Driving music

Teen clubs. Tinnitus. Tear gas. The average DJ hazards. Wait, tear gas? Tear gas isn't average. But then, DJ/producer Gene Carbonell's career hasn't been average, either.

It started routinely enough. One early '90s day, Carbonell accidentally tuned in to Yvonne Monet's "Beat Factory." Compelled, Carbonell consulted a friend, who had him check out Moby, Lords of Acid's Lust and Rave Till Dawn.

"From then on," he says, "I was one of those raver punks."

Carbonell, now 29, eventually progressed from groupie to gigs. He went from nearly drowning a Masquerade crowd in freaky foam and getting tear-gassed by cops, to DJing at the Chamber for five years. It was there that he learned to carry a crowd and tempo for hours. "The Chamber was an excuse to play whatever. The place lent itself to experimentation."

During this period, Carbonell met production partner D. Scott, forming DarkDriver, named after the dark, driving progressive house the pair creates. With its pounding Chicago- influenced beats and deep, bowed European-style bass lines, DarkDriver's "Revision-2," was picked up by U.K. indie Choo Choo at Winter Music Conference 2000. "I would have chewed off my big toe to get a record on Choo Choo at the time," he says.

"Revision-2" ended up on the high-profile mix CD Tranceport 5 by John Graham (Quivver). The exposure has led to several remixes and upcoming tracks. Meanwhile, Carbonell has furthered his DJ reputation with the consistently excellent "Seks" monthly, currently held at eleven50. It's been a gas.