Instant replaya

No time for comedowns! Into the nightlife with AraabMuzik, DJ Funk, Virgo Four, and a revamped Truck

AraabMuzik translates goofball '90s dance anthems into eerie personal statements

SUPER EGO Dear burners,

I am absolutely NOT BITTER that I couldn't join you this year. And I certainly DID NOT wrap myself in a hot-pink bedsheet, spin around until I saw Ganesh, puke up 23 packets of Tasty Bites, and throw a fistful of chickpea flour in my roommate's face, screaming “Rites of passage, bitch!” so that I could virtually burn. And then I didn't fist-pump to vintage Bassnectar, nor construct a 12-foot flashing Alexander Wang Summer 2011 fun-fur ankle strap high-heeled sandal in our foyer out of wire hangers, chicken bones, old Dell motherboards, and tuck tape.

Does anyone have a couch I could crash on? Preferably one of those big red lips-shaped ones?

In a sort-of pathetic attempt to even things out a bit, here's what you missed: a gaggle of the hottest nerds in the world cruising Zinefest; the best Bloody Mary ever at my new-old favorite bar, Little Shamrock; Optimo DJs blowing minds at Public Works by dropping one of the first industrial tracks, Liasons Dangereuses' “Los Niños del Parque”; German frenzy-whipper Matthias Tanzmann slaying with Maxwell-sampling summer smash “Entrance Song” by Eats Everything at Mighty, the supernova heat-explosion of Oakland Pride … and I'm not even on Sunday evening yet. So, you know, nyah.


Young Rhode Islander Abraham Orellano, a.k.a. Araabmuzik, is actually of Dominican-Guatemalan descent – his crew dubbed him Araab when he was a teen. (Why? Because he's so fine like the rest of us Arab brothers?) But beyond the Google-gold moniker, Araab's emblematic of a neat trend right now in our frantic niche-crossover times: he's a hip-hop beatmaker (Cam'ron, Duke Da God) with a touching love for poppy old dance music, using his genius manual dexterity with big-buttoned, retro-looking Music Production Center devices in his live act to melt dance floors into stunned lumps of woah.

This year's Electronic Dreams album subtly warps goofball “Night at the Roxbury”-type '90s dance anthems like Future Breeze's “Why Don't You Dance With Me” and Starchaser's “So High” – and even gabber-house noise-blast “Underground Stream” by Nosferatu – into haunting documents of a young man's often-lonely street life. Araab's polishing songs I spent a good part of my life running in terror from into weird mirrors of interiority, fusing futuristic bedroom-producer headspace with retro big-room boom. And the dude's just getting started.

Also headlining this month's Lights Down Low party is DJ Funk, a Chicago booty-bass legend who pioneered the “ghetto house” sound that still holds the Midwest underground in its filthy, rump-slapping grip. Funk'll get the panties wet; up to you to rip 'em off.

Fri/9, 9:30 p.m.-3 a.m., $15. SOM, 2925 16th St., SF.


The word “timeless” sure gets thrown around a lot in this retro-minded era. And I'm fine with that, as long as the hype keeps fuelling comebacks like Virgo Four's. At the moment, timeless, in techno terms, is almost a spatial distinction – and records like the Chicago duo's wonderful “Vision” from 1989 really do sound like something that steps swiftly out of the distant past and into tomorrow's speakers.

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