Party Blotter: Music to Keep You Dancing All Night
It’s official – California is facing a major drought crisis. Of water, that is. Not parties. Looking at the lineups below, one could hardly believe it’s February; usually a slow month for going out – that is certainly not the case this year. Each party below features top-notch foreign talent alongside some of the city’s best resident DJs, and each party takes a different tack – whether your tastes run toward big-room tech-house, outsider techno, fresh UK sounds or live hardware jams, there’s something for you. See you on the dance floor!
It seems like just a few years ago, seeing Scuba paired on a bill with DJ Hell would have stood out as an odd coupling. Scuba was one of dubstep’s earliest champions, releasing some of the genre’s biggest tunes on his Hotflush record label (see Joy Orbison’s “Hyph Mngo”) and producing his own smoky, alien-sounding records that pushed the genre away from its UK garage and grime roots towards something nebulous and space-age. However, the last decade has seen Scuba’s DJ career and production style mirror that of electronic music in the UK writ large, which is to say he’s moved steadily away from dubstep and towards more traditional house and techno sounds, becoming noticeably more popular (and populist) in the process. So, his pairing with DJ Hell now makes perfect sense–Hell is a German stalwart, one of the old guard, whose own releases (since 1992!) pair punk sensibility with playful humor. If Scuba is the present, DJ Hell is the past, and their sets will complement each other wonderfully. LDL residents Richie Panic and Sleazemore are joined by Kozee to provide DJ support throughout the night. RSVP on Facebook for more information and purchase presales via Ticketfly. 9pm - 2am, $18 presales, $20 at the door.
One of the best things about As You Like It’s parties is their tendency to pair big-name crowd-pleasers (in this case, Rebolledo, half of Pachanga Boys, a duo known for marathon-length tech-house sets at festivals like Burning Man and Ibiza superclubs) with lesser-known, underground artists & DJs (in this case, Blondes, an NYC duo who make weird, synth-heavy, minimalist outsider techno). Axel Boman, a frisky Swede who produces beautiful deep house, lies somewhere between these two poles. For some, the selling point here will be Rebolledo, whose set will no doubt be awash in playa dust and big breakdowns, but my money’s on Blondes and Boman; Blondes’ take on techno is as danceable and body-moving as it is psychedelic and cerebral, and Axel Boman is just a joy to listen to as both DJ and producer, a goofball who seamlessly mixes disco edits with cavernous deep house and classic Detroit techno. As You Like It resident DJ Mossmoss is joined by No Way Back resident Conor to provide support throughout the night. RSVP on Facebook and purchase presales via Eventbrite. 9pm - 4am, $15 presales, $20+ at the door.
This month’s edition of Haçeteria is a little different than usual–rather than featuring a local guest, they’re featuring one all the way from Berlin: Heatsick, a.k.a. Steven Warwick. Steven’s Heatsick project began in 2006 as a noisy, experimental, ambient project, releasing a steady stream of cassettes on various European noise labels, until his first LP on Berlin’s PAN Records, which utilized vintage Casio keyboards and other lo-fi gear to create something like techno, if in name only. On its face, it is dance music, with a throbbing, persistent beat, but Warwick plays remarkably complex polyrhythms on the Casio, which lend his tunes a curiously refined air – the rhythms are baroque while the timbre is anything but. Watching Warwick perform live is like watching a maestro at work: he plays his Casio live, fingers galloping across keys, plotting out scales with his hands while using his feet to record onto effects pedals, layering and layering sounds and rhythms on top of each other until they seem primed to explode. Seeing Heatsick live is a much more mesmerizing experience than most live electronic performances; your body wants to dance, but it’s difficult to pull your gaze off of his undulating fingers. RSVP on Facebook for more information and purchase presales via Eventbrite. 10pm - 2am, $10 presales, $10+ at the door.
The latest incantation to Isis features Kele Okereke, best known for his work as the vocalist for Bloc Party, the British band who rode the mid-2000s wave of post-Joy Division indie-tronica to smashing success in both the US and the UK. Starting in 2010, however, the band went on hiatus and Okereke struck out on his own, releasing a record last year on Crosstown Rebels, a 12” of tightly composed tech-house whose lead track features a shimmering UK-funky bass line and a brilliantly submerged vocal. As a DJ, he’s an unknown quantity–but given the way his latest record taps into the current trends of UK house music, you can expect of-the-moment dance floor bangers from London and beyond (with hopefully some nods to the classics from Chicago and New York). As always, more than half the fun at Isis parties comes from both the crowd, who overflow with positive dance floor energy, and its hosts–Brittany B. is a sight to behold, whipping the floor into a frenzy, with a featured “Midnight Moment” from impresario Saturn Jones. RSVP on Facebook for more details. 9:30pm - 3:30am, $10 at the door.
Legowelt & Xosar
Legowelt is one of underground electronic music’s unsung heroes. Since the early 1990s, Danny Wolfers has used a dizzying array of hardware and software to release record after record after record, including eight LPs as Legowelt alone, and EPs, singles, and side projects. What makes Legowelt’s sound so vital to this day is his ear for melody: despite an unrelentingly lo-fi aesthetic, Legowelt’s tracks are beautiful, tugging at your heartstrings as much as they make your body jack. He’ll be performing a live set alongside his partner Xosar, a former SF resident whose ghostly house music productions are just as jackin’ as Legowelt’s but substantially more spectral. Joining the two are No Way Back residents Conor and Solar, local DJs whose tastes and record collections–think new beat, old-school industrial, and acid house–are the perfect complement to Legowelt and Xosar’s featured live sets. RSVP on Facebook for more details and buy presales via Resident Advisor.