DJ Similak Chyld doesn’t mess with inspiration. When asked how she came up with the idea for Afro Chico Electro, her dance party that hits the floor at Triple Crown on Wed/10, she’s narrowed the concept down to a single visual. It’s a purple pencil drawing by graffitist Mode 2 that shows a swath of party people intertwined, their arms thrown in the air, eyes closed, smiles open. There’s a bald girl, a blonde girl, some b-boys, a cool guy in a hat- but they’re all dancing to the same beat. Quote the pint sized Similak, “the idea is basically merging all the genres that I love, to bridge the gap between different crews, djs, artists, etcetera. I figure it makes sense to me- why not throw a party that represents who I am at the core?”
This kind of inclusiveness drove Similak’s musical programming for an evening that breaks down a lot of the genre boundaries that can run the SF dance scene. The DJ lineup includes Chico Mann, who assembles afrobeat/afro Cuban sounds on the drum machine, synthesizer and guitar for sets that have been described as “instant vintage”- early 80s Fela Kuti meets the music melding of today’s technology.
He’ll be joined by the sexy, dub heavy sounds of local hip hop mixer J Boogie, DJ Sake 1 (whose group Local 1200 has snagged our Goldie Award in the past for best Bay DJ crew), DJ Apollo, Similak herself, and a whole passel of afrobeat, hip hop and latin dance crews. “There's no reason why we can't dance to a beat because it's not familiar. An afro dance troupe can appreciate disco or hip hop breaks, just like b-boys can up-rock to an afro or latin breakdown,” says Similak, who was raised between California and Taiwan, and whose own sets have been known to include old school soul, roots music, pop tracks.
Her concept of musical universality is being put to the test at Afro Chico Electro- she’s partnering the dance crews with music they might not typically get down to and encouraging the djs to branch out with their beats as well.
Will it come off? Will it be crazy? Smart money is on yes and yes. Even the wallflowers will have something to look at- neighborhood gallery Lower Hater is curating the whole damn thing with their arsenal of works from smart local artists. All told, an evening that just may encapsulate a lady with layers. “People used to- and still do- get really confused about what I play,” says Similak. “I've stopped trying to argue, defend or explain myself and I think folks are slowly starting to get that you can't really put me in a box.” Unless it’s got nice headphones and is somehow hooked up to some speakers, the woman just might be right about that one.
Afro Chico Electro Wed/10 10 p.m., $5 (before 11 p.m., $10 after)
1760 Market, SF