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DJ Mike Metz 

Chair Dancing Vol. 1 (http://clevelandunderground.properdj.com)

On Chair Dancing Vol. 1, local DJ Mike Metz rocks the house, both literally and figuratively. Not simply a homemade compendium of run-of-the-mill techno hits, Chair Dancing delivers a soul-stirring retrospective of old-school Chicago house and '70s Philly funk that transcends local house. Metz delves into authentic, progressive deep house and soul jazz, which then advances into British acid jazz fused with turbo anthems. Revealing his passion for '70s-inspired soul, Metz demonstrates that he can bring vintage sounds up to date without sounding overly trendy. This is evidenced on cuts like track four -- the songs are untitled -- which presents a contemporary mix of jazz and soul before veering into a classic house soul session.

A skillfully interwoven collection of complex beats and rhythms, Chair Dancing is not for young E-gobbling space cases. The disc is for those into good, "grown folks" party music. This isn't to suggest that Chair Dancing is devoid of roof-raising dance anthems. What worthwhile house disc would be without them? Starting with track seven, Chair Dancing switches gears, laying down classic '70s wah-wah that bleeds back into those complex beats spiked with classic Chicago house and a throwback to early '90s organ boogie. Damn. Let's do this time warp again.

At a time when Frankie Knuckles, the guru of house, has left techno-driven New York to head back to his soulful roots in Chicago, soul junkies in Cleveland should be proud. Why? Because in spite of all the hype given to the New York party scene, good soul groovin' music is very hard to find in the land of liberty. Props to Metz for being a soul survivor.

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