We might as well just go ahead and label this weekend Decibel South as it's filled by huge parties stacked to the brim with artists en route to the electronic music festival in Seattle. Needless to say, you're in luck if you're a fan of current electronic dance music -- this weekend has something for who enjoy both the beat experiments of Zomby and the O.G. techno of Santiago Salazar. Far from being monotonous and one-dimensional, this weekend continues to prove that today's nightlife (and San Francisco in particular) is all about cross-scene support and getting out of the rigid microgenres that defined the late-'90s and '00s.
Friday, September 30
Where: Public Works
When: 10 p.m. - 5 a.m.
Why: Get Down and Get With It! features one of the most stacked line-ups Public Works has ever seen. Featuring three headliners, the party is a showcase of the sounds currently dominating Europe. Hailing from Paris and performing live, dOP is a unique group that mixes a dance music aesthetic with live vocals and jazzy instrumentation -- check out this video from their performance at last year's Movement festival. Similarly, fellow Frenchmen Château Flight have built a solid career around organic and moody instrumental tech-house, such as recent single "Chichi Devils." Deniz Kurtel is a Crosstown Rebels- and Wolf + Lamb-signed artist that specializes in constructing deep, heartfelt tracks like recent single "The L Word feat. Jada". Rounding out the bill is New York tech-house outfit Thugfucker and the debut live performance of the Visionquest-affiliated local outfit Pillow Talk. Show some local pride and get down to their summery "Love Makes Parks".
Where: 103 Harriet
When: 10 p.m. - 3 a.m.
Why: This is Zomby's first ever live performance in San Francisco. The mysterious British producer represents everything that's good and experimental about the current wave of bleeding-edge UK bass music. His stunning debut LP Where Were You in '92? charted the scene's roots by looking at UK hardcore and jungle from the distant vantage point of dubstep. Dedications, his recent LP (streamable here), works from that point and moves towards a futuristic sound that's almost completely devoid of nostalgia. Joining Zomby for the evening is a beat-laden sonic collage that includes the forward thinking bass tones of Machinedrum (who was tapped to produce a track for The Black Swan), the Soul Jazz- and Gilles Peterson-approved sonic structures of Distal, and the low-frequency rumblings of local producers NastyNasty.
Saturday, October 1
Where: New Karibbean City
When: 10 p.m. - 4 a.m.
Why: San Francisco based dancehall production company Spicey Promotions is turning 10 years old, and to celebrate, it's bringing out legendary Jamaican dancehall singjay Mr. Vegas to Oakland's New Karibbean City. Popping out of the late-'90s scene with cuts like "Nike Air" and "Heads High," Vegas has managed to since become one of dancehall's signature artists with a discography that includes a ludicrous amount of era-defining hits that run right up to today. He's already promised ahead of time to do "Gallis," "Tek Wuh Yuh Self," "Hot Wuk," "Mus Come Ah Road," and the aforementioned "Heads High." Throw in the fact that the venue is a Jamaican restaurant (come early, stay late) and you have a recipe for a good time. Here's a video of Mr. Vegas doing his thing in New York.
Where: Public Works
When: 10 p.m. - 4.a.m.
Why: Icee Hot continues a solid string of parties (like last week's with Teengirl Fantasy, Total Freedom, and Magic Touch) by throwing its biggest yet. This time its organizers have put together something that epitomizes the recent cross-pollination of genres. Pride of place for the evening goes to Martyn, the unpredictable Dutch DJ/producer responsible for the farsighted 3024 label. This month's Icee Hot is an opportunity to catch a rare live set from him while he enjoys a buzz off the strength of Ghost People, his forthcoming album on Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder imprint. Joining Martyn are Nightslugs artists and UK bass favorites Bok Bok and Girl Unit(check out Bok Bok's remix of Girl Unit's "IRL"). Last but not least is Santiago Salazar of Mad Mike's famous second-wave techno label Underground Resistance and Galaxy 2 Galaxy fame. He's making the relatively short trek from Detroit to play a two-hour set in the recently renovated oddjob loft.