Check your watch. It's just about that time again. What time? Party time! To help you better figure out your calendar, we've assembled this handy list of the best parties in San Francisco. This time, it features a heavy helping of top-notch house. Read on -- your weekend awaits.
4 p.m. Saturday, June 21. $10
Something is happening across the bridge. Parties that might otherwise be thrown in San Francisco are now popping up in Oakland. Many of these feature big name guests pulled from the deeper end of underground house and techno. Until now, a majority of these events have been clandestine affairs in warehouses, basements, lofts, and other illicit spaces. And while that probably won't change anytime soon, this Saturday offers a chance to experience this scene in a more legitimate context in the form of Roundabout and the Shuffle Co-Op's latest party at Riddim (a legit club) featuring renowned Detroit house DJ Rick Wilhite.
The Shuffle Co-Op is on the fore of the new Oakland scene. Though it's only thrown a few parties so far, its bookings have all been top-tier. Rick Wilhite is then an easy pick: He's a Detroit selector with an old-school pedigree -- he owned an iconic record store called Vibes New & Rare Music. Yet unlike many Motor City DJs, his sound isn't rooted in techno, but instead in thumping uptempo house. His first record, Soul Edge, released on Moodymann's KDJ imprint, featured "What Do You See?," an instant classic of bongo-led madness built around a clever sampling of the ecstatic horn blasts of Cerrone's "Love in C Minor." Later works have gone into more atmospheric territory -- Analog Aquarium was as murky as its title suggests. Beyond his own productions, he's also a part of Detroit house supergroup the Three Chairs, which also counts Moodymann, Theo Parrish, and Marcellus Pittman
As you can imagine, his DJ style has all the markings of a veterans touch -- but that doesn't mean he's stuck in the past. Over the past few years he's released a compilation series dedicated to his now-closed record store which explores the cutting edge of contemporary underground house in Detroit and beyond. Vibes 2, the second entry in the series, featured new tracks from established veterans like Jovonn and K-Alexi Shelby as well as newer artists like Josh Milan and Jon Easley. Expect him to bring that kind of well-rounded approach to his set when he takes over the controls at Riddim -- which, it ought to be mentioned, features a thoroughly badass Turbosound soundsystem -- this Saturday for an all day event that, yes, starts at 4 p.m. Check out Wilhite's "Train Wreck Mix" for Red Bull Music Academy.
10 p.m. Friday, June 20. $20-$30
Can't make it out to Ibiza this summer? Well this Friday, 1015 Folsom is bringing a little piece of the White Isle to San Francisco thanks to Loco Dice. He' s a German DJ whose pumped-up (yet still minimal) tech-house records on labels like Desolat, M_nus, and Ovum are synonymous with the all-night dancing culture of the Spanish party island. Listen to his Essential Mix.
10 p.m. Friday, June 20. $15-$20
House music has a storied past. Now you can relive it at Flashback, an excellent retro house party that delivers epic nights of soulful singing, thumping Latin rhythms, and plenty of exemplary house dancers. This month's party features New York legend Louie Vega who, as one half of production outfit Masters at Work, is responsible for a ridiculous amount of '90s classics. Check out his RBMA "Train Wreck Mix." Also worth noting, Vega is one of the few touring DJs left who knows how to really work an isolator in the old-school New York style. If you don't know what that means, check out this video of him tearing up Sylvester's "Over and Over."
9 p.m. Friday, June 20. $10-$20
Berlin might beat with a techno heart, but that doesn't mean there isn't also a house scene there as well. Baikal is a Berliner whose sound embodies the melodic, deep, and -- yes -- techno-indebted side of the city's softer sound. His releases on Maeve and remixes on Innervisons are drugged-out and dazed in an oddly stylish way. His remixes evoke a similar aesthetic. Check out his "Deep House Amsterdam" mix.
9 p.m. Saturday, June 21. $20-$25
As You Like It continues its streak of phenomenal parties, with another stacked lineup featuring a full assortment of sounds that ought to appeal to any house-inclined dancer. The big draw is London-based DJ Maya Jane Coles (listen to "Lost in the City") whose club-ready tech-house sounds have earned her a massive worldwide following. She's joined by a full assortment of other showstoppers, like New York house spinner Kim Ann Foxman and Amsterdam disco selector Young Marco (listen to his recent Beats in Space mix). Disclaimer/word of warning: I'm DJing this party.