The best EDM in Denver this weekend
The music of Excision (due at Red Rocks this weekend with Flux Pavilion, Zomboy, Dirtyphonics and Designer Drugs) is a fitting soundtrack to the desolate, gritty, apocalyptic landscape of a future ruled by homicidal machines. His tunes are warped, stuttering affairs studded with samples from both sci-fi and hip-hop (and probably some sci-fi hip-hop for good measure).
Wobbly bass that can double as a sonic weapon is the foundation for eerie, meticulously designed timbres that create a claustrophobic atmosphere around his twisting beats. The resulting tracks are masterpieces of the dark side of the dance floor. As a DJ, he fuses his own tracks with similarly sinister material from other artists into a gnarly, rapid-fire blitzkrieg. If you think dance music should always be chipper, upbeat and lighthearted, Excision will scare you away. -- Britt Chester
Keep reading for more of the best EDM in Denver this weekend
Nicole Moudaber has been at the forefront of blending mechanical, precise techno with brassy, soulful house music for several years. In addition to maintaining a residency at Carl Cox's weekly bashes at the renowned Space club in Ibiza since 2009, she's consistently heated up dance floors all over the planet. Her insistent, pulsing rhythms and uplifting jazzy melodies make for an ideal combination, and her set lists are a perfect example of how to craft a tech-house journey. Moudaber just released Believe on the esteemed Drumcode label. The record showcases a more bass-heavy sound, proving that she's far from a one-trick pony. With her global popularity and eclectic selections, she's an excellent choice to headline the Denver branch of the Movement Festival pre-party at NORAD with Steofan and Attentat. (9 p.m., 21+, $10 and up)
Now based in New York but originally from Michigan, DJ Mike Servito was equally influenced by the eclecticism of 1980s Detroit FM radio (think the Electrifying Mojo) and the evolving sound of the second wave of that city's techno scene during the 1990s (think Richie Hawtin, Jeff Mills and Carl Craig). Servito, who recently celebrated the tenth anniversary of noted Detroit techno night Untitled at a reunion party with fellow residents Matthew Dear, Derek Plaslaiko and Tadd Mullinix (aka James T. Cotton), has been a member of Ghostly International's DJ roster since 2008. He's also a resident of Brooklyn's finest techno party, the Bunker. He'll be making magic at Fusion Factory with Wallace Winfrey, Scott Everett, Tess and Deciprocal. (10 p.m., 21+, $15) -- Matt Miner
DJ Sneak was born in Puerto Rico, but he moved to Chicago in the early 1980s -- just in time to become part of the massive house movement that got its start in the Windy City and had spilled across the planet by the late '90s. He didn't speak English when his family first immigrated, so graffiti and instrumental music were where Sneak first sunk his roots in American culture. His early musical influences -- salsa, merengue and Latin tunes of that ilk -- are still evident in his energetic, sensual house mixes, and like any DJ of his caliber, he's got a couple of record labels under his belt (Defiant Records and Magnetic Recordings). His lyrics were featured in the Daft Punk song "Digital Love," from the 2001 LP Discovery -- and he's more than made a name for himself on the worldwide scene since then, spinning frequently in Ibiza and appearing at Ministry of Sound and Cream events. Sneak manages to be both carefree and stylish in his blends; his disco-house mixes will fill the dance floors of Beta when he makes a special Denver appearance with Cognition + T-Rav and Marshall Monica. (9 p.m., 18+, $10)
Six years ago, Ana Sia was hustling around a kitchen preparing delicious recipes for a living; cooking up grimy bass music was merely a hobby. After being flown out for her first gig, though, she decided it was time to focus her full energy and attention on her music. Playing festivals around the world in recent years, Sia has cultivated a career that has placed her in the deepest pockets of dance music around the globe, and she strives to stay ahead of the curve. (8 p.m., 18+, $20-$30) -- Chester
Catch Option 4 this weekend with James Curd, Vanish, Roger That and Need & Necessity at NORAD.
FRIDAY, MAY 17
James Curd holds down the floors at NORAD with option4, Vanish, Roger That and Need & Necessity; don't miss what's bound to be a hip-shaking good time. (9 p.m., 21+)
Dirt Monkey, Mystical Influence, Caustic and more hold down the main floor of Beta with basstastic sounds. In the Beatport Lounge, Santé and Sergei Loginov show us what underground techno is all about. (9 p.m., 18+, $10)
Members of Signal Path will play live disco at Bar Standard. Fun Factory and Charles B help funk things up to begin with. (9 p.m., 21+, free before 10 p.m., $5 after)
SATURDAY, MAY 18
Get back to the '80s with the Blend at the Meadowlark; Bones, Gazeebo and Sami T will throw down funky tunes to supplement your radical attire. Dress up, in other words! (9 p.m., 21+, $5)
Jam out at Lumonics tonight with the ever-popular Peanut Butter Jamz; Jack-Jack, Dagan, AlbaTr055, Brian Vance, Soapbox DJ and DJ Brye will provide the tunes, and if you can bring some peanut butter, jam or bread, the supplies will be turned into sandwiches for the needy. (9 p.m., 18+, $10)
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