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Friday, Nov. 16, 2007

Bumper weekend for Tokyo clubs


This weekend, Tokyo's clubs feature sets from some of the giants of the Japanese dance-music scene, and while it will be impossible to catch all the artists, going to Air, Ageha or Womb will offer a good idea of the nation's electronic-music offerings.

News photo
Bhaskar Kamath

At Womb, Shinichi Osawa (aka Mondo Grosso) will take over for the whole weekend (Nov. 16 and 17) to celebrate the release of "The One," his first studio album since 2003. His last album, "Next Wave," enjoyed huge commercial success in Japan and established Osawa as one of the country's biggest producers, with a series of guest vocalists and producers including UA, Kelis and Armand Van Helden featuring on the album. Guests on "The One" include Ryukyudisko, who will be playing with Osawa at the Nov. 17 show, and Princess Superstar. Expect house music that crosses over into techno and rock, and a crowd that will at times turn the dance floor into a mosh pit.

Ageha will host long-established local DJ Emma House on Nov. 17. Since the beginning of the Japanese dance-music scene, this DJ has played at the biggest venues and the largest parties, though he has enjoyed little international success. Perhaps that is because his sets are never particularly adventurous or experimental, though they are always full of famous songs likely to get the crowd dancing. While his unadventurous track selections may lead to claims that House is a puppet of the music industry, there are always enough people at his events and enough anthems in his sets to ensure a good atmosphere and a full dance floor.

Club Air, meanwhile, features techno legend Ken Ishii and a special techno set from house producer Jazztronic on Nov. 16. Ishii is perhaps Japan's best-known DJ overseas, though that is more because of the music he produces than the sets he plays. The music will probably be quite hard, industrial techno and maybe not easy on the ears of the casual clubgoer. The set from Jazztronic, however, should be interesting, with music that joins the dots between techno, house and jazz.

Shinichi Osawa plays at Womb on Nov. 16 and 17, with tickets at ¥4,000 (¥3,500 with flyer); www.womb.co.jp.

Emma House plays at Ageha on Nov. 17, with tickets at ¥3,500; www.ageha.com.

Ken Ishii and Jazztronic play at Club Air on Nov. 16, with tickets at ¥3,500. www.air-tokyo.com.



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