Ghosts on Tape Keeps It Icee Hot at Public Works 

click to enlarge Ryan Merry’s Icee Hot parties at Public Works focus on the music, not the scene. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • Ryan Merry’s Icee Hot parties at Public Works focus on the music, not the scene.

Modern house aficionados will pack Public Works on Friday for another “Icee Hot” dance party, this time featuring the West Coast debut of Rotterdam, Netherlands, artist Gerd. “Icee Hot” co-founder Ghosts on Tape (aka Ryan Merry) said the Gerd night has been long in coming.

“We’ve just been big fans for a long time and he’s awesome,” Merry said. “It was just perfect for us. His music represents a lot of what we’re about.”

It’s full of crisp yet smooth beats, techno synthesizers and vocal samples designed to get bodies moving; Gerd’s rework of Grown Folk’s “The Boat” is out now on the Icee Hot record label.

Gerd’s sound should be a nice match with “Icee Hot’s” crowd of 21- to 30-something modern-house fans, Merry says.

“We get a crowd that’s pretty knowledgeable and into the music and actually want to go there and dance,” Merry says. “They know about the tracks and even if they don’t they’re into it. It’s definitely a music-loving kind of crowd.”

Three-year-old “Icee Hot’s” music-focused vibe continues to offer sexy beats without the expensive covers, bottle-service exclusivity and other trappings of more mainstream club nights. “Icee Hot” has running bans on party photographers, guestlists, set times, listener requests, crying and hula hoops.

“We stand by it,” Merry said. “No hula hoops. Shut it down. ... [Hipster celebrity party photographer] Cobrasnake is not invited.”

In place of such annoying trappings are positive vibes, big jams and pizza, Merry says. The dance night has branched out into releasing records, and 2013 should be a big year for the boutique label.

Also a record label, Icee Hot artist Contakt’s new EP, “Nobody Else,” comes out Monday, with four more releases slated for this year. Six artists have already put out four releases on the label, Merry says. Icee Hot wants to work with more Bay Area artists, but is in no rush.

“We’re OK with doing it on a small scale,” he says. “We just want to maintain the quality levels and if people come to the parties and buy the records, then that’s great.”

The City’s rent-control laws allow Merry to stay humble amid skyrocketing rent in his neighborhood of Bernal Heights. He’s lived in San Francisco for 10 years.

“I’m pretty set in that regard,” he says. “I never ever want to give up my apartment. It’ll just be a dramatic rent increase if I do.”


Ghosts on Tape: Opening for Gerd

  • Where: Public Works, 161 Erie St., S.F.
  • When: 10 p.m., Friday
  • Tickets: Free
  • Contact: (415) 779-6757;

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