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by Don Crispy

Rising Phoenix

Oren Emanuel

The indoor psychedelic trance season has yet another big party left in it before the madness moves outdoors. Meanwhile, everyone's favorite expat haunt in Shibuya is looking to shake up Thursday nights.

Canadian promoter Tania Miller's Vision Quest, which in the absence of Solstice's outdoor party last year hosted the largest bash of the season in the form of the Gathering (8,000 customers), returns with another indoor event. Rising Phoenix, slated for Odaiba's Zepp Tokyo tomorrow night, brings together a slew of heavyweight DJs from the indefatigable Israeli trance scene, under the guidance of musical director Mimon.

Among them are the duo Void, composed of Oren Emanuel and Tamir Regev. The pair first blew minds in Japan at last summer's Gathering, returning to the Skazi Frequency Alert party last December in Tokyo. After years of DJing all over Israel, Void began to produce their own hard psy-trance tracks two years ago, releasing "Free" on Vision Quest Records. A debut album, Punishment, is due in stores soon.

Also on the bill are Vision Quest veteran Avi Algarnati, a.k.a. Space Cat, resident Vision Quest DJ Ami, who also has an album forthcoming, and Beat On Phobia, an act known for a uniquely dark vision of trance. Meanwhile, for those who want to relive the highs of last summer's Gathering, Vision Quest has just released a DVD, Vision Quest - Gathering 2003, including sets by several of the aforementioned artists.

Tamir Regev

Vision Quest says that, after holding 18 parties worldwide last year including two in Mexico that drew over 6,000 each, it's concentrating more on the label and on doing "fewer but nicer" parties in Japan. Those who deem the Gathering a must-visit should pencil in the dates of September 18-20…

On the local house party front, meanwhile, the recently refurbished Ruby Room in Shibuya is looking to spice up the week with a new event, Comfee Thursdays. "The idea of the party is basically to bring people the best of the weekend on a weekday," says organizer Simeon Paterson.

"Thursdays have been a popular night abroad for a long time, and it's not unusual to catch big name DJs playing a weeknight in other capitals. But in Tokyo, Thursdays have typically been Roppongi or nothing. We aim to change that."

To draw the crowds, Paterson is booking "weekend-standard" DJs, including some of the local expat community's top decks-men. On the bill next week are tech house/breaks DJ Dave Twomey (Make Your Move), as well as resident progressive house spinner Robb K, and guests Hideyuki Ozaki and Aki Watanabe.

Comfee Thursdays, which begin and end early for those with jobs to get to Friday morning, offer a friendly alternative, says Paterson. "Thursdays are a lot more stress-free than the weekend: the beers flow freely, the crowd is less snobbish, and even the DJs are basically doing it for the fun of it. It's a chance for everyone to hang out together, before they get dragged to different parties at the weekend."

Rising Phoenix@Zepp Tokyo, 3/6, 9pm, ¥5,000 (adv), ¥6,000 (door). Info: 03-5545-4127.

Comfee Thursdays@Ruby Room, 7:30pm-2am, ¥1,000. Tel: 03-3780-3022.

credit: Vision Quest