by Don Crispy
Air celebrates its third anniversary with one of the Belleville
Three, while La Fabrique gets progressive
Mid-size club Air in Daikanyama turns 3 years old with a
banner week of events, including a visit by perhaps the least
well-known of the legendary Belleville Three who launched
Back in the mid-80s, unbeknownst to most, a musical
revolution was brewing in the Motor City. Influenced by the
European electro-pop of groups like Kraftwerk but bred on
R&B, funk, disco and house, a trio of producers were creating
a hybrid sound that would later become known as techno.
The sound blended the persistent beats of disco and house
with the synthetic sounds of European ele-pop to create a
sound that wouldafter it had been adopted and popularized
by the Britsgo on to influence the creation of the music
now known as electronica.
Named after the high school where they met, the Belleville
Three of Juan Atkins, Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson encouraged
each others experiments with the primitive equipment
of the era. Derrick had been spurred on by Juan, who
was putting out what would later become future classics like
Cybertron, and that in turn rubbed off on me, recalled
Saunderson in a recent autobiography. In 1985 Derrick
made his first record, Lets Go, and I was there through
the whole process, initially just watching him create music...after
six months of watching Derrick create his music, he inspired
me to create my own.
Saundersons first tracks were created on his primitive
home studio. I used to wake up in the middle of the
night...and lay down the ideas as they came to me. At that
time it was all about experimentation and being a college
Saundersons first big break came in 1987 when a UK dance
aficionado came to Detroit to put together a compilation album
called TechnoThe New Dance Sound of Detroit for Virgin
Records. The record included a track Saunderson had created
under the name Inner City with singer Paris Grey, Big
Fun, which went on to become a worldwide smash, and
popularize the Detroit techno blueprint.
Inner City continued to notch hits in the 80s and 90s,
including Good Life, which remain staples of the
dancefloor to this day. Saunderson says humbly, I would
like to think that with Inner City, Paris and I make music
that inspires people and makes them happy.
Saunderson also records under a variety of names including
E-Dancer, which he reserves for his more underground outings.
Look for his set at Air to range from uplifting Inner City
classics to harder-edged, E-Dancer material. Other third-anniversary
events at Air include a set by Masters at Work producer Louie
Vega and an omnibus party with Ken Ishii, Tsuyoshi, Tei Towa,
Ko Kimura and Kaoru Inoue...
Meanwhile, shagedelic vibes will be in the air
next weekend at French outpost in Shibuya La Fabrique, when
progressive house DJ Dino Psaras drops in for a quick spin
as part of the Valys Presents series.
A DJ who started his career in Brighton, England, spinning
acid house and techno with key figures like Carlo Cox, Psaras
soon got hooked on the hypnotic beats of trance. He gives
a continually fresh twist to trance through his releases on
labels such as Ayahuasca, and his own solo project, Tortured
Joining Psaras will be resident Valys Presents DJs Bad Ass
Binary Artist, associated with key trance label Total Eclipse,
and DJ D.
Kevin Saunderson@Air, Sep 19, 10pm,
¥3,500. Tel: 03-5784-3386. Dino Psaras@La Fabrique, Sep
24, 11pm, ¥3,000. Tel: 03-5428-5100.