The evolution of Simian Mobile Disco 

click to enlarge Simian Mobile Disco from the U.K. headlines a BFD-after-party event Saturday. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • Simian Mobile Disco from the U.K. headlines a BFD-after-party event Saturday.

U.K. production duo Simian Mobile Disco funks up the Mezzanine on Saturday, headlining the official after-party of Live 105’s annual BFD music festival.

After-partiers can expect “loads of techno, some house, probably some stuff that’s unreleased. We’re road-testing new stuff,” says Jas Shaw, partner in the 7-year-old unit, also starring James Ford.

The two are DJing a string of nights across North America this summer to promote their third, recently released album, “Unpatterns.”

Though Simian Mobile Disco intends to bring “Unpatterns” to life with a full band, as it has before, the pair doesn’t know how yet, says Shaw. The meticulous, tightly braided, analog production refuses re-creation.

“To be fair, we worked out two of the songs,” he says. “We have to reverse engineer it and it’s almost like trying to do a cover of another band. ‘What synth is that? Is it this sequencer and that plugged into this?’”

The 35-year-olds are known worldwide for “Attack Decay Sustain Release” in 2007 and “Temporary Pleasure” in 2009. Singles “Hustler”” from 2007, and 2009’s “Audacity of Huge” have about 2 million views each on YouTube.

In between regular DJ gigs, the gents created “Unpatterns” over two years in their home studio, jamming on 1970s analog gear. “We took much longer on this one and we were more selfish,” says Shaw. “We knew we wanted to do something more psychedelic and maybe a bit warmer.”

Layering simple sequences atop one another, the two sought the audio equivalent of a “moire pattern” — a visual effect that can be seen on textiles like silk, bird feathers, or simply by walking past two parallel chain-link fences.

“You’re waiting for that effect to happen and when you get it you’re like, ‘Sweet, thank you very much.’ You’d have to be much smarter than either of us to plan it from the outset,” Shaw says. “We just do loads and loads of tunes and come back to them. It doesn’t really make any sense to do proper documentation.”

The full live show should be ready by fall, Shaw says, adding that DJing live shows holds its own surprises — but playing San Francisco is usually easier than the rest of America.

“I feel like San Francisco is quite a European city,” he says. “We always have a really good time when we’re in San Francisco.”



Simian Mobile Disco

Where: Mezzanine, 444 Jessie St., S.F.
When: 9 p.m. Saturday
Tickets: $25

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