dommune in full swing
one thing we've talked about on SSGS is the desire for different ways to engage and enjoy with techno music. in this regard, there is an interesting new development in the tokyo scene i wanted to talk about. on monday i went to a new club here called 'dommune', which has been open for about a month or so. it is a small one room space in a basement, decked out with some really nice funktion ones. the concept is an interesting one: it is only open sunday through thursday, 21:00 - 24:00. the purpose is twofold: (1) by not operating on weekends they complement other clubs, rather than directly competing. (2) they provide an alternative for people who simply don't have the stamina and/or desire to do the allnight clubbing thing. this way you can go, dance for a couple of hours, and be in bed by 1 or 2am. not bad at all... by being open on weekdays, it has also allowed them to have follow up gigs from internationals that have come to town - steve bug, sammy dee and maurice fulton have been some of the people to have spin there so far.
given the small size of the space, the club is limited to 50 people, and you have to register online to get a ticket. if you are not lucky enough to be one of the 50, all is not lost, as video and audio of the party is streamed live on ustream. this has been very popular in japan, with each night regularly getting a couple of thousand viewers (it has already had over 1 million visitors in total since it started streaming). the result is a rather interesting dynamic: both people at the club and those watching at the home are using twitter throughout the party. being at the club this made for a weird situation where probably half the people on the dancefloor had an iphone in their hands the whole night. so more interaction with people on the interwebs, less with those around you - real virtual partying (or something like that). the other consequence of the live streaming is there is some serious attention whore action going on, as partygoers do their best to get on camera. this did my head in a bit, but was also pretty amusing... put together the whole thing is all a bit surreal. then again, when you've got maurice fulton killing it on a funktion one, it is going to make for a fun night.
i'm not completely sure what to make of dommune. i really like the basic concept, but the whole interactive component with twitter and video streaming makes for a dynamic that is definitely a bit different from the usual club and quite different from my preferred mode of engagement: a dark anonymous space... anyway, it is great to see developments like this happening and it is a sign that the tokyo scene is really becoming stronger again, which can only be a good thing.
for more info on dommune, check their homepage. and try tuning in sometime...