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Nikola Baytala

San Francisco, United States

House, Techno

Auralism Records, Robsoul Recordings
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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.

high profile gigs and festivals

Fabric – London

Panorama Bar – Berlin

Detroit Electronic Music Festival

Club Luxy – Taipei

Weekend Club – Berlin

Decibel Festival – Seattle

Symbiosis Festival

Love Parade – San Francisco

Yoshis Jazz Club – San Francisco

Avalon – Los Angeles

Made Events Sunday School For Degenerates – New York City

APT – New York City

Bunker – New york City

HAWT – Los Angeles

The Egg – London

Winter Music Festival – Miami

Electric Pickle – Miami

Mansion – Miami

Karu & Y Ultralounge – Miami

Snatch Tampa – Florida

Queen Club – Paris

Mezzanine – San Francisco

Ultra Festival- Miami

H20 – Belgium

Retox at Club Sosha – London

The End – London

Folies Pigalle – Paris

Club Fellini – Barcelona

Lollapalooza Festival – West Coast Tour

The Fillmore with Kraftwerk- San Francisco

The Warfield with The Prodigy – San Francsico

dj quotes


“Nik is the man, one of those rare breeds that manages to be aDJ’s DJ and

rock any crowd he’s playing for with ease. He’s got the roots, knowledge,

and record collection like some of dance music’s godfathers, but is incredibly

adaptable and always up to date…”

lee burridge GET WIERD

“Nikola is awesome. Full stop! The Best Dj in San Fracisco!”

elan ackerman MATTERFORM/CIELO

“The West Coasts Hidden Weapon, Nikola Baytala.

I am constantly blown away by his sets. He has an incredible way of

mixing techno and house, encouraging many a happy dancing foot.

Given that he is always being brought up by DJ’s as a great DJit is

one of the worlds many mysteries that this guy hasn’t exploded yet. He

will. You Listen!”

claude von stroke DIRTYBIRD/MOTHERSHIP

“Nikola Baytala is one of the best techno Djs in San Francisco. He is

always able to generate energy in the crowd with his natural feel for

the music. Mixing wise, I would put him up against anyone i have seen

on the road. It is also nice to see someone rocking all vinyl from the


nathan coles WIGGLE/FABRIC

“Nikola Baytala is one of those dj’s who always hits the mark for me.

And on top of that, he’s a very nice chap too!”


“One of the best DJs in San Fran always mixes tight, and rocked Retox

London too…… he’s also a top fella, luv him………….”

adultnapper aka francis harris MADE EVENTS/AUDIOMATIQUE

“Nikola is solid in every way a dj can be. Intelligent selection with

emotion and energy, all seamlessly mixed. I’m a fan. Looking forward

to hearing him more in the future.”


“We met Nikola two times now and always had fun with him, as a person

and for sure as a dj. He’s got big skills, probably because of his

musical roots.

You don’t often see energetic Djs like Nikola, getting the crowd

completely into his groove.”


“nikola openend for us at the M.A.N.D.Y./Damian Lazarus show and he

build it up perfectly.

also thanx to him it was a great


derek plaslaiko SPECTRAL / BUNKER (NYC)

“When I think of Nikola, I only think of one thing: “The Truth”

I have heard him play about 6 times now, and everytime he consistantly

surprises me and needless to say, blows me the fuck away! The

highpoints being his versatility and the ability to to apply said

versatility to whatever crowd is in front of him. Seldomly does a Dj

impress me with his vast knowledge and impeccable programing, not to

mention flawless mixing. He is the very definition of “The Truth”. An

asset to any lineup he is added to. And thats WORD!"


“for my money nikola is by far one of the best “new” american

underground djs along with names like ryan elliot or derek plaslaiko.

he’s the genuine article."

production & releases on labels

Jr. Boys Own

Utensil Recordings


Large Records

Distance Music

Auralism Records

Nightshift Recordings

Robsoul Recordings

Tweekin Records