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Guest web_norah

And the Home of the Rave

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Guest web_norah

May 5, 2005 -- HOUSE is back in the house. And techno, too. The music and spirit of the rave era are back, packing clubs with a new generation of clubgoers and grown-up ravers nostalgiac for early '90s electronica.

Even as New Wave-tinged rock dominates hipster parties like Motherf- and Misshapes, the bass is booming at Rothko and the Tribeca Grand.

Meanwhile, DJ Larry Tee's month-old Distortion Disko at Duvet is the hottest party on the gay circuit, and the Time Capsule party at Guernica is all about pre-'95 retro-techno.

"I've been searching for this kind of music in New York for five years," exults Mack Dugan, 24, part of the stylish, mixed crowd at Distortion Disko, where the usual gay-club fare of divas and pop gives way to techno-tinged tunes and bootie house.

From the early to mid-'90s, techno blared at the Tunnel, Palladium and Limelight. Raves filled abandoned Brooklyn warehouses.

You couldn't leave your house without seeing packs of face-pierced kids in jeans big enough to make curtains out of. So why did ravers become extinct?

Some grew up and found pants with 36-inch ankles a tad unflattering. Others realized septum rings and job interviews didn't mix.

Now they're older, but still want to hear the music. And younger kids want to rediscover the scene's original energy.

"People fetishize music they liked when they were really young," says Tee. "People who are 23-30 are fetishizing the early '90s - things like Dee-Lite seem really fun."

At Duvet, the new generation of outrageous-looking denizens dance with veteran Disco 2000-era clubbers from Limelight. They take breaks to make out on one of the many beds strewn across the club.

"It's the best things of the '90s," says Tee. "The crowd is filled with a lot of good-looking boys and girls, but nobody is crashed out on ketamine or ecstasy."

Special K and X fueled so many '90s raves that authorities cracked down on club drugs.

Now older, mellower scenesters are content to sip cocktails instead of snorting bumps - tiny hits of coke, crystal or K - in the bathroom. Instead, they're high on nostalgia.

"People are saying, 'Oh my God, I can't believe you guys are playing acid house and early rave tracks!'" says DJ Cowboy Mark, who organizes the "Because We Love You" fete Fridays at Luke & Leroy.

"You can go to any hipster party and hear 'Back In Black,' 'Sweet Child o' Mine' and 'Push It,'" says Mark of the hipster parties he competes with. "It's maddening."

Mark recently hired legendary Brooklyn DJ Frankie Bones, who threw the first raves in New York. He's also hosted parties featuring classic U.K. DJs like A Guy Called Gerald.

At Time Capsule, there's a casual feel far from Duvet's glam scene. Lori Lee, 38, swirls her arms in a "liquid dance."

Lee used to go to raves in Minnesota, dressing like a biker chick one weekend and a schoolgirl the next.

"I've found the music I used to dance too," she says, "and it makes me so happy."

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