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The only ‘drugs’ that I need

Last night a DJ saved my life, does anybody remember this song? It was a huge disco hit from the seventies, back in the time when a DJ was king, when he really did save the night, if not your life.

music Updated: Feb 28, 2011 14:09 IST
Luke kenny

Last night a DJ saved my life, does anybody remember this song? It was a huge disco hit from the seventies, back in the time when a DJ was king, when he really did save the night, if not your life.
Although the seventies gave rise to the discotheque and hence the DJ, the concept of DJing is as old as Homo Sapien Erectus. Ever since we learned to walk upright we wanted to dance.

Rise of the shaman
And then, there was the shaman, the director of the ceremony or ritual of dance. From being just an ordinary guy in the daylight to the party-starter in the night, he did it all. He was the centre of the proceedings. He handed out the party plants, he controlled the music, and he started the action. And the next day as you nursed your hangover, he probably went back to being your next-door neighbour.
Most DJs today are what is called ‘BPM DJs’ – as in Beats Per Minute. They mix according to the BPM of the track, not taking into consideration the mood, feel, and texture of the selection. In doing that, they unknowingly cause a mood shift in the audience on the floor, some will stop dancing, some will slow down, and some will walk off the floor, which in my opinion is a no-no. As a DJ, you are there to make sure nobody leaves! No one walks out on your playing! We don’t need no... Remember you go to a disco to dance, to get your drinks down the hatch, let your hair down and get on the floor. Because at the end of the night, in my opinion, music and dancing are the only drugs I will ever need… if I may say so.

Here’s what you want on your iPod, recommends Luke Kenny:

Relentless
Yngwie Malmsteen
Universal

It’s been awhile since I heard a Malmsteen album. And while guitar-oriented albums have become a niche occupation, the fans (howsoever few) continue to support and worship the force that is Yngwie Malmsteen, one of the great classical guitar players in metal. This is melodic speed metal at its highest. So all you guitar players out there can take some time to check this out and practice your skills. Malmsteen’s mastery over what he does is absolutely fantastic and can never be undermined, if only more of us cared.

Bottomline- Truly relentless
Rating-***

Lightning Strikes Twice
Nelson
Frontier Records

A return for melodic pretty boy rockers, the brothers Matthew and Gunnar Nelson. Their big hit came in 1990 with After The Rain and have had several albums since then, their last being 2000's Like Father Like Sons. So 10 years later sees them doing what they do best – retro pop-rock – a sound that is making a kind of a revival of sorts but has yet to find an ear of appreciation here in India.

Bottomline- Not that electrifying though
Rating-***

The Covering
Stryper
Sony Music

Black Sabbath, Scorpions, Deep Purple, Kiss, Ozzy Osbourne, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, UFO and Sweet get the cover treatment here by one of the biggest Christian metal bands of the eighties, Stryper. I don't know if it's a good thing or not. I mean, the choice of songs are classic: Highway star, Immigrant song, The trooper, Breaking the law and so on. It’s just that to hear them in an ’80s metal mode of choral guitars with wavering Michael Sweet vocals is another matter altogether. Oh well…

Bottomline- Oh well...
Rating-**

What If...
Mr Big
Frontier Records

After a successful reunion tour in 2009 which also saw them stop off at two venues in India, it looks like the original are back to stay. This is their first all-new album of original material since 2001's 'Actual Size' and the first with the original line-up since 1996's 'Hey Man'. Eric Martin, Paul Gilbert, Billy Sheehan and Pat Torpey are back! No surprises here, though as most of the songwriting tries to capture past glories. It’s always great to hear the foursome play, Paul's mean guitaring is a pleasure to experience, Billy's pounding bass is scorching, Pat's drumming is textbook and Eric's voice has never been better. But the album is quite sterile otherwise.

Bottomline- What if... indeed
Rating-**1/2