by Don Crispy
|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
Fighting words from a DJ/production unit that will be in town
next week for the latest installment of Fareast Undergrounds
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
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
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 dont 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
everybodys 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: Were
really pleased with the album. Weve 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. www.club-yellow.com