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by Don Crispy

Bombay Records Night

Frederic Blais aka Fred Everything

Amid the parade of big-name, big-budget superstar DJs emptying Japanese wallets (Paul Oakenfold, the world’s most expensive DJ, hits town April 26), a figure less familiar to Tokyo clubbers will be bringing the sounds of Canadian house to Tokyo this Saturday at La Fabrique.

Frederic Blais aka Fred Everything has been a lynchpin of the Montreal rave scene since he first opened for Sasha in 1993. Releasing tracks for key techno imprints like 2020 Vision and hitting top clubs worldwide, from Plastic People in London to Batofar in Paris to Centro-Fly in NYC, Blais has also lent his remixing skills to everyone from Roy Davis Jr. to Missy Elliot. A new album is due out on 2020, with dub reggae and flamenco influences on Blais’ house beats and vocal contributions from Rise Ashen, Karl The Voice and others.

The night will also serve as an overall introduction to the sounds of Blais’ Bombay Records. Based out of Montreal, Bombay is the city’s first and most prestigious international house label. Specializing in the deeper and more exotic sounds of house, the imprint has seen releases from artists such as Roy Davis Jr. and Derrick Carter, in addition to Blais’ own Fred Everything tracks.

As part of a Bombay Records mini-Asian tour, the event will also feature DJ Decode, a pioneer of the emerging Seoul house music scene. Rounding out the night will be Nuphoria resident DJ Marshall as well as Dubstract DJ Jaybee, teaming up again after launching the SCI-Fi party in Tokyo over three years ago...

Looking ahead to next weekend, a posse of German experimental electronica artists will be making their Japan debut when Burnt Friedman & The Nu Dub Players set up shop at Liquid Room next Friday.

Working in a space also inhabited by post-rock explorers Tortoise and Mouse On Mars, Burnt Friedman is one of the dons of Germany’s leftfield electronica scene. For last year’s Playing Secret Rhythms (NonPlace) album, he recorded a series of jams with legendary Can drummer Jaki Liebezeit, and then deconstructed the results on his Macintosh G4 for an effect that was simultaneously rhythmic and abstract.

Liebezeit will be making the trip to Japan, as will highly touted avant-garde guitarist Josef Suchy, in a night that should test the limits of what can be considered dance music...

And as for the world’s most expensive DJ, Paul Oakenfold’s credentials as one of the launchers of the late ’80s acid house boom, and producer of one of the greatest albums of the ’90s (Happy Mondays’ Pills ‘n’ Thrills and Bellyaches), are not in doubt. But what has he done for us lately?

Well, the answer is his most recent album, last year’s Bunkka on his respected Perfecto imprint. While primarily known as a remixer, Oakenfold on this album put together a selection of mostly original tracks, composed with partner Andy Gray. High on production values, the album was criticized for trying to cover too many bases, with stabs at big beat, experimental, female singer/songwriter electronica, and hip-hop in addition to Oakie’s bread and butter progressive house.

The wildcard of the evening will come when Oakenfold and special guest, Italian house star DJ Daniele Davoli, turn over the decks to the Japanese winner of sponsor Heineken’s Found@Thirst emerging talent competition.

Soul City Industries Presents Bombay Records Night@La Fabrique, 4/19, 11pm, ¥3,000. Tel: 5428-5100.

Burnt Friedman & The Nu Dub Players@Liquid Room, 4/25, 10pm, ¥4,000 (adv), ¥4,500 (door). Tel: 3200-6831.

Paul Oakenfold Thirst Tour 2003@Studio Coast, 4/26, 10pm, ¥6,000 (adv), ¥7,000 (door). Info: Creativeman 5466-0777.

credit: Bombay Records