Selected by
Don Crispy

Photos courtesy of Yellow

This Sunday, Apr 22, sees seminal UK indie label Creation (Oasis, etc.) honcho Alan McGee drop into Nishiazabu' Yellow for an evening of edgy sounds that will also feature Andrew Innes from Primal Scream as DJ. Entitled Poptones presents Radio 4, the night will serve as Japan's introduction to McGee's new label, Poptones (which the Queen of England has given her personal blessing to by investing in the business), and will culminate in a live set from Poptone outfit The Montgolfier Brothers.

Named after France's pioneering brothers of the hot air balloon, Manchester's The Montgolfier Brothers sound as obscure as their name. Lead by singer Mark Tanner, the group debuted on Poptone last year with Seventeen Stars, an album that NME termed "an album of subtle majesty... precious and haunting."

The Montgolfier Brothers

Meanwhile, Tokyo techno dance club par excellence, Maniac Love, kicks off a new night devoted to showcasing the global DJ scene's rising cutting-edge talents. Submerge, with resident DJs Osamu M of Brand New Made and Jason Szep of Futique Management, launches on Apr 29 with a set by ascending UK house DJ, Steve Lawler.

Lauded as "one of the house scene's rising stars" by DJ magazine, Lawler is gaining fame for a deep tribal progressive sound that has earned him residencies in clubs all around the world, including Twilo in New York, Release in San Francisco and guest spots at every pioneering club in the UK from Renaissance to Bedrock.

Lawler recently released a double CD on Global Underground's Nu Breed label, which focuses on the world's up-and-coming DJs. "Steve Lawler's career has slow-burned to the point where he's now one of the hottest names in the country - known for a restless creativity and an uncanny ability to make clubbers go wild," read the liner notes.

Alan McGee

Criticizing "the tried and tested mix of big impersonal venues with those brand name DJs far away up on a stage," resident DJ and organizer Szep says that Submerge aims to offer a more intimate alternative. Following the upcoming launch party preceding Golden Week, Szep says that Submerge will continue as a bi-monthly event.

Poptones presents Radio 4: Yellow, 4/22, 5pm, JY2500 w/1d. Info: Smash 03-3444-6751. Submerge: Maniac Love, 4/29, 10pm, JY3500. Tel: 03-3406-1166.

Ralph Lawson
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