Events

Here’s a surprise older set from the archives – a surprise for me too, as I was actually hunting for a different one. Finding a rare Alabaster CODEX set recording is a pretty great silver lining though, so it’s gone up on YouTube right away. It’s a mix of UK hardcore/trancecore with some more aggressive freeform towards the end, seemingly setting up the next DJ on the lineup.

I’ve made a start on the tracklist but it’s missing a few, so I’m posting it here in case any Horsers would like to weigh in with ideas. I’m away again for a while from today (which, as I mentioned on mastodon, will delay the next stream a little), but I’ll update as and when I can.

Been a while since the last event-recap post, hasn’t it? Although I’d heard about Dark Dimension’s comeback earlier in the year, I was expecting a smaller/low-key affair for starters – not a bit of it though, as even without any guest DJs from outside Japan this was up there with the very best of Dark Dimension’s subculture mashups. LOFT turned out to be a brilliant venue too, which is always a nice surprise when these live houses are used for electronic events. The main speakers were a bit too enthusiastic on the top end, but the main floor was decently sized and gave enough room for both the ravers and industrial dancers in attendance.

The crowd was genuinely impressive, as every subculture represented made the effort to turn out in force. For most of my time there I was catching up with old Romancer ravers, and I recognised plenty of people from my travels through other gothic and industrial events. The second ‘chaotic’ floor lineup was perfectly judged and seemed to work as an escape option for the goths when things got too energetic in the main room.

Obviously I was mainly there for Guld’s set, but arrived just in time to catch most of Suke’s dark psy live PA. I’ll never cease to be amazed how people outside of a typical dark psy event will still go all out to dance to such fast, repetitive tunes with very few breakdowns – maybe it’s another quirk of the scenes here, but seeing even the goths and steampunks giving it a go was a surprise. Talking of steampunk, right after Suke was an excellent, atmospheric fashion show by kennycreation (who also played the backing tracks). Like something from Tokyo Decadance, this was probably the moment when I realised what a grand job the DD crew had done of bringing together such a disparate crowd. The last set before Guld was Chika with her hard techno – it might be the easiest of all the harder genres to mix, but that makes the selection extra important. She structured the set very well for the audience, lightening things up here and there but keeping it mostly dark and hard.

Guld’s set was superb, opening up with his Candyman remix. The first drop after the intro set off all the Romancer ravers at once, and if you squinted a little you might even have convinced yourself that you were back in Studio Cube in 2008. The rest of the set was heavy on Hase and ThermalForce (see the first video up above) and some old and new tracks that perfectly matched the atmosphere for this event. There was another fashion show early in Guld’s set, this time from the cyberpunk brand D/3, which is well worth checking out if you’re not familar.

Of course the big highlight for me was hearing Cyhyraeth in a club setting for the first time – Guld and I were (again) complaining recently how hard it is to get a chance to play NRG/freeform to fans of other darker scenes, despite the fact that they invariably enjoy it, and here was my track getting the perfect chance to do just that. I didn’t do a great job of showing the size of the crowd in my video (there are others floating around online that give you a better idea), but there was a spectacular response as it was (surprisingly) mixed in from One Immortal. In the most literal sense it felt like being in a dream as I looked around, seeing the Romancer ravers react to the ‘you’re supposed to dance to this part’ sections exactly as I’d hoped. Obviously I’ve nothing but thanks for Guld for playing the track, and it was biggest kick in the inspiration I’ve ever felt. In fact I was working away on another track in the month leading up the event, but shockingly couldn’t get it finished in time.

Sisen followed Guld with one of the harder sets I’ve ever heard from him, along with the usual stellar stage presence. I dredged up some energy for some more dancing, before heading out to navigate the post-apocalyptic scenes of early-morning Kabukicho. Talking to organiser Akira during the event it sounded like the plan is for Dark Dimension to put on at least another event this year, and the only shame is that it probably won’t be a very regular thing. The crowds are there to support it though, so perhaps it’ll be sooner than we expect…

Time for a belated look at another Asukarai Matsuri set, again a pretty fascinating look at how a talented newcomer to the scene approaches the NRG and freeform back catalogues. This is a great hour of freeform, and very recommended even if you’ve heard most of the tracks a million times before.

The track selection definitely reminds me of my own early days, with some of the all-time classic melodic tracks alongside more aggressive sections. Global Killer – Tuonela is a fine start, but it’s probably the next section where things step up a level. A darker atmosphere moves smoothly into Voices of Babylon, followed by a very impressive stretch of filtery melodic tracks. It obviously made my day to hear Hell’s Gate, especially as the transition into Morokai is one of the very best of the set. The finale is a classic dancefloor-friendly bpm increase, nicely done here with some Lost Soul and Nirotiy, before Hydra deepens things at the finish.

