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Friday, Dec. 2, 2005


Psychedelic radar 12.02

Special to The Japan Times Online

Saturday, Dec. 3

Vision Quest -- Wicked Vision

Vision Quest Tokyo presents "Wicked Vision" at Zepp Tokyo in Odaiba. Live acts S.U.N. Project, Dali and Delirious, plus DJ sets by Ami, Dali and Delirious. Starts at 10 p.m. Tickets are 7,000 yen at the door.

This event celebrates S.U.N. Project's powerful new album "Wicked," which was released by Vision Quest Records on Oct. 27.

S.U.N. Project's eight albums in 10 years under the same name is by itself quite an accomplishment in psychedelic trance. But Matthias Rumoeller (guitar), Marco Menichelli (synthesizer) and McCoy (drums) show no sign of letting up anytime soon.

If you thought "Sexperimental" was a breakthrough for S.U.N. Project back in 2002, then "Wicked" is a full-scale revolution. This could be the one we've been waiting for all this time.

SUN Project -- Wicked cover

S.U.N. Project found success early on through a string of instant classics like "380V," "Under Control," "Subsonic Overdrive," "Dance of the Witches," and so many more. Their rock-band formula and metal roots combined to create one of the most storied live shows in psychedelic trance. In addition to launching side acts, these guys were at times playing up to 50 weekends per year.

The Japan crowd went especially nuts over the German trio and devoured their releases. But with so few appearances here per year, it was tough for us to move on from the original sound. We wanted "Zwork" with the guys wearing alien masks so that we could relive the moment at home. It wasn't until "Sexperimental" that S.U.N. Project tracks had much chance of showing up in Tokyo DJ sets. ("I love their tracks, especially their old stuff, but it's a challenge to work into my set," a DJ once explained to me.) Last year's release of "Insectified" could have made a bigger impact if it had been better promoted.

"Wicked," however, has the potential to create a whole new generation of S.U.N. Project fans without turning off the old-schoolers. It's faster, more conventional and more DJ-friendly -- the first seven tracks are no slower than 144 bpm. But more important is the balance of their individual strengths -- driving metal guitar riffs, synthetic wizardry and rocky percussion -- that Matthias, Marco and McCoy have finally achieved. Distilled hints of the old classics are scattered all through the album. There is even a beautiful ambient ride on Track 10.

The title track "Wicked" leads off the CD well and sets a nice stage for the vibe to come, but Track 5, "What Comes Next," provides the perfect subtitle.

Indeed. What does come next? With an updated sound and new life on video -- I've previewed the live video version of this track for the Gathering DVD and it is killer -- S.U.N. Project could easily be around another decade.

The fourth edition of Vision Quest's popular DVD series, "The Gathering 2005" will be released Dec. 22, a two-DVD bundle for 4,935 yen. See the Web site for a downloadable preview.

Saturday, Dec. 3

Sirius Records -- XP Voodoo

Sirius Records presents "Full Power -- "XP Voodoo Compilation Release Party" at Differ Ariake in Odaiba. Live acts 40% (Chemical Crew), Deedrah (Spun Records) and Z-Machine (Pukka Music), plus DJs XP Voodoo (Spun Records), Miki (Sirius Records) and Omi (40%/ Chemical Crew). Starts at 10 p.m. Tickets are 6,000 yen at the door.

XP Voodoo strikes again with the December release of "Full Power Zenryoku," a compilation that looks every bit as powerful as his "Hi-Tech Pleasures" about a year ago.

This will be the first performance in Japan for Z-Machine and the first Sirius party without Tokage's name on the flier. Informed sources have pointed out that this could be the first time advertised parties will take place at Zepp Tokyo and Differ Ariake simultaneously.

Saturday, Dec. 10

Fineplay Music presents "Freedom Of Expression -- Perplex and Space Monkey Album Release Party" at Differ Ariake in Odaiba. Special live set by Perplex (Fineplay Music), plus Space Monkey (Agitato Records), Bizzare Contact (Com.Pact Records) and Dynamic (Phonokol Records). DJs Mairo-Such and Jun. Advance tickets are 4,500 yen, or 5,500 yen at the door.

All parties are in Tokyo unless otherwise noted. Send potential party pick info to the2ndroom@yahoo.com

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