Selected by Don Crispy



Tokyo Classified recently caught up with globe-trotting DJ Tsuyoshi (Suzuki) on the eve of the launch of his new series of monthly Tokio Drome parties, which kick off at Liquid Room on March 10.

Tsuyoshi, known to the world as an avatar of the psychedelic dance genre known as Goa trance, says that, after years of living out of a suitcase, jetting off to perform at parties from Israel to Australia, he wanted to settle down. "For seven years I've been up in the air - I started to feel like I wanted to have a base, and especially in Japan people understand what I'm trying to do."

For the first Tokio Drome, 32-year-old Tsuyoshi has invited Swedish artist Robert Leiner, who will be performing a live techno set. Leiner, who launched his DJ career at the age of 15, created a stir with his '93 debut Organized Noise, and returns to Japan for the first time in six years. Fellow Tsuyoshi stablemate at Matsuri Productions DJ Ree K will also be on hand.

"With Tokio Drome," says Tsuyoshi with characteristic intensity, "We'll be focusing on techno, minimal and trance: full-on 4/4 stuff." But he also intends to keep things experimental, with plans to turn Tokio Drome into a venue for young film directors to show their recent work.

When Tsuyoshi travels abroad (he's currently appearing at New York's club Twilo with Ken Ishii in the monthly party Far East Technology), he faces a lot of pressure to play Goa trance. "People categorize me, and if I think about it too much it gets me down." But in Japan, he says, he can play a broader variety of styles. "With my other parties I'm doing different stuff, jazzy stuff, breakbeats, even rock." In addition to his occasional Sympathy in Chaos parties at Yellow, Tsuyoshi will be a featured DJ at Triple Five Soul's Party and Beyond event at new mega-club Venus Tokyo in Tokyo's bayside area. Tsuyoshi will be spinning on the "Freestyle floor," while hip hop DJs will be doing their thing on different floors.

As Tsuyoshi settles back into Tokyo, he's busy working with his band (a new single is due out in May) and setting up a recording studio in Harajuku, as well as two new independent record labels: Feedback Recordings, devoted to dance material, and the more alternative Mad Skippers. With his diverse undertakings and superstar DJ status, how does Tsuyoshi keep his sanity? "I come from the underground, so if I go overground, I always come back," he says, concluding, "You've got to find a balance between the spiritual and commercial."

Tokio Drome: Shinjuku Liquid Room, 3/10, midnight, JY3500 (w/flier), JY4000 (door). Tel: 03-3200-6831.

Party and Beyond: Venus Tokyo, 3/17, 10pm, JY2000 (advance), JY2500 (day). Tel: 03-5439-9199.

Ralph Lawson
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