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CLUBS in and around Orange County | WANNA DANCE?

Room to Grow : Public Storage expands options for lively teens and a mellow vibe.

July 30, 1998|ZAN DUBIN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Promoters of a new club at a grungy Anaheim bar are quietly working to nurture up-and-coming electronic music acts and create a haven for their bell-bottomed fans.

Paul Vonborries, who opened Fuse in May, wants to leave the relentlessly hyper techno beat to hard-core ravers and cultivate a mellow underground vibe heavy on ambient sound and experimentation.

He's booked such promising unsigned Orange County bands as Bassland, deejays unafraid to cool down crowds and solo artists who plug in their synthesizers, drum machines, samplers and sequencers every Tuesday at Public Storage Coffee Lounge, a year-old, all-ages music venue at the rear of a parking lot in an unlovely industrial area.

"It's been an opportunity to showcase stuff that doesn't get played at the clubs or on the radio," said Vonborries, who's also brought in Supreme Beings of Leisure and Blue.

For all his planning, the club seems to have a life of its own. Bassland, he recalled, had prepared a laid-back set for a recent gig, only to encounter computer difficulties.

"So they improvised a whole new set, which actually turned out to be really hard-core, super pumping. But the kids loved it."

On a recent night, the energy shot up and down. At times deejay Matthew LaCapria mixed thunderously loud, frantic break beat by the likes of Florida's DJ Icey. A few kids (average age 16) break-danced spectacularly, spinning on their backs, legs everywhere, like manic tarantulas.

Surrounded by dark, nondescript walls sprinkled with stickers bearing band names, others watched from couches and white plastic patio chairs strewn haphazardly.

When LaCapria slowed to a pulsing, washy rhythm, he helped accentuate this subculture's '90s-style happy hippy sheen. Love's what it's all about, baby; dig those piercings, those super-wide bells. Let's get a Dr. Pepper ($1.50) and Skittles (75 cents).

"It puts me in the mood to relax and love it," said Henry Urquhart, 23, a club regular hanging on the patio--more like a littered, concrete alley--where soloist Mr. Right drew jagged-edge music from a computerized console.

Vonborries, 32, a graphic artist and deejay who goes by the name Ambient Guru, promotes Fuse (Future Underground Sound Exploration) with helpers Robert Velazquez and John Hook. They put on occasional video shows and want to get patrons to stage performance art and other imaginative acts.

"I remember seeing some really creative stuff at raves," Vonborries said, "where everyone participates more, as opposed to just sitting there and taking it in. There's definitely not enough of that happening."

Public Storage, meanwhile, offers a range of live music, including ska, punk and pop, other nights of the week. Its lineup includes more established acts, including Stratford Mercenaries, from around the country and Europe, and leading county artists, such as John Easdale. The former Dramarama frontman shares Friday's bill with Supernovice, Rubber Ducky and the Color Turning.

BE THERE

Fuse, at Public Storage Coffee Lounge, 1652 W. Lincoln Ave., Anaheim; (714) 703-3393 or (714) 635-6067. Tuesdays, 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Cover: $5.

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