After Dark: Hotaka Mountain Festival '02

By Don Crispy

Infusion

Japan's highest (wink!) rave returns following its debut last year. Situated 1,440 meters up the slopes of a mountain in Gunma Prefecture, the Hotaka Mountain Festival settles in for a four-day stretch that will see sets by a slew of DJs and live acts.

Headliners range from veteran psychedelicists to cutting-edge techno units. From abroad, guitarist of legendary experimental rock unit Gong, Steve Hillage, will be present with his techno unit, System 7. Last year, the band performed a well-received set at Hiroshima's Sacred Music Festival, while their latest album, Seventh Wave, brings together techno, trance, house and dub.

Also making a return trip to Japan will be Infusion, the experimental Australian trance act signed to Thunk Recordings. The young three-piece made a successful Japan debut this past April, performing tracks off their consistently challenging Phrases and Numbers.

Rei Harakami

Partygoers may also be familiar with longtime Japan friend, DJ Mike Maguire. An occasional collaborator with psychedelic techno leaders Juno Reactor, Maguire has been pushing Japanese clubbers to the limit since he first started touring here in the '90s.

Filling out the "guest from abroad" roster are The Bays, a band formed by the drummer for Massive Attack and experimental techno artist and keyboard wizard Jamie Odell, aka Jimpster, and DJs Domino and Holeg.

On the home front, 10-piece jazz-oriented improvisational group, Date Course Pentagon Royal Garden, will be present, as will veteran electro-dub unit Audio Active and Japanese taiko drum ensemble, Gocoo, who will be performing with didgeridoo sensation Goro.

Rei Harakami of leading Japanese techno label Sublime will be presenting his eccentric vision of electronic jazz, and will be joined by all-star outfit Rovo, a trance-oriented live unit that includes guitarist Yamamoto of the Boredoms and other members from Dub Squad.

Domestic DJs include one of Japan's seminal techno DJs, Artman, trance standby Funky Gong, and worldbeat and house DJ Kaoru Inoue, with Ebz, Ubartmar.com, and Techno Flux A&R man and veteran Equinox party organizer, Kotaro, completing the bill.

Leave plenty of time to reach the festival site, as getting to the campground involves a substantial drive from Tokyo and a shuttle bus from the parking lot, followed by a ski lift to the top of the mountain and a one-hour walk.

Hotaka Mountain Festival '02@Hotaka Bokujo Campground (Katashina Village, Gunma Prefecture), 8/23-26, ¥8,500 (adv), ¥10,500 (door). Info: 3298-8771. www.hotakasai.com

credit: Techno Flux

B u y  i t  o n l i n e !
Tokyo Night City

AFTER DARK ARCHIVE:
449: Utsumi Izuru
448: Jeff Mills
447: CJ Bolland
446: Play Label Presents: The Mighty Quark
445: Tokyo London Clash
444: Slinky Tokyo
443: David Alvarado
442: Lee "Scratch" Perry; Mad Professor
441: Salsa Libre en Velfarre
440: Nuphoria III
439: Wire02
438: Hotaka Mountain Festival '02
437: Free parties
436: Dub Above Jazz
435: Metamorphose
434: Andrew Weatherall
433: Solstice Music Festival
432: Cassius
431: Algorithm
430: If? So!! ...What?
429: Jose Padilla
428: Flak
427: Balance
426: Norma Jean Bell
425: Skam
424: Daz Saund
423: MODA
422: Body & SOUL
421: Music of the Sphere
420: Velfarre Cyber Trance
419: Danny Howells and Kenny Ken
418: Detox
417: Soul City Scandal
416: Jeff Mills
415: Frankie Knuckles
414: Isolated Audio Players
413: Living Floor
412: Hernan Catteneo
411: Derrick May
410: Return to the Source
409: Kenny Dope
408: Basement Jaxx
407: Jerome Sydenham
406: Rebirth Jag
405: Co-Fusion
403: Seismic Frequencies
402: Crystal Skulls
401: Adam Freeland
400: Electraglide

ISSUES 500+
ISSUES 499-
ISSUES 449-
ISSUES 399-
ISSUES 349-

 

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