It's 5:00 am beneath the city streets of San Francisco at one of the many late night underground venues in the City. The space is still packed wall to wall with club goers who have been caught in the rhythmic web being woven by San Francisco's best kept secret, DJ Nikola Baytala. For well over a decade, Nikola has built his reputation as a DJ the old fashion way: by playing the music he loves with a passion and skill that is unmatched. Even as morning approaches, no one at this party is going anywhere until San Francisco's underground hero has played his last record.
Originally from New York, Nikola got his start in Los Angeles in the 90s producing parties with the legendary Doc Martin. Upon his arrival in San Francisco, Nikola quickly developed a reputation both as a record connoisseur and a vinyl manipulator, playing kinetic sets that not only showcased his technical prowess behind the decks but also his fearlessness as a music selector by not conforming to any particular genre. He is one of the rare DJs who can mix both records fresh off the vinyl cutter alongside rare and often obscure classics in a style that is distinctly his own.
Nikola's unique style and versatility as a music selector has allowed him to play headlining slots along side some of the world's top DJs and artists: from Richie Hawtin and M.A.N.D.Y. to Roger Sanchez and Jane's Addiction. Known as an obsessive vinyl record collector, Nikola's extensive knowledge of music allows him to play sets comprised of the deepest house to the chunkiest techno and all the frequencies in between. San Francisco's own Claude Von Stroke, mastermind behind the internationally acclaimed Dirtybird label, hailed Nikola as one of the best techno DJs in San Francisco. His talents have also landed him gigs at every major venue in the City as well as residencies at some of San Francisco's most internationally-recognized venues, including The Endup and the now closed but always legendary club, The Top.
Nikola is also one of the crucial components of San Francisco's minimal-techno collective, Kontrol. Founded in 2005, Kontrol almost single-handedly revived the techno scene in San Francisco and is currently one of the most respected techno parties in North America, having brought in such legendary artists as Josh Wink and Dan Bell (DBX) along with current luminaries like Modeselektor and Matthew Dear. In addition to his hectic DJing and promotional schedule, Nikola still finds time to work on production. With tracks on labels such as Robsoul, Junior Boy's Own, Large Records and Nightshift, Nikola has a long list of critically-acclaimed productions to his credit both under his own name and along with his musical production collective, S.W.A.T.
Through his extensive touring schedule, Nikola has begun to showcase his skills to crowds around the world. His recent set at the 2009 Movement festival in Detroit blew crowds away, and Resident Advisor proclaimed him one of the top underground DJs in the US. Track by track and city by city, Nikola is quickly moving towards taking his rightful place amongst the rarefied ranks of elite DJs in the world. The international electronic community is beginning to take notice of what San Franciscans have known for years: Nikola Baytala always brings it.