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by Don Crispy

Basement Jaxx

Tobacco giants Salem and Kool battle for a slice of the clubbing market, with Kool inviting Britain's hottest house duo for its upcoming party

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 space.

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