In 2010, As You Like It threw its first party — an underground, word-of-mouth affair held in the now-defunct private warehouse space Com#. Five years and roughly 108 parties later, it has become one of San Francisco's premier party hosts, pairing the best of the American and European techno and house underground with big-room crowd-pleasers — bridging the gap between scenes, sounds, continents, and crowds.
This marks the third (and largest) installment in its five-year anniversary blowout, and the lineup is a perfect summation of the party's ethos — pairing the well-known (Michael Mayer, co-founder of German mega-label Kompakt) with the lesser (Konstantin, Dustin, and Edward, three artists on Weimar cult-favorite label Giegling). Americans are well-represented, too, with Detroit techno originator DBX (aka Daniel Bell) and Los Angeles stalwart John Tejada co-headlining.
Michael Mayer is the biggest name on the lineup, and rightfully so — the record label and distributor that he co-founded, Kompakt, is one of Germany's largest and most well-loved techno institutions. Since 1998, they've released countless records in a dizzying number of styles, becoming known for a level of professional polish and production that few others can match. Mayer has released a number of his own records over the years, but DJing is his true calling, known particularly for his Immer (German for “always”) mixes that showcase exquisitely produced emotive tech-house.
DBX, meanwhile, will perform live, and they're simply some of the best in the biz. Bell handles synths and vocals, while John Tejada drums, running through some of the old hits (like “Losing Control,” a bona fide Detroit classic from '94) and new productions, too. Their sound is relentlessly minimal, driven by propulsive basslines and tight percussion, with Bell's strangely pitched vocals adding an extraterrestrial touch. Upstairs in the Loft, the Giegling crew takes over, with Edward performing live and two of the label's co-founders, Dustin and Konstantin, on DJ duty. Like Kompakt on a much smaller scale, there is no unifying Giegling sound; the label releases dub techno, hip-hop inspired house, esoteric experimental bits, and more. What makes Giegling special is its heart — everything released on the label sounds like an intimate transmission from the artists' mind to the listeners' ears. If you're not familiar with what Giegling is up to, there's no better time to find out.
Other worthy parties this week
Blasthaus presents DJ Krush at Mighty, 8 p.m.-2 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 1. $15-$20; mighty119.com
Trip-hop is gone, but not forgotten. Born in the early '90s, the genre's dusty, cannabis-scented grooves were the result of Britain's love affair with American hip-hop, but two of its earliest progenitors came from the other side of the globe, on the Pacific: DJ Shadow, our very own from the Bay Area, and DJ Krush, from Tokyo, Japan. Like many other early trip-hop artists, Krush is a cratedigger extraordinaire, building his tunes from carefully sampled drum breaks — simple, hypnotic, and designed to loop into infinity. As his career progressed, he expanded his sample repertoire, adding traditional Japanese instrumentation, jazz, and natural sounds into the mix, resulting in a sound so smooth and languid it could stop time itself. He's currently touring in support of his newest record, Butterfly Effect, his first LP in over a decade. On support duty is DJ Platurn, an Oakland-based hip-hop aficionado and veteran DJ.
VX presents Regis at F8, 10 p.m.-4 a.m. Friday, Oct. 2. $15-$20; feightsf.com
It's no exaggeration to say that techno as we know it today simply wouldn't exist without Regis. The U.K. musician began producing in the late '80s, coming of age in Birmingham, the industrial epicenter of the British Midlands (and the birthplace of Napalm Death and grindcore). Regis and his compatriot Surgeon put Birmingham on the map, techno-wise, crafting a fast, aggressive sound that was all about hard-driving percussion, ditching the melodies that characterized Detroit techno. More than a decade later, Regis co-founded Sandwell District, a record-label-slash-production-outfit that completely revolutionized techno by pairing minimalism with moodiness, making darkness elegant again. He tours regularly these days, buoyed by renewed interest in the uncompromising techno he's known for — his DJ sets run the gamut, each one a miniature lesson in techno history. VX and Sure Thing residents will be supporting, with local shop RS94109's crew holding down F8's back room.
We Are Monsters presents Paranoid London at Monarch, 9:30 p.m.-3 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 3. $15-$20; monarchsf.com
Paranoid London isn't a household name, and that's by design. The British duo surfaced anonymously several years ago, with an evocatively titled debut 12″ — Eating Glue — built with vintage analog hardware, in which an undulating acid bassline squirrels its way throughout the title track while a mysterious soliloquy intones over it. It's devastatingly simple — and devastatingly good. All their tracks follow essentially the same formula: a simple, stripped-down acid bassline laid on top of hard-hitting analog percussion, with most featuring vocals, spoken or otherwise. They quickly became cult favorites, their records highly prized amongst vinyl collectors, for one simple reason — the tracks, reductive as they are, work brilliantly on the dancefloor, harking back to a time when dance music was all guts, no glory. This marks their debut live performance in SF, with We Are Monsters residents (Solar, Mozhgan, and Jason Greer) on support duty.
Industrial Daze featuring Marques Wyatt, Lee Reynolds, and more at Pier 70, 1 p.m.-8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 4. $15; facebook.com/pier70partners
If you're looking to celebrate the last gasp of summer, here's how to do it — an outdoor block party at Pier 70, a historic site that laid fallow for decades, now redeveloped into an enormous event space. Headlining the affair is Marques Wyatt, an L.A. native who's been at it since the '90s (and is something of a partner-in-crime for another legendary L.A. DJ, Doc Martin). Wyatt's DJ selections are a reflection of his place of birth: warm, sunny, and soulful, Wyatt's easy danceable grooves are just what the doctor ordered for the last days of California sunshine. Joining him is Lee Reynolds, a Brit-turned-Californian who represents the newest era of West Coast dance music as the head of the enormously popular Desert Hearts festival and DJ crew. Burning Man fixtures Sabo and Goldcap are also on the bill, with Sunset Sound System's Galen representing San Francisco.