And believe me--as DJ parties go, these people do it right. Showcases began around 10 p.m. and usually lasted until 5 a.m. or 6 a.m., and you could always find a sunrise after-party if you really wanted to. No one stood around with arms crossed in surveyor mode. Instead, people threw down and shook it shamelessly. Sure there were signs of encroaching civilization: Given Camel's intense embrace of club culture since the courts banned them from the playgrounds, you half expected to see their logo embossed on Ecstasy tablets (which were hardly in short supply). But what defined this scene more than anything were the independent DJs circling the pool at the Fontainebleu Hilton with stocks of white-label 12 inches under their arms, swapping tracks with their fellows, and barking into their cell phones.
That, and, of course, the music, and the bass--which is still reverberating in my bones and brain. And as I contemplate the million-and-one flavors of dance music tumbling from countless labs--the heavy-metal big beat of goobers like Apollo Four-Forty, Roni Size's drum 'n' bass R&B, the polyglot multi-instrumental wankings of Propellerheads, and on and on--it seems as if those reverberations are being felt across genres. It's going to make the next year pretty damn interesting.