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