Better get a nap in, this weekend looks to be pretty intense. Then again, would you expect anything else from San Francisco? As usual we've put together a little list to help you make sense of it all. Read on -- your weekend awaits.
Friday, May 4
When: 9 p.m. - 3 a.m.
Why: Turntablism, the once-strong pillar of Bay Area DJ culture has been in a slow recession since the early '00s. Yet just because it's less of a phenomenon doesn't mean you can't catch some truly astounding phonograph trickery if you want to. Enter the Triple Threat DJs: Apollo, Shortkut, and Vinroc. Each legendary figures in their own right, the crew's parties at Mighty do a lot to recapture the magic of the past while still pushing things forward. Watch this this video to get an idea of what it's all about, and check out Mighty this Friday for a thorough schooling. Oh yeah, did we mention that it's free and there's an open bar from 9 p.m. - 10 p.m.?
Where: 103 Harriet
When: 10 p.m - 4 a.m.
Why: Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in making "futuristic" and "forward-thinking" music. Yet, while there are plenty of people trying, few producers hit such fresh notes as L.A.-based producer Flying Lotus. The central figure behind the Brainfeeder label, his work sounds like the hip-hop equivalent to free jazz; he takes the foundation of the form and contorts it into something entirely alien. Listen to "Parisian Goldfish," "Robertaflack," and "MmmHmm," and head over to 1015 Folsom this Friday to catch FlyLo with a packed roster of similarly-minded DJs and producers.
Saturday, May 5
When: 10 p.m. - 3 a.m.
Why: "What happened to the excitement of underground dance music, or places meant for sweating and FORGETTING finances and social pressures and investors and commercialism and peer pressure and conformity?" asked DJ/producer Morgan Geist in a recent comment on the New York Times' website. We all ought to listen to the man. After all, the New Jersey native knows a thing or two about dance music: pair Geist with Darshan Jesrani and you get Metro Area. Active for much of the '00s, the duo was a key force in the movement to reintegrate aspects of dance music's distant past with its present. Tracks like "Atmosphrique," "Miura," and "Let's Get" all show off a unique disco-influenced sound that edges beyond retro-hued nostalgia and into something almost timeless. That aesthetic extends into the group's DJ sets (check out this mix on RBMA), and now Metro Area is headed to Monarch to show a glimmer of what they think underground dance music should be all about.
Where: Public Works OddJob Loft
When: 10 p.m. - 3 a.m.
Why: For Levon Vincent, there's never been a bigger moment than now. The New York-raised, Berlin-based DJ just dropped Fabric 63, a serious contender for mix of the year. Long associated with the deeper side of underground house music, he specializes in a dark and experimental sound that pays homage to the past while sounding nothing like it. Big tracks like "Late Night Jam" (check out those crazy Todd Terry stabs), "Impressions of a Rainstorm," and "Man or Mistress" all show off Vincent's talent for constructing moody anthems that blur the distinction between house and techno. A DJ's DJ, he draws from a background steeped in the club culture of New York to create a varied style full of quick-cuts, long blends, and clever mixes. Check out this video of him on Boiler Room. Headed to Public Works this Saturday, he's joined by New York's Rem Koolhaus and the full Icee Hot DJ crew.
Sunday, May 6
Where: The California Hornblower
When: 5 p.m. - 11 p.m.
Why: Not everything good happens late at night. One of the best things about living in a city like San Francisco is the sheer amount of daytime party options available. A long staple of that side of the city's dance scene are the boat parties run by Sunset every summer. This time around, the party crew has assembled a phone book-sized list of local talent, and is taking over all three decks of the California Hornblower for its inaugural party of the 2012 season. Headlining the entire thing is Traxx, an old-school Chicagoan known for his rough-edged analog productions and hardcore DJ chops (he still uses vinyl). Get a feel for his style by listening to his excellent XLR8R podcast and cuts like "To The Beat Bizarre," "Mysterio," and "Introspectives (Preludes and Nocturnes Versions)."