SOUNDPIECES has had its hands in organizing top notch events, making art, and weaving webs since 2006. Discover the newest of musical formulas, hosted in the most ideal and sophisticated atmospheres. Soundpieces is famed for showcasing diverse high-end bass music and rare international acts including Diplo, Addison Groove, Aphrodite, Kode 9; and many for their very first time in the Bay Area such as Hudson Mohawke, Mount Kimbie, Rustie, Shlohmo, Nicola Cruz, Caspa, and Joker to name a few. Hosting the only diverse bass music “weekly” in San Francisco every Tuesday for over 5 years. Soundpieces has produced events major cities across the nation and even the globe, including New York City, Los Angeles, Detroit, Las Vegas, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Croatia, Taiwan, Sweden, Holland, Thailand, Bali, and others. For over a decade SP has been building within their community to develop one of west coast’s premier sources for top shelf underground experiences with forward-thinking music.
Interview Meikee Magnetic
Where were you born and where are you now?
I was born and raised in Las Vegas. I moved to San Francisco 16 years ago to go to college and never left.
Tell us about Soundpieces and all that it entails:
We are a crew that throws parties focused in electronic bass music. We travel all over the world, and collaborate in many intrinsic low key ways that has kept us thriving in the underground scene for over a decade. In San Francisco, we reign as the longest running bass music weekly since 2013, every Tuesday at Monarch. With the discovery of Dubstep, the scene naturally brought it into the clubs of San Francisco. I started a monthly in 2006 at El Rio with my “partner in grime,” DJ Bogl. Eventually we started calling the party Soundpieces. We began throwing parties because we were obsessed with the culture of electronic music, and wanted to be more a part of it. We’ve since become ambassadors for the international electronic music scene in California, and have thrown shows at possibly every major club in San Francisco. We are responsible for countless Bay Area debuts such as Skepta, Shlohmo, Mount Kimbie, Hudson Mohawke, Caspa, Nicola Cruz. We have also helped book festivals, and produced one-offs in LA, New York City, Detroit, Outlook Festival Croatia, and toured throughout Asia. We value quality over specific genres, and take great pride in our ongoing ability to be San Francisco’s plug for fresh, new styles. We throw our shows at mega clubs, swanky bars, secret underground locations, and are notorious for our bus parties. There many pieces to our puzzle, which is why we call ourselves Soundpieces. We may have built a legacy as one of the West Coast’s best resources to experience bass music, but we have built it as a community. None of it would be possible without the hundreds of people that have been involved over the years.
When walking into a Soundpieces event what is the vibe?
Dark atmospheres and heavy bass. We are an underground scene specializing in the darker sides of electronic music such as dubstep, trap, grime, hip hop, halftime, garage, and footwork. Low lighting. We don’t use strobes on the dance floor. We prefer to keep the atmosphere minimal, dark, and clean. We have a mixed sophisticated crowd, but everyone’s lets their freak loose by midnight — when the lights are low your insecurities let down faster… So for us, the darker the better. Soundpieces shows are always full of professional badass party squads. Our scene is full of artists, musicians, dancers, and eccentrics. San Francisco is a transient city so we have become a staple destination for people to come and go. Every week I meet different creative people from all over, and usually run into some old friends too.
Who are some newer artists you’ve booked that people should be aware of?
In March we had Moresounds from Paris at The Great Northern March with Om Unit and DJ Madd. Moresounds produces a kind of halftime and jungle style, we debuted him in SF some years back… honestly I consider him to be one of the greatest producers I know about. We had Ishan Sound last fall, and Egoless coming up in May — two “deep dubstep” producers from Europe and both San Francisco debuts at Audio Nightclub.
Are there any particular favorite clubs you have events at?
Monarch — I’ve been associated with Monarch for so long, we are basically family, and that’s why we’ve been able to keep our weekly Tuesday thriving. Not to mention they are a top-shelf venue equipped with a best in San Francisco voted Void Acoustics Sound System. The owners of Monarch and Great Northern are some of the most heroic, creative, legendary people in San Francisco nightlife, many of them are DJs/Producers so they know what makes a club great and are responsible for some of the most wild and unexpected rave experiences we get to have in the bay.
Audio Nightclub — possibly my personal favorite setup in the San Francisco. Their lighting and Funktion-One sound is so cutting edge for the size of their venue. I like sizable venues that are just small enough it sounds perfect and whole. The symmetrical layout at Audio literally makes you feel like you’re in some kind of electric altar of sound.
1015 Folsom — Where my favorite acts usually play on Friday nights.. you will catch me there on any given Friday, it’s likely a booking I would support. 1015 is one of the oldest and largest nightclubs in San Francisco with a capacity of over 2K. Every year they do something to improve and upgrade their venue. It was certainly one of my first rave hotspots when I entered the scene here ages ago.
What is your perception of Nightlife in San Francisco, pros and cons?
