Metropolis Magazine
Issue #805 - Friday, Aug 28th, 2009
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The Small Print
Star Struck
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Cars & Bikes
Global Village
The Last Word
The Negi
+ Best of Tokyo
Haikyo Corner
Out & About
Japan Beat
Live Report
Pop Life
2008 Flashback
Stage & Dance
Metropolis League
Theater Maps
Restaurant Review
Bar Review
International Dining
Local Flavors
Table Talk
About Us
Distribution Points
Sponsored Links
Past Issues
804: Ken Ishii
803: Ken Ishii
802: Model 500
801: Massi DL
800: Timmy Regisford
799: Push
798: Scott
797: DJ Otsuka
795: Nosaj Thing
794: Antipop
793: Tiga
792: Spexsavers
791: N.A.S.A.
790: Derrick May
789: Squarepusher
788: Atak Night4
787: Francois K.
786: Steve Aoki
784: Steve Smooth
783: Dinky
782: LTJ Bukem
781: Wighnomy Brothers
780: London Calling
779: Jazzanova meets Kyoto Jazz Massive
777: Legends
776: Diplo
775: Captain Funk
774: O.N.O
773: Technique
772: Fantastic Plastic Machine
768: Naohiro Ukawa
767: Minus Contakt
766: The Shapeshifters
765: Cio D'Or
764: Fumiya Tanaka
763: Made In Glitch
762: Absolute!!
761: Wax Poetics Release Party
760: Brisa
759: Club Legend
758: Bonde Do Role
757: Ron Trent & DJ Olive
756: Special Event
755: Recloose
754: nbsa+
753: U-Roy meets Dry & Heavy
752: DJ Gregory from Paris
751: Bonobo
750: DJ Kentaro
749: Solstice Music Festival
748: Raphael Sebbag
747: DJ Pearl
746: Shabushabu
745: Studio Apartment
743: Nicolas Matar
742: Patagonica
741: Yellow's Last Dance
740: Lee "Scratch" Perry
739: Akiko Kiyama
738: + Real Grooves
737: UK-Adapta
736: Hattler vs Seidel
735: K-Sounds
734: Kevin Yost
733: Cocoon Morphs Tokyo
732: Clark
731: Gilles Peterson
730: Ellen Allien
729: DJ Funk
728: 2Many DJs
727: Ninja Tune
726: Bruno Pronsato
725: High Contrast
724: Anja Schneider
723: Torture Garden
722: Mel Bruce
721: Fine: Frogman Cold Sleep Party
720: Pan-Pot
717: Cristian Varela
716: GT5 Endless
715: Product.01
714: Stphane Pompougnac
713: Oblivion Ball
712: Tokyo Crossover Jazz Festival
711: Jimmy Van M
710: Solid 4th Anniversary
709: Jeff Stott & Drumspyder
708: Numbers
707: Misstress Barbara
706: Funk D'Void
705: Air 6th Anniversary
704: Jerome Sydenham
703: Solar
702: Daniel Bell
701: WIRE07
700: Simon & Shaker
699: Cipha Sounds
698: Tokyo Calling 2 & Mimo2
697: Alpha & Omega
696: Kaori
695: Adriana Evans
694: Thomas Fehlmann
693: Medvacances
691: Dimitri From Paris
690: Andre Collins
689: Le Bateau Ivre
688: Paul Van Dyk
687: Yukihiro Fukutomi
685: Sugiurumn
684: Fantasia Tokyo
683: La Fabrique Five Year Anniversary
682: Frankie Knuckles
681: Mint
680: Luomo
679: Snowbombing
678: Reflek presents Global Electro
677: X-Press 2
676: DJ Juri
675: DJ Spooky
674: Orient Express
673: Raphael Sebbag
672: Mitte
671: The White Party
670: Luke Solomon
669: Crossroads
668: Peter Hook
667: Martin Solveig
666: Louie Vega
664: Technasia
663: Off The Hook
662: Shuya Okino
661: Split Works
660: Op.disc showcase hub
659: Steve Smooth
658: SonicScapes from the Netherlands
657: Halloweekend
656: Kentaro Takizawa
655: Digital doings
654: Chicks Rock
653: Sonarsound Tokyo 2006
652: Terre Thaemlitz
651: Real Grooves Vol. 13
650: KonZept Maus feat. Andrea Ferlin
649: XLarge The 15th Anniversary
648: Prime
647: Metamorphose
646: Ageha Summer Festival 2006
645: Satoshi Tomiie
644: Mango & Sweet Rice Presents
643: DJ 3000
642: Trance Redux
641: Francois K
640: Blood and Fire Sound System featuring U-Roy
638: Jenna G & Kabuki
637: Renaissance @ Club Phazon
636: Mitz Mangrove
635: Julius Papp x Sunshine Jones
634: Sundown
633: Fatboy Slim
632: Haus_Tek
631: Golden Week Special
630: Underground Resistance
629: Steve Bug
628: Franck Roger
627: Zen TV II
626: Kuniyuki Takahashi
623: Tribe All
622: Chris Micali
621: Black Summit
620: Frank Muller a.k.a. Beroshima
619: Kaori Ichikawa
618: YUK
617: I'm Not a Gun
616: Damian Lazarus
613: Double Trouble
612: Hard To Explain
611: Carlos Gibbs
610: Derrick May
608: Defected
607: Calibre
606: Addiction vol 7: Booty Funk
605: Module 4th Anniversary
604: Back to the chill-out room
603: Jeff Mills
602: Simon Coyle
601: King Street Sounds 12th Anniversary Party
600: Armand Van Helden
599: Weekend of the Living Tranceheads
598: Technikart Festival
597: Record Release Special
596: Duck Rock
595: Metamorphose 2005
594: Akufen & Mike Shannon
593: Utage
592: DJ Tasaka
591: Aldrin
590: Alex Paterson
589: Takkyu Ishino
588: Koss
586: Ellen Allien
585: Optimo
584: K-Switch
583: Pete Tha Zouk
582: Adrian Sherwood
581: Artistage
580: Shin Nishimura
579: Holidaze
578: Jonathan Lisle
577: Ari-Up & Mark Moore
576: Kevin Yost
575: Miss Kittin

