Gay West Hollywood and Los Angeles - Celebrate

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Mixed by DJ Ron Thomas
Reviewed by Ronald Slomowicz

There seems to be such a glut of dance compilations in the market right now, just about every dj has hooked up with a label to mix a few tracks together in hopes of increasing their booking fees. These mixed cds are good for the labels (licensing), djs (exposure), and consumers (club favorites premixed ready to go) but with so many out there, it is hard to pick a good one.

Fortunately for us, Celebrate stands out from the rest with exquisite song selection, superior mixing, great sound quality, and a rare sense of journey. Circuit DJs strive to take dancers on a journey over the course of a 4-6 hour set.

Compressing this down to a 70 minute mixed cd is often difficult, but Los Angeles DJ Ron Thomas does a phenomenal job leading the listener with a powerful intro into fluffy disco then some strong hiNRG and ending with some harder trance.

The CD starts with Spiritual Project's reworking of "O Fortuna" from Orf's Carmina Burina. The song was the basis of the techno anthem by Apotheosis a few years back and now the Spiritual project elevates it to new trancey heights making it the ultimate song to begin with. "Imagination" and "What I Want" keep the flow with a funky, discohouse groove - the kind of songs you want to sing a long to at a tea dance. "Celebrate" serves as the perfect bridge track between the discohouse and the faster trance that is about to be served. As a DJ, I must say that the mix from "Celebrate" into "Meet Her at the Love Parade" is one of the best mixes I have ever heard. Circuit favorites Sunscreem continue this transition into a deeper trancey groove.

Then it happens - the kind of surprise track that a DJ will throw in to change the groove and surprise you. Who would think to put "Love for Liberty"- a full on hiNRG, girly vocal track in the middle of a trancey set. Surprisingly, the song fits perfectly and continues the flow into DJ Hush's cover of Adamski's "Killer," I must admit that I am partial to ATB's version that is being played in the clubs right now - but this full vocal version stays true to the original while updating it for 2000.

Ron Thomas wisely moves the music a bit darker with the first of two Yves Deruyter tracks "To the Rhythm" - a great track to build the sound to a heavier place. Moving from this into "Bora Bora" then "Feel Free" - you get the sense of building energy and harder grooves. Yves Deruyter's "Feel Free" commands you to "free your mind and your ass will follow" - a harder trance record that dominated last year's Black and Blue party.

If "Feel Free" is the powerful climax, "Imagine" is the afterglow - the perfect ending of a night for people to hold hands and go home with a good feeling in their hearts. Yes, a Beatles cover sounds a bit cheesy, but it works so well and is a great way to end the journey.

Celebrate is a very strong mixed CD that will quickly become one of your favorites. Whether you Want a cd for your car or something to hype you up before you go out - this cd is a great addition to anyone's music collection.

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