The ice rink is up at Union Square, Christmas paraphernalia is everywhere, and it’s finally starting to rain. It’s official: the holidays are here. Thankfully, we have just the ticket to counter your winter hibernation urge. A bevy of world-class DJs and artists are coming to our fair city over the next two weeks–read below to find out who they are and where to catch them. See you on the dancefloor!
In the past five or six years, the sound of underground house music in America has become steadily more gritty, more raw, and more dark. This new crop of producers has traded in major key piano samples, diva vocals, and drums sampled from disco tracks for twisted, bent synthesizer leads, spaced-out atmospherics, and back-to-basics kick drums straight from a TR-808. One of the finest of this new breed is D’Marc Cantu, hailing from Ann Arbor, Michigan, whose productions are simple, raw, and elemental–combine equal parts Kraftwerk, Detroit techno, and Chicago acid house and you’ll have something that begins to approach Cantu’s sound. He’s making his San Francisco debut with a live performance, alongside Acid Test residents Tyrel Williams, Miguel Solari, Fil Latorre, and Bai-ee, who will be spinning deep house and techno all night long. RSVP on Facebook for more information and purchase presales via Ticketfly. 9pm - 4am, presale tickets $12 - $15, $20 at the door.
Like many other things in life, electronic music is cyclical. Drum’n’bass was a staple of San Francisco nightlife in the mid-to-late 1990s, but it faded away abruptly, going gently into that good night. There has been a spate of top-notch d’n’b events in the past couple of years, however, as top-tier producers from the UK have begun touring again. Aphrodite is one such top-tier producer, with a career that sprawls decades, reaching back to the earliest days of UK jungle and rave, and is still active today, releasing records on his own Aphrodite Recordings label. Musically, Aphrodite is a crowd-pleaser, combining instantly recognizable samples with tightly-edited breaks and drum programming, buoyed by hard-driving, undulating synthesizer basslines. Providing support are a whole slew of local DJs and producers, who’ll get the party started early and will make sure it stays crackin’ until the wee hours of the morning. RSVP on Facebook for more details and purchase presales via Eventbrite. 10pm - late, presale tickets $18, $20+ at the door.
For anyone spending Thanksgiving in the city this year, Housepitality has put together a Thanksgiving-eve party with one of their best lineups of the year. Headlining is Chicago-born, Berlin-based Tyree Cooper, a house music legend active since the 1980s who still produces top-notch house and techno and has an amazing voice that has graced an untold number of tunes. Joining him are locals Matrixxman and Vin Sol, who have recently released several collaborations that manage to perfectly capture the spirit of classic Chicago house without sounding rehashed or repetitive. They’ll both be performing a live set, and will be joined by Housepitality resident Bai-ee, with JP Soul and Billy Jaz spinning in the back room. RSVP on Facebook for more details and on Housepitality’s site for free admission. 9pm - 2am, free before 11PM with RSVP, otherwise $5 before 11PM, $10 after.
AS YOU LIKE IT presents PROSUMER, Friday November 29, Location TBA
Give thanks to As You Like It for giving you the chance to burn off all those turkey & mashed potato calories at their Basics party, a return-to-form style underground party at a private location featuring perennial San Francisco favorite Prosumer. Prosumer is a former Panoramabar resident and is truly a phenomenal DJ, with a knack for mixing old-school sounds (classic house, disco) with of-the-moment deep house and techno, which makes his DJ sets simultaneously accessible and avant-garde–the kind of DJ that makes you leave the dancefloor with a smile on your face, even if you have no idea what he’s playing. He’ll be joined by locals David Harness and Jason Kendig alongside AYLI resident Sassmouth, and all four DJs will be mixing vinyl all night, adding another dimension to the “Basics” party theme. Since this is a private party, make sure to RSVP on Facebook and purchase a presale to guarantee entry. 11pm - 7am, $15 presales.
If you asked me to make a list of the most essential, most important, and most creative electronic music record labels of the moment, the UK’s Hessle Audio would certainly be in my top 3–every release blurs the boundaries between seemingly disparate genres of music, knocking down the walls between house, techno, dubstep, drum’n’bass, and everything in between. Ben UFO happens to be one of the three folks who run Hessle Audio (alongside Pangaea and Pearson Sound) and his skill and breadth as a DJ mirrors that of Hessle’s as a record label. Simply put, he is one of the finest DJs in the world right now, consistently managing to mix together records from every genre that I would otherwise think make no sense together–and making it sound brilliant (and effortless). He’ll be supported by two locals, Avalon Emerson (who’s about to release a record on Icee Hot next year) and Austin Cesear from Oakland. RSVP on Facebook for more information. 10pm - 3am, $5 before 11PM, $10+ after.