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
For a taste of the Berlin DJs upcoming set at WIRE,
check out her new disc Thrills
viewed as the Berlin export
B Pitch Control
Cold War Berlin, an island of Western bohemianism in a sea
of gray communism, created and continues to be known for a
vital arts culture. Ellen Allien was in Berlin when the Wall
fell in 1989, and its clear that being part of the citys
formative artistic community was key to forging her sound.
Im viewed as the Berlin export, she boasts
by email. Me, my labelmates and other Berlin-based musicians
defined the sound of Berlin. Of course we got a lot inspiration
from outside, like in the early age of techno where we had
this deep and strong connection to Detroit and its sound.
But today were sitting at the knot of an international,
especially European network, with our small Berlin networks
part of bigger and bigger ones.
Growing up in Berlin, Allien was exposed to soul and disco
thanks to Allied occupation radio. She got her first taste
of acid house while spending a year in London in 1988, and
the dye of her future was cast in 1989 with her first DJ gig
in Berlins Fischlabor, the citys most important
techno venue at the time.
But Germany wasnt the only country to be influenced
by Occupation radio. Japan also came under the spell of black
American music; later, US and European electro-pop. Bands
like Ryuichi Sakamotos seminal Yellow Magic Orchestra
created the Japanese ele-pop imprint in the 80s, leading
to the 90s dance explosion, out of which emerged Denki
Groove, the techno-pop unit created by WIRE co-producer Takkyu
The synchronicity between the musical cultures and high-tech
environments of Japan and Germany is the background from which
Ishino has forged links with many German dance music icons.
His WIRE events are known as showcases of German artists,
and Allien has been a familiar face in the five years since
the event began.
The Japanese treat music in a very respectful way, and
they are so well-informed about it through the Internet,
she says. I really like the Japanese mentality and the
familiarity they have with each other, the carefulness and
their great understanding for art.
Allien stands out as one of a few influential women in the
male bastion of dance music. Not only a DJ/producer, shes
also the founder of B Pitch Control, the label that released
her third and latest album, Thrills. It is still unusual
to be a successful female DJ, she says. The way
people treat successful women is still strange, no matter
in which area. But I gave a lot of good vibes to our followers,
not only female musicians, also male ones. Because they can
learn (and I guess they already did) how the business is working
and how they can deal with each other respectfully.
With a substrata of propulsive Detroit techno, Thrills works
its way through acid disco and minimalist, body-thumping beats,
with nods to the electro wave of the moment. My first
record, Stadtkind, was like a love letter to my city, Berlin,
she says. Berlinette was very experimental and more
abstract. I did a lot of touring after the release of Stadtkind,
[and] Berlinette is also an expression of all that. After
gaining success with my first two records, I decided to stop
for a moment and to search for me, for my person. Thats
WIRE@Yokohama Arena, Jul 17. See
concert listings for details.
Would you like to comment on this article? Send a letter
to the editor at email@example.com.