Issue Index

  Mini Features
  Cultural Features
  Life in Japan
  Big in Japan
  Rant & Rave
  Cars & Bikes
  Health & Beauty
  Money Talks
  Tokyo Tech
  Web Watch
  Food & Drink
  Restaurant Reviews
  Bar Reviews
  Word of Mouth
  Travel Features
  Japan Travel
  International Travel
  Tokyo Talk
  In Store
  Japan Beat
  CD Reviews
  In Person



Friday 10
Saturday 11
Sunday 12
Monday 13
Tuesday 14
Wednesday 15
Thursday 16
Friday 17



499: Son of a LOUD
498: Funk D'Void
497: Phil Mison
496: Deetron
495: Carl Craig
494: London Electricity
493: Joaquin "Joe" Claussell
492: Pure-ifying Shibuya
491: Wire03
490: Outdoor bliss
489: Justin Robertson
488: Kinky Licks
487: Electric Knights
486: Plump DJs
485: James Hardway
484: Vanity
483: Derrick Carter
482: Sound Vortex
481: A Guy Called Gerald
480: In Action
479: David Morales
478: Swayzak
477: King Unique
476: Junkie XL
475: Etoiles
474: Body&SOUL
473: Bombay Records Night
472: Aril Brikha
471: Jazztronik
470: Dimitri From Paris
469: Alternative Hip-Hop Past and Present
468: Green Velvet
467: Sally Nyolo
466: Kerri Chandler
465: Asian Massive
464: Claude Young
463: Alex Paterson
462: Dego
461: Crave for a Groove
460: Towa Tei
459: Rebirth JAG III
457/8: New Year's Rundown
456: Dancelibre Christmas Special
455: Countdown 2003 Crystal Skulls
454: Electraglide
453: Freedom Villiage
452: Pacific High
451: Soundclash


by Don Crispy

King Unique
Matthew Roberts (left) and Matt Thomas

“To put it bluntly, the music-making technology now available is allowing untalented people to make quite generic tech/house tracks,” says Matt “Watkins” Thomas, one half of dance production duo King Unique, by email from England. “A tidal wave of average tracks is watering down the scene.”

“Dance music is not as healthy as it could be,” adds partner Matthew Roberts. “A lot of the music is just fodder.”

Fighting words from a DJ/production unit that will be in town next week for the latest installment of Fareast Underground’s Spice parties at Yellow. But the reality is that, as veterans of mainstream parties like Cream and remixers of acts such as Underworld, King Unique are very much part of the UK house establishment.

The two long-standing collaborators decided to join forces full-time at the start of 2000 and make some 21st century noise, choosing Junior Records as the home for their new sound. The result has been a series of diverse club tracks and remixes mixing funky and progressive house elements, tied together with head-twisting production.

King Unique first visited Japan in 2001. “We had a great time playing Yellow,” recalls Thomas. “We did about seven or eight hours during which we played everything from the Chemical Brothers to Brian Eno. “The crowd stayed with us through many different moods; British crowds can be less open-minded.”
A King Unique DJ set blends elements of a classic DJ set with all the latest gadgetry. Roberts spins the vinyl while Thomas brings computers samplers and FX to the mix, creating the raw excitement usually associated with live techno acts such as the Chemical Brothers.

But don’t expect them to be wielding guitars on stage anytime soon. “Dance music played by a band is typically worse for it, and two blokes miming to a DAT is a waste of everybody’s time,” says Thomas. “More genuinely creative DJing is the way forward, using new technology such as vinyl-touch CDs, visual samplers and DV decks.”
Meanwhile, laymen with only a CD player in the house can get their first taste of King Unique outside the dancefloor with the release of their debut album, likely at the end of the year. “It has some downtempo stuff on there, and some house tracks,” explains Roberts. Adds Thomas: “We’re really pleased with the album. We’ve tried out new ideas as well as fitting in some classic King Unique club monsters.”

Joining King Unique at Yellow will be Spice resident DJs, Dave Twomey and Robert Palmer, and in the lounge Mel Bruce, Toshiyoshi NKJ and Simon Templar.

Spice@Yellow, 5/24, 9pm, 10pm, ¥3,500. Tel: 3479-0690.

credit: Fareast Underground