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Blizzard boys

Chris Azzopardi

If there's one motto that defines Tony Moran's music-mixing philosophy it's: At your service. "If I was a waiter, I'd be the best fucking waiter in the restaurant," he insists.
It's clear – in just under 15 minutes – that Moran, an often sought remix mogul who has lured the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Mariah Carey, doesn't need to serve mammoth dance anthems. He wants to.
"I could go and buy a place in the country and live happily ever after with a husband who knows how to cook," he pauses, laughing. "But I chose a husband that lives in the city and knows how to cook – and knows how to order in."
Moran, who called Between The Lines from New York, will cook up some zesty, energetic beats with a meaty side of sexual testosterone during the fifth Arctic Babylon Tour, which comes May 11 to Necto in Ann Arbor.
When the nightclub transforms into a winter paradise decked out in whimsical icicles and blizzard-looking confetti – much like Superman's palace, as Kidd of RKM Productions notes – one thing will remain constant: the scorching body heat.
"It's sort of like a hot, sexy kind of vibe 'cause everyone's shirts are off," Kidd says. "It's the sexy part of winter. In the summer it's so hot all you wanna do is cool off."
It takes eight hours, and only two – sometimes four – people, to give the venue a frigid facelift. Moran will be one of several superstar DJs and producers – Los Angeles performing artist Flava and Manny Lehman are also on tap – eliciting a plethora of bouncy bodies.
Anyone who's heard Moran's pulsating remixes has only tasted a morsel of his music. Live, Moran promises "sexual optimism." "That doesn't mean that you're going to get laid," he notes.
In Ann Arbor, he will debut a remix of Detroit's own Danielle Bollinger, where he transformed the budding crooner into the "ultimate, ultimate dance floor diva." With gobs of up-and-coming artists, like Bollinger, and supreme songstresses on his repertoire, Moran is often asked, "Who's left?" His answer is always the same. "I live for George Michael," he says, "and he's the only person that's ever turned me down on a remix."
But Moran wasn't the only blackballed music-maker. Though Michael's rejection of the DJ's re-working of "Fast Love" left him mystified, Moran notes that Timbaland, P.Diddy and David Morales all got the shaft.
"It's the business," he says, disappointed that his hard work didn't get heard by the masses. "So, I mean how can I be jaded by one? I hope the opportunity does arrive again and that our paths do cross."
The same people who have approached Moran – Katharine McPhee, Shakira and even Madonna – probably felt the same when he rejected their tunes. "I haven't been afraid to turn down anything that I don't think I can make special," he says, noting being picky is due to his time constraints. He spends four or five days per week in the studio and, at night, works the DJ booth at circuit parties.
"I love working in the studio," he gushes, "but being able to create something from scratch or being able to create something that's been handed to me to conform to a new genre makes me very happy that I have the ability to do that."
Before hitting the Arctic Babylon Tour, Moran wrapped up recording his future release "The Event," which he says clearly defines him. He released his first album at 18, which sold one million copies. Now 42, his musical service, waiter or not, seems infinite.
"The bar I set for myself is very high," says the eternal club kid. "That's why the degree of success that I've had with the records that I've remixed are at a certain level … and that applies to the kind of music that I play. It applies to how I feel about the audience."

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