Epileptics, beware. The Stereo 3D Festival at Space 550 pulses kinetically Saturday with a headline DJ set from Reuben Wu, keyboardist for electropop smash Ladytron.
Over five studio albums, the 7-year-old Ladytron has helped define modern new wave and synthpop. With the band on a well-earned hiatus, Wu plays DJ gigs to fund international travel and photo projects.
His advice to San Francisco electro lovers this weekend: “Get your dancing shoes.”
Ladytron’s exemplary singles “Destroy Everything You Touch” and “Seventeen” reveal a band embracing catchy, dark, synthy pop. On his own, Wu kicks out sweaty party tracks, some of which are obscure yet hyper-accessible.
He headlines the first Stereo dance festival, also featuring 3-D images from VJ Jim Hopkins, MCs, and ’90s arcade and 3-D games from Blasthaus’ Bureau of Low Technology (BOLT), plus a fricking “Pong” tournament.
In the outdoor lounge, Popscene’s DJ Omar spins an ’80s arcade set. Complimentary 3-D glasses will be handed to the first 500 guests. Red and blue attire is encouraged, promoters say.
Wu had no idea he was the center of a night of 3-D worship. The trained industrial designer, musician, DJ and photographer says, “[3-D] hasn’t seemed to progress much since I was a kid, but ‘Dredd 3-D’ was very satisfying. I’m a fan of the comic.”
A reformed videogamer, Wu once nursed a healthy “Grand Theft Auto” habit on tour with Ladytron. He says, “It would be almost like a way of cleansing yourself and purging your frustrations: ‘I’m gonna wear a jetpack and fly around in my underpants shooting everyone.’”
When he’s not gallivanting around the globe, Wu has been working on the remix album for Ladytron’s 2011 LP “Gravity the Seducer,” which will feature Mix Hell, Punks Jump Up and Outfit. He adds, “It’s got quite a lot of artists who we really, really like and who aren’t that well-known, so that’s sounding great.”
The band is talking about another album “soon,” he says, noting that “having a break has been really, really good for us.”
On visiting San Francisco: “I can’t wait to come back, see my mates and have a good time. The crowds have always been really, really good.”