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Friday, June 9, 2006


Psychedelic radar 06.09

Special to The Japan Times Online

Friday, June 9

PFN - Wakyo party

Wakyo presents "If 6 was 9" electro dub disco night at Unit in Daikanyama. This party starts 10 p.m. Tickets are 4,000 yen at the door.

Live act PFN, plus DJs Flix, Ree.K, and Haze on the Dance Floor. Over in the lounge, DJs Kotaro, Masamu, Hina and H-Cool (a.k.a. Nan).

PFN, or Proper Filthy Naughty, is producer John Ross (or "Ronnie"), who has been a significant contributor to both breakbeat and progressive house over the last decade. In 2003, he cemented his reputaion with the release of his debut album "Fascination." PFN's range includes electro, house, breakbeat, hip hop and some more downtempo stuff. DJ Flix has been working full-time with the 10 Kilo label since 2002 and was until recently hosting "Fractured Beats" every Tuesday on Ministry Radio.

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. Tonight it's DJs Tola, Noco and Miki (Sirius).

To get there, use Exit 7 at Roppongi Station (Oedo Line). Veer left and walk down the slope. You will see the gronp sign come into view on the other side of the street.

Saturday, June 10

Mother - Droid Save the Queen

Mother Records presents "Droid Save the Queen" at Differ Ariake in Odaiba. Tickets are 6,000 yen at the door. Starting time is midnight.

Live acts Sub 6 feat. MC Joh-Natan, Oforia, and Xerox and Illumination. DJs Ta-Ka, Daijiro and Xerox.

Oforia, Ofer Dikovsky, will be playing a special live set to mark the release of his fifth album "Inner Twist." The Sub 6 addition of MC Joh-Natan tricks any clue about how it's going to sound. Xerox and Illumination, Moshe Keinan and Amir Dvir from Israel, can cruise a while longer on the release of the second album "XI" last October. Mother likes to dress up Differ with cool decorations and at the birthday there in December created an enclosed total chill space in the lobby outside the auditorium. Mother resident Ta-Ka and Daijiro of Digital Block will not disappoint you. Daijiro is usually the opener and excellent at bringing the vibes up, while Ta-Ka can handle any timetable slot, especially the closer.

Saturday, June 24

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

Live acts Astrix, Dino Psaras, Delirious and Domestic, plus resident DJs Ami and Roger Jordan. See Web site and mobile site for updated info.

Next Month: July 15-17

Solstice Music Festival 2006 at the Myoko Suginohara ski resort in Niigata Prefecture. Advance tickets on sale for 13,500 yen (or 15,000 yen at the gate.)

Live acts include GMS, Talamasca, Wrecked Machines, The Delta, Eat Static, Etnica, Space Tribe and more, plus of course DJ Raja Ram.

Next Month: July 28-30

TPE Records Open Air Festival 2006 at the Tatehara Kougen camp site in Nagano Prefecture. Special prices are in effect for advance tickets until June 30. After that, advance tickets will be 10,000 yen (or 12,000 yen at the gate.)

Live acts include Altom, Ananda Shake, Alternative Control, Space Cat, Sesto Sento, System Nipel, Electro Sun, Visual Contact and more.

CD Case -- Full-On

"Freak Show," by Audiotec (Utopia Records, Noga Records)

Audiotec Freak Show

I hadn't planned on getting to "Freak Show" yet, but that jester face on the cover caught my attention on the way out the door to Spun Field 2006 last weekend.

I needed a distraction for the road trip up to Niigata Prefecture, something to cleanse the aural palate ahead of an anticipated night of full-on Solstice Music sounds. This turned out to be perfect, but it took a while to figure out exactly why. The title truly belies the vibes inside. But this isn't the first time for that on an Audiotec album.

My only hesitation in grabbing "Freak Show," the second release for Audiotec by Miki Damski, was that it was sitting on top of the Ferbi Boys' first CD, "Twilight Zone," which to be honest badly frightens me. (Imagine an evil-looking, fur-covered, snarling monster with a spiked mace gloating after it massacred a roomful of innocent toys and fluffy animals, blood everywhere -- and it's like that on the artwork, too! I'm afraid to throw it out because it might come back in more of a rage. Ah, damn! Here come the nightmares, again!)

Where were we? Yes, the Audiotec distraction. There is nothing particularly earth-rattling or spectacular about this album. Aside from "DJs Lovers," nothing really jumps out at you too hard. With one exception, all the tracks are in virtually the same key (analysis by Mixed In Key.) And this could partly explain why it's so nice to listen to.

Damski's first Audiotec album, "The Magic of Love" (Utopia Records, 2004) got teased badly for its title, but was praised for its uplifting morning feel. "Freak Show" sort of picks up on that. It's still morning, but two years later, and the jester has since learned a few new tricks. He has also been watching "What the Bleep Do We Know" by the sound of "Waves." Which makes the last track, "What Is Reality?" all that more interesting. (Artists take note: the days of the audio-grab free-for-all are over and you are on borrowed time every time you put this stuff in your tracks. 'Nuff said for now.)

"Freak Show" is an excellent overall play of delicious light melodies that don't demand your complete attention. You don't have to get in the car and drive up to Niigata every time you listen to it, but I recommend it at least once.

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

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