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by Don Crispy

Kerri Chandler

Two of the more influential forces in New York house and Detroit techno are in residence this weekend, while next weekend the focus turns to the cutting edge in experimental UK electronica.

A DJ who debuted at age 9, Kerri Chandler is widely viewed as one of the best house producers and remixers to emerge in the ’90s. Chandler mounts the pulpit at Yellow tomorrow night to spin tracks off his first original album in six years in a Trionosphere album release party.

Born and bred in New Jersey, Chandler honed his technique in his home state before hitting New York’s club scene. Tracks for key labels King Street and Strictly Rhythm, and his own Madhouse Records, established him as one of house’s top producers by the early ’90s. Known for dancefloor anthems like “I Got that Feeling,” Chandler in an online bio describes his sound as “jazz-based, dark, from a street level, which is where I’m coming from, so I believe in the underground.”

When asked about his relationship with King Street Records—owned by Japanese transplant Hisa Ishioka—Chandler answers, “Ishioka has allowed me to take my craft in the direction I felt like taking it. As opposed to most labels which are mainly interested in me recreating something I’ve done in the past...”

Turning from the rounded edges of New York house to the hard-boiled beats of Detroit, one of the legends of Detroit techno concludes a month-long residency at Ageha tomorrow night.

A pioneer of Detroit techno in the early 1980s, Derrick May helped to define the unique blend of disco and electronic music through releases for his Transmat label. A formidable DJ whose manic manipulations have had Japanese trainspotters taking notes for the last decade, May winds up a residency at the vast new bayside club Ageha in the company of one of Japan’s finest, Detroit-influenced DJ/producer Ken Ishii…

Next weekend, finally, sees Hostess Entertainment staging another one of its quirky events at Liquid Room. Run by English expat Plug Lazenby, Hostess has promoted a slew of unusual events including a tour last year by electronica wunderkind Matthew Herbert and his big band.

This weekend’s event, meanwhile, presents artists on the Peacefrog label roster. The label has been at the forefront of UK techno for the last decade, nurturing influential acts like Luke Slater. The upcoming Peacefrog tour is anchored by a live set from one of its current bright lights, Ian O’Brian.

Inspired by Detroit techno, but with his own utterly unique approach, O’Brian has established a strong body of work including his landmark debut album, Desert Scores, released in 1997. In Japan he has also released material for Toy’s Factory, and in 1999 scored a surprise hit with a song for the anime program, “Cowboy Bebop.” In addition to O’Brian, Matthew Herbert will be on hand as DJ, along with Charles Webster, who is slated for a three-hour set.

Kerri Chandler@Yellow, 3/1, 10pm, ¥3,500. Tel: 3479-0690.
www.club-yellow.com

Ageha@Studio Coast, 3/1, 11pm, ¥3,000. Tel: 5534-2525. www.ageha.com

The Peacefrog Tour@Liquid Room, 3/7, 11pm, ¥3.800. Tel: 3200-6831. www.liquidroom.net


Kerri Chandler credit: Yellow
Ian O’Brian credit: Liquid Room