Saturday, 19 March 2011

Fashion Crisis (March 2011 Fukuoka Special)

Because of the earthquake last week, there's been too much going on lately to post event info, but here's the flyer for today's Fashion Crisis Fukuoka Special:

Friday, 18 March 2011

Radio Activity

(Also posted on my other blog)

I'm in a small club in the Tokyo suburb of Koenji, drinking beer with a group of twenty or so young Japanese people. A man in a hard hat and face mask is conducting a mini orchestra of vintage 1980s synthesisers in a goofy cover version of the Korean pop group Girls Generation's recent hit "Gee". The audience rewards their set with a cascade of applause and whoops.

Beneath the cheer and good humour, however, these are people only too aware of the unsettling new situation that Japan finds itself in. The man’s getup is just one of the eerie reminders around the room of the tragedy that had struck northeastern Japan less than a week previously. His father was from Fukushima, close to the nuclear power plant that was dominating news headlines that day, and the band’s drummer also hails from the same area. There are smiles and laughs around the room when Kraftwerk’s 1975 song “Radioactivity” comes on in the background, but it’s a dark, ironic sort of humour on display – one that you would never normally expect from the kind of cheerful slapstick that dominates Japanese TV comedy.

A small TV in the corner remains tuned to NHK, Japan’s national broadcaster and most reliable source of news, and all eyes turn to the screen. An aftershock has been recorded near Tokyo. Here in our Koenji basement, no one felt a thing, but as numbers recording the strength of the tremor start appear on the onscreen map, a cheer goes up among some of the people present; the Koenji area scored 4, putting it in the level of most extreme shaking. There’s a sense of victory: we took the worst of that tremor and didn’t even feel it. The party goes on.

At the end of the evening, the audience and band members drift out, leaving money for the relief fund in a small tin in front of the DJ booth. People talk of music as an agent of healing, but for people in Tokyo, it’s also a weapon of defiance.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Fashion Crisis N'toko Release Special (March 2011)

March Fashion Crisis is an irregular edition in aid of Slovenian electro/hip hop artist N'toko and his mini-album Ex Shanti / Future Shanti, released last October on Call And Response. It's his first gig in Japan since the release, so instead of the usual free Friday night party, we're doing a proper live event at a proper live venue, with a bunch of ace live bands, plus regular Fashion Crisis DJs me and James Hadfield.

Place: Higashi-Koenji 20000V
Date 3/5 (Sat)
Time: 6:00PM - 10:30PM
Cost: ¥1500 advance / ¥1800 door

- N'toko
- Quick Explosion Scratch Hurricanes
- Takashi Nakayama with LABSiCK Man-Machine ReMiX
- Fallopian Disco Force
- Steiner

- Ian Martin
- James Hadfield

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

N'toko "Fashion is Danger" Japan Tour (March 2011)

Those with memories that stretch all the back to last autumn might recall the release of Slovenian electro hip hop artist N'toko's excellent Ex Shanti / Future Shanti mini-album on Call And Response in October. We had to dash to get it out in time for his European tour and before the release of N'toko's Slovenian language album Parada Ljubezni, which came out the following month and caused a bit of a stir in the music scene over there.

Anyway, while things on the Japan front have been quiet of late, Ex Shanti / Future Shanti was voted 4th in Slovenian alternative radio station Radio Student's Best of 2010 (with Parada Ljubezni at No.1 making it two N'toko albums in that year's Top Five), as well as being chosen as one of International Hip Hop Market's best of the year.

With all the European and domestic commitments now behind him, however, N'toko is finally ready to take on Japan with a long overdue release party and tour.

Joining N'toko for the Kyushu dates will be Tokyo jazz/hip hop/psychedelic/whatever duo Uhnellys, whose vocalist Kim recorded the track Fashion Crisis with N'toko.

N'toko: Fashion Crisis by callandresponse

The song is named after the monthly party that Call And Response organises with journalist James Hadfield, and as a play on that name and this utterly awesome song by N'toko lookalike Bret McKenzie and Flight of the Conchords, we decided to christen the tour Fashion is Danger.

Anyway, the dates and info:

March 5th @ Tokyo, Higashi-Koenji 20000V
18:00 Open/Start
¥1800 advance / ¥2000 door
Live: N'toko / Quick Explosion Scratch Hurricanes / Takashi Nakayama with LABSiCK Man-Machine ReMiX / Fallopian Disco Force / Steiner
DJs: James Hadfield / Ian Martin

March 9th @ Nagoya KD Japon
19:00 Open / 19:30 Start
¥1500 advance / ¥2000 door
Live: N'toko /
ZONZONO / Yuki Kaneko x Juzo / 「Manner Off」 "Unsilence" sound performance

March 13th @ Osaka Sengoku Daitoryo
17:30 Open / 18:00 Start
¥1500 advance / ¥2000 door
Live: N’toko / Acid Peacock / Rough Chord Rudies / Red Dolphins / Unchained Punk / Bashauma

March 19th @ Fukuoka, Yakuin UTERO
18:00 Open/Start
N'toko / Uhnellys / Hyacca / bctnx / men's relaxations / Fake doll Nott (electrify set) / Perchume ☆ Mix
DJs: Ian Martin / Miyagawa Electric 808

March 20th @ Kumamoto Navaro
20:00 Open / 20:30 Start
Live: N'toko / MacArthur A Contti/ Uhnellys / 101nZ / Fuckin'Shits + more
DJs: Esuda / Noizima/ Ito (ex. Jabberwocky)

The Tokyo and Fukuoka shows are both Fashion Crisis events, so I'll be posting individual info about them in the lead-up to the gigs. Also, yes, Perchume is a Fukuoka-based Perfume tribute act. And no, I have no excuse.