Techno Rabble


Just when it seemed like the saga had ended, the feud over the Detroit Electronic Music Festival (DEMF) continues. Last week, Derrick May was given the go-ahead by the mayor of Detroit to organize the troubled festival (with a little help from his artist compadres Kevin Saunderson and Carl Craig). Passed over was Pop Culture Media, the controversial company run by Carol Marvin that had been co-producing the festival for the last three years. The bad blood between the artists and Marvin has run deep since Marvin fired Craig as the event’s artistic director two years ago, prompting an uproar in the electronic music community.

But Marvin seems unwilling to relinquish the job of running the popular festival. Last week, Pop Culture released a press release claiming they had formed a new company, DEMF Inc., with boxer Thomas “the Hitman” Hearns, who suggested that the festival add some classic r&b acts. Marvin also claims they have reserved Hart Plaza, where the festival is held on Memorial Day. A spokesman for Pop Culture said they would consider an injunction against anyone else who tried to put on a festival during that time. But according to Richard Maher, who is handling all of the festival’s booking and producing duties, Marvin’s got no say in the matter: May was awarded the contract by the city, period.

Marvin has other highfalutin goals: She’s planning to open a nightclub, launch a weekly radio show, publish a quarterly newsletter, and start an electronic music foundation. While she’s at it, she might wanna try and promote global peace, cure cancer, and fix the economy, but I think the only thing Detroit techno fans want is for her to go away.

Snoops say that David Marvisi—clubland’s new kingpin and the man behind Spa, Exit, Estate, and Capitale—shelled out $300,000 for the overrated superstar DJ Paul Oakenfold to play a total of three gigs. Oakie, as he is often called, worked rilly, rilly hard for the money (so hard for it honey), spinning at Exit on Thanksgiving and splitting his time between Exit and Capitale on New Year’s Eve. And you wonder why everyone wants to be a DJ?

Further proof that eBay is the most genius invention, ever: Item #2504695413. For sale? An opening DJ slot at a premier techno club. The ad entices, “Are you the next Dave Clarke? Richie Hawtin? Kevin Saunderson? . . . ” Those who want to hit Oakenfold-like heights can bid for the chance to spin the 9:30-to-10:30 slot at Duotone in L.A. on February 6. The winning bidder will also get free drinks, performance pics, and photo opportunities with the resident DJs. But it’s not a totally bling-bling gig. Transportation and accommodations are up to the lucky winner. The bidding starts at 50 bucks.

Since Baktun is shutting down (its sale has been delayed by a month and won’t be completed until the end of February), its most popular parties need new homes. Tronic Treatment, the weekly Monday-night techno slam, moves to the East Village’s Sullivan Room this week. The new venue pleases the promoters, who like the central location and the interior setup. They are, however, looking to beef up the sound system in time for their February guests, including this week’s kick-off bash with Subhead’s Sueme, Perlon’s Sammy Dee, and local tech-house DJ Francis Harris on the decks, plus a birthday party next week for local boy John Selway (he’s turning 17).

Another one . . . thump, thump, thump . . . (you supply the rest). Yep, yet another club is closing, but this one is only shutting down temporarily. Shine, the swanky Tribeca joint, is closing shop after five years of booty-shaking business. The owners say they will be doing renovations on the venue for 12 weeks before reopening as a totally different club. “The room is going to be so transformed; you’re not going to recognize that it’s Shine,” promises co-owner Marcus Linial, who says they’ll probably do away with the disco ball and dancefloor. Their February “closing” lineup looks like a blast from the past, thanks to Linial’s ’80s obsession, with Colin Hay of Men at Work fame (!), Howard Jones (yes, that one), Duncan Sheik, P.M. Dawn, and Naughty by Nature gracing the stage. Owners say that the new club will be different from its former incarnation and from other bottle-service bars in the city. “I’m anti-bottle. [Clubs] seem to be about buying a bottle instead of creating a party and having fun,” says Linial.

And, he says, “true New Yorkers don’t buy bottles. It’s the people with money who can’t get in who have to buy bottles.”