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Friday, May 12, 2006

THE SECOND ROOM PRESENTS

Psychedelic radar 05.12


Special to The Japan Times Online

Saturday, May 13

Earth Energy

"Zenith" at Ark Studio Cube326 in Tokyo's Shibaura district. Live acts Ticon, and S>Range plus DJs So, Supernova and Lyo. Lounge DJs play up on the fourth floor.

This party starts at 11 p.m. At the door pay 5,000 yen. Cube326, located at 3-2-6 Kaigan Dori, is an easy taxi ride from JR Tamachi Station on the Yamanote Line.

May 20 and 21 (Sat., Sun.)

Earthcore Japan and Psy16 present "Earth Energy Open Air Goa Psytrance Doof" at Namesawa Camp in Yamanashi Prefecture.

Live acts Mr. Peculiar (Sonic Dragon Records), Intersys (Pstropic Records), Random, Slum, Fine Diner, Gokufuto, Asteca and 01-N.

DJs include Tokage, Roger Jordan, Batta, Kemix, Yk, Pedro, Psysuke, Omri A, Tetti, Kato, and Aitchtee.

Advance tickets are 5,000 yen and going fast. Check Cisco House 2 or Quintrix, but don't delay. A limit of 500 people has been posted for this party. Parking will cost 2,000 yen. Namesawa is a well-shaded valley campground that offered no cellular reception a year ago. Check the reverse of the flier for the map and don't forget to count the tunnels.

Earth Energy and Psy16 put on some of the best small parties in the Kanto area and Namesawa is like a second home. Bring rain gear and prepare for some chill in the night. It's still early in the season, but good bug spray is highly recommended.

CD Case -- Neo-Full-On

"Aquatic Serenade," by U-Recken (Dooflex)

U-Recken -- Aquatic Serenade

It is an unfortunately rare feat for a live act as prolific as U-Recken to release a debut album with so many surprises and so few repeat tracks. But this is what becomes possible with a great storyteller like Yaniv Ben-Ari, who has created the definitive neo-full-on album in "Aquatic Serenade."

Ben-Ari, 28, from Haifa, Israel, has been playing or playing with music for half his life. His resume includes playing in small rock bands, music production and engineering in studios as well as big-city theatrical productions before eventually coming into trance as a DJ and musician.

Since joining the Doof family in 2003, the U-Recken sound has evolved into a vibe distinctly different from Doof's trademark dark desert acid basslines. And given the flexibility of the Dooflex sublabel, which debuted with the neo-full-on compilation "Point of View," Ben-Ari was able to bring his music-inspired fantasies to life in warm vivid tapestries.

Each track of "Aquatic Serenade" is it's own story. And only one track (out of nine releases on 13 CDs) has been repeated for this debut -- "Tania (2006 edit)" -- an extremely sexed-up remake of the certified hit "Tatiana."

With "Aquatic Serenade" there is now verified mass in the still-developing genre of neo-full-on, three reliable points upon which to triangulate this new vibe, including "Point of View" and last year's "Mind-Dala" from Mr. Peculiar. (The jury is back in on this one, "Mind-Dala" was the best neo-full-on album of 2005 that we heard here.)

This is music to listen closely to, because Ben-Ari is a master at inserting whispers of familiar moments to catch you off guard. Neo-full-on doesn't mount up heavy on the basslines, rather it counts on a master sound engineer like Ben-Ari to create sweeping, hypnotic, interconnecting melodies to keep the listener in the track.

The good news is that at last report from the booking manager at Doof, Ben-Ari may be available to play in Japan in early July, after finishing some dates in New Zealand. Who will be the first to bring U-Recken to Tokyo? Contact booking@doofrecords.net

CD Case -- Full-On

"Message From God," by MFG ( Vision Quest Records)

MFG -- Message From God

We have not heard much from legendary live act MFG since the turn of the century. But Guy Zukrel and Aharon Segal have answered the quintessential challenge facing long-term projects with another timeless psychedelic message.

"Message From God," the duo's fifth album, breaks likely the longest observed silence yet in psy-trance. The last MFG album, "The Message" (Phonocol), was released in late winter 2000, when the pair was a powerful force in a much smaller scene. To give you a different perspective, the first Skazi album, "Animal" (Shaffel Records), had been released just a month earlier. Five years in our still-budding genre is an eternity.

Zukrel (aka Passenger) and Segal, both 36, are high school friends from Israel who turned trance in new directions when they started MFG in 1995. They released four albums: "The Prophecy" (1996), "New Kind of World" (1997), "Project Genesis" (1998) and "The Message." Zukrel released a solo album as Passenger, "For All Mankind," in 1999. And then the world started changing so fast and life became so hectic that we didn't notice the messages had stopped.

The vibe here is groundbreaking because of its lack of presumption. "Message From God" is refreshingly spiritual but not overtly religious, so there is nothing here that needs interpretation. Every track is steeped in old-school-Goa influences, but given new energy with a five-year leap in technology. Such is the adaptive challenge for any live act, and one that MFG has answered.

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


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