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Friday, May 19, 2006


Psychedelic radar 05.19

Special to The Japan Times Online

Friday, May 19

ageHa presents "Protoculture Circadians Release Tour Final" at Ageha@Studio Coast in Shinkiba. This event is being supported by Mother Records.

On the Arena Floor, live act Protoculture (Nano Records) plus DJs Ta-Ka (Mother Records), Ree.K (Space Gathering) and Daijiro (Digital Block). At the Island Bar, live acts Astron and Side B plus DJs Ita, Aki and Kon. ageHa opens at 11 p.m. Pay 3,500 yen at the door (3,000 yen for ageHa members).

Protoculture recently played a breathtaking morning set at Mother's "Ground Beat" open-air (May 4, 5) in Yamanashi Prefecture, so this contrast of playing indoors at night should be interesting. Ta-Ka was undoubtedly Japan's best DJ product in 2005, turning that smoke from Mother's S.O.S. rave into a bonfire by December. Ta-Ka, our beloved Ree.K and whiz kid Daijiro swirl with the cream on top of Japan's coffee. Think ageHa will be packed?

May 20 and 21 (Sat., Sun.)

Earth Energy

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 ticket sales have ended and some tickets may still be available at the gate. Due to the small size of Namesawa, 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. Oddly, it escaped the typhoon that wiped out the Anoyo party and soaked Gathering 2005 last September. Still, bring rain gear, prepare for some chill in the night and do not forget your defense against the vicious creepy-crawlers known to be prowling around Namesawa.

Every Friday

Les Muses progressive and psychedelic trance party at gronp in Roppongi. The music starts at 11 p.m. Cover charge is 2,000 yen but includes two drinks. Check http://www.gronp.info/ for each week's lineup.

Gronp is special among the "downstairs lounges" that you can find on the edges of Roppongi. It's clean, bright but relaxing with a DJ booth, video projector and dance-friendly atmosphere. To get there, use Exit 7 at Roppongi Station (Oedo Line). Veer left and walk down the slope. You will see the sign come into view on the other side of the street.

Saturday, May 27

Vision Quest Tokyo presents "Visionary" at Zepp Tokyo in Odaiba. Starts at 10 p.m. Advance tickets 6,000 yen (or 7,000 yen at the door.)

Live acts Dali, Melicia and Eskimo, plus DJs Ami and Roger Jordan. This event will also be held at Zepp Osaka on June 3. See Web site and mobile site for updated info.

June 3 (Sat.)

Solstice Music presents "Spun Field 2006" at the Myoko Suginohara ski sesort in Niigata Prefecture. Gates open at 3 p.m. and the music will start at 6 p.m. Advance tickets are 7,500 yen (or 9,000 yen at the gate.)

Live acts Growling Machines, Zorba, Alien vs. The Cat, plus DJ sets Riktam, Bansi, Ari, Avi and Gabriel.

CD Case -- Full-On

"The Ayahuaska Experience," compiled by DJ Ayawaska (Translucent Productions, Noga Records)

The Ayahuaska Experience

This dreamy looking compilation is absolutely loaded with sleeper hits that are going to rock the mountain dew some morning somewhere this summer.

"The Ayahuaska Experience," compiled by DJ Ayawaska, is the year's first offering from Translucent Productions, a rising Israeli label that also scored the Electron Son debut last year. Contained in these 10 tracks by some of the top upcoming live acts are potential for some of the best moments of the 2006 open-air season in Japan.

The brightest points of light from this compilation are from Electro Sun, Double Impact, The Misted Muppet, Opposite 8 (new album release May 27) and Brain Damage. I would put System Nipel's "Bicycle Race" (track No. 4) at the top of that list, but only after whacking the inexplicable first 75 seconds -- a puffed up rip-off of the classic opening to ABA Structure's "Spirit Walker" (2002) sans haunting vocal chant. That aside, give me more Opposite 8.

The biggest problem for "The Ayahuaska Experience" is its disrespect for dictionary spellings, something that only matters if you actually want to sell CDs on the Internet. Think "Google searches" before you scoff. The album and DJ names are both spelled incorrectly. (There's a boo-boo in the track list, too, but I will leave that alone.)

Like I said, it's about searching and selling, not spelling. The packaging -- everything on the outside including the title -- is a means to the end sale out of a long parade of quality releases due out this summer. DJ Ayawaska has assembled a masterful compilation with the label's best hitters, but it was senseless to cripple its standing this way. Is it me, or are we seeing more faces than usual on our CD covers?

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

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