Berlin’s minimal techno scene is legendary, but a host of other styles have recently been emerging from the German capital.
Five years ago, as minimal was beginning its reign over the city’s nightclubs, Steffen “Dixon” Berkhahn says he was faced with a choice: “adapt or rebuild.” Rather than strip his sound down to the minimum, he opted to forge a new path.
The result was the label Innervisions, cofounded with fellow DJ/producer Âme, and the immensely popular series “Inner City Visions” at club Weekend. The label and event allowed Dixon to create house music he describes as “too deep and stripped for the ruling garage pomp of the gay house scene, yet not banging enough to meet the demands of the techno ravers.”
Daikanyama club Air offers a taste of Dixon’s vibe in the form of a performance and CD to fete the venue’s ninth anniversary. Following mixes commissioned from the likes of Derrick May, Francois K and Jazztronik, Five Years Of Innervisions Compiled & Mixed By Dixon x Air presents a number of artists on the label’s roster, including Âme and Château Flight, as well as techno titan Laurent Garnier.
Launching with the ascending, synth-pop melodies of Château Flight’s “Baroque,” Five Years Of Innervisions takes in trippy effects, vocals outlining some sort of post-apocalyptic scenario, and a range of house beats from trance-y to tribal. The overall feel is relaxed and deliberate.
“Berlin is now giving birth to some of the most evolved dance music on the planet,” says Air producer Daizo Murata. “This is because it’s home to artists who, like Dixon, possess a sensibility and mastery of technology to deliver it, and because people are drawn to Berlin who respect such artists, creating a perfect balance.”…
As some clubs celebrate their anniversaries, others inevitably fall by the wayside. After nine years on the scene, French outpost La Fabrique shuts its doors for good at the end of this month.
The Shibuya venue opened in the new Zero Gate building in 2001 as the sister club of La Fabrique in Paris, bringing a taste of French nightlife to Japan. The intimate space and “fooding” restaurant/club concept injected fresh air into the Tokyo scene, and for a time La Fabrique was one of the city’s hippest venues, hosting events like glam/electro/rock night Vanity and DJs such as DFA’s James Murphy.
But the inevitable imperative of commerce has led building owner Parco to rent out the entire structure to a single retailer—rumored to be Zara or the like—and owner Myu Planning has decided not to look for a new location. La Fabrique goes out with a bang on September 25 with an edition of long-running resident Chicago house party Solid.
Air 9th Anniversary. House, techno, electro: DJs Dixon, Ko Kimura, etc. Sep 25, from 10pm, ¥3,500. Daikanyama. Tel: 03-5784-3386. www.air-tokyo.com