Avalon Emerson plays it cool, releases EP 

click to enlarge Avalon Emerson
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  • San Francisco DJ Avalon Emerson is hosting a party to promote her new EP on Icee Hot.
Lower Haight resident, DJ and coder Avalon Emerson is celebrating the release of her first EP on San Francisco’s own Icee Hot label.

The party Friday is part of the Play it Cool night upstairs at Balancoire.

Spinning soulful house, classic disco and deep techno on a custom, hi-fi, dive-bar soundsystem, the rising DJ will be joined by fellow Play it Cool residents Derek Opperman, Matthew “Favorites” Howell and Guillaume Galuz for an all-residents, all-night affair — the third Play it Cool in four months.

Emerson, 25, writes server code, a former full-stack engineer for DJ TechTools. She moved to San Francisco from Phoenix when she was 20 and lived in a 14-person warehouse space where she picked up DJing.

The infectious beats of the illegal house-party scene never left her, she says, calling her style “an irreverent take on underground house and techno.”

In 2013, she put the wheels in motion for her Icee Hot debut in January, played Honey Soundsystem as well as warehouse parties in Los Angeles, and witnessed the instantly legendary Vinyl Dreams record store open up down the street from her house.

Her 12-inch EP for Icee Hot is four tracks — originals “Pressure” and “Quoi!” and two remixes — aimed squarely at the dance-your-ass-off crowd.

“Quoi!” bangs and skitters underneath a thick synthy, Italo. “Pressure” is techy, glitchy, fast and punchy with compression.

“They’re songs I’ve had in the works for a little while,” she says. “We got some really beautiful remixes in as well, and I loved the experience of mixing it down with Christopher Willits earlier this year.”

Emerson, Opperman, Howell and Galuz launched Play it Cool in October in the intimate, upstairs space of Balancoire, the new French-Creole restaurant in the Mission (formerly 12 Galaxies and later the Blue Macaw) because, she says, “The boys and I wanted to throw a party in S.F. that was focused on creating a vibrant party atmosphere with some underrepresented sounds.

“It’s focused on the atmosphere. We’re getting tons of decorations, have an elaborate plan for how the place will look and we’ve got a unique configuration in mind. All the parties in The City are at big clubs. We want to do something somewhere smaller and more intimate, with more possibilities.”


Play it Cool: Avalon Emerson record release

Where: Balancoire, 2625 Mission St., S.F.

When: 9 p.m. Friday

Tickets: Free before 10 p.m., $5 after

Contact: howtoplayitcool.com



Icee Hot Four-Year Anniversary: The party features Levon Vincent, Floating Points, the San Francisco debut of Joey Anderson, Jason Kendig and Jackie House of Honey Soundsystem, Shawn Reynaldo, Low Limit, Ghosts On Tape and DJ Will. 9 p.m., $15. Public Works, 161 Erie St., S.F., (415) 779-6757, www.publicsf.com

Icebreakers Ball: The ninth annual snow-covered, all-white-costume party offers Florida’s DJ Icey, Motion Potion, Zach Moore, Mopo, U9Lift, Phleck, Shouts!, Ma Yeah, Matt Haze, Snarkle and Professor Bang. 10 p.m., $15. Mighty, 119 Utah St., S.F., (415) 762-0151, www.sunsetpromotions.com


Nickodemus: Turntables on the Hudson and Wonderwheel Recordings’ Nickodemus is supported by The Spy From Cairo (aka Zeb) live on oud and electronics, plus guests. 9 p.m., $12-$15. Elbo Room, 647 Valencia St., S.F., (415) 552-7788, www.dubmissionsf.com

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David Downs

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