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by Don Crispy

Crave for a Groove

Suburban Knight

This event is being staged as a launch party for Calvin Klein's new Crave fragrance; but aside from the corporate sponsorship (something on the rise as the weak economy hits clubland), Crave for a Groove looks to present some serious techno talent in the form of visits by Suburban Knight, Christian Vogel and the Space DJz.

Organized by the same people who produce the annual Metamorphose parties near Mt Fuji, Crave for a Groove hews to a similar formula of Detroit and minimal techno, mixed with more progressive breakbeats and electro experimentation.

A DJ and producer with nearly two decades of experience, James Pennington aka Suburban Knight is, along with Derrick May, Jeff Mills and a few other seminal figures, one of the core artists pushing the mechanistic sounds of the Motor City. He released his first track, “The Groove,” on Derrick May's fledgling Transmat label way back in 1987, and Pennington was also the author of one of clubland's greatest songs, the irresistible “Good Life.”

Mayuri

More recently, Pennington has been associated with Jeff Mills' Underground Resistance label/organization, and has also been involved in producing Detroit's new Electronic Music Festival, which has finally brought the innovations of Detroit techno back to the city that spawned it.

In an online interview with Muse, Pennington commented on the mixed relationship of Detroit techno with the city. “Finally! The city of Detroit recognizes the music of Detroit,” he said. “1.5 million people...coming to see what the young guys, the post-Motown generation are doing. It really opened my eyes that this can go on at home, because Detroit was always the hardest place to bring across techno.”

Christian Vogel, meanwhile, has throughout the '90s been steadily establishing himself as a solo act and also as part of the influential abstract techno unit Super Collider. A native of Chile, Vogel relocated to the UK in the mid-'70s and eventually ended up studying 20th Century Music at the University of Brighton. A debut EP for the Magnetic North label in 1991 launched Vogel on a career that has also seen him release tracks for key techno labels Tresor and Novamute.

Last on the list of guests from abroad is DJ unit, the Space DJz. Consisting of Ben Long and Jamie Bissmire, the pair have been making music together since they first got into early hip-hop, electro and Detroit techno as schoolmates. With a monster live set that includes four turntables, two mixers and a 909 drum machine, they describe their sound as “fatt, funky, far out and full of flavor.”

On the domestic front, Metamorphose organizer Mayuri, also a DJ of some renown in her own right as resident of Maniac Love's long-running Reboot events, will be on hand to warm up the crowd with one of her precisely mixed sets of minimal techno.

Crave for a Groove@Womb, 1/31, 9pm, ¥3,000 (adv), ¥3,500 (door). Tel: 5459-3939. www.womb.co.jp

credit: Womb