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Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Top Five Parties in San Francisco This Weekend

Posted By on Thu, May 29, 2014 at 9:39 AM

Untold plays at Mercer tonight.
  • Untold plays at Mercer tonight.
Look out! Here comes another promising weekend of partying in San Francisco. As usual, we've got you covered with a full rundown of all the fun. This week's edition drifts across genre lines more than usual, with retro hip-hop, dubstep-influenced techno, and French disco house all jumbled up for your enjoyment. Don't just sit there, get ready! And read on -- your weekend awaits.

Blasthaus presents Untold at Mercer

10 p.m. Thursday, May 29. $10-$20

Dubstep's rise to popularity in the United States in the late-'00s coincided with a massive splintering of the sound's original U.K. scene. Perhaps it was the crassness of the American iteration, or simply that the decade-old genre had run its course, but a new crop of producers took it upon themselves to integrate the spaciousness, complicated rhythms, and ultra-tuned production aesthetic into genres outside of the original. Techno, house, drum 'n' bass, and more obscure forms of U.K. dance music began to absorb dubstep's elements, creating a malleable and nearly unclassifiable sound that music journalists referred to as "post-dubstep" or "future garage." Now, in 2014, these experiments have become so integrated into the lexicon of contemporary house and techno that those tags seem irrelevant. One of the people behind this change is Untold (aka Jack Dunning), whose own wildly creative music -- and similarly minded Hemlock label -- push toward a messy and hybridized creative future.

"I hope dubstep continues to be hard to pin down, disobeys its manifesto, gets called stupid names, gatecrashes other scenes and spikes the punch, elopes, and has lots of children," said Dunning in an interview with Resident Advisor in 2009. His own career has followed a classic trajectory: His early output, like the wobbly and off-kilter dubstep of his Kingdom EP, slowly progressed toward a more raw and aggressive mechanical techno made distinct by sinister sound design and a near-total absence of the genre's standard-issue kick-drum pulse. Its title track sounds like the Jamaican dub of King Tubby and Lee "Scratch" Perry updated for the digital present.

You can easily call the music Dunning creates these days "techno," but it still conveys the breadth and scope of his outsider background. His Change in a Dynamic Environment three-part EP series is scattershot and hyperactive; "Motion in the Dance," an anthem from 2012, plays with supercharged synth lines that crackle and burst like an overloaded battery above clanking percussion. Between the two, he conveys a sense of atmosphere more expansive than the claustrophobic whirr of today's looped-up techno. Expect a wild ride when he takes over Mercer this Thursday for a live set of his unusually boundary-pushing dance music.

On and On and Base present Hot Since '82 at Public Works

9 p.m. Friday, May 30. $20

Though his name suggests otherwise, U.K. producer Hot Since '82 has really only been around since 2012. In the time since his debut, though, he's managed to establish himself as a major figure in contemporary underground tech-house, with tracks on labels like Get Physical and Moda Black that feature a sleek sound tuned for long, drugged-out nights in European superclubs. Listen to his Boiler Room set.

Direct to Earth with Mike Dehnert at F8

9 p.m. Friday, May 30. $10-$20

Berlin is a city known for its no-nonsense approach to techno. That's particularly true in the case of Mike Dehnert, a Berlin-native whose music -- and Fachwerk label -- represent a pure evocation of techno's mechanical core, with grimy dub aesthetics and sci-fi textures that provoke a hypnotic, far-out mindset. It fits perfectly with the hardcore ethos of Oakland party crew Direct to Earth. Listen to "Brauchbar."

Last Night 2000's Hip-Hop Party at Slate Bar

9 p.m. Friday, May 30. $5-$10

The spirit of the '00s lives on at Last Nite, a party that celebrates all things turn-of-the-millennium. This month's event takes a turn away from the usual LCD Soundsystem/electroclash soundtrack to focus on the hip-hop of the day, with Jamie Jams and DJ Rapid Fire providing an experience that they describe thusly: "It's like we drank your sizzurp, stole your Courvoisier, and rode off with your spinners."

Fred Falke at Audio Discotech

9 p.m. Saturday, May 31. $10-$20

Though Daft Punk gets most of the shine these days, there was a whole French disco house movement in the late-'90s and early-'00s. Dubbed the "French touch" sound, it mixed funky disco samples with sharp, angular bass lines. Fred Falke's music is wrapped up in this sound. "Intro," a classic recorded with Alan Braxe, impressionistically conveys the hedonism of the disco years.

-- @derekopperman

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Derek Opperman


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