If you’re looking for an early start to your night (and a whole lot of bass), head to the Bless Up! happy hour at Brooklyn’s Halcyon. Every Thursday, the tiny record store that caters to lovers of techno, house, drum ‘n’ bass, and so forth hosts an in-store BYOB hang that features local DJs and bass fiends. Tonight’s guest is the much-buzzed-about Falty DL (we like his remix of the xx’s “Islands” in particular), who is likely to give you a mix of dubstep, two-step garage, house, and hopefully even some juke to sling back your after-work beers to. The low-key party goes from 6 to 9 p.m. and is free to all.
Otherwise, head to Bushwick for a little romance at Tandem. Tonight, our favorite bar in the neighborhood hosts a Fantasy Love Affair in their back room, courtesy of disco stalwart (and creator of spectacular hand-drawn flyers) DJ BLT and his special guest, Liquid Liquid’s Sal P. Between the two of them, you’ll find crates of rare records culled from years digging around New York’s dustier shelves; expect to hear a whole lot of No Wave, funk, boogie, the soulful side of house, and, yes, disco. Check this mix that Sal did for Tim Sweeney’s “Beats In Space” show for an extra push of motivation.
Alternately, you could get your dose of soul, funk, r&b, and all things smooth at Williamsburg’s Commodore. The great Steve Arrington — he of Slave, and singer of the band’s hits “Watching You” and “Just a Touch of Love” — plays for an intimate crowd alongside local party-starter DJ Lindsey. No cover. What?! See you there.
On Friday, we celebrate Dre Day. The annual tribute goes down on the king’s birthday and includes all sorts of wildly amusing throwback swag to go along with it. While admitted rap geeks and New York residents Cosmo Baker, Egg Foo Young, Project Matt, Nick Hook, and Jimmy 2 Times play all things Dre (all night, no joke), guests are encouraged to drink 40s, indulge in rap snacks, or win prizes in heated rounds of Dre trivia. Or you could participate in a game of $20 Sack Pyramid, if only because that’s a real thing that exists here. Tickets are $10 in advance (more at the door), with a complimentary “gin and juice” open bar from 9 to 10. And if that’s a little too early to head out to the bars for you, grab a 40 from your corner bodega and pregame for the night’s festivities with this excellent Dre Day mix, courtesy of Jimmy 2 Times.
The rest of your Friday evening is committed to dance music. If you’re in Brooklyn, head to the Heavy Carnivale loft massive in Bushwick, where bass reigns supreme. There’s a little bit of everything in tonight’s mix: Ninjatune’s Poirer, Basement Bhangra queen DJ Rekha, the self-explanatory Bassanovva (Grahmzilla & Jubilee), house head $mallchange, and Konkrete Jungle’s Liondub preside over a dance floor that will undoubtedly last well into the early morning. Expect a mix of tropical dance, jungle, dubstep, house, and bhangra, as well as light installations, live performances, and all those things that make raves so spectacularly weird. Tickets are $15 before midnight, $20 after. Good luck.
If you’re staying cityside, head over to District 36, where electronic dance label Planet E will be celebrating their 20 years of making you dance. The label’s most prominent artist, legendary Detroit techno producer Carl Craig, headlines the fete with DJ Derrick May and the U.K.’s Paul Woolford. While we’ve seen these guys before, basking in their glory on District 36’s insane soundsystem is enough to motivate us to catch them yet again. Tickets are $25 in advance, and we suspect they’re more at the door. And if you’re looking to take it easy, try Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor at Le Bain. He won’t be singing tonight, but instead manning the turntables with House of House’s Saheer Umar. No cover, but get there early if you want any chance of getting in.
On Saturday, we’ll catch Saheer Umar again, this time at MeanRed’s monthly Dark Disco. Tonight’s lineup is the strangest one yet, as Peaches headlines the intentionally bass-influenced, sinister dance music at Good Units. To be honest, we can’t even imagine what she’s got up her sleeve for this one. “Witch house” duo Creep and Rinsed DJs will also grace the turntables. Tickets are $15 in advance, $25 at the door. For a dark dance floor of a different kind, try Hidden Recording’s Rough & Tumble party at the National Underground. The after-midnight basement party sets the mood with mixes by Blkmrkt Membership’s Fahad and Hidden Recording’s own Deepak Sharma. Expect a stripped-down set of deep techno, tech house, and dubstep; prepare to zone out amid a sweaty floor of people doing the same. Tickets are $5 at the door (which is rare for these guys).
For a something with a little more liveliness, head to Santos for Meat Beat Manifesto, as they make a stop in NYC to celebrate their recent Answers Come In Dreams release on Metropolis. The U.K.-based electronic group has covered the scope of experimental electronic music, techno, drum ‘n’ bass, and industrial dance music, will showcase a little bit of it all during tonight’s “live performance.” The live aspect comes in with live video editing, as well as a whole slew of live sample rigs. Tickets are $20 in advance, likely more at the door.