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Full moon rising

Will superclubs eclipse small shows?

Clubs come and go every year.Take, for instance, Buckhead's Cobalt Lounge. Sure, there were some unexpected circumstances in that case, but it still opened and closed within a year. A lot of money was invested, and a real headache was the return, by no direct fault of the owners.
But what about clubs that intentionally come and go once every year.
Superclubs have been a facet of the U.K. nightclub scene for years. Open up Mixmag, Jockey Slut or any other British tabloid-sized DJ rag and you'll see countless ads for roving nights hosted by Cream, Ministry of Sound or Gatecrasher, among others. The expensive superstar DJs Atlanta sees occasionally are residents at these events, which may take place once a week, once a month or once a season.
You can also thank superclubs for some favorite import mix series, like Renaissance, as well as 1,000 new Ibiza compilations a week. The superclubs even host huge annual festivals, like Creamfields. I can only imagine the politics.
Now some of the superclubs have decided that the climate is right in the U.S. to make inroads. Ministry of Sound has released a domestic compilation, Trance Nation America, and Gatecrasher mounted an American "Global Sound System" tour throughout September and early October with a CD to follow Oct. 31..
While Gatecrasher is promoting its UK residents, Ministry of Sound's compilation features the most of the coasts, L.A.'s Taylor and New York's Jimmy Van M. Maybe feeling encroached upon, New York's Twilo, one of America's true superclubs, has launched a magazine and a mix series with a first volume by Junior Vasquez. Can a traveling show be far behind?
America's traveling shows have a flat tire. Can't say we haven't given it a shot, though. During 1997's summer of electronic music, where all kinds of wires seemed to get crossed, there was the deflated Big Top tour, attempting to run neck and neck with tours by Crystal Method and BT, but just running into trouble.
Now, years later, proof that touring electronica can succeed returns to the Masquerade this week, where BT appears Oct. 6. But proof that maybe America could sustain a superclub concept of its own is even more readily apparent when the Moonshine Over America 2000 tour rolls into the Chamber, Thursday, Oct. 12.
Moonshine has been distilling mix CDs since the early '90s, and even managed to have one of the first semi-crossover stars with "Superstar" DJ Keoki (who helped pack them in at Liquid Groove events circa '96 even before he released any original material). They have a live performance act, Cirrus, and a DJ for every occasion. In Atlanta's case, it's Micro, Dave Aude and Lil' Steven who'll spin along with the two aforementioned acts. But, most of all, they've got infrastructure. The Moonshine tour is as well-planned, albeit repetitious, of a package as any one-off within the city limits.
Simply put, tours like Moonshine Over America and events like the Detroit Electronic Music Festival are showing that America has the talent. Like Crystal Method said, "Now is the time." America should give the U.K. superclubs a run for their money, throw up a few more of our own gates for them to have to crash.