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by Don Crispy

Aril Brikha

Aril Brikha

Detroit techno, the hard, mechanistic dance music that launched the careers of a thousand DJs in the ’80s and ’90s, has been given a second life in Japan. Early pioneers like Derrick May make regular residencies and are worshipped as gods, while Japan has its own Detroit stylists in the form of DJ/producers like Ken Ishii.

Next Saturday, electronica promoters ArcTokyo, established by Detroit native and recent Tokyo transplant Laura Brown, brings to Air near Shibuya a lesser known figure of the Detroit diaspora, but one whose music rounds out the sharp, metallic edges of the style for a more soulful, melodic sound.

A DJ/producer from Stockholm, Sweden, Aril Brikha initially discovered electronic music through the likes of Europop outfits Depeche Mode and Jean Michel Jarre, before turning on to the abstract, futuristic sounds of Detroit producers such as Jeff Mills and his Underground Resistance confederates. Unhappy with the response his initial recordings were getting at home, Brikha fired off some demos to his favorite labels stateside, and was soon being released by none other than Derrick May himself.

May issued Brikha’s The Art of Vengeance EP featuring the track “Groove La Chord,” following it up with Brikha’s Departure in Time album on his key Transmat imprint. For those who sometimes find Detroit techno a bit cold, the album is full of warm string lines and easily graspable melodies—interestingly the antithesis of much of May’s work—and has resonated with both techno and house DJs.

Brikha is also renowned for his live sets, which have been appreciated from DEMF in Detroit to Fabric in London, and now in his upcoming Tokyo debut...

DJ Suv

Meanwhile, tomorrow night at Liquid Room, a key member of Roni Size’s Mercury Prize-winning Reprazent drum‘n’bass collective, DJ Suv mounts the DJ pulpit in the latest installment of Earth Planning’s long-running Drum & Bass Sessions.

In addition to his work with the Bristol collective, Suv has also amassed a significant body of work under his own name, including the sparkling, jazzy hit, “Do You Remember Me?” For Saturday’s gathering, he brings with him the new album, “Drum and Bass Fiesta,” in a night that will also feature the vocal gymnastics of special guest, MC Stamina from London.

Aril Brikha@Air, 4/19, 10pm, ¥3,500. Tel: 5784-3386. www.air-tokyo.com
Drum & Bass Sessions@Liquid Room, 4/12, 11:30pm, ¥3,500 (adv), ¥4,000 (door). Tel: 3200-6831. www.liquidroom.net

Aril Brikha credit: ArcTokyo
DJ Suv credit: Liquid Room