Dance to the Music

Vinyl maniac George Acosta keeps the bodies working overtime

A girl's voice, tentative, uncertain, not too sure of her place in the thick of things. She knows where she wants to be, she's just unaware how best to get there. Something's off.

The scene: a nightclub door in Everycity, U.S.A. Madness and confusion, the hip and the clueless come together.

"Excuse me," the girl says, wavering for all to see. "I'm on the list."
The doorman, all attitude and omnipotence. One can almost picture the sneer as he divvies the time to look the girl over.

"What list?" he thunders.
She, visibly shaken but determined, her reputation on the line, continues: "The DJ's list."

That's it. The boom lowers, she's been set up. The doorman, grinning as he ruins not only her evening but possibly her life as well, counters: "Miss Thing, there is no guest list."

Thus runs the all-too-familiar but no less humiliating scenario that jump-starts Lil' Louis's "Lonely People," a hot and throbbing homage to the invisible legions who pack this nation's dance halls. The track also happens to be the current favorite of discman George Acosta.

In South Beach scene years, Acosta's a relative new jack, but one not without an ample stack of aces up his sleeve. Armed with enough enthusiasm to win over the most jaded of clubgoers and blessed with the gift of soul, he's made happen many a night to remember. But first, a bit of history.

Havana-born and Miami-bred (with a brief pre-adolescent stopover in Elizabeth, New Jersey), the 21-year-old Acosta was simply destined to spin. At twelve he was banging, tape in hand, on the doors of the late, great underground R&B station, Rhythm 98, when one of the disc jockeys, "Reuben the Cuban or something like that," decided to let the kid in. After a quick listen, Acosta's mix was played over the air. Said the radio personality after giving Miami a dose of young George's tricks, "If you liked what you just heard, give us a call." Then the phones started ringing off the hook.

Spurred by Acosta's initial over-the-air response, the honchos at Rhythm 98 decided to put the sprightly youth to work as a hands-on apprentice. By the end of the year, he would rank third in a station poll that rated listeners' favorite DJs. Soon followed a series of blow-outs across Dade County, and Acosta was on a roll.

"We were hard-core kids growin' up," Acosta remembers. "We used to do wild house parties every weekend. It was a real underground scene. Once we took over a friend's house in Miami Lakes for three days and drew like 900 people. It was insane. But we had to stop 'em when the hoodlums started comin'."

House parties begat pep rallies at his alma mater, Hialeah High, and then, at seventeen, he was given his first chance to go legit, at the Junkyard, an infamous and unruly early South Beach hot spot. On the heels of this came his "first real success," Pure at Warsaw, with fellow crowd-shaker David Knapp. It was about this time that Michael Capponi, a key decision-maker when it comes to who-does-what on South Beach, decided to give the ambition-laced upstart a try. The joint was the late Boomerang; the night, Thursdays; and it marked a crucial turning point in the wheelman's career.

These days Acosta's itinerary looks like a what's-what of things goin' on in South Beach. He spends his Thursdays with a contingent of hipster record spinners, including Carlos Menendez and George Alvarado at the Mayday rave at Egoiste (Acosta was one of the "Rave Doctors" who brought South Florida its first real U.K.-style rave November of last year in a Homestead field); and Capponi and fellow scene kingpin Gary James have just taken over The Cave, where Acosta will be slingin' the Lush thing on Fridays (formerly at the Butter Club); and a very special Saturday series (Acosta mans the Technics at James's The Spot on Geo's Mondays as well). Add this to recent profiles in such industry tipsheets as DMR, along with a cadre of cooler-than-thou nightcrawlers who simply must have Acosta setting the tone, and one has the blueprint for even bigger things to come.

 
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