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15 seconds with: The Panic crew

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The gig: Saturday, Oct. 4 at the Pyramid Cabaret.

The occasion: Panic, the semi-annual gathering of old-school Winnipeg warehouse party and rave DJs, organized by Shawn Sommers and Joey Myles, also known as Harry Vest.

It's been years since the warehouse scene was happening. Why do you keep doing this? "There used to be this sense of magic and mystery surrounding the (electronic music) scene when it was bubbling under, from around '88 to about '95. That isn't there any more," says Sommers, a former warehouse DJ who now works as a promo guy for Warner Music Canada.

"I think the scene peaked around '98. We bring back a lot of the old-school people who don't go out much any more."

Why 'Panic,' anyway? "It's like a franchise. We had this image of a woman Joey found in some art book and it was perfect for our flyers. But it also described what we were doing -- we were always scared to run these parties, packing people into some 3,000-square-foot firetrap. But we had to pay the rent for the warehouse somehow. And we did, until the fire marshals kicked us out and forced us into the clubs."

Ever since the days when he was the Crash Test Dummies' unofficial mascot, Joey's had his famous leather vest. What do you have? "I like to think I'm the guy who knows how to work a crowd. I'm not a purist. I was never into just house or techno. I like to play what I call hands-in-the-air music. I think of myself as 'The People's DJ' although I'm probably going to get (ridiculed) for calling myself that."

So, how old is old-school, in your estimation? "I don't know if I can answer that. We get a lot of newbies checking out the music ... I guess anything nostalgic appeals to people."

The damage on Saturday: $5 before 11 p.m. The music continues to 3 a.m. The bill also features DJs Brent Phillips, Oxide and out of self-imposed retirement, Trev and Raz.

-- Bartley Kives

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 2, 2003 $sourceSection$sourcePage

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