In the pantheon of nightlife, few people are as influential as the local DJs working the scene. As promoters, talent scouts, and party rockers, these tastemakers are trusted to be at the fore of what's happening in music today. For this edition of Signal to Noise, we're focusing our attention on five tracks selected by five of San Francisco's best DJs. Pay attention -- you'll probably hear one of these the next time you're out dancing.
So I've been mildly obsessed with this Matthias Meyer edit lately. It takes a cool song by SBTRKT and turns up the warm vibes 100 percent. The restrained emotion in the vocal paired with the new arrangement really takes it to the next level. It sounds great at home, and it's proven particularly effective on the dance floor.
"Just E (Breach Mix)" by DJ Cra$y
Dirtybird delivers again with DJ Cra$y and the Breach remixes. We all know the crazy story behind the tunes, and I don't know if it's true or not, but both cuts are what I am looking for in dancefloor action right now. "Just E" is just the kind of jacked up "tribal" weirdness I am a fan of. These tunes have smarts, but are still looking to get asses jiggling and hands raised. The buildup is simple and nasty, and all in all, this is one effective tune. I didn't want to be all S.F. pride by pimping Dirtybird any harder (like they need it), but this one I have been playing for a bit and will continue to do so.
"Stay Together" by Redhino
I first heard Hudson Mohawke play this track out, and was surprised by how much of a big room banger it was. It has the sort of fusion you'd want in a track -- the strange, emotional, dissonant chords and wailing talkbox harmonies are reminiscent of sad G-funk ballad. Yet it at its core, it's a contemporary dance track. You'd wonder where the track is going with its spiraling Juno stabs until it drops into a sinister body-jacking bass shuffle. This track could be played just about anywhere -- in a basement funk set or a future bass showcase. Redhino, from Glasgow, plays live keys and sings over his sets, something that I've been seeing more and more from producers and DJ's. His earlier material was less accessible, and I've been happy that his new music retains his futuristic sound without losing that great pop sensibility. Straight heat from the Nmbrs label!
4. Eug, DJ at FACE
"Time" by Pachange Boys
2011 was definitely a bit of a rough year for everyone. Pachanga Boys (Superpitcher and Rebolledo) dropped this gem to close out the year and kick 2012 off with. It's full of subtle emotion, with meandering yet simple melodies and atmosphere that give a sense of reflection and prospect. A little more melancholic than the party tracks we typically play at FACE, but this confident bubbler gets the room in the right mood building things up or winding them down.
5. Patrick "King Most" Diaz, DJ with Savoir Faire
"Extra Lovable (Original Unreleased Mix)" by Prince
Perhaps the end-all-be-all of secret Prince cuts. If this gem was released during the height of his career, I guarantee it would of been as big as "Kiss", or "I Wanna Be Your Lover". Though he finally released this track a few weeks ago, The Purple One's modern take completely lacks everything we love about that sexy motherfucker and his music: Catchy melodies, dancefloor-friendly funk and raunch. Besides, just how many songs have asked that all-too-important question, "Don't you want to take a bath with me?"