By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
Where Lehman smoothes it over, East Coast DJ Terry Hunter pays homage to the gritty gospel and R&B roots of old-school house music with far better results. Back in its early days in largely black gay clubs such as Manhattan‘s Paradise Garage and Chicago’s Warehouse, house music achieved an inspirational yet humorous duality of blending together the simplest and sometimes most stereotypical of black rhythms and vocals, then purposely heightening them to the point of caricature. In so doing, house was often send-up, mocking African-American culture while exalting it via the tribal energy of the dance floor.
This is what‘s good about Hunter’s House Volumes 3. Starting off with an outstanding remix of Patrice Rushen‘s early-’80s funk instrumental ”Number One“ retitled ”Numero Uno,“ the jazzy peak-hour groove sets a back-jackin‘ four-to-the-floor pace for the rest of the CD. Featuring cuts like Donna Allen’s ”He Is the Joy,“ DeepZone‘s ”It’s Gonna Be Alright“ and Platinum Dolls‘ ”Believe in a Brighter Day,“ Hunter is easily able to showcase gospel’s role as a staple ingredient in classic house. Gospel‘s influence in house derives from the burning I-gotz-the-spirit-in-me screams of the late Sylvester, whose tabernacle-charged disco hits set the stage for gospel’s preternatural journey from the church to the hedonistic havens of gay underground club culture.
Embracing the sounds of black America is nothing new in underground club culture, gay or straight, but whereas gay clubland in the States has maintained relationships with only a select few black divas, e.g., Diana Ross, Shawn Christopher and Martha Wash, DJs like George Morel and Junior Sanchez with their Zenith Ibiza double-CD import do a good job of bringing it all together on a multiethnic dance floor while delivering a brilliant slice of late-night house. Featuring the finest in garage house, disco, salsa and soul, both discs find these DJs kicking things off in a sweaty dance-till-break-o‘-dawn pitch -- and staying there. As any good DJ knows, it ain’t just the records you play, but how you play. On disc one, Morel seamlessly weaves foot-stompin‘ samba cuts back to back, workin’ up a lather of tight after-hour tango tracks like the White Horse--sampled ”Crazy Horse“ and ”Hold On,“ each blissfully rolling into a groove alongside each other without beginning or end.
Sanchez works magic on disc two, taking on a trancy edge with tracks like ”Burning Dub“ and ”Back & Forth“ before descending into the murky depths of undiluted carnal garage funk. Prime cuts include Sanchez‘s own ”Rock Bottom,“ Eddie Amador’s ”House Music Rmx,“ and the resplendent ”I Know,“ mixed by DJ Sneak. Laced with the chant ”Not everyone understands house musicit‘s a spiritual thinga body thinga soul thing,“ the latter track is followed up with the equally havoc-wreaking ”Things We Used To Do.“
Dan Savage makes too much noise about gays and sex, capitalizing on a shock-value sensibility not that far removed from the extreme right’s self-serving fear of open acceptance and expression. Truth be told, sexuality plays itself out in all forms of dance, whether through the ritualistic tribal communions of the aborigines in Australia or the well-muscled and tight-jeaned throngs of boys at Miami‘s annual White Party. And the question remains: Do you have to be gay to get off on high-energy dance grooves? Why, of course not, Miss Thang.