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Steve Lawler

With his Lights Out parties and releases, British super-DJ Steve Lawler ruled dance floors with a sound that lived up to that name. It was thumping, dark, and almost fiercely inward-looking, so it was no surprise that Lawler cited Depeche Mode and the Doors as influences. But just as the real world was reaching its heaviest, Lawler lightened up, channeling a sunnier, perhaps more South American influence. Certain scribes have dubbed it "carnival house," a horrifying term, though it does begin to get at the more celebratory, festive mood of Lawler's recent mixes.

Perhaps the change came thanks to the world of possibilities opened up by the launch of his new record label/DJ agency/production company/everything-but-the-kitchen-sink music juggernaut, Viva Music. Or maybe it was just, you know, musical boredom. Whatever the reason, in the past couple of years, Lawler has done a 180 that has stymied those who would put him in a little "dark progressive house" box. Check out the changes this weekend when he finishes up his WMC run.

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