride anthem of that year by HX Magazine.

This new CD finds Jason once again working with Junior Vasquez (as it's released on his label JVM) and also Quentin Harris as well. But it's the disc's title track "Flexible" that really caught my ear. Anyone who's very familiar with Junior's music will know what I mean when I say that this song is VERY Twilo. It uses alot of his old Twilo tricks and loops and makes the song a total standout.

"Can't Get You Off My Mind" is the lead single of this CD and for a visual you can check out the video for it on You Tube which was done by Karl Giant with makeup by my best friend Christopher Milone!

And "Foolish Lover I'm Sorry" is an awesomely aggresive electroclash track which finds Jason apologizing..."Baby I'm sorry. I never meant to hurt you. It's just that it was rough, you know? Maybe we weren't together at the right time. Maybe one day we will be...and I'm sorry." and continues from there...

Of course, that's to say nothing of Jason's incredible vocals! I highly reccommend you go to iTunes right now and buy this CD. You will NOT be disappointed.

But just for a taste...

Jason Walker - Flexible (Album Version)

Jason Walker - Can't Get You Off Of My Mind (Album Version)
**First Single**

Jason Walker - Foolish Lover I'm Sorry (Album Version)

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Request and Randomness


The Fray - How To Save A Life (JM's Robbie Rivera Radio Edit)


Casa Cuba - Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps (JM's Fairlite Radio Edit)

Therese - Be My Baby (JM's Radio Edit) **Amazing!!**

Candy - Lick It (JM's Original Radio Edit)
**Yes, THAT 'Lick It' lol...SUCH an incredible update**

Dave Aude feat Jessica Sutta - Make It Last (JM's Ralphi Rosario Radio Edit)
**The featured vocalist is Jessica from The Pussycat Dolls**

Vanessa Williams - You Are Everything (JM's Junior Vasquez Mirrorball Radio Edit)
** We all know I love Junior and I love this song/mix, but tell me that this mix isn't a blatant copy of Jonathan Peters feat Sylver "After All This Time"??**

Inaya Day - Breakaway (JM's Anthem Radio Edit)
**One of the best covers I've ever heard! Originally done by Big Pig in the 80's**

Jzabehl - It's All About Me (JM's Tony Moran Radio Edit)
**Great bitch track-esque song! Originally a reggaeton track but has new vocals for this remix**

Laura Branigan - The Winner Takes It All (JM's Matt & Vito Radio Edit)
**RIP Laura! She was one of my favorite vocalists from the 80's and this was recorded shortly before she passed away due to a brain anyurism. This is an awesome cover of the Abba hit of the same name. Matt & Vito took it to the next level for sure.**

Kate DeAraugo - Faded (JM's Chameleon Radio Edit)
**Kate was the winner of Australian Idol 2 years ago and this is a remix of her first single. Great pop remix!**

Luz Divina - You Shine On Me (JM's Extended Jonathan Peters Radio Mix) **Perhaps one of the most beautifully produced dance songs ever. Luz has one of the sickest voices in dance music and Jonathan Peters and Tony Coluccio engineered this amazingly! I had to include the dramatic breakdowns...They make the song! This is probably more of a mixshow than anything else...but the vocals keep coming!**

Nicki French - I Surrender (JM's Shanghai Surprise Radio Edit)
**We all remember Nicki from her cover of Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse Of The Heart" but a few years back she covered this Celine Dion ballad and I have to say that it's argueably just as good as Celine's and now backed with a hi-nrg mix from Shanghai Surprise**

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Welcome to the Soundfactory

Normally, where I am, people think of Soundfactory and they think of one of the greatest nightclubs ever to hit NYC, but I'm talking about a different Soundfactory, from overseas.

This one comes all the way to us from Sweden (where some of the best dance/pop music is being made these days) and it's engineered by Mr Emil Hellman. Aside from Offer Nissim, this is the hottest sound I've heard in dance music in a long time.

While Soundfactory hasn't turned out remixes for big names like we know them, the quality of the mixes he does do (usually for big Swedish/European artists) are beyond stellar. He has a knack for finding a hook in a song and kicking it up to the next level. His chord progression is perfect for dance music!

Here's a sample of his work! Hope you enjoy!!

Afrodite - Turn It Up (JM's Soundfactory Extended Radio Mix)

Ann Winsborn - La La Love On My Mind (JM's Soundfactory Radio Edit)

BWO - Gone (JM's Soundfactory Radio Edit)

Christer Bjorkman feat Shirley Clamp - La Vie (This Is My Life) (JM's Soundfactory Radio Edit)

**This songs artist is originally listed as just Christer but in the interest of giving full credit where it's due (and mainly because Shirley Clamp has an incredible voice), I listed her here too. Back in 2001 this was the Pride Anthem of Sweden. It's a cover of and original Italian song called "La Vita" which Shirley Bassey covered both in English and in Italian (Thanks Ed!), but here Christer sings in French and Shirley in English. If anyone can transliterate the French here it would be great!**

Magnus Carlsson - Live Forever (Soundfactory Radio Edit) **Official Edit**

Sonya - Etymon (JM's Soundfactory Extended Radio Mix) **This is one of my faves right now!**

A Little Christmas Tease...

I can never get enough of this...Especially at this time of year...It's a little long but it's hard for me to chop down Kristine when she's 'singing a joyous noise' haha!

Kristine W - Oh Holy Night (JM's Welcome & Joe Carrano Extended Radio Mix)

And this song is from my favorite Swedish artist (see next post) Shirley Clamp. I love this woman's voice!!! This dance cover of the famous Band Aid song surpasses the original for me!

Shirley Clamp - Do They Know It's Christmas

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Sorry Everyone!!

Im sorry it's taking me so long this week to get stuff posted but with shopping for the holidays (well, trying to lol) and work things have gotten a little crazy...

I promise it will be worth it when I do though!! Thanks for all your patience!!!

~ John Michael ~