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Signal to Noise

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Five New Tracks We Like That You'll Be Hearing On San Francisco Dancefloors

Posted By on Wed, Jun 13, 2012 at 8:03 AM

These days DJ Harvey is into workwear and the Ostgut Ton backcatalog.
  • These days DJ Harvey is into workwear and the Ostgut Ton backcatalog.

If you think about it, dance music production and Alaskan crab fishing are surprisingly similar. To get anything done in either, you've got to isolate yourself from society and pull long hours doing tedious and backbreaking work (well, sort of). In dance music, most producers seem to hole themselves up for the majority of winter to return in the summer with the results of their labor. In other words, the following months are going to be heavy. Last time we helped you ease into things with five summer jams, but now, we're just going to go ahead and jump in with five of our recent favorites.

1. "Berghain," by Locussolus

The inimitable DJ Harvey is back with his group Locussolus, bearing a follow-up single to last year's self-titled debut LP. Titled "Berghain," it's possibly one of the weirdest records the man's done to date (and that's saying a lot). It's named after a Berlin techno superclub, and, as you might expect, it sees the group drifting in a more Teutonic direction. The end result takes the physical structure of German techno and does to it what Public Image Ltd.'s "Death Disco" did to disco.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Five New Tracks to Help You Ease Into Summer

Posted By on Wed, May 30, 2012 at 8:03 AM

Antwon's latest is a serious summer anthem.
  • Antwon's latest is a serious summer anthem.

With June just around the bend, it's time to start thinking about what you'll be doing during San Francisco's precious two weeks of summer... when they arrive in October. Of course, the long wait means you'll have plenty of time to launder your shorts, pick out a new pair of cheap sunglasses, and research which suntan lotion additives contribute to skin cancer. But since those activities may occupy lots of your time, we've taken the opportunity to compile this short list of summery jams for you to sift through while waiting for the fog to burn off Ocean Beach. So give these a spin -- they might help trick you into thinking you're living in a warmer climate.

"Love Shine Down," by Antwon, Safe, FaTees

As if "Helicopter" wasn't a strong enough beginning, Antwon is back with a summer anthem for the hip-hop heads. "Love Shine Down" is the lead single off the latest mixtape from Sick Sad World, the Oakland party/production collective that's become an increasingly loud voice in Bay Area hip-hop. Produced by FaTees, the track flips Evelyn "Champagne" King's "Love Come Down" to re-imagine the party vibe and sample-based crunch of '92 for the trap-obsessed present.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Signal to Noise: Five Deep Cuts Selected by Marcellus Pittman

Posted By on Wed, May 16, 2012 at 8:32 AM

marcellus.jpg

Following closely on the heels of our recent edition with Soul Clap, this week's Signal to Noise takes cues from yet another special guest. Marcellus Pittman is a house DJ and producer from Detroit who is known for his deep crates (the man's a vinyl enthusiast) and raw-edged productions. Pittman was in town last Friday, and, if rumors are to be believed, he killed it at As You Like It's party at BeatBox. We caught up with the Detroiter earlier this week and asked him to select a few of his favorite tunes. Read on, give these a spin, and be sure to check him out the next time he's in San Francisco (or, if you don't feel like waiting, listen to this podcast he just dropped for AYLI).

"The Circle Stops Somewhere," by A Sagittariun

Couldn't resist the name Sagittarian because I'm one. Solid stuff!!

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Signal to Noise: Soul Clap Selects Five Favorite Bay Area Tracks

Posted By on Wed, May 2, 2012 at 3:30 AM

Catch Soul Clap at Monarch on Friday, May 4th
  • Catch Soul Clap at Monarch on Friday, May 4th

For this week's Signal to Noise, we've got some selections from a very special guest: Soul Clap. Known individually as Eli Goldstein and Charles Levine, the Boston-based DJ/production outfit has attracted a dedicated following from its tasteful edits, deep remixes, and catchy originals. Last year, the duo teamed up with Wolf + Lamb to drop Wolf + Lamb vs Soul Clap, one of the best mixes of 2011. Now, Soul Clap is headed to Monarch this Friday in support of E-Funk: The Album, its full-length debut (stream it for free here, and buy it here). In anticipation, the duo wrote up and sent over five favorite moments in Bay Area music history.

"Weekend Girl," by PillowTalk

San Francisco's latest break-out sensation, these guys have been earning it for years and now they're burning it down! With releases on our beloved Wolf + Lamb Music as well as Rome-based Life and Death records, PillowTalk gives funk, soul, and R&B a dance-floor-straight-to-the-bedroom flip made possible by the minds of street corner crooner Sammy D, psychedelic keyboard extraordinaire Ryan Williams, and studio wiz Michael Tello.

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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Five Favorite Dancefloor Tracks From S.F. Party Photographers

Posted By on Wed, Apr 4, 2012 at 10:21 AM

Alexandra Mae hanging out at Haçeteria
  • Alexandra Mae hanging out at Haçeteria

Whereas previous editions of Signal to Noise have focused on DJs and producers, this time around we're putting the spotlight on the musical tastes of party photographers. Highly opinionated about music, these are the people behind the lens at some of your favorite events. Read on -- you just might hear one of these songs the next time you're out having your picture snapped.

