by Don Crispy
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
May issued Brikhas The Art of Vengeance EP featuring
the track Groove La Chord, following it up with
Brikhas 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
melodiesinterestingly the antithesis of much of Mays
workand 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...
Meanwhile, tomorrow night at Liquid Room, a key member of
Roni Sizes Mercury Prize-winning Reprazent drumnbass
collective, DJ Suv mounts the DJ pulpit in the latest installment
of Earth Plannings 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 Saturdays 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
Brikha credit: ArcTokyo
DJ Suv credit: Liquid Room