It’s here! 2014, the New Year, that is. Hopefully by now you’ve recovered from whatever party debauchery you got yourself into, but if not, fret not–the parties below will keep your hangover at bay. One of the world’s best DJs, Levon Vincent, is rolling through town, making an appearance at Icee Hot’s fourth birthday party, and this is a guaranteed can’t-miss. There’s also some clean-cut minimal techno and some very sexy house music featured below, with two all-SF-residents parties featured. See you on the dancefloor!
Richie Hawtin’s achievements during his 20+ year career are numerous and legendary, but one of the most enduring is his record label, M_nus. Since 1998, M_nus has been dedicated to releasing Hawtin’s own vision of minimal techno alongside a small cadre of fellow producers–of whom Ambivalent is perhaps the finest. While a lot of ‘Hawtin-style’ minimal techno can be reductive to the point of inanity, Ambivalent’s productions have always been a cut above, featuring basslines that possess a particular swing, a funky groove, that makes them totally infectious on the dancefloor. His DJ set will likely feature a number of his own productions as well as razor-sharp tech-house; local support includes the harder-edged techno sound of Direct to Earth residents Bob Five and Brian Knarfield, as well as the smooth tech-house stylings of Mossmoss and Dao & Pwny. RSVP on Facebook for more information and purchase presales via Ticketfly. 9pm to 4am, $15 presales, $15+ at the door.
Isis, one of the city’s newest parties, celebrates their first invocation to the Goddess in 2014 with Kim Ann Foxman, coming from New York to tear up the decks in her old stomping grounds of San Francisco. Kim got her start in the disco-punk DFA act Hercules & Love Affair, but she has forged her own path in the past several years, working with a number of high-profile house producers (Steffi and KiNK, for instance) and honing her DJ sets, which combine 1990s NYC house vibes with new, fresh, bouncy cuts. Joining her are locals Avalon Emerson (whose record release party is featured below) and Hi Today, and the whole shindig is hosted by High Fantasy mainstay Brittany B. The female-centric lineup pairs perfectly with the party’s vibe, one of the most refreshing and fun in San Francisco: it’s a queer-ish party where the dancefloor is king (or queen), aimed at celebrating the feminine within all of us. RSVP on Facebook for more information and purchase presales via Ticketfly. 9pm to 3:30am, $10 presales, $15 at the door.
Play It Cool is another one of San Francisco’s newest parties, and also one of the city's most down-to-earth–the dancefloor feels like something you might find at a crackin’ house party with all your friends, except with much better DJs and a real soundsystem. By taking full advantage of the upstairs loft at Public Works (UPDATE 1/16: the party is now at the Public Works Loft!) and decking out the dancefloor with warm lighting, Play It Cool’s parties manage to feel intimate and easygoing while still being raucously fun. January’s installment is a release party for Avalon Emerson’s new record; one of the party’s residents, she’s an excellent DJ and a skilled producer, as seen on her new release on Icee Hot’s record label, “Pressure/Quoi!,” a high-octane slab of vulcanized synthesizers and disembodied vocals, which will be available at the party. The other residents–Matthew, Derek, and Guillame–will keep the vibe going all night, spinning a variety of disco, house, and funky techno selections. RSVP on Facebook for more information. 9pm to 2am, free before 10pm, $5 after.
Levon Vincent, photo by Sophia Drevenstam (via Juno)
It’s a bit too early in the year to declare the best party of 2014, but I can say with confidence that this one will be on the shortlist. Icee Hot is celebrating their fourth anniversary by gathering some of the world’s best DJs under one roof: Levon Vincent, the headliner, has spent years releasing the world’s deepest house music–his productions effortlessly pair the melodic complexity of deep house with the hypnotic, repetitive groove of the best minimal techno, resulting in a catalog of tunes perfectly suited to the dancefloor while also possessing a crucial emotional resonance. His DJ sets equal his productions, seamlessly bridging the gap between soulful deep New York house and bone-rattling Berlin techno. Joey Anderson is one of Vincent’s New York City compatriots and peers, and although his name is not yet as highly regarded as Levon’s, he’s no less of a brilliant producer and DJ. Upstairs in the Loft, Floating Points will be holding court with an extended set, stringing together post-disco, house, funk and soul as only he can do it. Icee Hot residents Shawn Reynaldo, Ghosts on Tape, Low Limit and DJ Will will be joined by Honey’s Jackie House and Jason Kendig, providing top-notch local support. For more information, RSVP on Facebook and purchase presales on Eventbrite. 9pm to 4am, $15 presales, $15+ at the door.
HONEY SOUNDSYSTEM presents MLK + HNY, Sunday January 19, Beatbox
Ah, milk and honey–two great tastes that go even better together… or, the fifth annual Honey Soundsystem blowout on the Sunday before Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the perfect way to cap off the upcoming holiday weekend. Let’s face it–Sundays haven’t been the same since Honey shuttered their weekly at the Holy Cow. There was something magical about that party: a last hurrah for the weekend, dancing it all away with a bunch of guys (and a few girls) who refused to go gently into that good night. The vibe returns on Sunday the 19th, as the Honey Soundsystem crew–Josh Cheon, Jason Kendig, Robot Hustle and Jackie House–will man the decks for extended sets of shimmering house and techno bliss as only they know how to do it. It’s not for nothing that Honey has been one of the longest-running parties in San Francisco, and whether you’re a seasoned honey bear or a pristine virgin bee, this is the night to come out and see what they’re all about. RSVP on Facebook for more information and buy cheap presales on Eventbrite. 9pm to 4am, $5 presales, $10+ at the door.