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May 19: Deniz Kurtel at U Street Music Hall. Turkish producer Deniz Kurtel had it all mapped out: Georgetown degree, two masters from NYU and Columbia, the shining path to academia laid before her. What urge drove her to ditch the books and plunge into deep house music a few years ago? Whatever it was, it steered her right—her first LP, Music Watching Over Me, is moody and impressively mature.
May 19: Melange at Velvet Lounge. In its fourth month, this still-new DJ night is the rare place to hear well-curated electro, disco, and house music mixed into contemporary synth-pop. Expect to hear Toro y Moi sandwiched between soulful disco cuts.
May 21: Protect-U, Bluebrain, and Painted Face at St. Stephens Church. Post-post-punk: Punk-rock activist group Positive Force hosts this benefit show for the Brain Injury Association of Washington, D.C., featuring a lineup of local electronics-based groups. Punk lives on—again!—through synthesizers.
May 27: Carl Craig at U Street Music Hall. NOTE: This show has been cancelled. Influential second-wave Detroit techno DJ/producer/label owner plays the Red Fridays series a couple days before he headlines the Detroit Electronic Music Festival. Not to be missed.
July 23: Ursula 1000 at U Street Music Hall. Spy funk! Junkshop glam! Robo-rock! Are these real genres? You bet—in the funky brain of New York’s Ursula 1000. The DJ and producer—who returns to the D.C. to celebrate his new record, Mondo Beyondo, on local label ESL—seethes tiki bar kitsch, but he’s probably the biggest ray of sunshine the subterranean club will see all year.