The future is Tokyo
Scotland is preparing for the UFO experience. Expect the unexpected.
Woros: Rory Weller
Otaku (oh-tah-ku) n. Japanese slang expression for a
fanatic or enthusiast. Used in a derogatory fashion to describe a nerd or geek.
The Tokyo underground club scene is largely populated by these creatures according to Raphael Sebbag of Tokyo‘s United Future Organisation (UFO). who would like to point out that he‘s no otaku. He is, of I course. just too agonisingly cool for that. way ahead of the herd. setting trends. not following them.
Sebbag and his partners in UFO. Toshio Matsuura and Tadashi Yabe. are the ‘it‘ men of the Tokyo club scene. with seventeen years’ experience DJirw. promoting. producing and running their own label. Brownswood Otaku Gods. Their third album. Third Persjwcrive. is out at the end of June. and they are the DJ headliners at Strange Fruit on Glasgow's Renfrew Ferry.
Having already mastered jazz. Latin and hip hop. the trio are in filmic spy territory on the new album. Commissioned two years ago to write theme music for Mission Impossible — which was never used —
‘We love the incredible feeling you get from the music in a film, the way these composers can make twenty tracks all using the same melody,’ says Sebbag.
82 THEUST 27 Jun—10lul I997
'Tokyo people expect you to play the same from night to night, but I’m not a jukebox and won’t play what they expect.’ Raphael Sehhag
UFO were hooked by the soundtrack landscape of
UFO bring the Tokyo experience to Scotland
‘There are a lot of soundtracks coming out now, but we’ve been doing it for a long time. DJs were playing some of our tracks two years ago. then everyone started doing it. I hope people don‘t think we fell on the trend. but we saw it coming. It‘s strange how we‘ve done things that now everyone is doing; Latin house and disco revival. It‘s good to see it coming back. but I‘m not really into it because it can be too poppy. It’s important to try and take risks with music.’
This attitude defines their DJ set — they dare to play half an hour of drum ‘n' bass before side stepping into a samba beat. ‘l‘ve got no idea what l’m going to play in Scotland.‘ says Sebbag. ‘The three of us have each got our own style. The music depends on the night. and it could go from salsa to drum ‘n‘ bass to soundtracks or new stuff. We‘ll do a lot of L'FO stuff. we‘ve done
many remixes that are coming out here. fresh things. We are more
selectors than mega mixers. We are not doing a DJ contest with super techniques. we just try and have fun.‘
Sebbag is obviously hoping the Scottish experience will be refreshingly different from Tokyo‘s DJ conveyor belt system.
‘In Tokyo you have a very strange orientation of DJs who are stuck in one style. but they forget that the night is about music.’ he says. ‘People expect you to play the same from night to night. but I‘m not a jukebox and won‘t play what they expect. There are so many good records and not enough time to play them. not enough time to dance.‘
UFO present their first Scottish show at Strange Fruit on the Renfrew Ferry, Glasgow on Sat 28 Jun. Their album Third Perspective is released on Talkin' Loud on the same day.
Glasgow: Tangent, Sub Club, Fri 27 Jun
Londoner Harvey currently has his The 34-year-old distinctly uncheesy house DJ guests at clubs across the UK and Europe, and has just started his own monthly Friday night club The New Hard Left at London‘s Blue Note club.
During the week, he concentrates on doing remixes and making records for his own Black Cock label. In the last two months alone, he has been involved in at least ten records, including ‘Street Corner Symphony' (Street Corner Records) and reworkings on the Auto (‘Rehash’), Dosorient (‘For The Love Of Money’) and Mo Wax ('Bellhead‘) imprints. He has also just released his own project ’Luna Party‘ on Black Cock.
Musically, Harvey‘s style criss- crosses the musical spectrum. In his sets and on his records, the main elements appear to be deep percussive house, sleazy garage and funked-up 90$ disco, but he is equally at home with most styles and tempos.
‘It's all dance music at the end of the day isn’t it?’ he says. 'There’s just an incredible wealth of great music to be plundered and played. People are always looking for new and exciting things.’
Speaking of which, how does he feel about ‘speed garage', the latest dance music genre to be invented by the dance press?
‘It‘s all very amusing really,’ he says. ’I‘ve never taken categories of music too seriously. I just make them up myself. You‘ve already got different factions within speed garage. There’s dark speed garage, intelligent speed garage, roots speed garage and slow speed garage. All in different parts of London! It‘s all good sick fun, y'know? Totally stupid and a really goodlaugh!
What's next for Harvey? ’The more the merrier really,‘ he ponders. ‘Keep on producing, keep on DJing, keep the club running. Just onwards and upwards until I‘m gone and they can say "Yeah, he was a good D] and he made some good records".' (Jim Byers)
Harvey: has finger in many pies.