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  The First Episode 8.28.99
by Alainna Newman

Venue: Studio Central - Atlanta, GA
Presented by: Pleazure

Alainna NewmanParties like "The First Episode" remind me of why I keep going out in Atlanta. After five years in the scene, I no longer expect each party to deliver me a magical music-laden fantasy on a silver platter. However, together with my crew of avid hedonists, Jennifer Gustafson, Thom Owen, Kelly Tarver, and myself, Alainna Newman, we usually manage to have a pretty good time. We're a tight-knit group and we can always fall back on entertaining each other if some aspect of the evening fails to live up to its promise. On this occasion we were all pretty psyched about the latest Pleazure Productions party because in the past they've always been, well, a pleasure to attend. Although the lineup on the spectacular flier contained many unfamiliar names, I have learned to rely on the musical discretion of Jennifer Walker. She's got a knack for schooling Atlanta on the scope of talent in the underground music scene.

Kelly, Jennifer and ThomOur evening of pleasure began with our hassle-free entry into the new "virgin venue" in downtown Atlanta. After a short walk from the plentiful parking lot, we found ourselves ushered into an impressively proportioned dance floor with enough space to actually dance and enough air conditioning to prevent us from melting into puddles on the floor. Despite the slightly unfinished interior, the laser holograms were impressive and the lighting superior. Someone needs to turn down the volume on the smoke machine, though. For the first few minutes after this monster released its fumes, smoke was so thick you literally couldn't see your hand in front of your face. People were running into each other, and it's a wonder some of the more exuberant dancers didn't cause an accident.

T-1000T-1000 was on the decks when we walked in. What a way to start the evening! Without further preliminaries we were swept away on smooth rails of hard house into a delectable dimension of dance. We literally could not stop moving until he did. I never heard of the guy before Pleazure brought him here but I will certainly never forget the set that set my mood for the evening.

StickmenThe Stickmen were a bit sticky as a follow-up to the polished beats that preceded them, but that's okay because it was definitely time to cool down amongst the sociable crowd chilling out in front of the venue. The vibe was friendly and comfortable, the people stylish and smiling. Old school faces were a treat; I saw Peter, aka "The Dancing Boy," who has been impressing partygoers with his superior smooth dance style and positive attitude since the days when the Atlanta scene was so small every party was an event, not just the usual weekend outing. I haven't talked to this guy in a long time so it was nice — but not surprising — to find that he is still the same purveyor of PLUR he always was, and (when I saw him inside later) the same phenomenon on the dance floor. Some things never change, thankfully.

Eventually Thom suggested we go back inside and check out the jungle room. The music was good but I found it way too hot to dance, so I took the opportunity to talk to our new friends from Miami, Sarah Locoff and Natalie Wright. Jennifer G met these two dope chicks in the club bathroom, where the lack of walls lent a humorous sociality to the occasion. They flew all the way here from Miami to hear the first "cross country" gig of their favorite musical duo, Joe Matt & Sol from Seattle. Talk about devotion to the music! Not to mention loyal friendship. Natalie used to live in Seattle back when these two were still perfecting their groove under the tutelage of mentor Donald Glaude, and she was thrilled to know her old buddies were expanding their audience. The girls' praise of the duo easily convinced us to stay late to hear their heroes play the 6:30 to close set. After all, if it's worth a trip from Miami...

Joe Matt & SolThe music was well worth the wait. Despite a few difficulties in getting the four turntables set up, these two Seattle boys radiated a positive energy and enthusiasm that spread out from the DJ booth to infect the tiring crowd. Those who remained until the end got a treat...these two rocked! A small crowd gathered close to the booth to check out the incredible mixing and scratching skills of this dynamic duo, while we who danced found the music incredibly groovy. Their funky house set was just what I needed to shake off my trance trance. Atlanta needs more great house sets, and the "house sandwich" that showcased the evening set it apart from the common crowd of crowd-pleasers. Jennifer G's night was made when they finished off their set with her current favorite funky dance hit, Basement Jaxx's "Red Alert." I thought I was all danced out but the music dragged me off my chair and put me through my paces one more time. I love it when that happens!

We finished off the evening with a long goodbye to our new friends, Sarah and Natalie, and our new musical heroes, Joe Matt & Sol. Besides being great DJs, they are also cute, friendly, and nice enough to hunt up their last mix CD to give us. I was pleased to hear that they will probably be playing Atlanta again in the near future, with a better time slot so more people can get the funky house experience. Keep your eyes peeled...

Final props go to Jennifer Walker for another well planned, customer friendly party where the few flaws were lost amongst the great vibe, friendly faces, unique and spectacularly skilled lineup delivering the beats that carry us into a dimension that can only be called Pleazure....

[Read Chanté's review of First Episode]
[Read the Lunar interview with T-1000]

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