by Don Crispy
Following a date last summer as part of the
experimental unit Three Chairs at the Metamorphose festival,
Detroiter Theo Parrish returns solo to celebrate the release
of his new album at Yellow. In another CD release party over
at Womb, meanwhile, Swede Christian Smith will be giving clubbers
the Tronic Treatment.
A DJ/producer since the age of 13, Parrish brings an unusual
resume to clubland. Raised in Chicago, he received a scholarship
to the Kansas City Art Institute, from where he graduated
with a degree in sound sculpture, a form which uses live instruments,
looped recordings, the human voice and other sound-generation
devices to create an art that is near to, but cannot quite
be called, music.
Despite this academic background, Parrish's sets are
characterized by a love for garage classics and jazz samples
as well as cutting-edge tech-house. Living in Detroit since
1994, Parrish developed a following through his Better Days
residency, where his sets were called as spiritual as they
were infectious. He's also the author of numerous tracks,
released through his Sound Signature label, and now brings
to Yellow his latest, Natural Aspirations...
Turning from house to techno, meanwhile, Swedish DJ/producer
Christian Smith is in town headlining a night named after
his Tronic Music imprint to celebrate the release of his CD
Along with Adam Beyer, one of Sweden's leading techno
forces, Smith got the electronic music bug at age 15 listening
to Sven Vath in Frankfurt in 1987. At age 17, he got his first
break with a guest slot at the legendary Omen, moving back
to Stockholm after a stint at university in the States.
Smith debuted with US label Music Now in
1991 before setting up Tronic Music. Releasing tracks on Tronic
and subsidiary house imprint Strive, Smith also in 1999 signed
to Carl Cox's new In-Tec label. A number of collaborations
with John Selway have proved to be dancefloor favorites, including
the track "Excel."
A self-described purveyor of "a diverse mix of hard-pumping
house and tribal-funky techno, all segued with a foundation
that includes three-turntable mixing and creative scratching
and programming," Smith is in demand at clubs worldwide.
In an email exchange with Metropolis, the artist said he always
looks forward to his Japan tours. "Japan is probably
one of the best places in the world for techno," he
said. "The Japanese are very passionate about the music
and are not shy to show it. I've had some of my best
gigs in Japan and am looking forward to coming back."
Finally, next weekend also sees the third of installment of
one of Tokyo's more left-field events. Organized by
sister labels Kikaizuki and Koala Kube, the third Guidelines
will include Saru (Kikaizuki) and local expat Jamie K. (Flak)
on the decks, with a special live streaming set direct from
London, courtesy of Koala Kube's Matt B. "Focusing
on the harder sides of breakbeat and melodic glitch,"
says Jamie, "Guidelines 3 promises to bring together
some of the best independent producers and DJs on the scene."
Theo Parrish@Yellow, 2/21, 10pm,
¥3,500. Tel: 03-3479-0690.
Tronic Treatment@Womb, 2/20, 11pm, ¥3,500. Tel: 03-5459-3939.
Guidelines 3@Seco Bar, 2/20, 10:30pm, ¥1,500. Tel: 03-5778-4571.
Kumiko Nakata (Theo Parrish), Womb (Christian Smith)