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Selected by Don Crispy

Electraglide


Orbital
Orbital - Photos by Beatink


In what' sure to be the blockbuster rave of the fall, UK techno torch-bearers Underworld, Orbital, Luke Slater, Two Lone Swordsmen and Richie Hawtin combine forces on November 24 to shake the foundations of the cavernous Makuhari Messe convention center.

While each of these acts has performed individually in Japan, Electraglide marks the first time that they will perform together, and looks set to be the strongest techno lineup since perhaps Sony's Future Music Festival in the summer of '99.

Underworld, who galvanized Japanese ravers with a stunning performance at the Rainbow 2000 party in '96, have been going from strength to strength. Some wrote them off post Trainspotting, especially following 1999's disappointing Beaucoup Fish and the departure of DJ Darren Emerson. But the remaining duo of singer Karl Hyde and keyboards/guitar/effects wizard Rick Smith surprised the naysayers, returning to form with the just-released Everything, Everything live album, now everywhere in the Japanese media.

Orbital, meanwhile, will also be familiar to electronica fans in Japan, having played earlier this summer at a free party in Harajuku organized to celebrate the release of the clubbing film, Human Traffic. After a period of inactivity preceding the release of last year's Middle Of Nowhere, the Hartnoll brothers (Phil and Paul) have returned to the fore, and will be bringing their carefully orchestrated, definitive brand of techno to Tokyo as acknowledged masters of the genre.

Underworld

Underworld

Those who attended last summer's Fuji Rock Festival may have had the chance to catch Luke Slater, who performed in the dance tent on Saturday night. While a bit on the sterile side for this listener, Slater's future electro-funk is intelligently aggressive, and will offer a palette-cleansing dose of in-your-face rhythm compared to the previous two band's melodic approach.

Acid house legend Andrew Weatherall's new unit, Two Lone Swordsmen, can be counted on to provide some moments of chill-out relief, if last year's release Stay Down is any indication. A fixture of the UK techno scene since the late '80s, Weatherall offered up some deliciously dreamy ambient moments on Stay Down.

Richie Hawtin, finally, while not strictly British (he grew up in Canada), is important to UK techno as one of the leading figures to bring the experimental sounds of Detroit techno to Europe. Hawtin has appeared in Japan on several occasions both under his own name and in his Plastikman incarnation, and is slated to be playing a set using classic techno tools, "Decks, EFX and 909."

Those who want to get revved for Electraglide should tune into music channel Vibe's Amp electronica show (Fridays 12:30-1am; Saturdays 1:30-2am) which has the latest videos by Electraglide artists on heavy rotation.


Makuhari Messe, 11/24, 9pm, JY7000. Info: Hot Stuff 5720-9999; Beatink 5766 6571.

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