Overall another excellent set, and what it lacks in unified atmosphere from start to finish it makes up for in quality track selection. With literally a few hundred classic tracks yet to appear in his sets, I’m looking forward to AM’s next tribute to the golden age.

Last call for TYFTH Live 009, as it’s been visible in all the usual places since February. That includes Twitch, as it’s highlighted there and shouldn’t disappear anytime soon (if ever?). This was a a very fun set to put together, with many old and new tracks getting a play for the first time. I’m very happy with the atmosphere, even if (as usual) it was a lot of work to put together.

The biggest Horser-related news from the set was that we had two tracks on show – my Cyhyraeth and Sherkel’s superb Concealed. I’ve been trying to work out a way to use it in a set for quite a long time now as it has an extremely long, atmospheric breakdown. The opening three tracks of this set (repurposed from a CODEX appearance) are pretty hectic and absolutely set the tone, but are combined in a way that keeps the long breaks to a minimum. That was the perfect platform for Concealed, then, and I love the flow of that section.

Of the other transitions Perkele! – VPN is probably my favourite, as they’re two tracks I’ve wanted to play for years but are extremely challenging to use well. It was one of those lovely mixing moments when I realised there was potential to combine the two. Another high point was the Twisted Freq section (which needed some 3-deck action to get things working), as I combined the two in that way to reduce the massive breakdowns that you tend to get in Kreatrix tracks. PHASE 6 – Tigris also works really well, linking PHASE 6’s break with Tigris’ intro to deepen the atmosphere some more before the dark-but-melodic final part of the set. Oh and Mirage – Chimaera has never been in any of my online/event sets, but I used a less ambitious version in my first ever freeform mix back in 2006.

I was very happy to see how well the set was received live on Twitch – a massive thanks goes to Shimo for her raid, and to all the Fairy Forest crew who stayed around to listen. I’ve played to far fewer people at many club events, and it was a bit overwhelming to try to keep track of the action in the chat. Apologies to those I missed, and I’ll try to be on top of it next time. It actually crossed my mind to have a mic set up for interacting with everyone listening, but then I’d need to also record the set through Traktor to get the clean audio. I’m wary of adding more stress to my overloaded setup, but I’ll do some tests before deciding one way or the other.

Obviously I missed the March deadline for the next one, but more than ever these days I get the feeling that people expect a certain kind of set from me, and just throwing one together at the last minute wouldn’t really cut it. With all the newcomers to the scene and the ever-increasing distance between now and the release of those 2000s tracks, hopefully my ‘old and new’ style can still hit the sweet spot between introducing the classics to freeform rookies, while pushing the newer tracks and producers that are keeping that spirit alive. On that note, I’ve put in quite a bit of time to the next mix, with an intro just about decided and another section that has some lovely combinations. I’d say it’s pretty likely to appear this month, depending how well I manage the traditionally tricky middle part of the set.

Thanks to Shimotsukei I saw this Tano*C stream recording for the first time the other day, including a rare video of a whole Betwixt & Between set (starting here). No live PA this time though, instead he’s mixing mainstream hardcore. He would often say that he preferred PAs because he didn’t know how to DJ, but he had some mixing experience by this stage and it’s a good effort.

Truth be told it’s hard to watch this without getting a bit emotional, especially considering the timing. Hopefully there are a few other sets/event videos floating around that I’ve missed up until now.

All systems go for the second attempt at TYFTH Live 008, a year and a half later. I’ve been testing out all the necessaries this week, and a final secret test stream a few minutes ago (only a quick sound test) was the final check needed. The main event’ll be starting at 19:30 JST, with a few minutes for sound checking before that.

Tomorrow’s stream will be an Exemia-only freeform set, something I’ve been cryptically referencing on Mastodon for a while now. It’s been lots of fun but a big challenge to put this one together, with tricky transitions all over the place. It’ll be recorded and uploaded as and when (or rerecorded if there are any disasters), but  all are welcome to stop by the usual place for the live version!

Watch live video from plasmadancer on www.twitch.tv

If you’ve been following the updates on Mastodon you will have seen this already, but the plan this weekend was to stream a short set of more melodic tracks while I continue sorting out ideas for the next ‘real’ mix.

Predictably though, I’ve ended up putting some time into this melodic edition and need some extra time to think about things. It’ll still most likely be on the short side, and will have a mix of newer and much older stuff – I’m just not feeling some of the really melodic/trancy tracks around these days, so it’ll be a bit of a middle ground. Although I expect a weekday isn’t as convenient for a lot of people, this one will also find its way to YouTube, probably a day or two later.

There are also plans for at least a couple of other posts to appear here soon, as I get back to things after an extremely busy February.

