Calvin Harris

One-man electro MySpace phenom

PREVIEW With youthful bravado and a cocksure attitude, it might be easy to dismiss the one-man electro entity and MySpace phenom Calvin Harris as an overconfident knob-twisting kiddo. Judging from the playfully self-aggrandizing title of his debut, I Created Disco (2007), or his slinky banger "Girls," which is about the wide assortment of females on his jock — a fictional harem that rivals the likes of R&B lothario R. Kelly's — Harris might be accumuutf8g as many enemies as he is groupies.

But there's more to the sassy 23-year-old Dumfries, Scotland, musician-producer than feigned egoism. On Disco, Harris presents a modernized and exuberant take on electro, giving the once-clichéd genre a laddish makeover full of cheeky hyperbole and a "taking the piss" mentality — a key element missing in so much electronic music nowadays. With a heavy arsenal of crunchy beats, soulful-yet-robotic synths that sound like they've been appropriated from an '80s Nintendo game, and a L'Trimm-esque booming bass line, Harris proves he's got the chops to make the dance floor erupt. Flitting between an expressive faux-Cockney drawl and an un-ironic white boy falsetto, Harris has a knack for making pill-popping in Vegas, smoking neon-hued rocks, and an irrational love for the '80s sound downright discolicious.

Most recently the young Mr. Harris lent his sonic aesthetic to the pint-sized pop vixen Kylie Minogue. The disco sprites hooked up after an Aussie producer discovered Harris' MySpace page, and the rest was pop perfection history. Animated by a club-ready cacophony of handclaps, saucy softcore voice-overs, and trilling keys, the Harris penned-and-produced Minogue number "In My Arms" is the highlight of her recent X (EMI). A string of top 10 singles in the United Kingdom, production credits for pop princesses Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Róisín Murphy, and a sophomore album slated for late 2008 — is there anything this kid can't do?

CALVIN HARRIS Thurs/24, 8 p.m., $12–$13. Popscene, 330 Ritch, SF.

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