Flash back 13 years to swirling strobes, flickering dance floors, thumping synthesized bass lines and a hot-voiced babe belting "love you" lines that made you shake your bootie. Add some groovilacious "Shaft"-like guitar riffs, some happening house music beats and some au courant lyrics and -- voila! -- you've got Deee-Lite.
The rage of the club scene in New York and London, Deee-Lite is a trio of mod-looking night creatures who have haunted only the coolest of Manhattan night spots for years. Mostly they are known for their flashback fashions: psychedelic print body suits, plastic platform shoes, fluffy hair and peg pants. That early-'70s look, now known as thrift shop chic.
"I've never been to Bergdorf's," says Super DJ Dmitry. "We shop in a lot of places. 'Saks Third Avenue' -- you know, where people sell in the street. We all feel that fashion is not really that important. We love style. And fashion and style are two different things. We are convinced that you don't need a lot of money to have great style."
Jungle DJ Towa Towa and Dmitry learned their craft by spinning discs at the haute houses of dance pleasures: MK, Nell's, The World, Pyramid, Red Zone and Afrochine. At one point a couple of years back, Dmitry was popping down to D.C. once a week to set the musical mood on Ozone Night at Adams-Morgan's Dakota.
Lady Miss Kier, the woman with the soulful voice reminiscent of Yvonne Elliman and, at times, Aretha Franklin, was a textile designer who dug the nightlife of New York. One day she was strolling through Greenwich Village's Washington Square and, through a friend, met Dmitry. You could say this was the moment of conception for Deee-Lite.
After four years of playing the club circuit in New York, the trio decided to cut an album. It's called "World Clique" (Elektra) -- the group's perception of society.
"Dancing is such a celebration," says Dmitry. "It's helping to bridge the gap between cultures. Cultures can dance together and love each other. It's very positive."
Deee-Lite is performing at the Fifth Column on Tuesday night. Doors open at 9. Tickets are $10 and available at the door. For information, call 202-393-3632.