One of the best things about South Florida has to be the wide array of music available to dance to on any given night. Forget "open format," whatever that really means. Sometimes the best music is true to its roots — a specific genre, done up right by a DJ devoted to a singular cause.
DJ Lee Or is just such a head spinner. He's a cat who's content to stick to his tech-house, no matter what sort of prevailing winds might blow down the strip.
Born in Tel Aviv, where the nightlife is as thriving as New York's, and the cool is as temperate as Barcelona's, Lee Or landed in South Florida on the cusp of the new century. His first gig was at the Coliseum in Fort Lauderdale. But it was when he took over the turntables at Nikki Beach in South Beach for the club's loud and everlasting Sunday throwdown that things really took off for the Israeli transplant. Over his nine-year stand in Miami, he has spun his magic everywhere from Pawn Shop and the Fifth to Black Sheep and Blue. In between, there was a long-running residence at the Catalina and more than a few fine nights in the Versace mansion.
DJ Lee Or, 10 p.m. Saturday, February 7, at Skyline, 645 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. Women free all night; men free till 11:30 p.m, $20 after. Visit myspace.com/dj_lee_or.
But as singular as Lee Or's spinning is, he boasts a worldliness acquired during a stint couch-surfing across Europe. There, he held up in locales as big and bustling as Lisbon and Hamburg, in addition to more off-beaten burgs such as Cadiz, Spain ("the oldest continuously inhabited city in the Iberian Peninsula") and Trondheim, Norway (that country's capital — till 1217!).
In other words, Lee Or has a sense of time, place, and history, which makes his devotion to the new and the now all the more remarkable. He cites the likes of minimal techno icons Ritchie Hawtin, Sven Vath, and Guy Gerber as influences. But one still gets the impression Lee Or is just as inspired by the tracks that he lists as his favorites, which range from Frenchman Paul Ritch's more electro-styled "Messene" to Solomun's much more house-flavored "The Way Back."
Whatever his secret is and wherever it comes from, it seems to be working quite well for DJ Lee Or. And why shouldn't it? After all, to steal a title from Guido Schneider, when it's "Too Late to Land," you might as well keep soaring.
DJ Lee Or's current top five:
1. "Too Late to Land," Guido Schneider
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2. "Unreliable Virgin," Argy
3. "The Way Back," Solomun
4. "Domino," Oliver Raymound
5. "Messene," Paul Ritch