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Friday, July 1, 2011

SUMMER FESTIVALS 2011

Electronic: Raving through the end of summer


Special to The Japan Times

Electronic music enthusiasts will have to wait a little longer than other partygoers — however once August comes around, the rest of the summer will be so crammed with festivities that even with relative proximity to the capital — and no overlapping events — only the hardiest of ravers could make it out to them all.

Mark Jarnes

Mark Jarnes (@markjarnes)

Favored festival:The Labyrinth
Number of attendances:4
Must-see acts: Kangding Ray, Function, Donato Dozzy Since its inception more than 10 years ago, there have been many imitators that have tried to re-create the magic that takes place at The Labyrinth every year — none of them are on par. The event pairs unrivaled sound quality with a great setting.

First up is Freedommune Zero, a free festival created by Naohiro Ukawa, creator of micro-club and live broadcasting studio Dommune. As is the way with the venue, information regarding any of their events leaks out at irregular intervals, so all we know for sure is that it will take place on Aug. 19 at Higashioujima Park in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture. Looking at the back catalog of artists who have DJ'd at Dommune, we can safely expect a top-notch lineup.

The month ends with another installment of monster-party Wire on Aug. 27, once again occupying Yokohama Arena for a night with the biggest names in the electronic-music scene including Carl Craig, Dubfire, Radio Slave and local techno hero Takkyu Ishino. Also, make it a point not to miss Dop, a Parisian trio whose live act is outstanding.

The last two major electronic-music events of the summer come in September with Taicoclub Camps and — shiver of delight — The Labyrinth.

As you may have guessed, Taicoclub Camps is brought to you by the people behind the Taicoclub festival held last month. The party will take place Sept. 10-11 at the New Greenpia camping grounds and onsen (hot spring) in the town of Tsunan, Niigata Prefecture. The lineup has not been released yet, but The Orb, Jazzanoza and Hifana all played last year.

The Labyrinth, now in its 11th year, is a special occasion for any dance-music fan. Since 2007, techno wizard Donato Dozzy has been the regular closer for the event. After making a move from the mountains of Gunma Prefecture to the lush valleys of Naeba in Niigata Prefecture in 2009, audience capacity for the festival was increased to 2,500, still substantially less than other musical gatherings. The attention to detail is second-to-none. A fine end to a scorching summer of beats.


Festival lineup



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