By the time I arrived in Orlando in 1998, the city's renowned rave scene had more or less choked to death along with the larger movement. The national media squares had caught whiff of the Vick's Vapor Rub wafting out of the warehouses and put the pacifier-sucking club kids before in-studio audiences and their lordly judgments and some local ordinances were passed and that was that. Still, the music remained, only now it was played at house parties attended by frat boys more accustomed to dumbing up the works at the University of Central Florida than they were jamming to The Chemical Brothers. The vibe had died.
Nevertheless, a lot of the dance music played in the shadow of Mickey's ears during this period doubtlessly owed something to Sunshine State-native DJ Icey. Indeed, he was such a force that he helped bring The Chemical Brothers to the States for the first time, where they played at an Orlando club called The Edge. Icey held a residency there, and the venue is so revered that it actually has its own tribute page on MySpace. Since he first tapped into Orlando's counter-culture in the early- to mid-'90s with a funky, breakbeat-centric sound dipped in acid house and built for the floor, Icey has maintained a steady touring schedule and picked up a lot of fans, including British DJ and tastemaker Pete Tong. Icey will put his big-room rocking skills to work for a cover-free set on Friday, Oct. 2, at Heaven.