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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Signal to Noise: 10 Tracks from Forward-Thinking Local Producers

Posted By on Wed, Feb 22, 2012 at 4:13 PM

Bobby Browser and a whole lot of gear
  • Bobby Browser and a whole lot of gear

San Francisco hasn't exactly been a hotbed of activity for cutting-edge dance music in the past 10 years. The city still has a ways to go, but the past year or so has seen the rise of a crop of producers that are breathing new life into the Bay Area music scene. Here are 10 tracks from local producers that show where things are headed in the future.

"No Appointments (Greg Z Mix)," by Bobby Browser

Bobby Browser (aka André Ferreira) has been producing music in San Francisco for some time now. As a one-time member of the Party Effects collective, his acid-laden tracks and all-hardware sets have proven immensely popular in local clubs. Now out on his own, he just released Just Browsing, his debut EP on L.A.'s 100% Silk label. "No Appointments (Greg Z Mix)" sees Ferreira's Wav Dwgs collaborator Greg Zifcak (check out this recent review of his live set at Haçeteria) applying a deep techno-influenced filter to the original's epically swung aesthetic, arriving at a happy medium between dance cut and head fodder.

"Edges of a Vortex," by Vin Sol

It's hard to hate on someone who uses a tagged-up burrito as the cover for a DJ mix. Longtime San Francisco DJ Vin Sol is that kind of guy. His blend of old-school DJ bravado and rough ghetto house sounds have earned him the respect of the local community and the opportunity to do remix work for the likes of such vaunted labels as Fool's Gold in New York. Now, he's back with "Edges of a Vortex," his latest. Deliberately fusing new-school production aesthetics with the edge of analog hardware, he's generated a dancefloor firestarter that sounds like some lost Cajual Records A-side complete with sizzling hats, the dirtiest sax hook, and a bassline destined to destroy its share of subwoofers.

"Kissing Isis," by Its Own Infinite Flower

Known to many in San Francisco as a resident DJ at Stompy, Tasho Nicolopulos is also a producer of delicately arranged electronic compositions. For the past couple years, Tasho has been recording and performing under the alias Its Own Infinite Flower in a style that brings to mind the expansive mental vistas of artists like Tangerine Dream, Brian Eno, and Moritz Von Oswald. The meditative "Kissing Isis" is his latest, and while it's not a club track, it might be something to try when you get home after a long evening.

"Dancin' (The SyntheTigers & Steve Fabus Go BANG! Edit)," by Grey & Hanks

The SyntheTigers is the recording alias of Go BANG! DJ Sergio Fedasz and producer Allen Craig. If you've been to a Go BANG! party in the past two years, you've undoubtedly heard the duo's work woven into the fabric of the evening's entertainment. Practitioners of the ancient art of the re-edit, the duo takes classic disco tracks and restructures them to appeal to the tastes of today's dancefloors. For this, the duo's re-edit of Grey & Hanks disco classic "Dancin'," they've teamed up with Go BANG! resident and original S.F. disco DJ Steve Fabus to create a DJ friendly version that will keep old heads happy while turning on an entirely new generation to the sound of a San Francisco that once was.

"Teachers," by Heskanen

Not everything's about the future -- some things are about the past. Heskanen is one of the residents with Rocket Collective, a monthly "queer, alternative dance congregation" at Rickshaw Stop. With "Teachers," he's covered the Daft Punk classic but added a distinctly local angle. In Heskanen's version of "Teachers," house music's innovators are replaced with shout-outs to everyone working in San Francisco's dance music community. The result is a charmingly name-drop-y track that celebrates the scene as it exists today.

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Derek Opperman


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