Watch live video from plasmadancer on www.twitch.tv

This might be a busy weekend, but there’ll still be a TYFTH Live tomorrow as promised. Alas, it’s not the set I orginally had in mind, as I’m still hanging on for a couple of tracks to appear. Instead this’ll be that unreleased-only session I mentioned a while back, with me digging into the archives to play some bits and pieces that you might find interesting. What I’ve been aiming for in the limited practice time I’ve had this week is a set with plenty of surprises, while also sticking fairly close to the kind of style I like these days. Apologies in advance for any shonky transitions, it’ll definitely be more about the individual tracks this time around.

On that note, there are a few ‘secret’ tracks that might make an appearance, making this a good one to catch live if you can. The upload to YouTube won’t come with a tracklist, so feel free to play ‘guess that tune’ while we run through the set.

I’ll leave the video at the top of this post for now, but the TYFTH twitch channel is here, of course.

Just over a week ago I talked myself into making a trip to Shibuya at rush hour on a Saturday, but it was for a good cause – the first NRG-only event in Tokyo since the last CODEX. Shijou Saikou no NRG 3 (‘The Best NRG Ever 3’, it’s no less clunky a title in Japanese) was a gathering of some of the real pioneers of the Tokyo NRG scene for a little celebration of the sound. Little’s the word, as Dimension’s dimensions are about the same as a medium-sized Tokyo apartment, but even this club’s tiny speakers were a much better way to hear NRG than I’ve had for a long time.

Cochame gave the event some much needed younger (and female) representation, but sadly I wasn’t in time to catch her set. Those I did hear weren’t really up to the standard you might have expected, aside from GULD and Hashimoto. Hashimoto in particular has to win the award of ‘most instantly likeable’ harder DJ – he really looks like he’s still having the time of his life up in the booth and it was hard not to smile through the whole set. Fabulous track selection as well, which helped.

GULD’s set was the one I was really there for of course, and he didn’t disappoint. There was plenty of Hase and Lab4 before things went very melodic for the second half. Either side of the set we were catching up on things together, in between GULD pointing out the artist/name of every important track he heard.

Overall it was of course fantastic to hear some NRG again, but it was also a sobering little window into the state of the scene. The veterans are still supporting the sound as strongly as ever, but the tiny venue was only just full and the lack of younger DJs was pretty glaring. Who knows though, this could be the start of a revival in 2020. How soon it’s followed up by another event is probably key.

In the meantime, here’s GULD’s tracklist from the event. Oh and apologies for the terrible quality on the video by the way, but by the time another event rolls around I should be better fixed for recordings.

01. Hase – Attacker
02. Hase – Meditation
03. Yoji biomehanika – Rain
04. Lab4 – Falling Down
05. Lab4 – Resurrection (Hase remix)
06. Betwixt & Between – Zusammengehörigkeit
07. GULD – Spirits of Saiyan
08. Hatsune Miku – Senbonzakura (GULD boot remix)
09. Aryx – Aurora (GULD remix)
10. RR-ThermalForce – Al megiddo

Surprise little end-of-the-year reappearance here, and this might even be another one of those TYFTH returns to form. I’ve been playing around with a few sets lately, with the intention of finally streaming some short sets on a more regular schedule. Some might not be much more than half an hour or so, but at least that’ll be easier to do consistently. They could well include some of those old ideas like promo-only sets, other genres, that kind of thing.

For now, there’ll be a shortish set tomorrow as I ease back into things. This’ll be freeform on the darker side – which, as anyone who’s been keeping an eye on the scene lately will know, means a mostly older tracklist. The vast majority of the last run-through was based around tracks that I’ve never played anywhere before though, so at least it won’t be yet another rerun of me chugging through the old faithfuls.

Another post is on the way that looks at some recent(ish) releases, which will eventually make up for tomorrow’s lack of representation. In the meantime you’ll be welcome to stop by twitch tomorrow, or keep an eye on YouTube for the upload soon afterwards.

[edit]

Thanks everyone who listened live – apologies for the trouble with the visuals, that’ll be sorted before the next set. The audio version is up on YouTube now though, and here’s the tracklist:

01. Epyx & Cyrez – The Lurking Fear
02. Pain on Creation – Ironworks (Gain Edit)
03. Kevin Energy & Proteus – London Helsinki Underground (Proteus Warcry 2011 Remix)
04. Epyx & Cyrez – Polar Energy
05. Nemes & Blender – Inquisition
06. Morita Yuuhei – Sadistic Form
07. RR-ThermalForce – Eternal Cannon (DJ Rx remix)
08. Twisted Freq – Releashed (Original Mix)
09. Alabaster – Galaxy
10. Chris de Burgh – A Spaceman Came Travelling (Transcend remix)