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Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Top 5 Parties in San Francisco This Weekend: Jackmaster, Len Faki, Spencer Parker, and More

Posted By on Thu, Nov 13, 2014 at 10:23 AM

click to enlarge Jackmaster headlines Monarch Saturday, Nov. 15. - SHAUN BLOODWORTH
  • Shaun Bloodworth
  • Jackmaster headlines Monarch Saturday, Nov. 15.
Lights Down Low presents Jackmaster, Krystal Klear and Jasper James at Monarch, 10 p.m.-3 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 15. $20;

Sometimes you'll hear people talk about a DJ being a "DJ's DJ." When people use this awkward and rather clumsy phrase, they generally mean "a DJ who plays rare and/or unreleased music designed to appeal to record collectors and music nerds" (i.e., other DJs).

Jackmaster is not a DJ's DJ; Jackmaster plays for the crowd. That's not a knock: Sometimes you just want to lose your mind to a DJ who's not afraid to throw a little Prince into the mix among the moody deep house and piston-pumping techno. Enter Jackmaster.

Another thing sets Jackmaster apart: He's one of the few DJs (these days) whose career is built entirely on DJing (he also administers Glasgow's genre-bending Numbers record label, but that's another story). He has zero production credits to his name. What that means is Jackmaster spends all his time DJing or preparing to DJ, a fact that plays out when you hear one of his sets, where he hops from techno to house to disco to bass music to dubstep to pop and back again without missing a beat. His recent podcast for XLR8R, intended as a warm-up for this U.S. tour, is chock-full of deep house with tribal touches and heavier techno, so it's likely that, this time around, you'll hear Jackmaster go a little harder and deeper than usual. You can never be sure what he has in his bag, though, but rest assured it will make the dancefloor go nuts.

Joining him are fellow Britons Krystal Klear, a new-ish producer who borrows from classic boogie, funk, and disco to make rolling, jacking modern house tunes, and Jasper James, a young buck from the Numbers stable. Lights Down Low residents Sizemore and Richie Panic will keep it locked down all night long.

Robot Ears presents Len Faki with Jason Kendig, Mossmoss, and John Kaberna at Audio San Francisco, 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 13. $10-$15;

San Francisco is experiencing something of a techno renaissance these days. Last week, Berlin marquee name Ben Klock tore apart Public Works; this week, the lesser-known (but no less talented) Len Faki makes his San Francisco debut at Audio SF. Although perhaps not as well-known or internationally renowned as some of his Teutonic brethren, Faki is no less of a potent DJ — a resident DJ at Berlin's Berghain club since its inception in 2004, he plays straight-up, no-nonsense techno, machine music designed to set dancefloors alight. A handful of the city's finest techno DJs — Honey Soundsystem's Jason Kendig, As You Like It's Mossmoss, and Robot Ears's John Kaberna — will be rounding out the lineup, making for a serious techno Thursday.

Best of the Bay 2014 Celebration with UltraViolet, Richie Panic, DJ Sep and more at F8, 6 p.m.-2 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 13. Free, but donations strongly encouraged;

The recent closure of the San Francisco Bay Guardian — a San Francisco institution with 48 years of history under its belt — came as a terrible shock to many across the Bay, especially as it came right on the heels of the weekly's 40th annual Best of the Bay issue, perennially its most popular issue of the year. Nevertheless, the Guardian marches on, and is throwing a celebration-cum-fundraiser for the Best of the Bay winners, featuring a whole slate of the Bay Area's finest DJs — including Richie Panic (Lights Down Low), UltraViolet (Trap City), DJ Sep (Dub Mission), Meikee Magnetic (BootieSF), and many more, with a secret big-name guest TBA. All the door proceeds (the event is free, but please be generous with donations!) go to the "Save the Bay Guardian" fundraising campaign to print a final commemorative issue and preserve the magazine's archives.

Black Magic Disko featuring Powel and Alvin Aronson at F8, 10 p.m.-4 a.m. Friday, Nov. 14. $10-$20;

Showcased here are a pair of up-and-coming deep house producers, converging from around the world (Powel hails from Germany; Alvin Aronson from Brooklyn) for one night in San Francisco. Powel, aka Berliner Paul Chriske, makes elegant, refined deep house that manages to be emotive and atmospheric without being saccharine. His DJ sets are similarly lush — they go for your heart, not your guts, without any loss of dancefloor potency. Co-headlining is the very new, but very talented Alvin Aronson; he has no official releases yet, but has a 12-inch forthcoming on New York's White Material record label. His productions (available for listening on SoundCloud) are similar to Powel's: deep house with a crystalline, melancholy, naturalistic feeling. Although he doesn't have any official releases out, he has a very large archive of original material to work with, so expect to hear a lot of music you've never heard before. Local selectors Nackt and Craig Kuna will be supporting in both the front and back rooms.

Honey Soundsystem presents Mark E and Spencer Parker at Mighty, 9 p.m.-4 a.m. Friday, Nov. 14. $15-$20;

One key element to putting together a solid party lineup is selecting DJs whose styles are complementary, but different enough that they each bring a different vibe to the dancefloor. That's exactly the case with Honey Soundsystem's latest, bringing together Mark E, a Honey veteran and "slow-house" pioneer, with Spencer Parker, an on-the-rise DJ who also runs Work Them Records. Mark E is known for his slow pace: Most of his tunes chug along around 110-115 bpm. Initially known for his disco edits, he's stretched his legs throughout the techno and house continuum on his latest album, broadening his approach. Parker's DJ sets are eclectic, pieced together from underground house and techno with a generous helping of disco and Italo. Together, the two should play off each other very nicely — and they're joined, of course, by Honey's resident DJs Jason Kendig, Josh Cheon, Jackie House, and Robot Hustle.
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Chris Zaldua


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