Winter is usually a slower period for touring DJs, but fret not: we’re featuring a handful of the city’s best local parties, perfect for dancing the night away. There’s a couple marquee names in here, too, making their stopovers in San Francisco from (where else?) Berlin. Read on to find out where to party for the next two weeks—see you on the dance floor!
British house music is in the midst of a renaissance: artists from all across the musical spectrum have been turning to house music, in some cases becoming better known for their house productions than for whatever genres they started in (i.e., the indie-rock of Four Tet and Caribou and the dubstep of Loefah and Skream). George Fitzgerald is one such artist, whose first releases were rubbery, garage-and-dubstep-inflected joints, who has since pushed himself into the depths of house, developing a trademark style that features big, melodic synth rhythms and a penchant for infectious chopped-up vocal samples. Friday’s performance in SF is the first stop on his first headline tour of the US, and will feature his newest productions as well as selections from his DJ bag—expect top-notch techno and house from the London-Berlin-Detroit axis. He’s joined by J.Phlip, a local producer whose releases on Dirtybird fit perfectly into that label’s funky, sexy, bouncy sound. Local DJs Galen and Bells & Whistles provide support all night long. RSVP on Facebook for more details and purchase presales on Ticketfly. 9pm - 4am, $20 presales, $20+ at the door.
This month, Push The Feeling presents two San Francisco locals who between them run the full gamut of techno and house. C.L.A.W.S., a.k.a. Brian Hock, is a veteran techno producer and also one of the city’s best and most eclectic DJs, whose sets are always dancefloor-friendly but often veer into leftfield territory, with experimental, EBM and electro selections thrown in to keep things interesting. Joining him is Roche, a.k.a. Ben Winans, who crafts house music like they used to make back in the day, all-hardware and simultaneously smooth and acidic. The juxtaposition of these two—the rougher, rawer DJ set from C.L.A.W.S. vs. the shimmering, warm live set from Roche—will make for a very interesting affair. Push The Feeling’s resident DJs will keep the party going before and after. RSVP on Facebook for more details. 9pm - 2am, $6 all night.
GO BANG! 5th ANNIVERSARY PARTY with KEN VULSION & NICKY B, Saturday December 7, The Stud
Go Bang is one of the city’s best disco parties, and it turns five this upcoming Saturday. Disco is, of course, a vital part of San Francisco dancefloor culture, still as relevant today as it was in the 1970s. What makes Go Bang special, however, is that it’s not a “retro” party—it’s a party by disco freaks, for disco freaks. It’s also wonderfully inclusive, with a mixed crowd that loves to dance. For their fifth anniversary, Go Bang is inviting Ken Vulsion and Nicky B to the decks, both of whom are important to the party’s history. Ken Vulsion is a former Go Bang resident and co-founder of Honey Soundsystem, another SF party with deep disco roots. Nicky B was actually Go Bang’s founder in 2008; he departed in 2010, but is returning to rock the anniversary party. Current residents Sergio Fedasz and Steve Fabus will keep the groove going until the wee hours of the morning. For more information and to hear DJ sets from the residents, RSVP on Facebook. 9pm - 3am, free before 10pm, $7 after.
No Way Back is another one of the city’s disco-centric parties, focusing on the intersection between disco and house music, featuring artists who craft modern house music by plumbing the depths of disco, soul, and funk. Mudd, a.k.a. Paul Murphy, is precisely this kind of house music producer: his productions are unmistakeably house, but his grooves and sound palette are borrowed and sampled from classic disco and funk—plucked basslines, funky guitar riffs, and chimes galore. Felix Dickinson’s approach is similar, working with sun-kissed Balearic post-disco themes for his solo work, but he also veers into old-school jackin’ acid house territory as part of the aptly-named “Larry Heard Appreciation Society” (L.H.A.S. Inc., with Jaime Read). Joining the two are No Way Back’s residents, Conor and Solar, two of SF’s most experienced DJs. RSVP on Facebook for more information and purchase presales via Resident Advisor. 10pm - 4am, $10-$15 presales, $20 at the door.
Techno, as a musical genre, isn’t conducive to “superstar” types. There have certainly been superstar DJs, but they come mostly from the trance- or EDM-side of the electronic music domain; techno, almost by definition, is more concerned with facelessness and anonymity. Paul Kalkbrenner is something of an anomaly, then, in that he is one of a few techno producers approaching superstar status: he got his start releasing a steady stream of melodic, minimal tech-house on Ellen Allien’s Bpitch Control label during the early ‘00s, but found his “big break” when he scored and starred in a film about Berlin club culture, “Berlin Calling.” That soundtrack marked a change in his sound, in which melodies and bombastic, symphonic elements came to the fore, a style which he’s been refining ever since. He’s bringing his live show to San Francisco, joined by local DJs and producers Bells & Whistles, whose glossy, tightly-wound tech-house is the perfect accompaniment to Kalkbrenner’s soaring sound. RSVP on Facebook for more information and purchase tickets via Ticketmaster. 7:30pm, $25 tickets + Ticketmaster service charges.