Prepare yourself -- a strange couple of days is headed your way. Outside Lands is set to be the highlight of the weekend, and with it will come whole legions of drunk fans stumbling out of the Richmond fog like zombies. This also happens to be the time of year when clubs become dominated by last-minute Burning Man fundraisers. Since we believe nobody should have to deal with the repercussions of either of those facts (well, unless they choose too), we've assembled this list of highly recommended evening fare. Read on -- your weekend awaits.
Friday, August 10
When: 10 p.m. - 4 a.m.
Why: Ask around for a good techno party in New York and it's inevitable that you'll get turned on to The Bunker. Going on for nine years now, it's one of the Big Apple's best-curated events, with regular appearances by the same class of DJs that you might catch at KONTROL or As You Like It. This summer, party organizers have gotten together with San Francisco's Grey Area Foundation of the Arts to bring a little bit of that underground Brooklyn vibe to the Bay Area. Now on its second local date, this week the party is hosting a live performance by the groundbreaking duo of Atom (a.k.a. Uwe Schmidt, the man behind the fantastic Señor Coconut among many other things) & Tobias (a.k.a. Berlin techno veteran Tobias Freund). Both committed artists with discographies stretching back to the 1980s, together they make some pretty wild improvisatory techno. Listen to this recent performance at Berghain for an idea of what to expect.
Where: DNA Lounge
When: 10 p.m. - 4 a.m.
Why: Since the closure of Blow Up, there's been a serious lack of well-curated parties catering to the younger scene. Enter Y3K, a one-off 18+ party put together by the promoter behind 120 Minutes. Thoroughly embracing the '90s cyberculture nostalgia of the present moment, the party promises to be "a living representation of URL life and death...simulcast across the universe and the interwebz." Headlining the event is Gatekeeper, a Brooklyn-based duo that specializes in an aggressive sound that draws from Italo disco, horror soundtracks, acid house, and other similarly dark material. Exo, the group's debut LP, just dropped last month. You can get a feel for its unique vision by downloading and playing the album's free accompanying video game. Also on deck is indie/deep house duo Teengirl Fantasy (previously profiled here), local techno wizard 5kinandBone5 (previously profiled here), Bay Area 18+ electro favorites The Tenderlions, and DJs culled from 120 Minutes and Lights Down Low.
Saturday, August 11
Where: 222 Hyde
When: 10 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Why: No Way Back returns to its original home at 222 Hyde for another evening of off-the-wall entertainment. This week's party features a headlining DJ set by Washington D.C.-based avant-house duo Beautiful Swimmers. Associated with the Future Times label, the duo digs deep for a retro-leaning sound that brings to mind breezy late-'80s experimental pop albeit with an aesthetic tailored to the dancefloor. Get a better feel for how a Beautiful Swimmers DJ set might sound by reading this interview/listening session put together by HHV-Mag. The duo is joined for the evening by Junior, one of the DJs behind Los Angeles' Sarcastic Disco parties. And, as always, resident DJs Conor and Solar will be on hand to warm things up early.
What: Tornado Wallace
Where: Public Works OddJob Loft
When: 9:30 p.m. - 3:10 a.m.
Why: Though the disco fever of the last half of the '00s seems to have died down a bit, many artists are still soldiering on. One such artist is Tornado Wallace, a re-editor and house producer who's so far been unafraid to look back and cast a reappraising eye on the dance music of the 1970s. Tracks like "Be My Ladyboy," "Don't Hold Back," and "Always Twirling" all effortlessly fuse past and present for a sound that comes off as entirely contemporary. Now touring far outside of his native Australia, he'll be at Public Works this Saturday alongside local duo Bells & Whistles.