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Club Icon, Orlando
by Raven: 07-13-2001

Funded by the pharmaceutical company
I work for, my trip to Florida was quite a pleasant break from Philadelphia, despite two laborious days of work in Miami and then Orlando.
I had done my research beforehand to try to maximize my clubbing time down there. Friday the 13th rolls around, a traditionally unlucky day, marked that day by scattered thunderstorms with showers to rival Southeast Asia’s monsoons. I didn’t give it a second thought though and I was perfectly content with staying in my 5 star accommodations and driving around in the new Mustang GT that the company afforded me for my week in FL.

I finished work early at around 2:30 and I decided to hit up Universal Studios to pass the day. Although alone, I had a great time and I was getting anxious to hit Orlando’s famed Icon nightclub that had hosted Nick Warren the night before and was to host Hybrid, and a slew of popular DJ’s in the coming weeks. I arrived at the club at around 10:30 pm knowing that it closes at 3 am. Security is almost non-existent, one bouncer at the door checking ID’s and a pretty girl at a table selling tickets. I walked in amped and ready to party but was handed a shock when I saw the club virtually empty. All of two people danced on the outside rim of the dance floor. So I decide to survey the club and give it a thorough examination to report back. The club is actually quite small. The main dance floor was about a 1/3 of the size of twilo’s main floor with a small stage at the back for people to dance on. There is also a large rectangular box in the middle of the dancefloor with ropes leading up from the sides and corners. Staircases on either side of the floor led up stairs to the second floor that encircled the main dance floor so that everyone can peer down over the edge. Icon itself had a futuristic ambient atmosphere with metallic and curved shapes around the room. The railings were composed of thin steel ropes running in parallel around the top floor and stairs. 2 bars upstairs and a third downstairs seemed to have attracted most of the crowd. In addition several comfortable booths decorated one corner of the top floor while spacious chairs and benches littered the remainder of the floor. The DJ booth was also located on the top floor at the head of the room. It jutted out of the outer rim of the floor like a cockpit, but the DJ himself was very accessible. I got a drink and decided to hang around and enjoy the music. And that I did, the opening DJ had a sweet selection of trax….exactly the type of music that I was in the mood to hear and the type of tunes that I spin myself. His mixing was sweet and transitions were even sweeter. He dropped:

Dido – Thank You (Deep Dish remix)
Luzon – Baguio Track (Bedrock remix)
Angel – Kites (Evolution remix)
Airwave – Save Me
David Forbes – Questions Must Be Asked
Steve Gibbs – Tokyo
Jimmy van M – Sanctuary
Hernan Cataneo – Transit
Nat Monday – Waiting (J Creamer mix)
Sasha – Lupus (Jimmy van M vs Cass & Slide remix)
Timo Maas – Maasmaas Attacks
Kosheen – Hide U (Timo Maas remix)
Fatboy Slim – Star 69 (X-press 2 remix)

Among many many other good tunes. After only an hour, I had to meet him and I found out his name was Cliff T. He was very nice and let me look through his record collection.
I complemented him on a fine set and asked him if he played up north at all but he said he usually stays around the Florida area. The club remained empty for a while until there was just a sudden boom of people and it just got packed. I decided to let him finish off the set without me pestering him so I left the DJ booth and started to mingle with some of the growing crowd. I found that most of the people there were clubbers….very very very few ravers. They were extremely uneducated lot who only knew of Acosta because he was a florida native. I almost shit my pants when I asked this girl if she had seen Nick Warren the night before and she said “who???”. They knew nothing about nothing. It was very sad conversing with them to hear how Oakenfold blew them away the last time he was there a couple of months ago. I just shook my head and told them that I bet I knew the EXACT tunes that he dropped and in what order they were played and they were shocked at how accurate I was. I was shocked at how they recognized the tunes I named.
George Acosta strolled up to the DJ booth with a small entourage around 12:30 and hung out there for a while.
I talked with him a little too, bullshitting about how I’m a HUGE fan and conversing with lots of fakeness that I’m sure he’s used to. He came on and the crowd went wild. Acosta style has changed a lot since his Awake album came out. Now he only plays really hard tech-trance….lots of German trance and techno. He dropped:

Des Mitchel – The World is Yours
Yakooza – Cocaine
Taucher – Winterlove
Taiko – Die Blechtrommel (Nick Sentience Remix)
DJ Scot Project – F
DJ Remy – Backstabber
Oliver Lieb – Schon Schlewdern

I wasn’t feeling his set at all but the crowd was lapping it up. He made choppy short mixes and even trainwrecked once and just crossfaded quickly to cover it up but no one else seemed to notice. I caught up with Cliff T one more time and we exchanged e-mails. I found out that his last name is Tangredi and a light bulb clicked in my head. I own one of his productions on vinyl. Last summer PvD and Seb Fontaine were caining his tune “Shimmer” and as a result I went out and bought it on vinyl. He was completely shocked to find out that I owned his tune and was very pleased to have met me.

I think that other than Cliff T’s awesome set, the highlight of the evening, and basically the entire trip to FL, was easily the magnitude of BEAUTIFUL WOMEN! Oh ma gawd!!! It’s like they breed the most gorgeous women in Florida. At one point walking down South Street in Miami with my friends I actually got mad….furious at how beautiful these women were. It was just unreal……but I digress.

The club closed promptly at 3 am and I returned to my hotel for some much needed sleep.
Overall it was almost a relief to know that the quality clubs/ravers are to be found up North in NY, DC, Philly, Boston. J J

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