by Don Crispy
German and Japanese designers and DJs explore the intersection
of fashion and dance music; an infamous Shinjuku rock club
shutters its doors
Later in the month at bayside superclub Ageha, a cast of
German and Japanese fashion designers and DJs will be mixing
it up in a power-packed night sponsored by Volkswagen, Lufthansa,
and the Goethe-Institut Tokyo as part of this years
Germany in Japan events.
The organizers of Artistage are promising a special
surprise exhibition from the Paris and Tokyo collections,
and theyre making sure a good crowd turns out with a
formidable lineup of DJs representing two decades of dance
Headlining is DJ Hell, who has been a fixture of the German
techno scene since he began mixing electro, house and hip-hop
in the mid-80s. Hells DJing gradually morphed
into a production career, and he gained widespread notice
with the track My Definition of House Music in
1992. Hells International Deejay Gigolos imprint has
also become one of Europes trademark techno imprints,
releasing discs by the likes of Jeff Mills.
Also associated with International Deejay Gigolos is German
DJ/producer Richard Bartz, one of the great manipulators of
Roland 808 and 909 sequencers, on which much of the dance
revolution was created. Born in Munich, Bartz met Hell after
attending the legendary Ultraworld parties in the early 90s.
His most recent album was last years Midnight Man.
Although of Greek parentage, Savas Pascalidis also grew up
in Germany and began to DJ in Stuttgart in the mid 80s.
Progressing from disco to techno, he issued a number of recordings
that eventually saw him hooking up with International Deejay
Gigolos in 2000. With the release of the provocative Galactic
Gigolo and, most recently, Disko Vietnam, Pascalidis has developed
a reputation for a dark vision for 21st-century techno that
retains traces of old-school disco.
Filling out the bill are a number of heavyweight domestic
turntablists. The omnipresent Shinichi Osawa aka Mondo Grosso
has been something of a trendsetter since the early 90s,
when he was one of the premiere Shibuya-kei jazz-funk stylists,
also acting as an impresario for emerging acts like singer
Bird. In recent years Osawa has also helped to spearhead overseas
dance music trends in Japan like UK 2-step and the nu electro
DJ Mayuri is one of Japans few high-profile female DJs,
and shes known not only for her precise minimal techno
sets, but also for promoting the massive summertime Metamorphose
and New Years Freedom Village raves.
Heigo Tani, meanwhile, is a veteran resident DJ of legendary
Aoyama dance basement Maniac Love and, with DJ Wada, he also
makes up one half of the Co-Fusion unit, which has explored
the possibilities of purely percussion-oriented dance music
as one of the marquee acts on Tokyos highly rated Sublime
Metropolis was saddened to learn that a Shinjuku institution,
rock dive Rolling Stone, will be closing in June after 33
years in business. Opened in 1972 by a diehard Stones fan,
the grizzled but revered Toshi, Rolling Stone has long been
a lynchpin of the Shinjuku Sanchome nightlife scene and an
unpretentious alternative to the big attitudes of clubs in
Roppongi and Aoyama. Entered through a dangerously steep staircase
leading to a poorly lit, low-ceilinged space, Rolling Stone
is also perhaps the last authentic rock club in Tokyo, and
its passing leaves one wondering where to go to hear rock
music turned up to, as was said in the film Spinal Tap, eleven.
The next month will see veteran DJs from years past like DJ
Jan returning to lay down sets of vintage rock sounds from
the 60s to the 00s, with the closing blowout slated
for June 16. Check out
Artistage@Ageha, May 27. See club
listings for details.
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