The Top Five Parties in San Francisco This Weekend
Here's some good news for fans of dance music and high quality sound systems. Though 222 Hyde recently closed, its Turbosound rig will find a new home at Potrero Hill art-oriented nightclub Project One. Owner Brooke Waterhouse posted the news on her Facebook page yesterday, and the system is now fully installed and ready for an introductory party sometime this weekend (we imagine details will be posted on the venue's website). That's good news, of course, but it's not the only news. And as usual, we've got you covered with a cheat sheet of what to look out for nightlife wise. So, read on -- your weekend awaits.
Tensnake plays at Monarch on Saturday.
Dance music, much like pop, has a way of capturing the spirit of the times. Though it's hard to say which tracks will live past their immediate moment, it's safe to say that Hamburg-based producer Tensnake (aka Marco Niemerski) will probably be associated with the summer of 2010. This is due to "Coma Cat," a killer piece of electronic disco that dominated Ibiza dancefloors with its thumping kick and irresistible steel-drum hook. The genius of the song was not merely in these elements, but in the decision to make it at all. In fact, "Coma Cat" is a modern house interpolation of Anthony and the Camp's 1986 freestyle hit "What I Like." It sits neatly in the timeline of recent dance music history as a halfway point between the disco re-edit scene of the '00s and the slick '90s house revival of the early '10s.
But while Niemerski will always be remembered for that song, his pedigree as a producer shouldn't be ignored. He self-released his first record in 2006 on Mirau, the label that he still runs today. Called Restless EP, it showcased a tech-y yet still disco-influenced sound that would earn him favor on the underground dancefloors of the world. Subsequent releases like slow burner "Keep Believin'" and the gruffly melodic "In the End (I Want You to Cry)" showed his style becoming a little more polished. That paid off with "Coma Cat," which was such a hit that it was eventually re-released by Defected, one of the best-funded major labels in dance music.
Since those days, Niemerski hasn't stressed too much about trying to make another hit. In an interview with dance music website Resident Advisor, he said, "My first thought was that my next record had to top this; it had to be better, bigger, or reach more people, but now I am totally relaxed and comfortable knowing that it's not about that. It's about being happy with what you are doing." Instead, he's focused himself on doing what he's always done, with a string of EPs and singles that further explore the house dimensions of the Tensnake sound -- such as the freshly released retro-rave banger "Mainline (featuring Syron)." Unlike many of his peers, he's not a DJ in a traditional sense, so anticipate something unique, special, and live when he headlines Lights Down Low this weekend.
Have you been to a club lately? Chances are that a large chunk of your night was made possible by Ableton Live. Lurking in the shadows behind some of the biggest productions of the past few years, Ableton is to digital audio what Adobe Photoshop is to digital photography. Last week saw the release of Live 9, the program's newest incarnation, and now Ableton is coming to San Francisco to unveil "Push," its new hardware controller, with a showcase featuring some of its favorite local users. Expect an evening of expanded horizons, with experimental artists like Kid606 and Christopher Willits showing off the potential of this revolutionary software.
Sometimes four-on-the-floor dance music like house, techno, etc., can get a little monotonous, and for such occasions 1015 Folsom has your back. Over the past few years, the SOMA superclub has become the city's primary purveyor of off-kilter rhythms and blunted soundscapes that would make any backpacker beatsmith happy. This month it welcomes L.A.'s Shlohmo for a live set in support of his recently released debut album, Bad Vibes (stream it here). Don't let the title scare you off: Shlohmo charts an intriguing course from slide-guitar blues to new-school computer hip-hop. Also on deck are Italo-disco revivalists Nite Jewel, local bass maestro Deej, and a whole cross-section of up-and-coming locals.
Disco never died, it just went underground. At least, that's the case with Go Bang!, the long-running dance night that offers a monthly re-creation of the kind feel-good atmosphere that used to characterize local '70s party institutions like the Trocadero Transfer and I-Beam. Part of that has to do with the meticulous mixing and impeccable selection of resident DJs Sergio Fedasz (one-half of local outfit The SyntheTigers) and Steve Fabus (himself a highly regarded veteran spinner with roots in S.F.'s wild Hi-NRG days). Enjoy the club's opulent decor while listening to sets by Philadelphia's DJ Apt One and returning Go Bang! co-founder Eddy Bauer. Get ready for the night by listening to this collection of live-from-the-board mixes recorded there last month.
Few things say it's spring in San Francisco like the Sunset season opener party. This has been the case since the '90s, when the long-running crew got its start throwing renegade events in the Berkeley Marina. This time the party is back at its usual digs at Stafford Lake Park in Novato, and it's bringing mind-bending house music courtesy of resident DJs Solar, Galen, J-Bird, and Sean Murray. Get there early to enjoy the onsite food trucks, then keep the vibe going at Monarch for an after-party that will go well into the morning.