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Selected by Don Crispy

Captain Funk


Captain Funk

Sublime Records

In the shiny, postmodern offices of cutting-edge techno label Sublime Records, one of Japan' foremost DJ/producers Captain Funk (Tatsuya Oe) - is preparing to unleash his latest album on an unsuspecting public at Sublime's annual year-end Reel Up party at Liquid Room on December 22.

The new album, Songs of the Siren, which the artist describes as "physical and organic," marks a major departure for Captain Funk, who made his name in the late '90s as Japan's foremost big beat artist.

Escaping the pressure to follow up his massive '99 album Bustin Loose - an album hailed by big beat king Fatboy Slim as "F***ing insane!" - was not as hard as it sounds for Captain Funk. The DJ, who like so many started on guitar before switching to the decks, says he was "feeling limited by the sampler" and wanted to get away from the "static production process" of working only with machines.

Enter Raj Ramayya, a Canadian singer with expat rock band Beautiful Losers. "Before I made the album I knew Raj," recounts Captain Funk. "He knew me, my taste, and for this album I wanted to include live instrumental tracks. I also wanted to include a message - not only a simple 'get up' dance music message but something a bit richer. For that I needed vocals. I can't sing and I wanted someone I can communicate with. Raj is a good vocalist and I thought his voice would match my tracks."

Ramayya participates on several of the album's tracks, which take the listener on an absorbing tour through psychedelic retro-rock, jazz and experimental, with only hints of the fat, funky beats typical of Bustin' Loose. The result - while it may alienate some fans - is surprisingly successful, and would sound appropriate at a rock venue or dance club.

At the upcoming Reel Up party, Captain Funk says that he will perform tracks of the new album live with Ramayya, mixing "programmed beats with live instrumentals to create something versatile."

Fans of Captain Funk's big beat work need not be alarmed by the DJ's new direction. "Everyone said on hearing the new album, 'Captain Funk wants to be in a band,' but it's not that," he insists. "I'm still programming and I don't want to form a strictly rock band. I just want to collaborate with all kinds of musicians out of the club scene."

In addition to Captain Funk, Reel Up will feature the entire roster of Sublime artists including heavyweights Ken Ishii, Susumu Yokota, Wada, Yama and Co-Fusion, as well as lesser known newcomers Yoshihiro Sawasaki and Rei Harukami.

Reel Up: Liquid Room, 12/22, 10pm, JY3300 (adv), JY3800 (door). Tel: 03-3200-6831.

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LISTINGS:
Friday October 26
Saturday October 27
Sunday October 28
Monday October 29
Tuesday October 30
Wednesday October 31
Thursday November 1
Friday November 2
COMING UP:
AFTER DARK ARCHIVES:
396: Ralph Lawson
395: Ed real
394: Swedishnight@code
393: 4 heroes meets 2000 black
392: 
391: 
390: 
389: 
388: 
387: 
386: 
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
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