574: Le Petit Orb
573: Idjut Boys
572: Chicks on Speed
571: Larry Tee
570: DJ Rush
569: Sieg Uber Die Sonne
568: Submerge Tour
567: Dubnation
566: Sonic Energy
565: Toshio Matsuura
564: Matthew Herbert
563: Derrick Carter
561-2: Freedom Village
560: Laurent Garnier
559: Toshiyuki Goto and Yukihiro Fukutomi
558: Junior Vasquez
557: Breeding Ground
556: Electraglide
555: Air Bureau
554: DJ Krush
553: Tall Paul
552: DJ Aki
551: Real Grooves
550: SonarSound Tokyo 2004
549: Tokyo Dance Music Festival 2004
548: Gilles Peterson
547: Kevin Saunderson
546: Bridge the gap
545: Fatboy Slim
544: The Archaic Revival 2004
543: Metamorphose 2004
542: Mediterranean Vacances
541: Sasha
540: On the phone: Carl Craig
539: Santos
538: Portable
537: WIRE04
536: Wackie's Live & Direct!!
535: LTJ Bukem
534: Richie Hawtin
533: Victor Calderone
532: Felix da Housecat: Electro-laughs
531: Expats rising
530: Laurent Garnier
529: Basement Jaxx
528: X-Press 2
527: 2000 Black
526: Adam Freeland
525: Body&SOUL
524: Goldie
523: Danny Howells
522: Coldcut: Fusing the DJ and VJ
521: Paul Maddox
520: Joey Beltram
519: Rising Phoenix
518: U.N.K.L.E. featuring Ian Brown
517: Tim Wright
516: Theo Parrish
515: Nordic Trax
514: Lee "Scratch" Perry with Mad Professor
513: Laidback Luke & DJ Dero
512: Ko Kimura
511: Judge Jules
509/10: New Year's Wrap
508: Timmy Regisford
507: Reel Up 10th Anniversary
506: Organic Groove
505: 10 Kilo All Stars
504: Juju
503: DJ Heather
502: Timo Maas
501: Neptunes
500: Halloween hi-jinks


