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[Off The Record]
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TONY HUMPHRIES

(DMC/RAZOR & TIE)

Long after his first-rank house-music peers recorded a full-length mix CD, DJ Tony Humphries finally gets his. If you want to hear how house music sounded at the beginning, 1987-í90, when DJs like Humphries were still weaning house from its gospel-disco roots, this set tells all. His chanteuses live in the 1960s and 1970s: either they testify Aretha-style or they get funky, salaciously happy, like Laura Lee and Milly Jackson. Supporting them is the kind of beat that classic church disco featured ó jazzy bass lines and samba percussion, but louder, deeper, meatier than disco ever was. Itís music for big fleshy mamas, not bony supermodels. And if Humphriesís style features none of the cash-flush flamboyances that characterize full-tilt house music (the lush beats of Junior Vasquez, the drama of Danny Tenaglia, the melodicism of David Morales), he doesnít need them to make his buxom divas groove. From Alexisís remake of Geraldine Huntís 1979 disco classic "Canít Fake the Feeling" and Stephanie Cookeís swinging "Everything" to Jackie Kempís Taana GardnerĖish "Ainít Nothiní," Donna Blakelyís "Could It Be You," and Janine Crossís "All the Things U R," Humphries sticks to his basics: happy female feelings, voiced and tossed.

BY MICHAEL FREEDBERG

Issue Date: November 15 - 22, 2001

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