Three Acts to See this Week: Shiba San, Claptone, and Radikal Guru

Tech House

Shiba San

10 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 15, at 1015 Folsom. $20;

Once a hip-hop ghost producer hidden in the shadows of Paris, Shiba San’s journey to becoming one of house music’s most sought-after artists did not happen overnight. His decade-plus production career in France’s hip-hop scene enabled him to master every nuance of music before transitioning to house music under the Shiba San moniker, releasing his first single, 2014’s “Okay.” The song’s unique blend of house and hip-hop elements led it to become an instant hit, catching the ears of DJs around the globe, including Dirtybird Records leader Claude VonStroke, whose own brand of bass-heavy tech house led to Shiba San releasing more singles with Dirtybird. Since then, Shiba San’s star has only gotten brighter, performing at internationally renowned clubs and festivals, including an upcoming appearance at San Diego’s CRSSD Fest next month, while releasing a steady stream of new tracks, including “Drop It,” which was released through his own Basement Leak label. Although a well-known name in the dance community, Shiba San maintains a very private personal life, his birth name still unrevealed. Unlike other artists with mysterious personal lives, there is no gimmick with Shiba San, as he lets his music speak for itself.



Deep House


9 p.m., Friday, Feb. 16, at Public Works. $24;

One part mythical being, and one part dance-music maestro, German producer Claptone has rapidly climbed the ranks within deep house since abruptly arriving on the scene in 2012 with his smooth yet eerie breakout single “Cream,” which samples the famous Wu-Tang Clan hit of the same name. Always seen wearing a top hat, long-sleeve black shirt, white gloves, and his trademark gold-plated Venetian mask, unsuspecting club attendees could easily assume they’d accidentally stumbled into a magic show. Luckily, Claptone happens to be a magician behind the decks, with his sets including a well-balanced mix of laid-back deep house and techno cuts, sequenced in a theatrical fashion. Claptone’s official Soundcloud claims that “many generations ago, a bird-like shape emerged from wooded darkness, floating and fluttering, drifting and dreaming,” giving a vague and fantasy-like backstory to the character. Claptone’s real identity remains more enigmatic than the character’s origins, with his 2016 Coachella performance fueling fan speculation that Claptone may be a production duo playing one character, as there were two identical masked DJs performing. Whatever the case may be with Claptone’s real identity, the producer is always looking for ways to defy the norms of dance music, whether it be through remixing unorthodox tracks, or creating lavishly produced live shows.


Radikal Guru

10 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 18, at Elbo Room. $8;

Polish producer Radikal Guru has become a revered figure within the underground dub and bass music community since he began his career nearly a decade ago. Mateusz Miller started dabbling in music production in 2004, producing trip-hop and jungle, and eventually taking up the name of Radikal Guru, under which he produces bass-infected dub and reggae. Miller’s ability to craft a variety of dub-influenced works that range from calm and meditative beats to eardrum-rattling tracks has proven to be a hit with listeners around the world, earning him slots at top clubs and festivals. However, for many American fans of Radikal Guru, seeing Miller live is about as rare of an opportunity as witnessing a shooting star, with his upcoming San Francisco show being the only West Coast date planned for the year. When it comes to DJing, Miller displays a great deal of respect to his influences, spinning classic dub and reggae cuts, while still looking ahead into the ever-evolving genre and playing the best of what it has to offer.


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