by Don Crispy
|Tobacco giants Salem
and Kool battle for a slice of the clubbing market, with
Kool inviting Britain's hottest house duo for its
With Salem raising the bar through its recent
Innovation Sessions, Kool is also upping the ante in its long-running
Dimension K events. Ethics aside, these tobacco giants'
deep pockets are enlivening Tokyo clubland by sponsoring tours
from a series of heavyweight electronica acts.
While the Innovation Sessions recently saw James Lavelle's
UNKLE play Womb with Ian Brown, next weekend witnesses a visit
for Dimension K by one of England's most imaginative
house duos in the form of Basement Jaxx.
In the fickle arena of clubbers' tastes, Felix Burton
and Simon Ratcliffe have proven a durable font of ideas, remaining
consistently unpredictable since the massive success of their
debut album, 1999's Remedy. Hitching anything from
punk, funk, Asian and Latin sounds to fat house beats, they
have also proven a consistently bankable act.
The current tour finds them riding a wave of praise for their
latest album, last fall's Kish Kash. The disc showed
that the pair haven't been unaware of the recent electroclash
wave, with liberal doses to be found of punk attitude and
'80s electro sounds. The album also featured some heavyweight
cameos by sultry singer/bassist Meshell Ndegeocello and '80s
new-wave survivor Siouxsie Sioux.
With the name Moon meant to suggest a sense of '60s
space exploration, the party will also include a number of
thematic highlights as Dimension K looks to go head to head
with the Innovation Sessions' focus on digital creators.
First and foremost among these will be a performance by English
aerial acrobatic company Heir of Insanity.
An award-winning company established in 1995 by Julia Dixey
and Simon Schofield, Heir of Insanity fuse the skills of circus
with elements of dance and theater. They have performed events
and festivals all over the UK, also appearing in films, television
and music videos. The six-member troupe will be presenting
a show intended to evoke the gravity-free environment of outer
Rounding out the event in Ageha's other rooms will
be sets by a posse of domestic DJs, including kitsch-meister
Fantastic Plastic Machine aka Tomoyuki Tanaka, veteran house
stylist Maar, and chill-out specialists Hideyo Blackmoon and
Hiyoshi of Indo-dub label Dakini Records. Meanwhile, for those
unable to make it to Ageha, Basement Jaxx are also on the
bill at this summer's Fuji Rock Festival
On a different note, Ageha will also be the setting for a
look at the roots of drum'n'bass when early adopter
Grooverider drops in to kick off a new event. Love Series
vol.1 is intended to bring together Japan and Korea through
their collective affinity for dance music, and will see Grooverider
head off for Seoul following the event at Ageha.
Widely viewed as one of the godfathers of drum'n'bass,
Grooverider helped to pioneer the UK hardcore breakbeats/jungle
movement through his residency at Rage, an institution of
the early '90s London jungle scene. A slew of releases
on his Prototype label as well as his highly lauded Metalheadz
nights at the Blue Note brought together elements of hardcore
breakbeats with softer elements from acid jazz and house,
creating the sound now known as drum'n'bass.
Grooverider remains active through Prototype and a BBC Radio
1 show, and will be bringing along with him MC Juiceman and
Patrick in an event that should provide a good comparison
to recent visits by fellow drum'n'bass pioneers
Goldie and 4hero.
Love Series vol.1@Ageha, 5/21, 11pm,
¥3,000 (adv), ¥4,000 (door). Tel: 03-5534-2525.
Dimension K presents Moon@Ageha, 5/22, 11pm, ¥4,000
(adv), ¥5,000 (door). Tel: 03-5534-2525.
credit: Brand New Made