Debuting in Kotto Dori hideout Chambres D’hotes on December 14 is Domo Arigato, the party with, as its name suggests, an underlying theme of gratitude. And the first bestowee of thanks—served with an eclectic and riotous melee of multi-genre beats, themes and visuals—is Chicago band Anathallo. The indie art-pop act has just launched a new disc, Canopy Glow, and completed a Japan tour. Vocalist Matthew Joynt will take to the wheels of steel along with a mob of Tokyo’s underground beat-meisters. Dub- and reggae-fuelled Kenta and Tokyo-based electro warlord Maxwell will add to the shenanigans, while disco- and electro-tinged Dirk Bite, aka Jaybee of Loudminorityradio notoriety, ices what should be quite the delectable cake.
Domo Arigato@Chambres D’hotes, Dec 14. JC
by Don Crispy
It doesnt have to be dance music to be
danced to, say the Glasgow duo
|Jonnie Wilkes and Keith
Mcivor aka JD Twitch
courtesy of FEU
For DJs Jonnie Wilkes and Keith Mcivor (aka JD Twitch), eclecticism
is a near religion. Bored by the same old repetitive house
and techno beats he had been spinning at Glasgows The
Sub Club for the last decade, Twitch decidedlike many
veteran DJs in recent yearsto try something different.
I really didnt care whether it would work or not,
or whether anyone would go, Twitch says. It was
just something I had to do. I love DJing with all my heart,
but at this point I was so bored with seamless mixingit
was all just too obvious, too predictable and too easythat
I had to do something to preserve my (in)sanity.
Optimo was born after Twitch invited Belfast playboy
Jonnie Wilkes on board in 1997. At first, when the pair began
to mix in anything from punk and disco to remixes theyd
created on their samplers, there were many doubters among
the Glasgow techno trainspotters. But Optimo held fast, and
by 1999 the word had got out.
While still resident in Glasgow, and intent on preserving
their local culture against the depredations of corporate
clubbing, Optimo are now heavyweights, with summer dates at
Londons Fabric and Ibizas Manumission following
next weekends set at Yellow.
In addition to highly regarded club sets, Twitch and Wilkes
have also begun to spread their heterodox gospel via CD, with
two new compilations out recently. Kill The DJ is a double
CD release, with the first mix disc summing up a typical night
at Optimo, and the second a collection of Optimo classics.
Songs veer wildly from hard-hitting techno by artists like
Ricardo Villalobos to tracks by skank-rockers The Cramps or
kitsch a la Nancy Sinatra.
Optimo Presents Pyscheout looks back even further, with most
tracks over ten years old and some dating back to the 60s.
Previous CDs have been really intense with the mixing,
Twitch explains. We wanted to do something that let
the tracks be heard for a lot longer, where the emphasis was
on the music rather than the mixing.
A live element is also an important part of their Glasgow
club nights. I was bored at the lack of performance
in clubs and wanted to get back to having something visual
and exciting for the audience to watch, which is why we only
book bands, as opposed to DJs.
For clubbers who want to lose themselves in the beats, Optimo
can be infuriating. But what the sets will never be is boring.
There are still people doing creative and interesting
things within house music, but there is also more same old
run-of-the-mill house music than ever before, Twitch
says. I hope my personal contribution is showing that
lots of music that people dont regard as dance music
can actually be [danced to], and that it is not necessary
to play one style of music or one tempo all night.
Spice! plus@Yellow, June 17. See
club listings for details.
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