Selected by Don Crispy


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.



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.

Ralph Lawson
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396: Ralph Lawson
395: Ed real
394: Swedishnight@code
393: 4 heroes meets 2000 black
385: Sonicmania
384: Hotaka Mountain Festival
383: Shur-I-Kan
382: Richie Hawtin
381: Deep Dish
380: Professor T
379: Roy Davis Jr
378: Flaura & Flynn
377: Vitamin D
376: Dmitri From Paris
375: Derrick May & Kevin Saunderson
374: Deep Banana Blackout
373: Sunpower
372: Rei Harakami
371: Christian Smith
370: DJ Hasebe
369: Reboing
368: Poptones
367: Jamyz Nylon
366: Yoji Biomehanika
365: Big Chill
364: Torture Garden
363: Ism & Izm
362: The Room 8th Anniversary
361: Madame Friction
360: LTJ Bukem
359: Medeski, Martin & Wood
358: Stone, Scissors, Paper
357: Dakini Nights
356: Matthew Herbert
355: Juno Reactor
354: Gilles Peterson
352/3: New Millennium Countdown
351: Captain Funk
350: Francois K.
349: Seven
348: Gratia AIDS Charity Party
347: Epic Wave & Protocol
346: Double A & Twist
345: Electraglide
344: Seb Fontaine
343: Freaky Flow & MC Flipside
342: The Word Is Sex
341: Isotope 217
340: Fabio
339: The Pink Cow
338: Nigel Dawson
337: Thunderpuss
336: Digital Experience #2
335: Wire 00
334: Org
333: Metamorphose
332: Bamboleo
331: Kingyo Club
330: Big House II
329: Alan Thompson Japan Tour
328: Doc Scott
327: Susumu Yokota & Max Brennan
326: Rob Gee
325: Skam
324: Karafuto
323: LTJ Bukem
322: Sven Vath
321: Alton Miller
320: Jazz Electronica
319: Smith & Mighty
318: Goldie
317: Nukleuz Tokyo Tour
316: Tribute To The Love Generation
315: Alex Lauterstein
314: Archive Records Japan Tour 2000
313: Champs
312: Haru 2000 Matsuri
311: David Morales
310: Tsuyoshi
309: Vision Quest