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BEST CLUB DJ Minneapolis 2005 - DJ Panic

Readers' Choice: Jake Rudh

A pale woman in a black bob wig is facing the wall, gripping a bar suspended from the ceiling. A second woman, this one with red sparkle pasties covering her nipples, is facing her with a paddle in hand. It's another typical Saturday night at Ground Zero in Minneapolis, and the club's bondage showcase on the mezzanine has drawn another transfixed crowd. But the dancers downstairs couldn't care less: DJ Panic has just thrown on "Night Riders," a catchy darkwave track by local heroes Stromkern, and the packed floor is screaming pleasure, not pain. Panic has been a darksider favorite for years at Ground Zero, and the Saloon before that. But ReVolt, his Saturday dance night, pushes goth culture to its danceable edges, drawing on everything between Iggy and Fatboy Slim, Madonna and Killing Joke. Overseeing the floor from his upstairs booth, inside a chain-link-fenced cage, he takes requests via a clipboard and pen hanging outside, and operates a sophisticated light show. Tossing on the Faint's "Agenda Suicide," he lets the fog machine exhale while the whispery chants of "like a gas shadow" become a throaty wail. The fetish outfits might snap you to attention, but Panic is the true mesmerist here.

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