House and Techno thrive here. They thrive in most major cities because they are mainstream genres. Working in any other underground style or genre isn’t exactly a walk in the park. Luckily the diversity here is so vast if you know who or where, you can find any genre or pocket scene. Ive definitely had experiences here impossible to have anywhere else in the world. We have the history of music behind so many hidden doors in this city you would think San Francisco was Narnia on sonic steroids. The deeper into the industry I go the more I realize how much magic here influenced the industry on a global scale, and how much of it still thrives in its original form here. You can find a wild party any night of the week, and go out Friday-Monday without stopping. There are plenty of underground and after hour events every weekend if you enjoy house and techno, which luckily I do. When the real estate market last boomed here, it really changed the public face of nightlife. More wealth, more gentrification, less eccentric artists, less bass music, more squares.. so many people moved away to LA, Portland, and Grass Valley. I miss the old scene before our city was sold off to developers, but times change, and those of us still here have the responsibility of holding it down and carrying the torch so future underground generations thrive.
Sound pieces has traveled abroad to other countries, tell us a bit about this:
With booking international artists, Bogl getting booked around the world, and being a part of the festival circuit for over a decade we have made some incredible friends in the industry practically everywhere! For the last several years we have helped produce the Deep Dark and Dangerous boat party at Outlook Festival, Croatia. Recently we toured 6 countries in Asia. We are always collaborating with venues and artists in foreign places, as a crew we can be very ambitious about making the party happen wherever we go.
Let’s discuss your artistic side ’Nunya’, where you create beautiful works on canvas, walls and beyond in multiple cities. At what time did your talents all come together and you decided this was going to be a part of your life?
When we started Soundpieces I was in school for my BFA. My upbringing was full of art, dance, fashion, endless training, and constant mentorship. I have artists of all kinds in my family so I can’t say there’s been a day in my life where I didn’t consider myself to be one. I primarily paint at music festivals. My passion is driven deeply in public arts. The first shows I ever threw back in high school were art exhibits with DJs. After getting into street art it was only natural I began painting at my shows while our friends would DJ. When I first started painting live around 2005, there was hardly anyone else doing it… visionary art and painting at events were uncommon, but this is before dubstep went mainstream, or festival culture in general. Creating art and performing is what I’ve done my whole life and doing it at festivals allows me to explore art my way. In a festival setting the possibilities are infinite, you can let your imagination come to life on so many levels. My current project is The Temple of Nunya. I create different deities and build temples to paint them in. These characters I call Nunyas are generally female and are made by dissecting a subject’s heritage, traditions, astrology, numerology, to bring out a deeper meaning in the work. It helps me study the anthropology of cultures and origins of their symbols. I also believe in the power of art, and consider it to be a form of magic and social therapy. Symbolism, color, and geometry are capable of triggering ancient tools of communication and opening up your mind to different dimensions and levels of consciousness. My deities are designed to come to life and open doorways into those dimensions for you. The Temple of Nunya is a long term project designed to be brought to festivals as a sanctuary art zone that is immersive and collaborative. I have several festivals I plan on bringing it to this summer beginning with Emissions Festival in California, Memorial Day weekend.
How would you describe your personal style?
The great thing about San Francisco culture is there is so much freedom to be whoever you want to be or how to look. I just go for what is inspiring me at the time. I generally keep my look functional. I juggle looks I would call, cholita skater, bubblegum goth, and sultry clubber. I always keep layers on me to switch things up on the fly because Im very active and the weather changes rapidly in San Francisco. I’m also half Chilean so you will see me sporting the occasional gaucho inspired look once in awhile. I design masks as well so I try to wear them out as much as possible.
Favorite thing to do during the day in San Francisco:
I take my skateboards on adventures as much as possible, running errands in the city, meeting up with friends at parks, going out to eat. I live near the trolly so I just ride public transit and my skate all over, it’s one of my favorite things about my life in San Francisco. It’s such a gorgeous part of California, with so much clustered and bubbling. I discover different unique places all the time.
I have so many, haha… I dream far and wide. In the near future we have some pretty insane Soundpieces events lined up with huge dubstep acts Commodo, Sam Binga, Egoless, V.I.V.E.K., N-Type and Sepia. It’s a never-ending revolving door of great bass acts we get on a regular basis. Outlook Festival has called on Soundpieces to do an Official Boat Party at their event in Croatia along with 5 west coast launch parties in the next 2 months! Also worth mentioning the majestic performance collaboration in the works for Emissions Festival with several of my favorite female artists: Huxley Anne, HAH Couture, and the Bone Goddess.
What does Dark Beauty mean to you?
Darkness is an infinite deepness, it penetrates my heart and calms my soul. In the darkness I find comfort and security, I encounter the ecstasy of solitude, an isolation of my deepest universe. Darkness is an innate beauty, it’s with me in all my days.
Subject Adriana Sparkuhl
Photographer Johnny Edge
Style Gabriella Lovezanno
Hair Emily Patrick
Location Audio Nightclub – San Francisco