by Don Crispy
As Western holidays gain traction in Japan,
Tokyo's clubs are ramping up their Halloween festivities,
with some flying in big-name DJs and others offering substantial
prizes for the best costumes.
Underground house temple Yellow in Nishi Azabu, for example,
is hosting UK DJ John Kelly for a costume party themed around
the new Quentin Tarantino film, Kill Bill. A veteran with
decades behind the decks, Kelly was a prime mover behind the
Liverpool rave scene in the late '80s, owning and spinning
at a series of clubs including The Underground and Quadrant
Park. As the UK rave scene began to move aboveground, he became
associated with some of the big events, with residencies at
Gatecrasher, Slinky and, currently, Cream.
Often manning the decks on the Spanish party isle of Ibiza,
Kelly spins hard, underground trance. He can also sometimes
be found on the dancefloor at his own events. "I like
having a good time on the other side of the decks too!"
he wrote in an online autobiography. "I recently went
to play for Cream at club Yellow in Tokyo. It should have
finished at six, but they said I could play on, which I did
until nine in the morning-and only then because I ran
out of records! I even got on the dancefloor once or twice
for a boogie. Sometimes you never want the night to end
Meanwhile, over at Womb in Shibuya, the Cyclone event celebrates
its second anniversary with a guest appearance by a DJ associated
with Paris' Output Recordings. Launched at the same
time Womb opened, Cyclone has become a fixture of the club's
schedule, with resident DJ Miku delivering consistently strong
mixes based on the concept of "post-techno."
For Cyclone's Halloween special, Miku
has invited singer/DJ Jennifer Cardini, an artist on noted
producer Trevor Jackson's Output Recordings imprint.
The night will also feature veteran minimal techno DJ Kagami
and a live set by aM, with Taro Acida of Japanese live breakbeats
unit Dubsquad in Womb's newly refurbished lounge
Over at dedicated dance basement Maniac Love in Aoyama, on
the other hand, Detroit DJ Tim Baker will be delivering the
brand of punishing beats associated with his hometown in a
party hosted by Japan's Moon Age Recordings.
Whetting his appetite for techno at Detroit legend Derrick
May's mid-'80s parties at the Music Institute,
Baker had his first residency alongside Jeff Mills at the
famous Nectarine Club in 1987-88. Since then he has been associated
with some of techno's signature events, including Berlin's
Love Parade, and he's released tracks fusing the future
funk of Detroit with the soulful edge of Chicago on his own
Real Estate Records. Baker will be spinning alongside Moon
Age's indefatigable DJ Q'hey
Down by Tokyo bay, finally, superclub Ageha/Studio Coast is
holding what looks to be the mother of all costume parties.
An all-star lineup of Tokyo house DJs, including Ko Kimura,
Envy and Patrick, will be revving things up for a Beauties
& Beasts Halloween Ball. Hosted by the charming Anthony,
the party will be offering a staggering ¥1 million grand
prize for the best costume.
Kill Bill@Yellow, 10/31, 10pm, ¥3,500.
Cyclone@Womb, 10/31, 10pm, ¥3,500. Tel: 03-5459-3939.
Tim Baker@Maniac Love, 10/31, 10pm, ¥3,000. Tel: 03-3406-1166.
Beauties & Beasts Halloween Ball@Ageha/Studio Coast, 10/31,
10pm, ¥3,500. Tel: 03-5784-7053.