Monday, July 21, 2008

A slashing night out!

I’m always on the hunt for a decent night out in San Francisco and as the years have gone by I get pickier about what I want to attend. At this point any event that features the same type of music all night — especially house, techno or hip-hop — is a definite no no, unless a serious guest is playing and I know that his/her selection will be stellar. I take my cues from hearing the likes of Tony Humphries, Derrick May, Gemini, Simon DK (the best deep house sets I have ever heard period) and Afrika Bambaataa rolling out upfront selections that are peppered with the classics that really matter. And also I have a deep admiration for the kind of eclectic approach that was developed in Chicago, at the birth of the house music scene there, by the WBMX Hotmix Five djs and Ron Hardy. Variety is the spice of life and with music that is a concrete rule of thumb.

One San Fran party that has charmed me on the two occasions that I have attended is Suspiria. Yes it is the title of a Dario Argento movie with a Goblin soundtrack, and the music, venue, visuals and attire of the patrons add to this, creating a rather seductive setting. The night is a collaborative effort between prolific rock/electro/indie club promoter and mainstay DJ Omar, djs such as Mario Muse, MizMargo and Justin (of Shutter fame) and prolific visuals creator Chris Golden, a man who provides colorful backgrounds for many of the city’s successful shindigs. The music is an imaginative array of modern electro cuts — many with slnky female vocals — industrial classics, Goth rock gems and a smattering of moodier Italo pieces courtesy of Claudio Simonetti and other Italian outfits.

When you get The Chameleons up against Bauhaus, Goblin, Japan, a brace of upfront electro tunes, dark Italo disco nuggets and esoteric Euro, proto-industrial tracks by artists such as Malaria (of which Gudrun Gut was a member), Einstürzende Neubauten (Gut was also a member of this outfit) and Fad Gadget, you know you’re in for a night of deliciously dark sonic diversity. The crowd gets dolled up, the venue, Harlot, is beautiful in a very moody fashion; and the visuals culled from various European Giallo movies – with their penchant for horror, crime, mystery and eroticism — place an artistic crown on the event. Folks drink and dance, the soundsystem is great and Harlot itself is centrally located in SF’s SOMA district. Suspiria happens on the third Wednesday of the month and is worthy of your attention.


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