Record Review - 2 December 19 2001

In house music, "deep" means many things, many of them nebulous. Add to that list the sound-byte from The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, which opens this slamming set from Chicago's most popular house DJ. "The proclamation papers just come down to me," it concludes, "and they say y'all as free as I am." Then the words "free as I am" are echoed, and segue straight into a mix that, for its first half, is so fierce with joy that by the time Carter concludes the proceedings with a relatively ordinary half-hour (more "conventional" soul vocals and keyboard riffs), he's got you so hooked he could throw on The Best of the Osmonds and you'd go on about what a fine, underrated groove unit the first family of Mormon pop was.

About Now could be retitled Raw Deluxe, as even the jazz touches the horns on Eddie & the Eggs' "Me & My Watermelon" — are less supper-club smooth than late-night jam- session nasty, and the relatively luxe keyboard riff of Kojak's "You Can't Stop It" rocks the beat just as hard. Most entertaining is the variety of voices, from the stoned robot muttering away in the background of Stan De Mereuil Et L'anglais' "Le Rocher" to Money Chocolate's restrained diva wail on "Keep the Love." And if you can resist the chanting Oscar the Grouch soundalike on De Pompidou's "Girly Souly," you need to seek treatment for encroaching anhedonia.??