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Beat Farmers

St. Louis Style 2 and Displaced cultivate a new crop of techno events

"Things are different now," he says. "You don't see the drag queens; you don't see the guy in the wedding dress. [Promoters] do the traditional things -- the lights, the lasers, the sound -- and they think that's great. I am very jaded. What's so special about that? Why would I ever pay $20 for that?"

Stolzberg organized Displaced as a corrective to the faults he perceives in current rave culture. Conceived as an art event, his South Side happening will be packed with multimedia installations, sculptures and paintings. Onstage, local techno composers will plug in their various devices for some on-the-fly soundscape construction. "I called the party Displaced because I'm taking from so many different areas and putting it under one roof," Stolzberg explains. "I like that concept of taking from various sources and combining it and seeing what you get."

One of the things you will get at Displaced is an interactive sculpture by artist Dan Diaz, who has affixed sound and video to the headgear of some sort of weird X-ray chair. Less frightening will be the animation and digital video projected in conjunction with the musical performances. 5tyleshop's imagery splices video with computer and video-game animation.

Other highlights include Don Tinsley and Christian Oncken of the Urban Jazz Naturals, a group whose live house music frequently packs Lo; they'll combine programmed Game Boys, homemade analog synths, computers and drum machines for your aural amazement. Matt French, Randy Hancock and Kevin Vogel, founders of local label Surveillance Records, will contribute melodic techno. If it's anything like Surveillance's last vinyl release (a white label, SURV002), it will be moody, hypnotic and thrilling. DJ Astrix -- whose groovy, sonically retro single "Expressif" is out on his own new local label, Technocolor -- will join with Kindred Groove's DJ Hypo and a new guy called Tony the Chef to provide some funky, minimal techno collage. This event's emphasis on techno composers is a refreshing party innovation, but we can't neglect to mention that here, too, the lineup is all-male.

Stolzberg says, "St. Louis techno is about to explode," pointing to the rise of new labels and the consistent audience the music attracts to support his statement. Ladies and gentleman both, aspiring local Aphex Twins, step forward. There's a scene that needs you.

For the rest of you, don't stop at Friday -- party all weekend long! For location of and directions to St. Louis Style 2, call the Powerhouse Productions info line, 314-567-2013. Displaced is set in a venue with a limited capacity; for more information on the event's lineup and location, check out www.technoradio.org/displaced.

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