by Don Crispy
Reel Up 10th Anniversary
Two veteran purveyors of no-nonsense techno
are behind the decks at different parties this week, one of
them celebrating a tenth anniversary and the other arriving
on a Japan tour.
For ten years, Sublime Records, under DJ Yama, has been leading
the Japanese take on mechanistic Detroit techno through a
slew of releases, most notably by Ken Ishii, and legendary,
still-running Cycle events at infamous Aoyama dance pit Maniac
Love. As an extension of its activities at the narrow Maniac
Love, Sublime also hosts annual end-of-the-year Reel Up parties
at larger clubs.
These parties have recently shifted from Shinjuku's
Liquid Room to Shibuya's Womb, where Ishii and Yama
will be welcoming Detroit techno DJ Rolando, part of key Detroit
techno imprint Underground Resistance, and DJ Wada of the
Co-Fusion techno duo, also a Sublime and Maniac Love veteran
Ishii, meanwhile, continues with a hectic pace of recording
and releasing. He's just completed yet another European
circuit, and this week issues a new track, "Pulse Taster,"
for a just-recorded tribute album to the Walkman, WKM, also
featuring contributions by Cornelius, Tatsuya Oe and DJ Tsuyoshi.
In a recent interview, Ishii described his return to straight-ahead
Detroit techno on his latest disc, last year's Future
in Light. "With the previous album, I tried new styles
of dance music, but the dance community was not so receptive,"
he said. "In touring the world the last two years I
realized how strong basic techno is-the simple beat
One of techno's busiest DJs finds
time to visit Japan this week, when Carl Cox brings his formidable
presence to the country in a tour that includes back-to-back
stops at the enormous bayside Ageha@Studio Coast and the more
intimate Yellow in Nishi-Azabu.
Regularly voted best DJ in the world in the major mix magazines,
Cox has been a fixture of British clubbing since the acid
house explosion of 1988-1989. The tank-like Cox first unveiled
his use of three decks on the mix in front of 15,000 at the
defining Sunrise event of '89, while the '90s
saw him well-established on the British club scene, releasing
a slew of chart singles from Paul Oakenfold's Perfecto
More recently, Cox last year reissued the latest volume of
his defining mix-compilation series, F.A.C.T.: Future Alliance
of Communications and Tecknology. And in a sign of his durable
reputation in Japan, his radio show, Carl Cox Global, has
since October been syndicated to 76.1 InterFM, where it can
be heard every Friday between 4-5am. Two of Japan's
leading DJs, Takkyu Ishino and Ko Kimura, offer support on
Friday and Saturday, respectively
Finally, just back from a visit to Thailand, where a night
out revealed that the government's enforcement of a
2am curfew has considerably dampened Bangkok's notorious
nightlife. Silom Road Soi 4, just down from the fleshpots
of Pat Pong, still offers a range of outdoor bars and clubs
mostly for the gay scene, where one can view the exotic streetlife.
Perhaps the most interesting trend, however, is for young
Thais to visit the backpacker ghetto of Ko San Road, an area
that was once taboo but which now seems to be developing into
a nightlife district for both Thais and farang.
Reel Up 10th Anniversary@Womb, 12/13,
11pm, ¥3,500 (adv), ¥4,000 (door). Tel: 03-5459-3939
Carl Cox@Ageha/Studio Coast (tel: 5784-7053), 12/19, 11pm;
¥5,250 (adv), ¥7,000 (door); Yellow (tel: 03-3479-0690),
12/20, 10pm, ¥3,500 (adv), ¥4,000 (door).