It was the DJ set heard 'round the world — or, at least, 'round the internet: Floating Points and Four Tet going back-to-back for six hours straight as a proper send-off for one of London's most beloved tiny basement clubs, Plastic People. It made a major splash for several reasons: Plastic People's closing, and the loss of a beloved venue with an epic DJ set to celebrate it, is a tragic occasion hitting close to home for any major city-dweller (San Franciscans most definitely included here); it was a true marathon session, lasting for six hours with nary a weak spot in the mix to be found; and most importantly, the music was fantastic, mixing together disco, funk, and soul classics with the Afro-flavored house that is Four Tet's bread-and-butter. It was a true moment in DJ history, shared widely for all to enjoy.
And enjoy it folks did — so much so that both artists are now taking the show on the road. The appeal of their back-to-back sets is easy to understand; both artists have carved out a real niche for themselves: Four Tet (alongside similar artists like Caribou) has exposed a generation of listeners raised on indie rock to the wonders of house music, whereas Floating Points has developed his own soulful, jazzy take on house. The key to an excellent back-to-back DJ set comes when two (or more) DJs have similar tastes and know how to play off each other, each leading the other down different musical pathways—exactly what happens when Four Tet and Floating Points DJ together. They play off each other, challenge each other, and have a great deal of fun doing it.
Sweetening the deal is the party's timing, kicking off on a Sunday afternoon and running through till midnight, allowing people to see their entire set without getting home too late on a school night. DJ Dials and Lights Down Low residents Corey Sizemore and Richie Panic will be on support duty to get the party started.
Other worthy parties this week
Everything Is Happening featuring David Harness at Madrone Art Bar, 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Thursday, April 30. $5; madroneartbar.com
There's something special about Thursday night dance parties. The stakes are lower; crowds are smaller; the mood is cozier, everyone is friendlier, and everything feels a little bit more relaxed. This Thursday, Bay Area house music legend David Harness descends upon Madrone Art Bar, a neighborhood spot equipped with a DJ booth and a small dancefloor that gets crowded quickly and easily — meaning it's the perfect spot for a Thursday night throwdown. David Harness started DJing in the Bay Area in the mid '90s, plying his trade alongside New York legends like Frankie Knuckles and Little Louie Vega, and hasn't stopped since. He's got a penchant for deep, soulful house, rich in piano melodies and vocal samples, the kind of music that lifts you up on high while it pushes you towards dancefloor frenzy. This time around, expect Harness' selections to veer vintage, in the vein of the Paradise Garage — a little disco, a little soul, a lot of house, a lot of groove.
Crew Love Block Party with Wolf + Lamb, Soul Clap, No Regular Play, and more at Public Works, 1 p.m.-4 a.m. Saturday, May 2. $32-$50; publicsf.com
At this point, disco-edit heroes Wolf + Lamb and Soul Clap have long since transcended their humble East Coast DJ origins. The two DJ duos came up in different scenes — Wolf + Lamb in Brooklyn, Soul Clap in Boston — but upon meeting in 2008, quickly realized that they shared similar approaches to DJing, in which disco, R&B, pop, funk, and soul are all blended together and spread atop slow-moving house grooves. It's easy to love and easy to dance to, and has brought both duos worldwide success; as a result, they joined forces and formed Crew Love, a collective of sorts comprising the duos and their extended friends and family, including No Regular Play, PillowTalk, Nick Monaco, and more. The Crew Love gang is coming together for a massive block party at Public Works, running 1-9 p.m. on Erie Street outside the club, and then 8 p.m.-4 a.m. indoors.
Direct To Earth presents DJ Spider at F8, 10 p.m.-4 a.m. Saturday, May 2. $12-$20; feightsf.com
Here's a party for the real heads. DJ Spider has been quietly lurking in New York City's underground since the late 2000s, producing a seemingly endless stream of creative, fascinating dance music. What sets Spider apart is his range of influences, drawing just as deeply from New York's noise, experimental, and hardcore scenes as he does its seminal techno and deep house scenes. Unlike some of his contemporaries, though, Spider's music doesn't simply sound like “noisy techno”; rather, his music sounds like the minor-key flip-side of New York deep house, filled with weird, off-kilter synthesizers, moody piano melodies, and brooding atmospherics. Despite the gloom, Spider never loses sight of the dancefloor, and his productions (and DJ sets) are designed to move your body. This Saturday's appearance is his first in San Francisco, and since his status in the global techno order is steadily rising, consider it an opportunity to get in on the ground floor.
Go Bang presents Elaine Denham and Robin Simmons (Odyssey) at The Stud, 9 p.m.-3 a.m. Saturday, May 2. Free before 10 p.m., $10 after; studsf.com
Regularly occurring disco-plus party Go Bang plays host this month to Elaine Denham and Robin Simmons, two of the minds behind the now-shuttered party Odyssey, a mostly queer, mostly underground party whose heyday went down at a warehouse space on Mission Street (that is now a fancy restaurant, naturally). I only went to Odyssey a couple times, ending up there at 3 or 4 a.m. after my first or second club endeavor, but those handful of times were some of my finest and most memorable nights in San Francisco: entering a packed, sweaty loft space filled with shirtless men writhing to the insistent beat of house and disco, losing myself in the music, and feeling everyone around me do the same. And while the party has called it quits, and that space is long gone, Elaine Denham and Robin Simmons are bringing some of that magic to Go Bang. If disco and disco-flavored house are your thing, this month's Go Bang is not to be missed.