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  Digital Stylez of Jive 1.12.01
by Chanté LaGon

Venue: The Globe - Atlanta, GA
Presented by: Jive Magazine

Chante LaGonRoom to dance. Now that's what I'm talking about! Low turnout turned out to be a blessing at The Digital Stylez of Jive cultural celebration. Unfortunately, even with DJs wrecking the turntables and plenty of room for partiers to move, at no point did I see more than 20 people on the floor. Then again, I was late. I arrived after the fashion show, which Jewels said attracted more than 500 people — most of whom left to see Gridlock at The Church by the time I got there, she said. A few others I asked thought 500 was probably a generous estimate, but those that were left seemed to be having a good time. (For those who missed out like I did, Jewel's said there'd be a video of the fashion show and Web streaming on jivemagazine.com.)

It's been a minute since I've seen friends smiling, dancing and getting excited to see one another like they were at Digital Stylez. In a lot of ways this party reminded me that a rave is a place to really let go and not give a what. It's about having fun where you're at, meeting new people, reuniting with the familiar faces and enjoying the music.

Illustration by dubelyooThat's not to say I felt that way the first hour I was there. The successful party has the numbers to magnify the positive rave vibe. And that's really what hurt this gathering. The vibe was definitely there, but the people weren't. I accepted that and made a conscious decision to have fun anyway. And I did.

Many props to Jive for showcasing the art of such talented artists as dubelyoo. While he brings a keen hip-hop perspective to his work, other pieces incorporated the rave scene with the zeal and enthusiasm of the recently converted. The Jive photography exhibit featured the freaky and fabulous, fantasic dancers and ravers just having fun. This is the kind of exhibit I want to take my kids to someday ("See all the pretty people, sweetie? Mommy used to have such a good time!").

The music in the gallery was good, but I think some folks were turned off by the lights — which were really meant to highlight the art, not to serve as heat lamps. Still, four or five kids braved center stage, ignoring the unintentional dance circle that had formed around them.

Chris Haire in the Gallery Those who broke out after the fashion show missed a really, really old school set by Eve and Motomasa. "James Brown Is Dead" and "Dominator" are just a couple of the gems this duo dropped in the main room. My "age" showed — most of the tracks they played were beyond my three-year involvement with the scene.

What I do know is some good house when I hear it. Midway through their set, Faust and Shortee hit some of the banginest house I've heard this side of Chicago. It truly was the highlight of the night. Regretfully, I refused to give it all up because I knew I'd be hearing jungle later in the night. I wanted to save most of my dancing for Decay and D-Funk.

I should've busted a sweat while I had the chance. It could have been that the sound and levels were up way too high, but D-Funk's intro was an unappetizing type of raw. It was like he was trying really hard to "bring it" for the junglists who had to wait three hours to hear their music of choice. I appreciate that kind of tenacity, but it's important to build a vibe, even with drum and bass.

Multi-character D-Love mentioned that he'd be MCing over the jungle sets, but over that kind of noise, I wondered how he'd ever be heard. (The most he ever got out was "Mic check, one two.")

Decay cut in with some danceable selections, but before I got a chance to get back in the groove, the sound was cut.

Digital Stylez may have been sparsley attended, but it was worth the money. That's more than I can say for parties thrown by bigger names and with more attendees.

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