Julien Dyne has already had a varied career as a musician. From playing in punk/hardcore bands at a young age, to playing jazz (notably with his father, Paul), then to the funky grooves of Opensouls and onto the hip hop/R&B of Ladi6.
But it was yet another side to his musicianship we saw on Friday at the San Francisco Bathhouse. This was Julien as DJ, crafting hypnotic electronic tunes in support of his latest solo album Glimpse. His musical history serves him in good stead here. He's long known how to craft a good song, and he brings that knowledge and experience to this new style of music.
Where a lot of DJs would try and throw in all the bells and whistles they could in an effort to impress the audience, Julien knows when to hold back, to let the tune speak for itself, instead of overwhelming it with anything unnecessary. The result is a pared back, downbeat soundscape. It's evocative, catchy and it sure got the kids dancing on Friday.
He also knows how to play to the crowd, so we got a mix of original tunes and hip hop remixes; something his Ladi6 collaborator Parks also delivered during his warm up set. These two complement each others music and work well together. So well in fact that for a while it was difficult to tell where Parks' set ended and Julien's began, except that more people seemed to turn up as Julien started, which was a shame for them, as Parks had a great set and really worked hard to hype the crowd up.
Before Parks, we'd had young Nat Walker, who had a heavier style and really got the small crowd moving - although at times it was hard to know who was more into it, the crowd or Nat himself, with his energetic dancing and arm waving.
Alphabethead rounded out the night (for us at least, the music continued through the night for those hardy souls who managed to keep up). I've said it before and it's worth repeating: the man is a musical wizard. This time round, he lived up to the wizard description with a dramatic opening, face concealed and arms flying as he directed his tools to make their magic.
He seemed to inspire a new surge of energy from the weary crowd - watching him perform you couldn't help but want to join in, like turntable voodoo. With hair flying, hands an invisible blur, and intense, doomy yet dancy tracks, he continued to show why he's on another level to the majority of DJs plying their trade around the country.
It was a great end to a night of top end musical talent; it's not often we get so many talented musicians in the hip hop/electronic genre performing together in one night.
Julien Dyne is a multi talented drummer, producer, DJ and visual artist.
Best known for his work at home with Opensouls, he has been making waves off shore with his solo output signing to BBE Records worldwide and Wonderful Noise in Japan.
Julien also performs as a drummer with Ladi6 and has recorded with Fat Freddy's Drop and a whole host of other local artists.