If you want to get to know house music, go deep in the basement. With some dudes. Yeah, you read that correctly.
But before you let your mind wander, let me explain myself. For those of you interested in the burgeoning underground house scene, the “WE Love Us” community hosted up-and-coming DJs in the belly of San Francisco last night. Upon receiving the invitation to this event, I decided to investigate on behalf of all our readers out there.
Though the talent of course dominated the night, the ambience propelled the music, creating an immersive experience you can’t find in Bill Graham and the like. Tucked away in an alley near Mission street, the entrance to the establishment is guarded by two, let’s say, blunt security guards. There is no fooling around, around here, their assured stances seem to say. And their actions matched that sentiment: the person in front of me was almost denied entrance for having a flask on his person. In exchange for admittance, the security guard grabbed the metal container and tossed it into the adjacent trashcan. For good reason, too; as I walked down the stairs, the now flask-less man slipped and nearly took me out with him.
I knew it was going to be a good night.
Once safely inside, away from the renegade drunk and his posse, I took in the scene. Water coated part of the floor- it turns out, both the men’s and women’s restrooms had overflowed. Perhaps thirty, forty, people were milling around, some sitting on couches lining the room, others pulsing rhythmically on the dance floor, the rest making their way to the red-lit backroom. I jacked my way towards there (or as close to jacking as I can do, which is basically hopping in beat), located near the turntables. I peered over the edge of the booth, watching my friend Miguel aka PunkPhunk at work. In a brief interlude from turning EQ knobs and transitioning songs, we hugged, and I told him to keep up the good work.
Let’s talk lineup. The openers all represented San Francisco collectives, including Mario Dubbz and Fredinho for the “WE Love Us” family and Emanate for Mioli music. However, two artists were flown in to this city by the sea specifically for this night. Given that the event starts at midnight and I strolled in fashionably late at 3 AM, I missed the openers but managed to catch these two acts. International performers PunkPhunk (modeling for Mexico City) and Nhan Solo (bumping for Berlin) performed powerhouse sets, dishing out lilting melodies and sometimes thunderous baseline harmonies. Though I’m usually Shazam ready, I only managed to match one song Solo played: The Truth by Mat.Joe. I found this to be very fitting, as the earnestness of their performances invoked a sense of wholeness that can only truth can create.
So there you have it folks. Check out the gallery of the night below!
And make sure to support the headliners!