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"Deep Blue" 

When: Fri., Aug. 15, 9 p.m. 2014
Price: $12-$20 advance
Matthew Edwards, better known these days as Radio Slave, has been in the game for awhile now. In his early days, mid-1990s, his first major gig was as a resident at London's Ministry of Sound Club; Radio Slave was born at the turn of the century from a Sunday club night in Brighton called Prescription (a Chez Damier reference). The name, Edwards explains, comes from listening to DJs like Joe Claussell work in pop songs into underground DJ sets: "A good record is a good record, and in the right context, playing a track the audience knows and loves can create a euphoric moment on the dancefloor."

Accordingly, what sets Edwards apart is his ability to straddle the mainstream and the underground. Radio Slave's first productions were remixes and edits of pop songs, designed to be worked into a techno/house DJ set. But his range is broad: listen to a later production like "RJ," an example of dance music at its finest, a track where everything is in its right place — not a single element is superfluous and not a single element is missing. It's simply techno as it should be.

Edwards also runs a record label, Rekids. When asked about the challenges of running a techno label in today's market, his response is telling: "It's no surprise that the biggest change [in dance music culture] has to be the internet. It's transformed everything from the way we record shop to the DJs themselves, and has made mainstream dance music and even techno into a commodity that can be bought and sold." He's no Luddite, however. "People want more than the bubble gum that's on offer, and this is where the internet can work wonders," mentioning FKA twigs as someone he's happy to see breaking through and getting recognized. "This is where things get exciting and why being connected is a good thing ... the fact that electronic music is growing all the time can only be a positive thing."

He'll be joined by Maayan Nidam, a newer producer who's released several 12"s on Germany's Perlon and New York's Wolf + Lamb. Between the two of them, this is a world-class European DJ experience right here in San Francisco — don't miss it.

— Chris Zaldua


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