“Deep house” is, unfortunately, at this point, something of a cliché. What once referred to a long-standing tradition of soulful, atmospheric house music is now more commonly used to describe the kind of bland, generic, by-the-numbers house music you hear at bottle service clubs and “ultra lounges” throughout the country. Nevertheless, “deep house” in its original sense still exists, and Fred Peterkin, aka Fred P., Black Jazz Consortium, and Anthology, is perhaps its most faithful and relevant practitioner.
Fred P. is a quintessential New Yorker, one of the latest in a long line of electronic music producers who somehow capture and embody the soul of New York City. He came to the fore in the mid-'00s alongside his compatriots DJ Qu, Jus-Ed, and Levon Vincent, all of whom took a different approach to a common theme, pushing the boundaries of what house music could be, infusing it with a contemplative, emotional spirit. To quote the eminently quotable Terre Thaemlitz (aka DJ Sprinkles): “House isn't so much a sound as a situation.”
Fred P.'s sound, in particular, is jazzy and infused with soul. In his case, “deep house” is an entirely accurate way of describing his sound — it's house music you can sink into, lose yourself in. This time around, he's debuting a set under his new “Anomaly” moniker — and from listening to his Anomaly productions, he seems to be striking a more heavily emotional chord, ramping up the feeling and pathos that's always been present in his work.
Joining him are a handful of local DJs: Carlos Souffront, whose raw, electric DJ selections will be the perfect counterpoint to Fred P.'s deep emotions; Lance DeSardi, a deep house fanatic who splits his time between San Francisco and London; and Stay Deep, As You Like It's newest resident DJ.
Other worthy parties this week
Night Fever Thursdays with Chris Orr at Madrone Art Bar, 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 8. Free; madroneartbar.com
Disco is the spirit of San Francisco. It's a perennial favorite on our city's dancefloors and a part of our history — disco would not have been the same without Sylvester, and Sylvester would not have been the same without San Francisco. Night Fever is a Thursday night weekly disco party at Madrone Art Bar on Divisadero that features a rotating cast of selectors; this time around it's Chris Orr, who will be manning the decks every Thursday in January. Orr is a San Francisco veteran, and one of the city's most talented and knowledgeable DJs. His roots in the city go back to the mid-'90s, but he's been DJing for much longer — and has the record collection to prove it. Expect to hear an assortment of disco favorites as well as some boogie and funk, to keep things interesting.
13th Annual Capricorn Party featuring Seth Troxler at Public Works, 9 p.m.-4 a.m. Friday, Jan. 9. $18-$25; publicsf.com
Every year, local promoter and DJ Dax Lee celebrates his birthday — as well as that of all other Capricorns — by throwing a big party. This year it's his 40th and he's invited perhaps his biggest guest yet, Seth Troxler, to throw down with him. In case you're somehow not familiar with Troxler, he's one of the world's most popular house DJs, earning his chops in the Detroit scene in the early '00s then, through sheer talent and an outsize, charismatic personality, ended up dominating the Ibiza-European club circuit as the '10s rolled around. He's an extraordinarily fun DJ — he knows how to work a crowd and give them what they want, running through vintage Detroit-Chicago-New York house music while throwing in newer tunes, too. Joining him is an array of locals: Anthony Mansfield, Little John, Rich Korach, Buckner and of course, Dax himself.
Robot Ears presents Juan Sanchez and more at Monarch, 9:30 p.m.-3 a.m. Friday, Jan. 9. $10-$20; monarchsf.com
Robot Ears' MO focuses on a particular breed of techno: the hard, sleek, European no-nonsense kind, no gimmicks or trickery involved — just techno. To kick off the new year they're bringing Juan Sanchez, a Dutch producer and DJ and regular fixture on the European techno festival circuit. Sanchez's style is techno to the core, repetitive and pummeling, like listening to a symphony of machines; it's the kind of techno best experienced in a long-form DJ set, where the peaks smooth out and the horizon recedes, and the meaning of time is lost in a dancefloor singularity. He's supported by local DJs Patrick Gil (of Direct To Earth), Craig Kuna (of former party [KONTROL]), John Kaberna, and Steven Campodonico.
The Chase presents Bookworms, Cromie and Sage Caswell, Brogan Bentley, and more at F8, 10 p.m.-4 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 10. $7-$10; feightsf.com
One of the city's most compelling parties, The Chase has a unique focus on the intersections between Balearic-flavored cosmic disco, deep house, and atmospheric techno that sets it apart from the rest. The latest iteration is something of a homecoming party for Bookworms, aka Nick Dawson, one of the many electronic musicians who left San Francisco for New York. He's made a small but important splash in New York, hooking up with outsider-house record label L.I.E.S. and the similarly-minded collective Confused House. He's performing a live set of his particularly-flavored take on house music, somehow both raw and refined at once. He's joined by Cromie and Sage Caswell, fixtures of the underground L.A. party scene, who will be performing a back-to-back DJ set, and Brogan Bentley, a local producer who will perform live. Finally, resident DJ Ash Williams will be spinning tunes throughout the evening.