It’s eight years since George Michael released an album, and he says this is the last time he wants anything to do with the big business of pop music. It’s not a surprise really, given his history with current label Sony Music (he sued them in 93 to try and get out of his contract, but lost). Depending on whether or not he’ll keep his promise not to release another album, this is either a fitting send-off or a promising continuation of an already full career. Patience is the newer, gayer, more honest George, and the lyrics are worth listening to. His honesty is refreshing -“ when he writes about a guy called Johnny, who’s gone and got himself a new man/He gets laid every day in Cars And Trains, it’s not a self-conscious reference, it’s just another lyric. Yes, he’s grown up -“ it’s a long time since he got caught with his pants down, and decades since he wrote pop music for young girls. Anyway, after a couple of weeks in release it looks like Patience is a success for the record company George tried to part ways with more than 10 years ago. It’s currently number eight on the charts, and the first Patience single Amazing has been in the top 40 for six weeks.

WIRED [DJ Hyper]

The Ministry of Sound continue to offer interesting releases from individual artists propped up, it would seem, by their big hit Annuals. Hyper (known to his mother as Guy Hatfield) is one of the world’s most famous names in that branch of dance music’s family tree known as breaks. He’s a producer, remixer and DJ of distinction, responsible for some famous break versions of Pink’s Trouble and God Is A DJ, among others. On this two-disc mixer he combines the known and the unknown -“ among the known are Planet Funk with Who Said and Plump DJs doing Pray For You, and Hyper, big talent that he is, kicks in three of his own tracks Shock Proof, Outsider and Body Rok, as well as a Hyper remix of Sugababes’ In The Middle. Hyper is currently touring in the US with electro stars The Crystal Method and he is also due to come out here this year on a Ministry of Sound tour to promote Wired. This is a solid collection from a man who really knows his stuff.

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