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  Transcend 5.19.00
by Petronius

Venue: Skaters Xtreme - Athens, GA
Presented by: Smiling Cat and 100% Productions

PetroniusOnce upon a time we sang and danced in the heart of the city; hundreds of people would gather to dance until dawn at the 40 Watt and other places. O'Malley's. Boneshakers. Atlanta and Athens revolved around one another, were more symbiotic. People from Atlanta hied down to Athens and people from Athens rolled on into Atlanta. There used to be parties by the river on a dock, so I've heard. The people were positive, the drugs were good, and everyone believed. I wasn't there, but I've heard many a story about the "good old days."

That was then. This is now.

It's not like that anymore. No, not at all. To throw a party in the heart of Athens is not possible. Like bandits, we've been hounded out of the venues, harrassed by cops everytime, and forced to skulk on the outskirts of town. Most of us, would rather stay inside, listen to the latest Sasha cd, than hang out in another damned warehouse. So many people just don't go out anymore. They skulk in bars like shadows of themselves, or they partied too hard and can't handle it anymore. They blossomed and then they decayed. They shall dance no more. As for people from Atlanta coming, it's not very often and they're not very many. As for the promoters that work like fiends to throw a party breaking even, it's unlikely. Transcend lost money — possibly lots of money.

crowd at Transcend In Atlanta, you have lines to get in and little punks scalping tickets and pushing everything from tiger tranqs to DMT. There were no lines for Transcend. Around 2 in the morning, I got there; I'd been teaching as a substitute in Richmond County, introducing 7th graders to the wonders of Timo Maas and Dave Seaman, and I'd driven directly from Augusta to the party.

It cost me twelve dollars to get in. The venue by day serves as a skate park; it's full of ramps and graffiti. The DJ's perched in the center of the main ramp, a chainlink fence to their backs. Below them swarmed the crowd, which was lively and really into the music and pretty happy. Toward the back was a projection screen scrolling images of DJ's and skaters and computer graphics made to an acid head's order with all their wild colors, their purples and greens. The laser lights shot out over the crowd in brilliant greens and maybe reds, weaving images above the crowds's head beneath the steel girders that supported the building. I remember an image of dog in neon. Kids slid on and off of the ramps, crowded in dark corners and massaged one another's backs, spinning lightsabers and glowsticks among the artificial hills and dales to the rock of banging trance and house. It was a cool party, really. I'll take a small party over a massive most any day. Intimacy is what it's about in this neck of the woods.

Most people were really friendly and I saw many faces I did not know and that made me happy...but there were not enough people. Were there a venue of similar size available downtown, this party would have been a financial success. I only harp on this because if they don't break even they won't throw anymore and that would be a shame and a sorrow.

Gene Carbonell gears up. How the music went before 2 AM I cannot say; I was not there. Kazell, Gene Carbonell, Nasir were really good. I enjoyed myself. It was hard to figure out who was who, but the people manning the lights had the lasers form their names, so even in the altered states I was in, I picked up who was who. "Gene Carbonell." "Kazell." Most sets seemed very trance heavy; a lot of tracks I'd heard direct off of Timo Maas' Dirty Trancin' mix cd. If I confess that I was "feelin' real" so to speak at the time, I may be forgiven for not paying too much attention to them. It was loud, deep, gorgeous, and when it lifts you out of the moment, you forget who's up there because you're too busy paying attention to the rhythm or the doings of your fellow creatures. Let it be said that should any of those guys show up around here again, I'll be very happy.

Kazell smirks for the camera. I met Kazell after the party. He was a small man with a friendly face and long brown hair and he smiled a lot. He wore a dark blue shirt with long sleeves and some jeans and sneakers. I remember I said to him, "I really enjoyed your set, sir." He smiled, shook my hand, and said, "Well, thank you very much, sir." He had a soft English accent and was very cool. Before I left, he gave me a stick of gum. I can't remember meeting such a genial fellow in these circles for quite awhile. I also met a lot of other people who I thought were rather exceptional. A German from Munich named Sven who liked soccer a lot and the guy from Mirage, a pale gentleman with dark hair who suggested I become a mime. They were lovely people. I hope they come back.

All in all, Transcend was a rocking little party and the best of those put on in the skate park. The music was excellent; it went well with the wine and had a good beat that I could bug out to. The cops presented no problem, though they lurked in the shadows across the street, so you were never quite without care when you stepped out of the dark confines of the park into the evening. Athens is a nice place to party, it's laid back and people care about the music. I wish that more people would come out for it. Eight thousand people does not a superior party make and intimacy has it's values and advantages over industrial-sized clubbing, raving, whatever. All involved, I could tell, put a lot of effort into that party and I hope they throw another with better results.

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