Tokyo has a large electronic music and experimental music scene, and during my brief stay there I wanted to check out at least one show. I did find the club Super-Deluxe with a calendar full of interesting shows. On the night of June 9, it Test Tone vol. 46.
This particular program featured international guests artists. The first act did feature a collaboration between Illinois-based Nick Hoffman and Japanese improvising artistTakahiro Kawaguchi. Unfortunately, I missed a large portion of their set while I attempted to locate the club. It seems that most streets in Tokyo are unmarked, so it’s easy to get turned around, or miss a small side street, so getting to Super Deluxe was a bit of adventure. I wish I had gotten to see more.
The second set featured New York based Object Collection. Object Collection consists of Kara Feely and Travis Just, and their multimedia pieces feature electronic music as well as video and theatre. On this night, they were performing a piece entitled “Gun Sale”. Scenes that could have been from a gun sale somewhere in the urban United States were projected on video, along with fast moving urban landscape. On top of that were Feely’s vocals and Just’s music. Musically, this was precisely the sort of experimental electronic/noise I was looking for on that night (whether or not the artists classify their own music that way is a separate issue), and I remarked in my notes “it’s the real deal”.
The third set was by Swiss computer and electronic music Andrea Valvini, performing a new piece Soleil Rouge. His music incorporates noisy and inharmonic synthesized sounds, of a digital variety (I don’t recall much of the standard filtering) and musical sound effects in complex rhythms. There a basic set of beats in the background, and then odd-meter phrases and loops layered on top of that, some appearing only for a short moment, and some disappearing. The complexity of some of the sounds hides the rhythmic structure for some of the shorter hits. I did have a chance to talk with Valvini after the performance and hear a little bit about his adventures performing in Asia, and share my own experience performing in mainland China.