The Beatdown

Justified or not, "trance" has become a dirty word in many IDM circles. Today's mainstream anthem-trance sound and the crossover success--and hero worship--of artists such as Tiesto and Paul Van Dyk has polarized the hard-core dance community. Extended chord progressions and ever-popular ten-minute breakdowns conjure images of, well, Yanni and Enya riding dolphins over a rainbow of Skittles; talk about a far cry from the early trance and progressive sound. Enter one Christopher Lawrence, a man who by all accounts is the biggest trance DJ in the States. His blend of techy, tribal rhythms and synthetic baselines stays true to trance's early roots and succeeds regardless of what genre label it receives. His production work on dance floor monsters like "October's Child" and "Nitro" have gained the respect of DJs and dancers from the far corners of the Earth--proof positive that you don't have to amass a pile of derivative crap to reach the top of the IDM world. Appropriately, Lawrence graces the Lizard Lounge's 15th anniversary shindig this weekend, and Texas trancer D:Fuse opens the night with no less than an MC and a full band in tow.

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