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New Year's in New York is traditionally a very international affair, but this time around it's a little different. The WTC disaster seems to have rendered more than a few overseas and out-of-town DJs rooted to their nests. This, however, translates into good news for the local DJs, who often get overlooked in their own hometown.

He's not a native New Yorker, but Brit expat Thomas of the Wicked Crew has been a resident for several years, and like other big NY-based jocks, he rarely spins in the city, but when he does, it's a down-low, under-hyped affair. Not this time: He brings his weird, wonderful tuneage (house, disco, electro, everything in between) to Baktun's New Year's Eve bash, spinning for five hours before relinquishing the decks to the junglists of Direct Drive, who take over after 2 a.m. The headliner is the U.K.'s A-Sides (Eastside Recordings), who play with locals Seoul, Cassien, Doomer, Chris Thomas, Seen, and motormouth MC TC Izlam. At $25, it's the best deal in town, with free champagne and cocktails from 9 through 12:30 and a complimentary breakfast if you're still there in the morning. Monday @ 9, Baktun, 418 W 14th, 206-1590.

You can get a jump-start on the festivities Saturday night at Matt E. Silver's gargantuan house vs. hip-hop bash, Empire. The lustrous and illustrious Miss Honey Dijon bangs out her special combo of New York- and Chicago-flavored house (with a touch of Detroit techno) on the main floor, sharing the stage with D.C.'s Saeed & Palash, plus the X-ecutioners' Mista Sinista, Jazzy Jay of the Soul Sonic Force, and Grand Master Caz of Boogie Down Productions. Old school hip-hop fans will get a kick out of the B-boy/B-girl Crew Invitational—a battle hosted by PopMaster Fabel and judged by members of the Rock Steady Crew. More fun courtesy of Electroclash mastermind Larry Tee and techno DJ Alan Sax (plus many others). Saturday @ 10, Hammerstein Ballroom, 311 W 34th, 279-7740.

On New Year's Eve proper, ambient drum'n'bass heads see the return of NYC regular LTJ Bukem when the U.K. junglist brings his notorious Progressions Sessions to town. His crew, Nookie, MC Conrad, and MC 5 Alive, are also on board, as are locals Seoul and Cassien. 2step aficionados get some twisted breakbeats from Reid Speed, Sarah Walker, and Henry J, while Francis Harris of Matter:/Form and Dave Hollands, among others, provide some techno and tech house. Monday @ 10 to 8 a.m., Limelight, 660 Sixth Ave, 613-0900.

Local techno legend Frankie Bones keeps it real when his Sonic Groove posse Heather Heart and Adam X play 2002: A Space Oddity, featuring a virtual all-star New York techno lineup. Also on the bill; Function, Alan Sax, Ulysses, Brennan Green, and Darby Jones. The Dumboluna folks encourage costumes and general freakishness, so come prepared. Monday @ 9, Lunatarium, 10 Jay, DUMBO, Bklyn, 718-813-8404.

More tech house and techno courtesy of the Foundation crew. Alexi Delano, the Swede-turned-New Yorker spins his beautiful deep house, while Kimyon and Rich Bourque bring a little Detroit to the tables; their compadre, JC Gaviria, does a little bit of both (switch-hitter!). Monday @ 9, Jet Lounge, 286 Spring, 625-9121.

Cute girls who like cute girls revel in pussy at the 7th Annual Fur Ball at Meow Mix with DJs Barb & Tate (hip hop, big beat, and pop), with performances from the lovely Bombshell Girls, Darling Star (née Rachael of Gloss), Ms. Tickle, and Lady Ace. Only $10 before 11, and there's a free champagne toast at midnight. Monday @ 9:30, Meow Mix, 269 Houston, 254-0688.

Lucky Fort Greene residents don't have to venture to the city for a good time. They have two options on New Year's weekend: the always bangin' Bang the Party with DJ E-Man at the quirky old-timer's bar turned chic joint, Frank's Lounge on NYE (Monday @ 9, Frank's Lounge, 660 Fulton, Fort Greene, Bklyn, 718-625-9339). Or, on Saturday, jam out at DJ Empress's all-star turntablist/hip hop gig featuring four-time World DMC champ, DJ Craze, DJ Who of Baltimore, and two members of the Allies, including A-Trak and Spictakular, at the fancy-schmancy new bar, Moe's. Saturday @ 10, 80 Lafayette Avenue, Fort Greene, Bklyn, 718-797-9536.


tromano@villagevoice.com

 
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