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The Mystique's in the Mix

The all-ages electronic club Twine celebrates sonic diversity weekly at the AlterKnit Lounge

September 26, 2002|HEIDI SIEGMUND CUDA | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

In any other town, a night of experimental electronic music might be an acquired taste, but in a vast L.A. clubland dotted with everything from death rock clubs on hump night to drag queen karaoke, the electronic club called Twine, at the Knitting Factory's AlterKnit Lounge, is an underground hit.

The 21st century digital boys and girls who flock to Twine on Wednesdays look like parishioners worshiping at the church of electronica. It's an all-ages scene that celebrates sonic diversity and can mean anything from DJs like Brooklyn's Joshua Gabriel, who plays bongos, tweaks the turntables and projects hand-drawn films, to San Francisco's two-laptops-and-a-microphone Under the Radar, from the tech-house style of DJ John Tejada to the husband-and-wife team Mashup Soundsystem.

At the heart of the weekly club is promoter Lynn Hasty, a partner in the media company Green Galactic, an L.A.-based crew specializing in getting the word out on underground dance, hip-hop and electronic music events.

Hasty's commitment to the edge is considerable and consistent, making Twine one of the area's truly experimental spaces. Like its predecessor, Public Space, a club Hasty promoted at such venues as Hollywood Moguls and LACE in the '90s, Twine's purpose is to expand your musical mind.

The AlterKnit Lounge is an ideal spot for it. A small performance room tucked away in that vast maze known as the Knitting Factory, the AlterKnit Lounge is an alternate universe with a cover of only $5, filled with music heads spreading the word on a grass-roots level. The Twine scene has a futuristic hippy vibe that goes well with the Knitting Factory. On any given night, the Hollywood nightclub feels like a cross between a New York cyber cafe and a punk-rock dance hall. On Wednesdays, when Twine is added to the mix, you get everything and the kitchen sink.

With laptops tucked under their arms, Twine devotees connect global musical dots. Performers and audience members alike turn one another on to musical happenings in a setting that's so mellow and cool, even outsiders feel like part of the family. And because it's at the multi-tasking Knitting Factory, you never know what you'll be in for. While a rocker crowd checks out Linda Perry on the main stage, DJ Panic is spinning a mash-up of Nirvana and Destiny's Child over in Twine. Directly outside Twine, in the bar, two Cholita DJs throw down some old-school hip-hop.

Although the main stage requires a separate admission, the various crowds get a chance to mingle with one another and, more than likely, get turned on to something new.

The beauty really is in the mix. After you've had an earful of hard-core techno at Twine and gotten the chance to check out a vintage punk set by a DJ in the bar, you've really had a night on the town. By the time you take the flier from the rock en espanol kid out to promote a Pastilla show, you realize: L.A. rocks.*

Twine, Knitting Factory's AlterKnit Lounge, 7021 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, Wednesdays, 10 p.m. (323) 466-5141 or www.greengalactic.com.

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