Here's a guide to some of the key terminology in the brave new world of dance music:
--Acid house: A style developed by English musicians/deejays who created collages of samples over house rhythm tracks.
--Dancehall reggae: A fast, usually electronic, form of the Jamaican music. Popular with a young audience.
--Dub: A re-mixed, instrumental version of a song, heavily laced with such studio effects as echo and reverb. Developed by '70s reggae producers.
--Hip-hop: An umbrella term for rap-influenced music and style. All rap is hip-hop but not all hip-hop is rap.
--House music: Hard-core underground dance music developed at warehouse parties in Chicago in the '80s. In its pure form, house combines a fast drum-machine rhythm, a keyboard bass groove and a moody, minimal melody.
--Industrial: A European variant of house music emphasizing the mechanical side of the rhythms.
--Sample: A digital recording of any sound. In hip-hop and dance music, samples often furnish the backing track and/or embellishments.
AND THESE ARE THE PLACES You have to stay on your toes to keep up with the constantly changing dance-club scene. Not only do clubs seem to be constantly opening and closing, but many are also mobile, underground affairs that move every week. The mix 'n' match aesthetic means the sound of any given club may vary dramatically from night to night or week to week. Here are some starting points:
Arena: 6655 Santa Monica Blvd., (213) 962-4485. Wednesday, Friday-Sunday. Hip, huge Hollywood club featuring a mix of hip-hop, soul and house.
Brass: Grandia Room, 5657 Melrose Ave., (213)462-8628. Sundays. Mixing vintage soul and funk, hip-hop, dancehall reggae, even acid jazz.
(Jewel's) Catch One: 4067 W. Pico Blvd., (213) 734-8849. Nightly, after-hours on weekend nights. Principally house music, funk and soul.
Jamaica West: 2205 Lincoln Blvd., Venice, (213) 578-2926. Friday. Dancehall reggae. Also Kingston 12, 814 Broadway, Santa Monica, (213) 451-4423 for reggae, Thursday-Sunday.
Kontrol Faktory: Radio, 11874 W. Pico Blvd., (213) 444-9344. Fridays, 9 p.m.-4 a.m. Industrial.