Selected by Don Crispy

Oliver Ho
391AD oliver ho (main).jpg (11467 bytes)
Mainline music

This weekend looks set to be another banner one in clubland, with a number of compelling events scheduled for the pre-holiday Sunday, and a big outdoor trance fest in Nagano prefecture for the truly ambitious.

First off is Oliver Ho, an up-and-coming London DJ who will be gracing the decks at notorious Aoyama techno pit Maniac Love on Sunday in a party entitled Housedust.

Tapped as one of the leading artists on techno’s progressive edge, the 20-something Ho began to make waves with his debut release, last year’s Sentience (Blueprint). More recently, he launched his own Meta imprint to release his second long-player, Listening To The Voice Inside. With multi-layered percussion hinting at Latin and African rhythms, Ho says the album is about “taking things back to a more primitive level.”


Complementing his dance-oriented Meta label, Ho is also launching two other imprints. Light and Dark is “where club music can meet formless music,” while Exist is about, “completely removing the dance music ingredient… and moving towards something completely unfamiliar.”

At Maniac, Ho will be joined by veteran Tokyo turntablist Shufflemaster, respected as one of the city’s leading techno spinners.

Meanwhile, over in Nishi Azabu, San Francisco DJ/artist Mark Farina will be giving a clinic in the super-chilled deep house and abstract sounds of his Mushroom Jazz CD series in the party Supercali.

Cutting his teeth in the Chicago house scene, Farina relocated to San Francisco where he hooked up with Om Records in the mid-’90s. Releasing the first of three in his Mushroom Jazz series in 1996, Farina has developed a reputation for his formidable mixing skills and jazzy, trip hop and abstract sounds.

Mark Farina

At Yellow, Farina will be in good company with DJs Mochizuki, Nori and Jun (usually of Loop) providing backup.

Finally, day-glo trance heads have a few more chances to get freaky in the mountains before the weather turns cold. This weekend will see a banner crop of DJs and live acts at the Gathering in Nagano prefecture. In addition to stalwart Japanese talents such as the indefatigable Tsuyoshi and Mitsumoto, the event will also feature the much-vaunted act Hallucinogen of Twisted Records, G.M.S. of T.I.P. records and live German trance duo X-Dream. The party follows in the footsteps of the long-running Vision Quest event.

Meanwhile, in late-breaking news, Womb has just confirmed that it will be hosting the bad girl of rap, Lil’ Kim, in her first visit to Japan. Instead of rapping, Kim will be the guest DJ at an event, Naked Spin, sponsored by M.A.C. cosmetics, that mixes house music with state-of-the-art body painting. Naked Spin will also feature local house DJs Emma, Envy and Minoru Nishikawa, with hosts Anthony and Mia adding just the right note of flamboyant decadence.

Housedust@Maniac Love, 9/23, ----. Tel: 3406-1166.

Supercali@Yellow, 9/23, 9pm, JY4000 w/1d. Tel: 3479-0690. 

Gathering 2001@Kodama no Mori Campsite, Nagano Prefecture, 9/22-23, JY10,000 (adv), JY11,000 (door). Tickets available at Cisco and Technique record stores.

Naked Spin@Womb, 9/25, 11pm, JY4000. Tel: 5459-3939.  

Ralph Lawson
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