Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Circuit Party Spins

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Circuit Party Spins

Article excerpt

When Rhino expanded its retail business into a record label during the 1980s, it specialized in reviving nerdy rock oldies. In the 1990s the reissue label's unprecedented accomplishment has hinged on its ability to present well-chosen retrospectives from the archives of nearly every music genre, particularly the stuff ignored or mistreated by major labels. Its success lies at the juncture of mainstream and minority interests -- vintage sound tracks, R & B, funk, disco, early hip-hop, even salsa. So it's only natural that this originally hetero-white-guy's-taste-dominated label would eventually be courting us.

Releasing Phranc's first album years ago, joining forces with RuPaul, and putting same-sex couples on the covers of its disco albums was just a start. This month Rhino goes a step further to grab gay and lesbian attention. With the release of Women Like Us: Lesbian Favorites and Circuit Party Spins, the label makes available to the mall stores of America recent and current pop tunes not only targeted at us but also celebrating our spirit and spreading our love with the high quality for which Rhino is famous.

You've seen plenty of beefcake-festooned dance compilations before: Most either are fun of old substandard tracks or transcend the limits of copyright legality. Circuit Party Spins does the right thing with rare recent or unreleased cuts (the secret DJ weapons that radio won't touch) that set gay dance floors on fire. This isn't yet another collection of disposable, interchangeable tracks with minimal melodies and negligible vocals. Compiled and sequenced by circuit DJ Julian Marsh, these are the full-fledged songs that you remember and of which you never tire.

Marsh clearly has a thing for gospel-charged, Euro-tinged house anthems that flaunt the accessibility and pop production values of crossover hits without the obviousness that soon grows tedious beyond the club context. …

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