This coming February is looking pretty special -- after all, it's not every month that begins so neatly on a Friday. And as the weekend slowly makes its way into view, so too does the potential for more wild times spent at nightclubs. As per usual, we've gathered together a few activities for your inspection, with choice options for technoheads, goths, and the truly thrifty. Read on -- your weekend awaits.
Saturday, Feb. 2, 9 p.m. - ?
Followers of this column should be familiar with Oakland techno crew Direct to Earth -- back in December we checked out "Direct Current," an event they threw at Sub/Mission in connection with similarly minded SF outfit Body Current. Now Direct to Earth is back with a party featuring one of the heaviest doses of techno to hit the city since KONTROL closed its doors last year. Headlining the event is Tim Xavier, the Berlin-based producer who's known to some as the chief engineer at Manmade Mastering. As you might expect, his music is definied by a surgical kind of sound design, as can be heard on "Awesome Button," "Arco Della Devozione," and "Play on Words." Also on the bill is the debut of Lost in the Machine, the duo of DTE resident Patrick Gil and SF selector David Javate -- check out their freshly released EP Hyde Street.
Friday, Feb 1., 10 p.m.-4 a.m.
"A night characterized by hard and often sparse danceable beats, repititive sequencer lines, rhythmically intense and minimalistic style, sparse arrangements, and abstract screams." That's the tagline accompanying the Facebook page for the gothy Twitch party at DNA Lounge. Like Warm Leatherette and Dark Room, it's an exploration of the darker side of dance music, with a specific bent towards the arty gloom of the 1980s. This month's event features live performances by three prime groups working in this style. The first is Oakland trio Uncanny Valley (check out the woozy Rising), the second is Max & Mara (a collaboration between Mara of Group Rhoda and Max of Brotman and Short), and the third is Vice Device (watch this black-on-black video for "Breathless").
Friday, Feb 1., 9 p.m.-5 a.m.
If you follow the headlines, Italian tech house label Life and Death is undoubtedly on the ascent. The past few years have seen its nuanced approach to dance music blow up and become popular via artists like Thugfucker, DJ Tennis, Pillowtalk (locally based!), and Tale of Us. Now the label is touring America as a unit, showing off its talents as it makes its way towards the upcoming Sonar festival in Iceland. This Friday sees its crew take over the Mezzanine for an epic night made even more wild by the addition of Detroit-born electrofunkster Jimmy Edgar (listen to "I Wanna Be Your STD"). Get ready for the evening by listening to this mix by DJ Tennis recorded for Fabric in London.
Sunday, Feb 2., 9 p.m.-2 a.m.
Honey Soundsystem returns this Sunday with a party that ought to end the weekend right. Manning the decks this time around is prolific Floridian disco re-editor Sleazy Mcqueen. It would be hard to write a better description of his sound than is already found in his biography: "[his] productions sounds like what might happen if Acid House took Kano in the backroom, beat up the two Italians, kidnapped the black guy, hopped a plane to Minneapolis, abducted Prince, made those two do it until a baby popped out, then slapped the baby in the ass with a 303 (TB, not groovebox!!!!) and sampled the baby crying." While his actual tunes may not sound exactly like that, you can hear the approximation in cuts like "Mrs. Vanderbilt," "We Need to Reconnect," and "Pretty Baby."
Friday, Feb. 1, 10 p.m.-2 a.m.
1015 Folsom has been leaving its doors wide open lately with a series of free parties featuring big names. This Friday sees the venue doing it again with a stacked line-up topped with a DJ set by Detroit techno producer Matthew Dear. Known today for his bleak pop-leaning albums (check out "Little People (Black City)"), Dear has a long relationship with the music of his birthplace by way of his Audion, False, and Jabberjaw monickers -- all aliases used to release techno cuts like the massive "Mouth to Mouth." Sharing the bill with him is a roster of locals that includes Giraffage (listen to "Close 2 Me"), Teeko (listen to "Dope Smoke"), and a ton of other familiar faces. Be sure to RSVP here beforehand to ensure free entry.