Plaid's body-moving, soul-stirring beats

New Jersey's Harry "Choo Choo" Romero has a locomotive moniker, but the house DJ and producer isn't known for trainwrecking records. Instead, he's managed to remain relevant in a fickle scene since the mid-'90s. Subliminal Records, the label he founded with Erick Morillo and Jose Nunez, is one of the lone titans among so many fallen soldiers in the dance music industry. Romero's keen sense of a propulsive groove has made him a favorite as a pop remixer, too, and he most recently made a mark with a downright soulful house version of Korn's "Evolution." Catch Romero shifting contexts on Friday, Jan. 18, at Ruby Skye at 9 p.m. Admission is $15; call 693-0777 or visit www.rubyskye.com for more info. Tamara Palmer

Plaid — the British electro-coustic production duo of Ed Handley and Andy Turner — composes in "bullet time," making tones pause and using breaks in the action as much as breakbeat action to convey the limbo between spongy and sublime. Along with the likes of Aphex Twin, Autechre, and Squarepusher, Plaid emerged from the early-'90s "Intelligent Dance Music" scene, back when IDM was meant to indicate music that was often either numbingly rigid or maddeningly abstract. Plaid navigated to the middle of the mold, more akin to Tortoise and µ-ziq, finding a healthy medium where what danced was curling, celestial melodies across brooding percussion. As evidenced on the recent Tekkon Kinkreet soundtrack, Plaid will carry on the tradition of bridging music that is body-moving and soul-stirring when the duo appears on Saturday, Jan. 19, at Mezzanine at 9 p.m. Admission is $20; call 625-8880 or visit www.mezzaninesf.com for more info. — Tony Ware

Persuading a crush to come to a show using words like "experimental sound collage," "dissonant sampling incorporating sounds from mass culture," and "Japanese recording artist and producer Keigo Oyamada, also known as Cornelius" is harder than it looks. But suffice it to say that Cornelius' touring "Sensuous Synchronized Show" will be better than your last couple of dates on many levels. To wit: Have your recent romantic rendezvous included lasers, multi-instrumentalists, and dancing apes? Did they incorporate sounds from nature into a stylish electro-pop sensibility that tips its hat to Beck, the Beach Boys, and Primal Scream? If so, we'd like to know just which section of Craigslist you use to find your lovers. Trip out with Cornelius on Friday, Jan. 18, at The Fillmore at 9 p.m. Admission is $25; call 346-6000 or visit www.thefillmore.com for more info. Evan James

 
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