House, house, and more house. If nothing else, this weekend offers a lot of rare opportunities for those whose tastes tend towards all things four-on-the-floor. First there's a performance by Masters at Work, then a showcase of canonical electronic music label Ghostly (and its Spectral Sound imprint), and finally, brain-melting futurism from Mosca and Altered Natives at Icee Hot's two-year anniversary. However, if you don't like your dance music electronic, don't worry: We've got you covered with one of the city's finest '60s soul parties. Read on -- your weekend awaits.
Friday, Jan. 27
Where: 1015 Folsom
When: 10 p.m. - 4 a.m.
Why: Though each are held in high esteem on their own, together Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez and "Little" Louie Vega form the legendary New York house production outfit Masters at Work. Ever since they dropped their first single, "Justa Lil' Dope"/"Our Mute Horn," in 1991, they've had an indelible effect on the course of contemporary dance music. Their discography is long and covers a diverse multi-genre territory -- but always includes incredibly playful and clever sampling. Tracks like "The Ha Dance," "Deep Inside," their remix of Debbie Gibson's "One Step Ahead," and "The Nervous Track" show off the duo's unique creativity without even scratching surface of their total output. Now, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Masters at Work, the Red Bull Music Academy has teamed up with 1015 Folsom to have them play a rare live performance (with band) in San Francisco.
Where: Public Works
When: 9 p.m. - 4 a.m.
Why: As You Like It seems to be constantly outdoing itself. As if last week's party with Laurent Garnier wasn't enough, this week the promotion group is back with possibly the largest booking ever attempted at Public Works. Called "Ghostly Meets Spectral," it's a giant artist showcase that focuses on the label roster of Ann Arbor's Ghostly International and its associated Spectral Sounds imprint. Headlining the event is the triumvirate of new-school Detroit funkster Ryan Crosson ("Time For a Change" and "The Day You Left"), long-time Ghostly affiliate Osborne ("Bout Ready to Jak" and "Ruling"), and electroclash survivor Solvent ("Radio Gaga" and "Think Like Us"). Augmenting the main room will be the Odd Job loft, which will be bumping disco sounds courtesy of New York's Jacques Renault (check out his remix of Midnight Magic's "Beam Me Up"), No Way Back's Conor, AYLI's Brian Bejerano, and a rare collaborative set between Rich Korach and Wolf+Lamb affiliate Eric Johnston ("Stop Calling Me").
Saturday, Jan. 28
Where: Edinburgh Castle
When: 9 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Why: At this point, Nightbeat is the city's longest-running party dedicated to spinning the niche genre known as Northern Soul. A distinct dance movement, Northern Soul developed in England's northerly regions during the '60s and 70s. There, in the industrial north, working class youths worked out in massive dancehalls to the then largely undiscovered sounds of '60s Detroit. An entire scene developed from this phenomenon that quickly emphasized rare and unheard-of tunes. This tradition lives on in the selections of residents Lucky, Dr. Scott, and Primo, who serve up a monthly dose of high tempo '60s madness. Get into the spirit of things by listening to Donald Jenkins & The Delighters' "Somebody Help Me," John Bowie's "You're Gonna Miss a Good Thing," and Otis Lee's "Hard Row to Hoe."
Where: Public Works
When: 9 p.m. - 3 a.m.
Why: It's hard to imagine a San Francisco without Icee Hot. Now celebrating its second anniversary, the forward-thinking party has done a lot to further the scene here and promote new talent from far abroad. For this month's party, Icee Hot returns with a double-headliner booking that gets back to the party's anglophile roots for an evening that promises to be as danceable as it is experimental. Altered Natives is the production alias of Danny York, who specializes in navigating the complex boundaries between U.S. and U.K. garage. Tracks like "Rass Out" and "It's Just a Crush" show off his hybrid style with impeccable drum programming and a free-roaming sound palette. Joining York for the evening is "master of everything dance" and Icee Hot favorite Mosca. His sound fuses elements of the past and future together to arrive at something totally contemporary, as evidenced by such tracks as "Bax," "Nike," and his remix of T. Williams' "Heartbeat."