Spain’s Cristian Varela, an award-winning artist who has been producing and DJing since the early nineties, is a true technician behind the decks. Like his techno contemporaries Adam Beyer, Ben Sims and Carl Cox, Varela became internationally renowned for his three and four-turntable hard and funky techno sets. While Varela’s productions and DJ sets have evolved over the years to include more minimal styles of techno and house, his turntable wizardry continues to impress audiences around the world. He has released music on Primate Recordings, Intec, MB Elektronics and Chicago-based label Elephanthaus. Varela will play an extended DJ set at Smart Bar following his Miami appearances at this year’s Winter Music Conference—his first Chicago performance in over six years. Also dropping an extended set for this Elephanthaus label showcase is Chicago-based producer, DJ and label-boss Tim Baker. Expect a night of proper underground music, with plenty of metallic rhythms, some tribal beats and a healthy dose of Detroit-influenced funk. (Elly Rifkin)
March 27 at Smart Bar, 3730 North Clark, (773)549-0203, at 10pm. $15 after midnight.