Friday, August 21, 2009

back into the labyrinth...

last year's labyrinth festival has gone down in ssg history, thanks in part to donato dozzy's mindbending closing set, which were lucky enough to share with everyone. the lineup for this year's party has been announced and tickets went on sale today. the organisers have again managed to put together an amazing lineup that is very, very ssg friendly:


september 19-22 : saturday - tuesday
naeba greenland: niigata


donnacha costello [ minimise / look long , ireland ]
vince watson [ bio / planet e / delsin , uk ]
function [ sandwell district , us ]
peter van hoesen [ time to express , belgium ]
koss aka kuniyuki [ mule musiq , japan ]


donato dozzy [ aguaplano / dozzy records , italy ]
marcus aka minilogue [ cocoon , sweden ]
three [ hallucination , us ]
dave mothersole [ swag / new groove , uk ]
daniel bell [ accelerate / 7th city / logistic , us ]
peter van hoesen [ time to express , belgium ]
marcel fengler [ berghain / ostgut , germany ]
will saul [ aus music / simple records / balance , uk ]
eric cloutier [ the bunker / down , us ]
natural/electronic.system [ stomafunk , italy ]
eavesdropper aka sendai [ knobsounds / line / time to express , belgium ]
so [ labyrinth / mindgames / tri-bute , japan ]
hiyoshi [ labyrinth / mindgames / global chillage , japan ]


function-one [ air project , japan ]

not bad, eh? ... this really is the creme. what a lineup! there is incredible momentum and energy building around the festival again. i've been speaking with quite a few of the artists playing and i'm expecting everyone will be bringing their A games. this is going be a few days of pure techno heaven. it really does not get any better than this. the venue has changed this year, moving to naeba, and due to sound restrictions it will be a day party. this will add a different dimension to it. while the night time would have been fun, there are definitely advantages to having it on during the day. hell, and with a lineup like this, i don't really care when or where they are playing...

i booked my flights for japan yesterday. there go the last of my meager savings. but to a worthy cause, if there ever was one. last year's labyrinth festival was - and this is no exaggeration - a life changing experience for me. i feel incredibly lucky i am able to attend again.

as a reminder of last year's labyrinth, here is a special video that donato recorded during his closing set. experience it from the eyes of the dj:

check the labyrinth website for more info. and for those of you who are unable to make it, i'll be doing my best to try to share some of it with you.

pump up. this is what techno is all about. massive respect to russ for making this happen. can't wait for the labyrinth 2009...


  1. BLOOD. Tears of. Crying.
    Why o why can't we have Tardis's. (Tardii ?)

  2. i was at last years one too. it was really utterly amazing. i cant describe in words how the experience really have to go sometime. really sick that i wont be there this year

  3. i hope you guys realize how much credit you can take for this lineup. someone is reading this site. there's no way that list is a coincidence.

  4. i just see that video and think wow greenland must be really beautiful to produce such a friendly vibe at the dance. Around these parts- philly, bmore- trash strewn vacant lots and needle exchange- no way could that happen, and never ever with techno music. Only R&B and it would be rough-

  5. > there's no way that list is a coincidence.

    Hats off to Mr. mnml ssgs ;-)

  6. ha haaaaaaa. hats off to mr mnml ssgs indeeeed!! be there with my cow bells on... or something like that

    sp many people in japan grumbling about the fact there will be no night! aassssholes... some of us realise we are just lucky to be able to go at all!!! sorry for those who cant but well, hurry up and sell your wives shoes...

  7. @ theyurinator: well, as i keep on reminding you, it is actually now dr mnml ssgs...

    @ benjamin: i know russ the organiser has a specific vision and there is definitely an overlap with ssgs. one thing we've done - very intentionally - is to get mixes from people who dont have any/mixes out there. one thing that does is reduce risk for promoters, as they have a better idea what to expect. listen to the fengler mix and you know this guy is going to be bring the heat.

    @ dave: exactly! who cares if it is day or night, so lucky just to be having it! see you there!

  8. mad... that video shows dozzy at his peak. almnost makes you nervous how tense it is... and he kept it for the whole of his 3 hour plus set. professor dozzy we await your yearly lecture... excited to see how russ organises the schedule

    my new mariana podcast is up btw anyone who cares

  9. @ dave: thanks, on the DL now. tracklisting looks tops.

  10. That is the greatest line-up of like-minded dj's and artists I've ever seen. Mein gott! Anyone with the means but not the will to go to this should be cast beyond the outer perimeter immediately.

  11. Looking at the lineup for this event, I would love to hear a mnml ssgs podcast from Three. One of my favorite djs. Sheer class.

  12. @ahoyskin : damn...good point. i'll have to punch chris (three) next time i see him and tell him to do one and submit it regardless of being asked. :-P

    all in all, three is one of the best dj's i've ever heard. he's been on tour a lot (i know, because i call him once a week to get a beer and he's never in town), so maybe when his schedule slows down a bit he can knock one out of the park for us to hear.

