The Top 5 Parties in San Francisco This Weekend: Radio Slave, Anthony Naples, Mr. Scruff and more

Deep Blue and Public Works presents Radio Slave and Maayan Nidam
Friday, August 15 — Public Works$15 presale — 9 p.m. -3:30 a.m.

Matthew Edwards, better known these days as Radio Slave, has been in the game for awhile now. In his early days, mid-1990s, his first major gig was as a resident at London’s Ministry of Sound Club; Radio Slave was born at the turn of the century from a Sunday club night in Brighton called Prescription (a Chez Damier reference). The name, Edwards explains, comes from listening to DJs like Joe Claussell work in pop songs into underground DJ sets: “A good record is a good record, and in the right context, playing a track the audience knows and loves can create a euphoric moment on the dancefloor.”

Accordingly, what sets Edwards apart is his ability to straddle the mainstream and the underground. Radio Slave’s first productions were remixes and edits of pop songs, designed to be worked into a techno/house DJ set. But his range is broad: listen to a later production like “RJ,” an example of dance music at its finest, a track where everything is in its right place — not a single element is superfluous and not a single element is missing. It’s simply techno as it should be.

Edwards also runs a record label, Rekids. When asked about the challenges of running a techno label in today’s market, his response is telling: “It’s no surprise that the biggest change [in dance music culture] has to be the internet. It’s transformed everything from the way we record shop to the DJs themselves, and has made mainstream dance music and even techno into a commodity that can be bought and sold.” He’s no Luddite, however. “People want more than the bubble gum that’s on offer, and this is where the internet can work wonders,” mentioning FKA Twigs as someone he’s happy to see breaking through and getting recognized. “This is where things get exciting and why being connected is a good thing … the fact that electronic music is growing all the time can only be a positive thing.”

He’ll be joined by Maayan Nidam, a newer producer who’s released several 12”s on Germany’s Perlon and New York’s Wolf + Lamb. Between the two of them, this is a world-class European DJ experience right here in San Francisco — don’t miss it.

[jump] Robot Ears presents Mark Reeve
Thursday, August 14 — Vessel$8 presale, $15 door — 10 p.m.-2 a.m.

Mark Reeve is an English producer/DJ with a hard-driving, relentless Teutonic style (no surprise, then, that his current home base is Frankfurt, Germany). His tracks are percussive, drum-driven affairs, some featuring a rollicking tribal groove while others sound like straight-up machine funk. Local DJs Max Gardner and John Kaberna round out the bill, making this quite the full-on techno affair for a Thursday evening.

SunsetSF and blasthaus present Mr. Scruff
Saturday, August 16 — Public Works$20 presales — 9 p.m.-3 a.m.

Mr. Scruff is one of a handful of DJs and musicians who, in the early 1990s, developed a uniquely British take on hip-hop. Scruff, alongside compatriots Coldcut, Nightmares On Wax, and others, took the breakbeats of then-current UK jungle, slowed them down to American hip-hop tempos, and threw in a bevy of funk, jazz, ambient, acid house, and psychedelic rock influences. Besides his productions, Scruff is known for his everything-but-the-kitchen-sink DJ sets — expect to hear Ninja Tune classics alongside funk, soul, rap, drum’n’bass, house, and beyond. If you need a break, a stacked lineup of locals (J. Boogie, Motion Potion, Platurn, and DJ Dials) will be holding it down in the Loft.

ICEE HOT presents Anthony Naples and Maxmillion Dunbar
Saturday, August 16 — F8 — $10 before 11 p.m. — 10 p.m.-3 a.m.

Sometimes, the really interesting thing about a party is pairing DJs up and seeing how they’ll play off one another. That’s the case here with these two of-the-moment American DJs: Anthony Naples, who appeared on the scene in 2012 and has since released a steady stream of astonishingly good disco-inflected NYC-styled house records, and Maxmillion Dunbar, a.k.a. half of Beautiful Swimmers, who has been producing hazy Robitussin house for the past couple of years. Their DJ sets should complement each other nicely, like cough syrup and Jolly Ranchers. ICEE HOT residents Shawn Reynaldo, DJ Will and Ghosts On Tape will be on hand to keep you from getting twisted.

Summertime Radness Pool Party featuring Cyril Hahn
Sunday, August 17 — Phoenix Hotel$15 presales — 1 p.m. -10 p.m.

A pool party? In San Francisco? In August? Better believe it! You thought it couldn’t be done, but it’s happening, weather be damned! Los Angeles we ain’t, but this Sunday, Lights Down Low and DJ Dials are bringing LA pool party vibes to our fine city by the Bay, with Cyril Hahn providing guest DJ duties. If you don’t already know him, Cyril Hahn is a wunderkind whose freely-available Soundcloud edits and remixes of well-known R&B tracks (Destiny’s Child, Jessie Ware, HAIM) made him into a minor dancefloor sensation. Joining Hahn are Lights Down Low residents and DJ Dials, alongside some surprise secret guests in the mix. Who could they be? Bring your bathing suit and find out. 

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