Selected by Don Crispy
|Orbital - Photos by
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
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.
11/24, 9pm, JY7000. Info: Hot Stuff 5720-9999; Beatink 5766 6571.