You might not know it, but today marks a very important day for fans of electronic dance music. It's Thursday, a day filled with anticipation for the unexplored potential of the weekend. Seize the day by planning your upcoming nightlife activities off this handy guide we've assembled. There's offerings in deep, dark techno, party-rocking house, and even a little slo-mo trap. Read on -- your weekend awaits.
9 p.m. Saturday, May 17. $15-$25
It's been an absurdly good year for As You Like It. The local promotional outfit has been behind some of the biggest and best parties in San Francisco, and it doesn't seem about to stop any time soon. If you haven't had a chance to check one out in 2014, the crew's party this Saturday at Public Works offers a perfect example of why it's such a force to be reckoned with. This will be an all-night celebration of all that's good in contemporary European house music, with a stacked bill of headliners.
The main draw comes in the form of rare three-way, back-to-back sets from German house mainstay Move D (whose discography of gruff-yet-melodic material stretches back to the early '90s), and Glaswegian underground party starters Optimo -- whose quirky, disco-meets-industrial parties at the legendary Sub Club have created a worldwide cult following. Each on its own could be a self-contained event, but together they offer something more, which has been proven on the global stage through the trio's sets for Internet TV show Boiler Room. These are thoughtful navigations through a bewildering assortment of dance music: They drop new-school bangers like Bicep's retro-'90s "Keep Keep" and Rrose's sinister occult techno opus "Waterfall," while also incorporating classic fare like Cultural Vibe's clavinet-heavy '80s garage banger "Ma Foom Bey" and Kraftwerk's moody (and silly) "The Model."
Of course, it wouldn't be an As You Like It party without some extra weight. And in the case of Saturday's party, that comes from Glaswegian DJ Jackmaster. Associated with the more tasteful end of the U.K. bass renaissance of the new decade, his career has been defined as much by what he hasn't done as by what he has. Unlike many selectors on the scene, Jackmaster has never released a track of his own; instead, he's made his way solely off the strengths of his genre-spanning DJ sets, and as one of the co-founders of Scotland's highly respected, forward-thinking Numbers imprint. In effect, that makes him a "DJ's DJ," which basically means that he's the kind of player whose obscure selections -- which touch on disparate genres like ghetto house, hardcore German techno, and '90s drum 'n' bass -- satisfy dancefloors while simultaneously keeping the parka-clad, beard-stroking trainspotter set happy as well. Throw him in the mix with Optimo and Move D, and you have a night that has all the makings of yet another serious rager from As You Like It.
10 p.m. Thursday, May 15. $7
He might live in New Zealand now, but Recloose will always be one of Detroit's most creative dance music artists. Associated with Carl Craig and the Planet E imprint, his large discography delves into the soulful end of techno and house, incorporating futuristic sound palettes with more earthy vocals. His lazy deep house anthem "Can't Take It" is essential listening.
9 p.m. Friday, May 16. $10-$20
As it turns out, there's more to techno than just Detroit and Berlin. Convextion is a producer based in Dallas whose sound fuses the extreme delay effects of dub-techno with the insistent and complex rhythms of old-school breakbeat electro. Somewhere between the two he finds his angle, which conveys an open expanse as hypnotic as driving a Texas interstate. Listen to the jaw-droppingly intense "Solum Ferrum".
9 p.m. Saturday, May 17. $10
Daniel Martin-McCormick has changed quite a bit since his days as one-half of local art punk outfit Mi Ami. Now he's in Brooklyn, and he records oddball dance music under the alias Ital. His wide discography includes the '90s-era Daft Punk-style disco house of "From a Dream" as well as the sinister and techno-tinged "Ice Drift (Stalker Mix)."
10 p.m. Friday, May 16. $20
What's in a BPM? The acronym, meaning "beats per minute," is a simple barometer for how fast a track is. Miami producer Meaux Green describes his music as "100 BPM bass," which deceptively suggests a more laid-back vibe. His works -- like "Thirsty," out now on Mad Decent -- are pumped up and crazy, with spaced-out kick drums, machine gun hi-hat fills, and snapping military snares.