MTM Presents : Kagurane Dance Temple
Descending the stairs to Kagurane, nostalgic sounds reverberated off the glass door onto your chest, you felt in your bones that you just entered a temple dedicated to dance and music. The first priest on the pulpit was Judgeman, no two sets of this man can be judged the same, his old school vibes are suitable for an exciting night out, as well as for the background of a conversation about an exciting night. Mellow techno and house beats to kick the night off, sometimes sweeping up to an upper tempo.
Then, after a quick break in the sleek bar that basks in blue neon light. Reflected on the bare industrial piping in the ceiling of Kagurane, pumping drum and bass rhythms invited you back to the stage area. German born DJ, Taktile, was mindfully tapping his launchpad making liquid sounds meshed together with the trippy imagery projected behind him. It felt like a place of worship, people dancing religiously to the tempo of our second techno-priest of the evening. sometimes melodious, almost ambient sounds, flowing like a water feature in a zen garden. Other times building up to an explosion that flirted with dubstep chaos, like a whirlpool, dragging the helpless audience into an abyss of bliss.
The tone of the night set, Yowamushi Club was prepping to break up the electronic storm, or rather amplify it, by adding their flaming guitars and the inimitable vocals of Ajima san (lead singer, guitar).
By the time they started playing "Kitsune drive into the black" (video embedded), no-one in the audience wasn't jumping up and down while blaring along "kitsune kitsune kitsune doraibu into the black" .
A strange feeling of nostalgic despair mixes together with the happiness of being in that moment. Ajima sans voice evokes a melancholy that is offset by the sheer energy of the guitar and synths, and when any song hits its climax he will accentuate that high, with a falsetto screaming, that bleeds an anguished heartbreak into the lyrics.
Then came "I don't know". The piano loop that introduces this absolute smash takes the song away, hypnotizing Japanese and English natives alike, proving that music has and forever will destroy any language barrier.
Meanwhile in front of the stage, literally everyone was dancing, and when the band had the audacity to stop playing they were commanded back on stage and delivered another fox driving into the black to the grateful audience. One does not simply allow Yowamushi Club off stage.
After that amazing performance, we caught our breath and another drink. Zuma. was the final artist to drain us off our energy, he certainly brought the cool of LA to Japan. Giving his own spin on some of the biggest bangers, turning Kagurane in one of the more swanky Tokyo clubs for the night, with more creativity than your regular nightclub DJ. His mixes are dope, respecting original tracks while creating something new. You could easily spend the night dancing to this, but his own tracks are nothing to sneeze at either ( give CUT ME OFF a listen)
Near the end of his set, none other than Josiah Hawley made a surprise appearance on stage. Together they performed their new collaboration tentatively called "bby grl". This sneak peek into a compelling mix of two artists who are doing entirely different things sure got us hungry for more.
All sermons come to an end and so does this one. This show was a transcendental experience, and even though the evening boasted a more electronic exploration than what more than music normally provides, the people, the great vibes and the quality of the music stay the same. As everyone wiped the dance-sweat off their brow that was the obvious conclusion.
Bummed that you could not be there? Rightfully so, you missed something special, but dry your tears with the virtual flyer of the next MTM event.