by Don Crispy
Tokyo Dance Music Festival 2004
A five-day fest culminates in a giant bayside rave
Part of the fun of going out is club-hopping, or hashigo,
as Japanese say. But with entry fees running into the thousands
of yen, this can get expensive. What if Tokyo's clubs
got together and issued a pass that would allow entry to all
for a flat fee?
With this concept in mind, party promoters Brand New Made
have organized an extended weekend of clubbing with a huge
outdoor party at its center under the name Tokyo Dance Music
Festival 2004. Running from Thursday through the Monday holiday,
clubbers can choose from a more expensive free pass to 28
of Tokyo's major clubs including Yellow and Milk, etc.,
or a ¥1,000 discount pass to all participating clubs.
TDF (for some reason they dropped the M) gets into high gear
on Friday with a party celebrating Brand New Made's
11th anniversary. The special edition of BNM's long-running
Iro events will feature a live performance by one of house
music's sweeter divas.
Barbara Mendes first came to attention in 2002 thanks to a
song she did with New York house music icon Franois
K called "Awakening." 2003's follow up,
"Got to Be in Love," was one of the big dance
hits of the year, establishing Mendes as one of clubland's
favorite house divas.
TDF climaxes on Monday with a massive outdoor rave at the
futuristic Odaiba area built on reclaimed land in Tokyo Bay.
The nicely priced event looks to draw 10,000 clubbers with
five stages pumping out sounds from trance and techno to house,
lounge and chill out.
Topping the bill is the aforementioned Franois K, who
will be headlining the main stage. One of a few names in dance
music to deserve the term "living legend," Franois
K played the Paradise Garage and Studio 54 in their heydays.
He was also one of the forces behind New York's Body
and Soul events, which reinvented house parties in the latter
part of the '90s.
Franois K has also been a familiar face in Tokyo in
recent years, whether headlining his own parties at Yellow,
or DJing as part of the Body and Soul Tokyo events staged
annually in recent years by Brand New Made.
Also on the packed bill is Australian psy-trance DJ Andrew
Till, one of Down Under's most influential dance music
figures through his Psy-Harmonics imprint, and a posse of
domestic forces including techno DJs Fumiya Tanaka and Mayuri,
trance spinners Tsuyoshi and Ubar Tmar, house stylists Emma
and Alex from Tokyo, the indescribable Eye of the Boredoms,
and dozens more...
Another unique event this month comes in the form of a month-long
residency by Detroit techno figure Jeff Mills. Launched in
2002 at Luners, Mills' residency sees him playing four
successive Fridays, this year at Womb.
Typical of Mills' thoughtful approach to his music,
each Friday of his Time Sensitive event has its own theme
and guest. The kick-off party next week will see the veteran
joined by-you guessed it-François K,
who will be presenting a rare live techno set.
The second Friday comes with the title "Detroit Techno
Revenge" and will see Mills exploring the way Detroit
techno is "the common thread in the fabric of today's
dance music." A Japan debut performance is slated from
guests Octave One with vocalist Ann Saunderson.
The third Friday will see Mills presenting a "Special
James Brown Set" that will look back to a time "when
funk wasn't just a bad smell, but rather a four letter
sign calling on you to 'get down.'"
The fourth and final Friday sees Mills reprising his face-off
of previous years with Japanese Detroit techno contender Ken
Ishii in an event entitled "The Experience"
that will present "Electronic Dance Music in its purest
Tokyo Dance Music Festival 2004,
Oct 7-11. http://tokyodancemusicfestival.jp.
Jeff Mills@Womb, Oct 8-29. Tel: 03-5773-0440. www.womb.co.jp
credit: Courtesy of Brand