It's safe to say Lovefingers is completely obsessed with music. The L.A. born-and-bred DJ (aka Andrew Hogge) has spent the last decade-plus dedicating himself to tunes; first, as a crate digger extraordinaire when he released a seemingly infinite number of mixtapes on his website (lovefingers.org), and now as the A&R man and boss of his own label, ESP Institute. He and a handful of kindred spirits have carved out a niche for themselves with a very particular sound, best described as “cosmic disco.”
The Lovefingers and ESP Institute sound is rooted in disco — think slower tempos and funky atmospheres. But it's just as influenced by psychedelic rock, techno, ambient, Krautrock, and even a bit of early industrial music (think Cabaret Voltaire). It's fresh, exciting stuff, and there's really nothing else quite like it.
Joining Lovefingers are two ladies, L.A.'s Heidi Lawden and our very own Mozhgan, both excellent DJs and purveyors of this cosmic genre-bending sound. Honey Soundsystem residents will warm up the floor.
Other worthy parties this week
FACE and Public Works present DJ Harvey at Public Works, 9:30 p.m.-3:30 a.m. Friday, May 27. $20; publicsf.com
Much has been written about DJ Harvey. A mythology of sorts has built up around the British selector, who is widely credited as being the original “rockstar” DJ. But what's most remarkable about Harvey is that you never know what to expect from him. Will he play disco? Psychedelic rock? Soul? Industrial techno? Chicago house? All of the above? The man's musical taste seems to know no bounds — and he has the guts to play it all out in the club.
Voltage Drop presents Nine, Maya Songbird, and Chatty Mandril at Legionnaire Saloon (Oakland), 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday, May 27. $5-$7; legionnairesaloon.com
Voltage Drop is a new party series based in Oakland dedicated to highlighting new and up-and-coming sounds from the Bay Area's experimental and industrial underground scene. Featured here are three artists working in their own distinct styles. Nine, aka Nihar Bhatt from San Francisco's Surface Tension collective, produces moody, heavyweight techno. Maya Songbird, from Oakland, crafts soulful, funky EBM with lovely female vocals. Chatty Mandril, half of manic jazz-improv act Black Spirituals, applies a similar free-form aesthetic to his synthesizer music.
Swagger Like Us featuring Kingdom at F8, 10 p.m.-3 a.m. Saturday, May 28. $10-$15; feightsf.com
Swagger Like Us has spent the past couple of years building a following with their Sunday afternoon parties at El Rio and their Friday night monthly at Oasis; they describe themselves simply: “Your queer AF dance party.” Hip-hop is their bread 'n butter; and here they feature L.A. producer Kingdom, who has queered hip-hop in every possible sense of the word. His record label, Fade to Mind, is a crucial axis merging American hip-hop with U.K. grime.
Intelligent Dance Party 007 featuring Neybuu, Bleie, and more at Underground SF, 9:30 p.m.-2 a.m. Saturday, May 28. $5; undergroundsf.com
Intelligent Dance Party — perhaps the country's only regular party dedicated to so-called “intelligent dance music” — returns with a live set from Portland's Neybuu, an artist putting her own spin on the Chicago footwork-juke sound. Not to be missed is local artist Bleie, who has built a body of work that runs through crystalline ambient, harsh-edged broken beats, and pristine techno in the classic Aphex tradition. Liz Revision closes out the night with a DJ set.
Notable Local Records
Club Lonely Power Tools by Vin Sol; Club Lonely
Work that shit. Work that shit. More than a mere three-word mantra, that phrase, understood synecdochically, tells you all you need to know about Vin Sol's latest 12-inch. That is to say, “work that shit” is part and parcel of legendary Chicago record label Dance Mania, an institution described by Resident Advisor as “ghetto house's Motown.”
“Ghetto house” is the moniker given to a certain style of Chicago house that thrived in the mid '90s. Fast, hard, and ruthless, it often featured lyrics — generally very raunchy — in the form of repeating vocal samples. It thrived for a while, then faded away; recently, it's resurfaced and returned to dancefloors, thanks in no small part to DJs and producers like Vin Sol.
Power Tools is the first release on Club Lonely, a record label launched by Sol born from the party of the same moniker — itself the name of a classic '92 tune by Lil' Louis, one of ghetto house's progenitors. Sol loves Dance Mania and ghetto house, and he wears his influences on his sleeve — more so than most. In other words: If you love ghetto house, you'll love this record. If you don't, you won't.
“Zone” and “WTS” (guess what that stands for) embrace the power of the repeating vocal, while “Data Signal” avoids it, to its detriment. This record hits hard, but offers nothing new. Whether or not that works for you depends on how you feel about ghetto house.
¡Salte del Medio! by Las Sucias; Ratskin Records
The most exciting reaction I can have when listening to music is when I realize that I'm listening to something new. It's happened numerous instances throughout my life, and each time, whatever I'm listening to buries itself deep in my psyche. ¡Salte del Medio! is the debut release from Oakland “feminist noise duo” Las Sucias, and listening to it gives me that particular feeling: This is unabashedly new music. And it unequivocally demands that you pay attention.
Las Sucias are Danishta Rivero and Alexandra Buschma, two women channeling the rhythms, sounds, and energies of traditional Afro-Caribbean and Latin music (reggaeton, dancehall, merengue) into the form of industrial, noise, and experimental music. At first glance, it may seem an odd melange. But in fact, the Caribbean styles they're referencing are intense, extreme musics in their own right, and the crossover feels completely natural (if unexpected).
Each of the four long tracks on offer presents a different kind of rhythm, corroded and debased in its own way. They're paired with shouted, modulated vocals that provide propulsive, melodic energy — in fact, the vocals drive the tracks more than the rhythms do.
This tape isn't perfect; some of the tracks feel too long, and could perhaps benefit from careful editing. No matter. Music this raw, fresh, and unique comes along once in a blue moon. Las Sucias is the sound of the future.