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Friday, Aug. 4, 2006


Psychedelic radar 08.04

Special to The Japan Times Online

Saturday, Aug. 5

Vision Quest -- Summer Vision

Vision Quest Tokyo presents "Summer Vision" at Differ Ariake in Odaiba. Live acts Void, S.U.N. Project, Exaile and Alternative Control, plus DJs Ami and Roger Jordan. Tickets are 7,000 yen at the door. Starts at 10 p.m. (This event will be held tonight in Osaka minus S.U.N. Project and Alternative Control.)

Maybe it's just me, but this week feels a bit like baseball's All-Star break, having just put the uphill half of the summer behind us at the wonderfully soggy Solstice Music Festival 2006 and the killer TPE open-air last weekend. Now that we've just finished the second-longest rainy season on record in Japan, how much fun are we're about to have in the next two months? If you're going to put your feet up this weekend, do it rhythmically and only one leg at a time.

Alternative Control, who released their debut album "Alt + Ctrl" with Vision Quest Records back in April, scorched the amphitheater at TPE last weekend with blazing sound. Exaile has been away from Tokyo for a long time -- longer if you missed their much-too-early appearance at Kandatsu last July. It's been two summers since their smash second album "Hit the Machine," so Eyal Zul and Nir Sobol could have something special in store for us.

I remember the funny reaction I used to get just five years ago whenever I told someone how much I loved the rocky guitar-flavored psychedelic sound of S.U.N. Project. Guitars? In trance? Really? Yeah, now look around! The legendary trio of Marco, Matthias and McCoy punctuated their 10th year together with last November's release of the aptly named album "Wicked." The Japan crowd still goes crazy for these guys after all these years. Void (Oren Emanuel and Tamir Regev), has also been scarce from Tokyo, but plans to make up for it this summer with full-on "live rocking performances all over the globe." Alternative Control, Void and S.U.N. Project are all billed for the Sept. 16-18 "Gathering" summer showcase.

Differ Ariake is smaller than Zepp Tokyo, where Vision Quest usually holds its events. But Differ has the bouncy metal bleachers in the back that are gonna vibrate like crazy during the Exaile and Void live sets. Dress for the tropics at this one.

See the Web site and mobile site for updated info. VQ is adding multiple-language support to their mobile site -- select by clicking on the flags.

Mother: Aug. 13-15

Mother Records -- SOS

Mother Records presents "Space of Sound (S.O.S.)" at Hakuba Tsugaike Kougen in Nagano Prefecture. Check Web site for special prices on online orders. Tickets are 12,000 yen advance (or 14,000 yen at the gate). Live acts include Atomic Pulse, Beckers, Logic Bomb, Midimiliz, Pop Stream, Protoculture, Xerox and Illumination, X-Noize, X-Dream and more, plus DJs Ta-Ka, Daijiro, Messie, Ryo, Nate Raubenheimer, Arturo and more.

This event runs from Sunday to Tuesday and it's during the traditional Bon quasi-holiday, meaning that the possibility is high for some of the heaviest return traffic all summer. Mother has produced a backpocket-size, magazine-style 50-page official guidebook on durable glossy paper for this event. "S.O.S." was the best all-around medium-stage production of 2005.

Hakuba Tsugaike is a spacious ski resort with enough open sky to paraglide from the top of the piste. Bring an extra 5,000 yen if you want to try it. The chill village area in 2005 had the flattest and most shaded tent sites. A gondola ride (in a decent size, enclosed car) is required to get up to the venue from the parking area. Access to this lift was not too difficult last year. The village below is awash in spas and friendly restaurants.

Infants: Aug. 19-20

Infants and c-les.com presents "Music Festival of Sun and Earth" at Namesawa Camp in Yamanashi Prefecture.

Special live by ElektrOscilloBleeper plus DJs 901, Troubadour, Aki, Serio, R, o-sam-u, Jose, Shiro, Tomo and Dr. Hakase. Entrance is 2,000 yen and includes one drink ticket and parking.

Sirius: Aug. 26-27

Sirius Summer Festival at Norn Ski Resort in Minakami, Gunma Prefecture. Live acts Psysex, Dino Psaras and the much-missed Joti. DJ sets include Goblin, Tokage, Miki, Noco, Unagi and Nori. Advance tickets are 7,000 yen (or 8,000 yen at the gate).

S.U.N.S: Aug. 26-27

S.U.N.S presents supreme trance shaman Goa Gil (Avatar Records) for a long summer DJ set at a secret location in Hokkaido, joined by Ariane on an ethno-tribal DJ set. Only advance tickets -- 7,000 yen and limited to 500 people -- are being sold for this event. You must see the Web site for details.

Fineplay: Aug. 26-27

Fineplay -- The Beach 2006

Fineplay Music presents "The Beach 2006" on Mikawa Island in Aichi Prefecture. Live acts Absolum, Beat Hackers, Bizarre Contact, Michele Adamson, Perplex and Space Cat, plus DJs Dithforth, Jun, Mairo-such and Ronen.

Advance tickets are 8,000 yen (or 9,000 yen at the gate). If you're driving, the parking charge is 2,000 yen. And there's a 2,000 yen charge for the boat ride to and from the island.

There is a Dynamic music video by SGK Studio circulating that will show you exactly what this party is all about -- the back of the dancefloor is saltwater and swimsuits are de rigeur. If you see this footage, you won't be able to stop yourself from going. As soon as I find it online, I'll let you know.

Genkanon: Sept. 2 and 3

Genkanon presents "Space of Phantom" at the Goko-bokujyou Auto Camp in Minamisaku, Nagano Prefecture. Web sales on now for 4,500 yen (regular advance 5,000 yen, or 6,000 yen at the gate). There's also an "auto camping" charge of 2,000 yen, but that could be just for parking a car.

Main floor live acts Dark Nebula, Uni, Bon + Arsenic, Jihooka and Ten-G, plus DJs Keiki. Hatta, Michy, Masayuki.m and more for the freestyle floor.

Vision Quest: Sept. 16-18

Vision Quest Tokyo presents "The Gathering 2006," Sept. 16-18 at the Palcall Tsumagoi ski resort in Gunma Prefecture. Presale ticket information is on the Web site. Advance tickets are 12,000 yen. Click here to read the preview for last year's event at Palcall. Vision Quest has gone conveniently small with the current issue of it's flier: a 32-page pocket-sizer with loads of great information. Hotel space at the Palcall resort and the local lodgings filled up surprisingly fast last year and look to do the same for 2006. Check the "Hotel Plan" page for a list of official hotels and reservation information.

CD Case will return next week. All parties are in Tokyo unless otherwise noted. Send potential party pick info to the2ndroom@yahoo.com Support the psychedelic trance scene by buying originals.

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