Geek with the Beats

PowerBooks and pyramids are Sandra Collins' latest obsessions

Sandra (Sahn-dra!) Collins remembers exactly which records she brought to impress the cute DJ at the roller skating rink when she was 11. "'Blue Monday' by New Order and some Madonna 12-inches." Years later, she started messing with her boyfriend's turntables, and soon afterward, she was spinning in clubs around the globe. Chatting from her L.A. home, it seems to dawn on her: "I've never had a real job."

Collins, now 34, started DJing full-time in 1987, trampled all over the '90s rave scene, and remains at the top of her game. Just last year, she won DanceStar's DJ of the Year award. She's flattered but thinks that DJ ranking is silly -- as is all the hyperclassifying of dance music genres. "Every time I open a magazine, there's a new page of categories -- like 'sidestep progressive ambient gabber'! The way I see it, everything's driven from house." Sometimes, Collins says, she's tempted to release a drum 'n' bass track just to get music writers' panties in a bunch.

DnB or no DnB, she's all set to unleash the confusion. Although she's got some signature trancey tunes coming soon and, naturally, she's the central character in an upcoming documentary about female DJs (called Girl), Collins is also developing an uncharacteristic downtempo track, reading books about "crazy stuff -- like pyramids," and finishing a supersecret project that "will hit a different market next year."

Collins says she's "been called a geek many times." "When I go to the Apple store, I freak out. As soon as I get to a hotel, I plug in my RCAs and adapters and run my iPod through the TV." Still, she'll be the hottest spinstress to hit Release -- a new club that's bringing topnotch DJ talent to PBC every week, for a cool ten spot or less. -- Deirdra Funcheon Sandra Collins spins at Release, 311 Clematis St., West Palm Beach, with her beautiful breaks-flinging friend K-Swing on Saturday, October 23. The party goes from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., and tickets cost $10. Call 561-366-9100, or visit

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