An ode to Valencia: Bézier reflects on a definitive San Francisco hotspot

10 Minute Read
2022_A_Bézier by Frankie Casillo

Bézier explores the influence of  underground music culture on Valencia Street, spotlighting favourites and experiences.

In recent times we’ve documented the rise and evolution of electronic and leftfield music in San Francisco. It is a city with which we are very familiar having made good friends with many crews and collectives based there.

However, the recent release of an EP from San Francisco musician Bézier has offered us insight into a wealth of new music and tracks which helped to define the culture of the city.


Released last month on Dark Entries, Bézier’s latest record drew influence from the rough and rugged dance sounds associated with the music from the city’s underground.

“What started as a project to investigate the love of the sound and scenery while living in San Francisco quickly developed into a passionate search for interlocking melodies and driving rhythms.”

Bézier grew up garnering experiences off Valencia Street, an influential hotspot in San Francisco which has often acted as a hub for the creative and the free spirited.

There is a wealth of information to be read and digested as to the evolution of the genre and its history. We’ve asked Bézier to pick the tracks which they feel to be most important and that inspired them to explore the sound further…

Bronze - The Rouge Became

Bronze to me was, musically, the most iconic contemporary manifestation of San Francisco when I arrived. Visually and sonically, they were the total package. You could not get more California with this video of them performing at the Henry Miller library in Big Sur. 

  • Bronze - The Rouge Became

    Bronze to me was, musically, the most iconic contemporary manifestation of San Francisco when I arrived. Visually and sonically, they were the total package. You could not get more California with this video of them performing at the Henry Miller library in Big Sur. 

  • The Wasp Women - Kill Me

    Going to the Castro Theater in 2010, watching a screening of ‘What Ever Happened to Susan Jane’ from 1984 by director Marc Huestis gave me the inputs I needed to diagram in my head the queer connections of San Francisco. Recalling that history, when you go to Aunt Charlie’s for a Hot Boxxx Girls show you can feel SF’s bloodlines coursing through every vein of every drag queen performing there. 

  • Group Rhoda - Silence

    The Knockout in San Francisco was my introduction to the live, eclectic music scene in the Bay. It was there, for the first time, I saw Mara perform completely in control of an array of synthesizers and drum machines. Her organization with her equipment recalls a style of music performance you’d might find around campfires and renegade raves in the open backlots of the countryside. At the same time, this was revolutionary for me:she relied on the most minimal current of electricity to manage and operate the machines. I think about the human mind as the computer and the devices as mere scripts running in the background. 

  • Brilliant Colors - English Cities

    I first saw Jess Scott’s band in the hidden stage area of El Rio. Similarly, I watched Limp Wrist for the first time there as well. Brilliant Colors is lesbian, guitar driven punk music with an etherial twist– who then went on to becoming Flesh World with Scott Moore of Limp Wrist. This music is quintessentially Californian. 

  • Fanzine - Llegas Tardes

    Around 2008, Minimal Wave and Wierd were bubbling on the east coast while on the west coast Josh was organizing his life around the foundation of Dark Entries. In the first couple of years of knowing each other, Saturdays were spent getting brunch on Valencia street and then biking up to the Lower Haight to go record shopping. We’d spend afternoons comparing and analyzing records including stuff we ordered online. For a birthday present Josh gifted me a 7” of this record which quite realistic for me planted the seeds for Valencia. Driving, romantic and scenic– there’s a level of pathos and passion seeping through the bright yet melancholic arpeggiation from this track.   

  • Jyl - Silicon Valley

    There are always pockets in SF that would be easy to overlook if you don’t pay close attention. For one, Audium at the top of Nob Hill is an audio sensory experience that only the initiated can really talk about in detail, but is not a main feature people think about when visiting SF. Here, a record by Californian Jyl Porch that came out in 1984 and recorded by Klaus Schultze and Ingo Werner in Germany, continues to sound fresh and ahead of its time despite being hidden from view from even the most discerning musicologists. This record is one that I continuously refer back to when I try to describe my musical upbringing. Especially (given Porch’s backstory), that I am also a Californian who moved to Germany. 

  • Dax Pierson - Catch

    A vital energy of Bay Area California’s musical legacy. Over time, I saw Dax Pierson more often whether at Gays Hate Techno out in rural Northern California or at one of the many events in SF involving family and electronic music. What marks Dax apart from contemporaries is his productions hone in on a resilient tone, one that is persistent, futuristic but altogether classical. Dax’s music feels like renewal. Elements of electronic music’s timelines are interwoven and tempered to readjust and refocus the angles on how sounds really should be listened. 

  • The Soft Pink Truth - Promofunk

    I had finished a semester in Germany and then backpacked through Europe in the summer of 2002 where electroclash was in vogue and Fischerspooner’s ‘Emerge’ was ripping through all the hostels I stayed at. At that time, being a bleeding heart Bjork stan, I was following Matmos. When The Soft Pink Truth’s: ‘Do You Party?’ appeared on the servers of Soulseek, the act of downloading and consuming it served as a satisfying close to a chapter of musical discovery which eventually saw me on the trail up from Orange County to Silverlake, shepherding  me toward a new existence as a San Francisco resident. At once, starstruck, I saw Drew at parties the first few years I lived there and M.C. Schmidt having a drink at The Stud.