Crookers maxing out 1015 Folsom 

Francesco “Phra” Barbaglia — the hard-bodied, bearded, bald, Italian demigod of dance music act Crookers — has a suite at the Mondrian Hotel in Los Angeles, a global tour, credits including Kid Cudi, Rye Rye, Pitbull, Miike Snow and — and a rented Toyota Yaris.

He wanted “the worst car ever” for his stay in L.A., he tweeted Sunday from the lot. “YESSSS goals achieved.”

On Friday, Phra brings that random, contrarian, self-assured playfulness — and an SD memory card full of bangers — to 1015 Folsom, the multitiered left ventricle of local DJ culture’s beating heart.

“I’ll play hip-hop, Mexican rap, bachata, Brazilian stuff,” he writes in an email. “I’m the kind of DJ that after years I still want to play a track that makes people ask me, ‘Whatthef---is this!’ I play what I want to play and what I feel the people want to hear to enjoy themselves.”

Coming out of Milan in 2003, the duo of Phra and Andrea “Bot” Fratangelo, known as Crookers, broke big in 2009 with a remix of Kid Cudi’s “Day ‘n’ Nite,” and “Tons of Friends” followed in 2010. Bot left the group in 2012 while Phra stayed on. He’s touring behind new LP “Able to Maximize,” and another album is planned for later this year.

A veteran of the cassette, vinyl and CD eras, Phra works with three CDJs and an SD card.

“I don’t think the change in technology has affected my musical style; it’s not a matter of how you play your music anymore. Playing vinyl doesn’t make you play cooler music than when you play the same track from an SD card.”

Phra releases all-digital music under his Ciao Records label, and listeners can stream “Able to Maximize” for free online.

“Compared to 10 years ago, music now moves 500 percent faster,” he writes. “Maybe I’m wrong, but you don’t make money from a record — you make a record to go out and play. If your music gets really big in terms of audience ... you can now tour on that record alone.”

Traveling around the world DJing and remixing, he doesn’t get much down time, he says.

“I go to the gym, sit in my garden and enjoy the panoramic view and check out expensive stuff on the Internet such as houses, cars and shoes which are so expensive I catch myself shouting ‘It’s craaaaaazy!’”



with Whitenoize, Alex Sibley, White Mike, Chris Clouse, The Schmidt

Where: 1015 Folsom, 1015 Folsom St., S.F.

When: 10 p.m. Friday

Tickets: $12.50 to $17.50

Contact: (415) 431-1200,



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David Downs

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