Rave On

Author:Thomas Conner World Entertainment Writer

'90s Version of Sock Hops Puts Emphasis on Epic Techno Music

Event: Mega Dance Rave
When: 9 p.m. Saturday
Where: Cain's Ballroom, 423 N. Main St.
Tickets: $5 at the door

Raves are the '90s version of house parties, keggers and sock hops, though ravers will tell you their events are usually more organized, responsible and exciting.

They're probably right. But, really, the spirit has remained the same: someone finds a big space, plugs in a stereo and invites everyone in. Listen to Sam Cooke's "Havin' a Party." Same idea.

Raves, though, are about the music even more than the socializing. As a result, raves require greater organization -- someone has to acquire the sound system and hire a crack DJ to keep it running.

That's where Tulsa icon Davit Souders comes in. Former owner of the city's greatly missed Ikon club and now working his shows in the Cain's Ballroom, Souders has been putting on raves in Tulsa for years. This weekend's extravaganza is the beginning of a regular event, he hopes.

"The whole reason I got into the club thing was to do cool theme events and play the latest dance music," Souders said this week. "The cutting-edge stuff I was doing in the '80s now is a big hit as '80s retro, but I still remember playing the stuff and watching it make an impact then. Ikon has been closed for a while now, but I'm getting people demanding the dance part of it come back. So here I am again doing what I love to do best."

Saturday's Mega Dance Rave at the Cain's Ballroom will feature two DJs spinning what Souders lovingly calls "epic techno music -- the absolute latest electronic dance music."

DJ Mike Lee, a Tulsa native currently at school in Stillwater, will be trading off the turntables with DJ Greg Carson out of Dallas. Lee has been preparing for this weekend's rave far in advance.

"Greg and I have been in touch for a while, comparing notes as far as what kind of vibe we'll be trying for," Lee said this week. "We're still testing the boundaries on this thing. Some stuff might be edgier than people are expecting. It's not all hard, hard, hard, but we'll probably stay away from mainstream techno and go for something more challenging."

Lee led the precursor to this event, a late-night rave during the annual Freakers Ball on Halloween at the Cain's. He said that event was "refreshing" and juiced his interest in these events.

"It's a different atmosphere than just a straight nightclub," he said. "There aren't any pretensions. It's not so much people standing around trying to score. The majority of people are there because of the music and because they like to dance. It's more of a party atmosphere -- in the best connotation of that word, not the worst. 'Celebration,' perhaps.

"That's what Greg and I have been trying to do, anyway: shift the focus of these raves back to the music. Some raves and clubs have tended to get away into the fashion aspects involved and the trappings and tribalism. That's part of it, but we're trying to get back to the music."

If these raves are successful, Souders said he hopes to schedule at least one every month, with varying hours and locations.

For more information on raves, look to these web sites: http://www.hyperreal.com (postings from across the nation) and http://www.zedan.com(the Dallas and Houston scenes). Souders plans to have a local web site up soon.

Copyright 1996, World Publishing Co. All rights reserved.

This page last updated 07 Jun 98

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