Head Spins: DJ Lee Or

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One of the best things about South Florida has got 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 is music is true to its roots -- a specific genre, done up right by a DJ fully 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, and the cool is as temperate as Barcelona, Lee Or landed South Florida on the cusp of the new century. His first gig was at the Coliseum in Fort Lauderdale. But it was when Lee Or took over the turntables at Nikki Beach, back in, well, South Beach, for their loud and everlasting Sunday throwdown, that things really took off for the Israeli transplant.  Over his nine-year stand in Miami, he's 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.

But as singular as is Lee Or's spinning, he boasts a worldliness acquired during a bout couchsurfing across Europe. There, he held up in locales as big and as bustling as Lisbon and Hamburg, in addition to more off-beaten burgs like 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's got a sense of time, of place, and of history, which makes his devotion to the new and the now all the more remarkable. Lee Or cites the likes of minimal techno icons Ritchie Hawtin, Sven Vath, and Guy Gerber as influences. But one still gets the impression that Lee Or's just as inspired by the tracks that he lists as his favorites, which range from Frenchman Paul Ritch 's more electro-styled "Messene," to the 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 may as well keep soaring.

DJ Lee Or's Current Top Five:
 
1. "Too Late to Land," Guido Schneider
2. "Unreliable Virgin," Argy
3. "The Way Back," Solomun
4. "Domino," Oliver Raymound
5. "Messene," Paul Ritch

Saturday, February 7. Skyline, 645 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. Doors open at 10 p.m. Ladies free all night, men free until 11:30, $20 after. 305-672-0747, www.skylinemia.com 

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