Matthew Dear beams into The City 

  • Courtesy Photo

Bay Area electronic music fans have a solid lock on Matthew Dear at Vessel tonight.

The Brooklyn, N.Y.-based producer-artist has opened for Interpol and remixed Hot Chip. His label Ghostly International enters its 13th year, and Ghostly artists spin nightly before millions of listeners on cable TV’s "Adult Swim."

The mini-mogul seems relatively relaxed before a smattering of summer dates, a prelude to a solo album release and big tour.

"Right now, it’s the calm before the storm," he says. "It’s about to start ramping up again. I just wanted to do some DJ dates before it got a little crazy."

Dear will spin house and techno at Vessel, using a few analog effects pedals and weird vocal samples: "I go back to my roots, I’ve never strayed far from house and techno when I DJ. I like long mixes. I like dance music. I like the club environment."

But it’s not all hype music. "I don’t like to bang it out too hard," he says. "I like to build a nice warm blanket for everybody."

Born in Texas and raised in Michigan, Dear came up schooled in the funky, robotic school of Detroit House, rounded out by influences from the Talking Heads to David Bowie and Brian Eno.

He started Ghostly International in 1999 with Sam Valent IV. The independent label’s debut 12-inch single, "Put Your Hands Up for Detroit," is part of electronic dance music’s core DNA, and it has gone on to release dozens of artists and albums. In 2009, it partnered with Cartoon Network hit "Adult Swim" on the indispensable, free LP "Ghostly Swim."

Ghostly is having a great time of it, says Dear, referring to releases by San Francisco’s Tycho, as well as Gold Panda, Com Truise and Beacon.

"We’ve hit this stride that is the culmination of all these dreams that these kids had when they were 19 and 20 years old in 1999."

Each of Dear’s four solo albums has drawn increasingly stronger acclaim, and the 2010 LP "Black City" managed a tough 8.4 out of 10 on Pitchfork. He’ll release his fifth LP "Beams" on Aug. 26.

Dear will tour "Beams" with a full band, he says, adding that The City always is a highlight: "The crowd, they’re always so good. And I always get a great dinner in San Francisco. I love to get fresh fish, especially sushi at Anchor Oyster Bar in the Castro."

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David Downs

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