By Don Crispy

Ken Ishii
Fifteen years since his debut, the techno “warrior” battles on

Courtesy of Music Mine

Iconic Japanese techno DJ Ken Ishii once graced the cover of Newsweek. On the jacket of his most recent album, he’s pictured encased in a fearsome suit of samurai armor. Turns out the new, battle-hardened look is more than metaphorical.

“In Madrid I was robbed by a group of teenagers,” Ishii recalls dryly in a recent interview at a café in Roppongi Hills. “They attacked me from behind and held me by the throat. I passed out for a few minutes, and when I came to, I’d lost my voice and was bleeding from my throat because they’d gripped me so hard.”

Such is the life of one of the few Japanese DJs who can earn their crust on the international touring circuit. As he celebrates 15 years since debuting on legendary Belgian techno label R & S Records, Ishii spends as much time abroad as he does at home.

“I’ve never done a residency in Japan,” he admits. “Japanese people give me the best reaction, but I love traveling and meeting new peoples and cultures.” While it was Ishii’s squelchy, Detroit-techno-inspired 1995 album Jelly Tones that brought him worldwide recognition, it’s his skill behind the decks that keeps him in demand as a DJ.

“I play for many kinds of people—some are musically educated, some are in new territories, some are in commercial clubs,” he says. “When I debuted, I wasn’t a good DJ. Technically, I was OK, but I didn’t watch the crowd. But now I’m confident that I can play to anyone anywhere, and make any kind of crowd dance.”

The shift from touring as a way to promote a big release to doing it as an end in itself can be seen in the trajectory of all dance music producers. “My activities have been getting more basic and primitive,” notes Ishii. “Partly it’s because nobody buys CDs anymore. At the same time, I have more confidence as a DJ. So DJing and traveling are the main part of my activities now. Of course, I still make music and do releases, but the pace has slowed.”

It’s been nearly three years since Ishii’s last album of original productions, and his current disc arrives in the form of the second in his ~Play, Pause and Play~ mix compilation series. “Each one has a different concept,” he says. “This one is a collection of my DJ classics. Basically anybody can download some DJ’s set at a club, so I didn’t want to make the usual mix album. These tracks are still in my record box but some of them go back to 1993. It’s kind of like a collection of my secret weapons.”

Contributions come from producers like Fix and Devious, but surprisingly, none are household techno names. “I get a lot of promos—nonstop—from major labels, minor labels, and also through MySpace,” Ishii says. “I play music by Japanese, Chinese, American producers… I don’t care where they come from. With the internet, anyone can get involved, so now I play music by producers from anywhere from Romania to Indonesia.”

While Ishii’s fans will have to wait a bit longer for a new full-length album, the DJ continues to create new music at his home studio in Shinagawa. His latest project is an application for the Apple iPhone. “What I did is called Play-Pix,” he explains. “The user can make a moving photo album set to my music, and then they can upload a movie to YouTube. It’s going to be released in a month or two.”

Those wanting to interact more closely with the DJ can also take part in his ongoing collaborative remix contest through Sound & Recordings magazine and his dedicated 15th anniversary MySpace site. Participants use parts from Ishii’s tracks and remix them into any genre of music they please. The contest runs through August 31, and the winner gets a chance to release the track worldwide through Ishii’s 70 Drums label.

Ageha, Aug 15; Maniac Beach 2009@Yuigahama, Aug 23 and Wire 09@Yokohama Arena, Aug 29. Warrior on the Decks ~Play, Pause and Play 2~ is available on Sublime/Musicmine. Info:

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