Various Artists

Night in Orbit: Mixed by DJ Manny Lehman

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Much like the current watered-down euphemisms of the circuit-club scene -- where people don't do drugs anymore, but they "party," or, no longer having sex, they "play" -- L.A. DJ Manny Lehman essentially euphemizes house music on his dance-mix compilation A Night in Orbit. Named after the now-defunct weekly event co-produced by himself and circuit-party titan Jeff Sanker on Saturday nights at Circus Disco, the CD features 12 tracks which more or less re-create the circuit events without the aid of Special K, poppers, crystal meth, or GHB. The fact is, minus the enhancement of dance-floor drugs, circuit-party music sucks; unfortunately, the well-intended efforts of Lehman, who ironically is one of the most sought-after circuit DJs around today, don't help matters. Opening the set with the violin swirls of Jeanie Tracy's "Can't Take My Eyes off You," Lehman meanders into MOR jungle-inflected tracks like disco diva Linda Clifford's "Wanna Give It Up"; he also rambles into a pointless remake of the gay white-boy dance classic "High Energy." Lehman does make good with the funky track "Feels Good," as well as the beat-savvy "I Don't Want Nobody (Tellin' Me What to Do)" featuring Cheri Amore. With the exception of these two, however, most of the tracks, including Deborah Harry and Groove Thing's "Command & Obey" and house diva Shawn Christopher's "Don't Lose the Magic," sound schmaltzy, mechanical, and weighed down in a drag queen's lost and overembellished reveries of a good time.

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