June gloom? San Francisco night clubs didn’t get the memo. We’re officially halfway through the year and the party scene is still going strong. Check out our top picks for this week.
Visit SF Station’s Events Calendar for full listings.
Thursday, June 5: BIG FUN w/ Kevin Saunderson at Vessel
In the wake of Memorial Day’s Detroit Movement festival, shout outs have to be made to Kevin Saunderson, who not only curated Monday’s ‘Made In Detroit’ stage (showcasing DJ 3000 to Octave One), but also captured one of the most packed, devoted crowds of the weekend. Take it as a testament to the Motor City native’s entrenchment in the community; moreover, the house and techno that’s evolved from there since his late 80s work as Inner City with vocalist Paris Grey. High-charged, bulbous and generally ecstatic songs like “Big Fun” did equal work on the UK’s Top 40 in 1988 as in Jackmaster’s FabricLive mix from 2011. As for a DJ style, Saunderson spins a two-decade collection of barreling, body high energy. At this point in his career, it’s always one for the books.
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Friday, June 6: Disbehave, Worthy Record Release Party at Mighty
Amid the many German, UK and Detroit imports we get every week, it’s always good to get down with the hometown, which in our case, Dirtybird is becoming quite the international export itself. Home to many favorites (e.g. Claude Vonstroke, J. Phlip), Sean Williams, a.k.a. Worthy, one of the imprint’s original four founders, will drop his debut full length, Disbehave, on June 10 via Anabatic Records. Wooshes, vocals, rubber-band pads, and all the boisterous character of Worthy’s booty-clap funk will make this night the kind of sloppy that’s sought after.
Friday, June 6: As You Like It with DBX aka Daniel Bell Live at Monarch
In 2003, the retrospective compilation, Blip, Blurp, Bleep: The Music of Daniel Bell showcased ten years’ worth of the voltaic, repetitive robotics that led this DJ/producer to be considered one of minimalism’s leading craftsmen. Though many years were lived in Berlin (regularly playing Berghain’s “Get Perlonized” night, among others), Bell’s roots are in Detroit. His earliest production credits come in hardcore, rattling house form on 1990’s “Technarchy,” a group endeavor alongside Richie Hawtin and John Acquaviva as Cybersonik. Quickly from there, Bell’s own Accelerate imprint came to release his very stable, repetitive, but also powerfully mind bending work as DBX, and hypnotic, house-beating tracks like “Losing Control” have hardly lost their bleary-eyed edge in a decade. In the early 2000’s, Bell put his DBX production alias aside for several years while concentrating on DJing, which makes this live revival an uncommon thrill for the tech-heads. Think implode, not explode.
Saturday, June 7: Honey Soundsystem with Steffi at Public Works
In researching Dutch-born Berliner Steffi, two interview themes reoccur: one, it’s all about the music, and two, the Internet makes that less so. Sure, she runs a label (Dolly), her production debut dropped on Ostgut Ton, and she’s been a Panorama Bar resident since 2007, but for this turntable technician, expectation should not emerge from pre-researched reputation. Steffi could really play anything. From her own productions, whose hypnotic quality can envelop like folding sheets of satin, to her hi-hat hissing, peak percussion Boiler Room set, and onto the more spaced-out slither of Panorama Bar 05, Steffi exudes the expertise of a DJ, carefully nudging (with a fairly swift turnover between tracks) the night through different directions – disco, techno, vocal-brushed house. She’s known for her intensity, rarely looking up, and hopefully, if the Honey vibe gets there, neither will you.
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Saturday, June 7: Surface Tension.004 with Container & Young Male (DJ Set) at Mercer
Container, a.k.a. Rhode Island’s Ren Schofield, addresses the elephant in the room with his SoundCloud bio: “these tracks sound totally weird through laptop speakers.” They still sound weird (translation here: unconventional) blaring from club speakers, though these spaces come complete with dimensional sound and darkness. His explorations are ratcheted up, crammed and really, really loud, though to lump Schofield’s scrap metal textures into an unmade pile of noise—wanton as they may be—is to ignore the actually rather pointed progression on tracks like “Complex,” or the schizophrenia on “Interior,” evoked by convincingly architectured chalkboard chirps and loops. Debuting in 2012, Schofield’s three releases to date – most recently January’s Adhesive via Liberation Technologies – all take prominence for their trashing yet controlled quality. It’s consuming, but not quite something to ruminate in, though banging your head ‘til your hair’s tangled is just fine too.