Selected by Don Crispy

Sven Vath

Sven Vath

Since opening the club Omen in Frankfurt in 1988, Sven Vath has been at the forefront of the German techno scene as producer, artist and DJ. On June 4, a resurgent Vath brings his new album Contact to Tokyo' Maniac Love as part of the Enter the Nation tour.

After stints with electropop group Off and house production unit trio Mosaic in the late '80s, Vath formed the labels Harthouse (techno/house) and Recycle or Die (experimental/ambient) in 1991. The two labels would prove to be immensely influential on the developing techno and trance scenes, issuing a variety of material including Vath's own.

With the 1993 release of Vath's debut album, The Harlequin, The Robot and The Ballet-Dancer, a masterful and deftly orchestrated work of techno, Vath was a certified star of the exploding European dance scene. Tours began to take him around the world, and about this time, he started making occasional appearances in Japan. In addition to playing Yellow four times since 1994, he has also organized secret, impromptu beach parties for those in the know. Vath's latest visit to Tokyo was to Roppongi's club Kuaile last summer.

More recently, Vath has worked into his music influences from British styles like trip hop and big beat, particularly on his third release, Fusion, which hit the shelves in 1998. His new release, Contact, demonstrates Vath's continued efforts to include diverse influences in an approach that is constantly morphing into new and unpredictable directions.

With Vath set to perform this time around at techno epicenter Maniac Love, it's a safe bet that he will be preaching to the faithful. The unconverted, beware.

In late news, long-running party Pylon takes itself to a new level with a Grand Opening party tonight, May 27, at spacious new digs in Roppongi, with special guest trance DJ Tsuyoshi set to man the wheels of steel. Previously operating as a weekly party, first in Aoyama and then Shibuya, Pylon moves into a three-floor permanent home (ex-Colosseum Hall), just seconds away from Roppongi crossing. In its new digs, Pylon's Phil Miller is looking to expand the musical scope, offering R&B/hip hop, house/trance, and an all-genre floor to boot.

Sven Vath: Maniac Love, 6/4, 10pm, JY3500. Tel: 03-3406-1166.

Pylon Grand Opening: 5/27, 9pm. Info: M-Plan 03-3497-1818.

Ralph Lawson
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