1. Alexandra Mae Munson, photographer at Haçeteria

"We Made This Jack," by Social Disco Club

"We Made this Jack" seamlessly emulates that classic Chicago and early-90s jackin' sound that has become the bread and butter of Haçeteria. It never fails to pack the floor and get booties bouncin' (mine included). Complete with fast-hitting high hats, and whimsical lyrics, this song is almost as fun to sing as it is to dance to. Not to mention that people love getting their pictures taken when this song drops. With references to all the jackers in Europe and all the jackers in Heaven, this little track is packed with a surprising amount of house history current and past, which I am sure appeals to all of my fellow house music nerds. I personally can't get over that Legowelt shout-out!

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Five Tracks From Abroad That You'll Be Hearing on San Francisco Dancefloors

Posted By on Wed, Mar 21, 2012 at 11:06 AM

French Fries (left) is a master of the party whistle
  • French Fries (left) is a master of the party whistle

So far the month of March has held no punches in delivering its share of dancefloor anthems. This time around we train our focus on popular sounds coming from abroad; the sort of stuff that carries clout in both techno and bass circles. Read on -- you just might hear these the next time you go out dancing.

"Can't See Higher," by Lorca

Recent years have seen a rise in popularity of UK bass music on San Francisco dancefloors. Yet, while a lot of these sounds stressed forward-thinking aesthetics and experimentalism, the recent crop has been fairly dull and formulaic. Not so with "Can't See Higher," the latest cut from UK-based producer Lorca. Establishing a loose groove, he pushes together a shuffling percussion line and droning organs to create an overall experience reminiscent of Joy Orbison's massively popular "Hyph Mngo."

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Signal To Noise: Five New Tracks You'll Be Hearing on San Francisco Dancefloors

Posted By on Wed, Mar 7, 2012 at 8:39 AM

Paul Rose (a.k.a. Scuba) is in a forest
  • Paul Rose (a.k.a. Scuba) is in a forest

Twenty-twelve has been a good year for dance music so far. It's only March, and San Francisco's club scene has been moved by a variety of new sounds coming from all over the world. This week we're taking a look at some of the finest new releases of the past couple weeks. Here are five cuts that we think you'll be hearing soon on San Francisco dancefloors.

"The Hope," by Scuba

The recent work of Paul Rose (a.k.a SCB, Scuba, and Spectr) has been fairly polarizing. "Adrenalin," his last release, saw him revisiting territory dangerously close to the excesses of trance and progressive house. Now, with "The Hope," he's back with an even more divisive release that gives a Berlin-oriented, modern spin on the festival-sized bombast of '90s big beat.

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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.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Signal to Noise: Five DJ Mixes Recorded at Local Parties

Posted By on Wed, Feb 8, 2012 at 8:09 AM

Tyrel Williams in a pensive moment
  • Tyrel Williams in a pensive moment

The democratization of DJing by way of digital technology has had at least one unfortunate consequence. The DJ mix, once considered an art form in its own right, has been downgraded to such a degree that we wonder who bothers to listen to them anymore. Take a glance at our inbox on any given day of the week, and you'll find bagfuls of perfectly executed but totally boring Ableton-constructed sound collages. There's a card in Brian Eno's Oblique Strategies deck that reads "Humanize something free of error." With that in mind, this week's Signal to Noise takes a look at five DJ mixes recorded live from the board, warts-and-all, at recent parties in San Francisco.

Tyrel Williams at Delta Funk

This one's so fresh that it was just recorded last Saturday. Tyrel Williams is a recent San Francisco transplant from Chicago whose past includes a stint at the respected Gramaphone record store and a three-year residency at Smart Bar doing an all-vinyl party called Acid Test. Here he shows off his razor sharp Chicago-style mixing with a set of forgotten '80s house classics played on wax. Along the way he makes room for possibly the best hip-house track we've ever heard.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Signal to Noise: Five Tracks You'll Soon Be Hearing on the Dancefloor

Posted By on Wed, Jan 25, 2012 at 4:00 AM

Todd Terje enjoying a sunset
  • Todd Terje enjoying a sunset

Though previous installments of Signal to Noise have focused on selections from local DJs, this week our column takes a minute to get a little introspective. Here are five just-released (or soon to be released) tracks we've recently discovered that we like, and that we think have potential. So read on -- there's a good chance that you'll soon be hearing some of these songs on forward-thinking local dancefloors.

"Sometimes You Just Know," by Pollyn

We first heard this track during Harvey's DJ set at Public Works back in November. It made the rounds on the blogosphere, and now it's finally on its way to release with an exclusive Moodymann remix. Pollyn's delicate singing, coupled with a backdrop of tight guitar and sparse percussion, bring to mind late '80s R&B, cosmic disco, and less electronic Italo sounds.

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  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"