When producers Praveen Sharma (Braille) and Travis Stewart (Machinedrum) of Sepalcure took over the booth at the San Francisco warehouse venue 103 Harriet, a crowd ballooned onto the main floor from the adjoining 1015 Club. Many of the spectators were gearing up to celebrate the new year at the following night’s demented hippie rave Sea Of Dreams and brought with them a loosey-goosey playful freedom unique to San Francisco. You know: A kid with crutches tugged playfully at a man’s oddly styled beard up at the front, and a very grown-up woman wound through the crowd in a short tutu skirt, cowboy hat and Daisy Dukes—that kind of thing.
The duo started out with “See Me Feel Me,” one of the more soothing and melodic bass tracks off its self-titled debut album. Sharma and Stewart cycled through most or all of the tracks on Sepalcure, from “Carrot Man” to “Me.” They put off playing the single “Pencil Pimp,” which made its rounds from radio stations like BBC Radio 1 and East Village Radio to your local Urban Outfitters in the last few months.
The two producers are pretty cute together, Stewart with his hip little mustache and Sharma bobbing up and down behind the decks. Although Sepalcure’s music channels a pretty, swirling palette of sounds, Sharma and Stewart are just as physically invested in their performance as EDM rave DJs like Dillon Francis. Sepalcure’s chillness is wide-eyed, motoring along over pulsing and plodding dance beats.
The San Francisco flavor of the crowd and the heady danceability of Sepalcure’s set made people-watching the main event. Instead of all facing the DJ booth, Sepalcure’s audience boogied with each other, taking turns on that pair of crutches and dancing eyes closed, facing the crowd with beer in hand and hood up.