House music is back. Or maybe it was back a few years ago, with the growing popularity of such events as The People Party and, more recently, a second Friday event called Evolve. Launched by East Coast native Soul Luciani, it also features popular San Francisco DJ David Harness and Oakland favorite Rahiem Jihad, a nine-year vet with wax slinging strongly ingrained in his family pedigree. (Jihad's father, also a DJ, lent Jihad his first pair of vintage turntables.) Many of Jihad's mixes are available as podcasts, and what's striking about them isn't just the strong addictive grooves but the amorphousness of genre. Yes, Jihad favors a strong, propulsive house beat. But he also likes worldish Afro-Caribbean production, soulful hooks, and singable melody lines. When he's not holding court at Evolve, Jihad graces many house and electronic events throughout the Bay Area. His online presence is surprisingly unassuming, but his importance is undeniable.
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