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Friday, Dec. 8, 2006


Psychedelic radar 12.08

Special to The Japan Times Online

Saturday, Dec. 9

Mother Records party -- Music Is Connected to Universe

Mother Records presents "Music Is Connected to Universe" at Differ Ariake in Odaiba. Live acts for Mother's 4th Anniversary Japan Tour 2006 are Atomic Pulse (B.N.E Records), Protoculture (Nano Records), Sub6 featuing MC Jah-Natan (Hommega Productions). DJ Ta-Ka, Mother's supreme AnR and Daijiro (Digital Block) round out the lineup.

Mother's closeout party for 2006 starts at 11 p.m. Entrance is 6,000 yen at the door. Ariake Differ is less than 10 minutes on foot from Kokusai Tenjijo Station (Rinkai Line) and Ariake Station (Yurikamome Line).

While the international live act talent on the bill are all mind-blowing A-listers, Mother's two homegrown DJs, Ta-Ka and Daijiro, are firewired into this crowd and have been amazing me for more than a year now. Daijiro's opening sets put the floor on just the right trajectory. Ta-Ka can be expected to whip up several numbers from his new double-CD compilation "On and Off -- S.O.S." which we'll talk more about below.

Saturday, Dec. 16

 Tontouto River basin, New Caledonia
The Tontouto River basin in New Caledonia.

A.P.A.P. in New Caledonia presents "Fluomania" on the Tontouto River basin. Live acts Talamasca and Sirius Issness, plus local crew DJs Nova, David, Kosmix Drewid and The Second Room's own DJO. (Yeah, it's me. Hi, Mom!)

Party tickets are 3,000 francs, which is equal to 3,000 yen. Counting air fare, it seems a bit much for a weekend getaway, until you remember that it's summertime in the Tropic of Capricorn, around 33 degrees during the day.

The Association for the Promotion of Art in the Pacific, also known as the Kosmix Tribe, is a not-for-profit organization that donates all excess monies from its events to children's charities on the French-administered island -- around $20,000 in less than three years. All artists at A.P.A.P. parties donate their sets and many of the DJs from nearby Australia pay their own fares to get to this paradise.

"Fluomania" will be the biggest effort yet for Kosmix. It will also be the most full-on party experience ever in the still-infant scene there. French immortal Talamasca has been itching for months to play in New Caledonia, which is incidentally the birthplace of Divina of Sirius Issness, who is making her second appearance with Kosmix. A good turnout will mean a happier Christmas for some kids who really need one.

Saturday, Dec. 23

Vision Quest presents "Vision Power" at Makuhari Messe in Mihama, Chiba Prefecture.

Live acts Skazi, Astrix, Domestic, Shanti, Void, Pop Stream, and Cyrus the Virus, plus DJs Ami and Roger Jordan.

Vision Quest is doing this Christmas weekend extravaganza at Makuhari on its own this year. V.Q.'s traditional yearend holiday partner at the massive Messe, Solstice Music, is putting together a double New Year's Eve party (in Shinjuku and Yokohama) that we will detail next time. Over the years, V.Q. and Solstice have developed an excellent model for "indoor raves" at Makuhari that favors the large crowd expected for Skazi and Astrix especially. Domestic, Shanti, Void, Pop Stream and Cyrus are the icing and candies on a very sweet yuletide cake.

"Vision Power" starts at 9 p.m. No one under 20 years old admitted. Advance tickets are 9,000 yen (or 11,000 yen at the door.) See the Web site and mobile site for updated info.

Saturday, Dec. 23

Extra Music presents "Ground Of Darkness" at Studio Cube326 in Shibaura. Live acts CPC (Manic Dragon), FarEastGhost (Trip Records) plus DJs Keiki (Extra Music), Enko (Extra Music) and Ko-Zi (Brain Busters).

For Manic Dragon artist CPC, you can expect a minimum dancefloor speed of 145 bpm, averaging out around 147. Cube326, once the weekend home for a long-gone underground psy-trance following, is actually better suited for a dark manic lineup like this. Advance tickets are 3,000 yen (or 4,000 yen at the door). Find more information at the Extra Music mobile site.

CD Case -- Full-on

"On and Off -- S.O.S. (Space Of Sound)," compiled by DJ Ta-Ka (Mother Records)

On and Off -- S.O.S. (Space Of Sound), compiled by DJ Ta-Ka
"On and Off -- S.O.S. (Space Of Sound)," compiled by DJ Ta-Ka

Nothing amazing that Japan's best psychedelic trance DJ does will surprise me any more. I have no doubt that Mother Record's AnR DJ Ta-Ka will continue to amaze me for a long time to come, but surprise me? No. Not after what I witnessed Nov. 3 at ageHa.

Playing a DJ set as superbly as Ta-Ka would be difficult enough with two fully functional hands. Watching him lay down one of his best indoor mixes of 2006 one-handed pretty much pegged out my personal surprise meter. Ta-Ka's right arm was injured in a traffic accident a couple months ago. But even with his right wrist immobilized with vertical pins, Ta-Ka mixed superbly in front of a capacity crowd at ageHa. Left-handed, mind you, and preserved on digital tape for study by future beings. How can anything else amazing that Ta-Ka does possibly surprise me? I'm now convinced that he could mix using just his toes if he wanted to.

DJ Ta-Ka
DJ Ta-Ka

"On and Off" is also no big surprise. And it's not supposed to be. Ta-Ka's second double-compilation with Mother -- a 14-track pure mix on one disc with of 10 of those in full on the second disc -- is a musical memory book of an exceptional year for Mother Records.

This well-rounded anthology at Mother's progression in 2006 includes Atomic Pulse, Protoculture, their collaboration Atomic Culture, Wrecked Machines' and Pixel's housey-bouncy smash "Face It," Psycraft, Xerox and Illumination vs Magnetica, who did a title track "S.O.S." for Mother's signature summer party, plus Astrix, Space Cat, and Pop Stream and a few more. To be perfectly honest, I haven't even removed the second CD from the case because the mix disc is so good.

Psychedelic Radar will return on Dec. 30 with a last-minute gauge for New Year's Eve. All parties are in Tokyo unless otherwise noted. Send party info and fliers to: the2ndroom@yahoo.com

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