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Friday, May 22, 2009
By ALEX HOBAN
Although it's gearing up to be a bonanza year for Japan's two main outdoor summer showcases, with Fuji Rock looking set to bounce back triumphantly after last year's lineup fiasco, where Primal Scream ended up playing two nights on the mainstage, and Summer Sonic celebrating it's 10th anniversary by adding a full extra day to its proceedings, don't let this be a reason to ignore the ingenious spread of smaller- scale but equally exciting festivals that this fast-approaching summer has to offer. Along with Yokohama's Greenroom Festival — taking place the weekend before it, and offering a portion of port-side surf-rock — one of the first of this season's many boutique events is the eclectic dance utopia Taico Club.
Now in its forth incarnation, the lineup boasts an exclusive headline show from U.K. electro-jazz evangelist Squarepusher, as well as appearances from Baltimore Bjork collaborators Matmos and Japanese math-rock monoliths Zazen Boys. Atom TM, aka Germany's Uwe Schmit, represents the more eccentric end of the billing, having made his name pioneering electro- gospel and electro-latino all while looking a lot like a geography teacher. Meanwhile, indie chart-topping, postrock infused jazz band Special Others are sure to consolidate people's desire to dance via a few unexpectedly weaved musical tangents.
On DJ duties are the likes of German-Chilean techno- minimalist Ricardo Villalobos, as well as Fumiya Tanaka, the founder of Japan's first techno label in 1993, Torema Records. The two are old friends, having collaborated on the track "Fumiyandric," so expect a feeling of familial good vibes echoing through the leaves of the outdoor arena. Set in the beautiful rolling Nagano countryside, it's the perfect city escape and a chance to breathe some clean country air. Pack your tent or simply don't sleep as this over-night event runs for 24 hours from lunch-time Saturday to lunch-time Sunday, giving you plenty of time to catch the Shinkansen to and from the event from anywhere in Japan, without interrupting your working week.
June 6,7; Kodama No Mori, Nagano; ¥12,000. For more information, visit taicoclub.com/