German DJ, producer, and musician Martin Gretschmann, aka Acid Pauli, has one of the most interesting trajectories in electronic music. His musical career began in punk and indie bands, and in the mid-'90s, with the help of some samplers and synthesizers, he began releasing downtempo records as Console. Shortly thereafter, he joined the roster of The Notwist, one of Germany's longest-running indie and post-rock bands, still active today.
[jump] In 2005 he launched his Acid Pauli project, releasing record after record of playful, fun-loving acid techno, a welcome counterpoint to the stark minimal techno that ruled the roost during the mid-aughts. His past career in rock bands is evident in his Acid Pauli productions; they're techno and house tracks, for certain, but they're composed with a songwriter's touch, setting them apart from the usual.
He's also affiliated with Damian Lazarus' Crosstown Rebels label and crew, a good reference for his DJ style. When he's behind the decks, he digs for fun-loving, easygoing tech-house and techno with a melodic flair. Given his affiliation with The Notwist, he's not averse to throwing some curveballs every now and then, just to keep the audience on its toes. He's not about challenging a dancefloor, though — Acid Pauli loves to have fun, and to make sure the crowd is feeling the same.
Other worthy parties this week
Pulse Generator's One Year Anniversary featuring Dr. Sleep and Mossmoss at Underground SF, 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday, Feb. 13. Free before 11 p.m., $5 after; undergroundsf.com
For one year now, Pulse Generator has been hosting a monthly techno party at San Francisco's biggest little club, Underground SF. Pulse Generator's focus is on no-nonsense, melodic techno, and has played host to a number of live performances alongside numerous Bay Area techno DJs. For its anniversary it's hosting two of San Francisco's finest DJs, Dr. Sleep and Mossmoss. For some time now, Mossmoss has been As You Like It's resident techno DJ, performing opening and closing duties for As You Like It's more techno-minded guests. Dr. Sleep has been DJing since 2003, has a weekly radio show on renowned internet station Intergalactic FM, and also operates a record label, Jacktone Records. Between the two of them, expect to hear the full gamut of the techno spectrum, from straightforward machine music to the more esoteric, out-there stuff. Pulse Generator's residents, Clairity, Cherushii, and Nightbiscuit, will be on duty as well, playing tunes throughout the night.
Grime City presents Nevermind, Helix, and DJ Vague at F8, 10 p.m.-3 a.m. Friday, Feb. 13. $15; feightsf.com
Bass music — that nebulous, not-particularly-descriptive term for the music that rose from the ashes of dubstep in the U.K. — has always had a small but particularly influential representation in the U.S. One of those influential beatmakers is Dean Grenier, aka DJG (a pseudonym he no longer uses), who has, of late, shifted his sound palette to explore more traditional house and techno rhythms. He's doing so alongside producer Petey Clicks, as part of his new project, Nevermind, a kind of modern Americanized take on the classic U.K. Garage sound. He's joined by Atlanta-based beat-wizard Helix, who has only put out a handful of records, but each one is devastatingly effective — deadly, laser-precise percussion workouts designed to annihilate dancefloors (it's no coincidence his most well-known track is simply named “Drum Track”). He's also performing under his DJ Vague alias, which is more straightforward-techno-oriented than his Helix alias. Finally, Grime City DJs, along with DJs from a new crew, Bread, will be supporting throughout the night.
As You Like It presents Kerri Chandler, Mike Servito and more at Mighty, 10 p.m.-4 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 14. $20-$25; mighty119.com
House music is for lovers, so what better way to celebrate Valentine's Day than with a house music legend? For those unfamiliar, Kerri Chandler is a house music legend — one of the true originators of the soulful deep house sound, Chandler has been producing tunes for 25 years now. His productions are emotive, elegant, and spiritual, pairing simple, soulful melodies with heavyweight kick drums and vocal samples — the essence of house music. Joining him is Mike Servito, a former Detroiter, now resident DJ for New York's legendary forward-thinking techno party The Bunker. Servito's stock has been rising rapidly as the world clues in on his excellent DJ sets, which mix acid techno, old-school house, Detroit electro, and more without skipping a beat or losing the groove. Last but not least is Michael Gushansky, the newest As You Like It resident DJ, who will be opening up the night.
Honey Soundsystem presents President's Day Sunday with Kenji Takimi at Mighty, 10 p.m.-4 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 15. $10-$20; mighty119.com
There's another three-day weekend in February, which means another Sunday night rager with Honey Soundsystem. This time around the guest selector is Kenji Takimi, a name that may be unfamiliar to many Americans but is somewhat legendary in his native Japan. Takimi has run one of Japan's premier dance music record labels, Crue-L Records, since the early '90s; it was instrumental in breaking some of Japan's most influential electronic musicians, like Towa Tei and Cornelius. Takimi's DJ sets, meanwhile, are hodgepodges of disco, house, new wave, leftfield and experimental music, all over the map in a refreshing way. This U.S. tour will mark Takimi's first time in the States after some 25-odd years of DJing, and it is not to be missed. The Honey Soundsystem crew will, of course, be on deck as well, starting the party off and riding it well into the wee hours of the morning.