  13. I know this is not a popular position to take but...

    To simply say "well, lucky it's happening at all" is simplifying the issue to it's extreme. Yes... we are lucky, and yes, I am happy, and yes, I have no doubt I will enjoy myself at this years gathering.

    But, to think we're not losing something with the timetable, this year and for the future... well, I'm sorry, I beg to disagree.

    Techno music is better at night...moving into day. "All daytime music" naturally shifts the focus. No, maybe not for the dedicated ssgheads, but in general... it will. It won't be a disaster of course, and the "Labyrinth crowd" as such is strong enough and smart enough to keep the vibe. But... it won't be the same.

    Though, fair enough. Nothing ever is after a while...

    Again, not trying to be negative, but I have been a bit surprised by the, well, lack of being shocked, surrounding this whole thing.

    On a humourous note (?), and perhaps only for Cameron... Fuji Rock draws a lot of water in this community Lebowski.... Labyrinth, you don't draw shit! (paraphrasing of course:) )

  14. yes,exactly!!!
    even if someone says something, dont care at all.
    coz,its awsome lineup in it this year also.
    and i know that especially The Labyrinth may have a perfect set of daytime!
    it'll surely become a special further from last year...really hope so...

  15. all this talk about or night or whatever seems pretty moot to me. everyone talked about dozzy's set from last year, and that entire thing took place during the day, so to say it changes anything seems shortsighted.

    all in all, it'll all work out, and it'll all be fun. sure techno is fun in the dark, but i've had some amazing times at daytime parties here in nyc or the demf for the last ten years.

  16. To say it changes "everything" would be shortsighted. To say it changes "nothing" is, well, I don't know, thinking very positively I suppose.

    Alright...I'll go back to my corner and continue mumbling "used to be all fields round here... "

  17. not saying it doesn't change anything, because it definitely does, and i've never been to labryinth.

    don't shy away. keep the discussion going. i think its valid, but at the same time, i'd like to squelch peoples fears that they can't have fun in the sunshine.

    hell, half the people i know rave with sunglasses on regardless of location or time of day, so to them it makes no real difference. its just "dark" and "really dark."

  18. i'll just agree with the ida of three doing a mix...though i've always had a soft spot for him and cusick and that general sound.

    and a shame about the crazy short notice for the line-up/tickets....i guess next year i'll have to be pre-planned with annual leave lined up and money ready to go.

  19. No dice Eric... I'm going to stick with my position that I'm a crusty old fart :).

    Alright... I'll come right out and say it. My biggest fear is this. Some muppet in the tent space next to me will pull out his ipod/speaker combo at, oh, 9 in the evening, and I will be forced to kill him. And I would be the one to go to jail... is that fair I ask you?

    To try to move into a more positive light... there is a lot of evening time to kill. I'm not sure about the logistics and possibility of doing some guerilla style soundsystems, but if anyone has some genuinely interesting performing skills ... could be good. Anyone want to work up a version of Hamlet together? I'd be a mean Ophelia :)

  20. I have no doubt it will be awesome and I'm sure the fact that it's a day party will add a new twist to it, but I do agree with Jeff that there will be something lost as well.

    I mean, seeing the sun begin to rise after a long night of dancing to dark tunes is really something. And Russ always chooses the perfect DJ for that sunrise moment. Been one of my favorite things about Labyrinth the past few years.

  21. this lineup makes me weep like a little girl. I srsly hope everything will get recorded and online for our listening pleasures :))
    maybe even a live stream? ?

    And maybe next year it will be a night event again so I can wear my sunglasses @ night hehe

  22. hey jeff,

    everything changes everything. obviously nothing is ever the same.

    a new venue means a completely different experience. a different line-up means a completely different experience. so yes, a different timetable also means a different experience.

    something will be lost. and something else will be gained.

    for one, i'm excited about doing a timetable that will go all day and slowly dissolve into the deepness of the night with acts like natural/electronic.system. there are very few contexts in which you can play slow-motion deep dance music like that.

    not having dance music go all-night is a restriction that was placed on me by the town council well after we had come to an agreement with the venue, but you can either go down or roll with the punches.

    after getting over the initial surprise, i'm cool with it. most of my good memories of labyrinth come from the day. and all of my nightmares come from the night. this is when all the problems occur, which i don't need to go into a public forum.

    with the environment in Japan on a knife's edge because of high profile arrests, finding venues has become close to impossible. anything that decreases the chance of a potential "incident" increases the change of the event surviving another year.

    please keep in mind that this is not an event you can take for granted. it's a damn-near miracle that it happens at all, and every year could easily be the last.

    if you had watched the bonfire closely last year on the second night, you would have seen the girl who built the dream-catchers and medicine wheels by the stage cry hard as she danced around her deco from the previous year burning, because she knew damn well that this could very well be her last chance to dance that particular ritual, a part of her life for the past 9 years. we moved the burning up a night, because she was so scared that we wouldn't even make it to the final night. this is someone who understands and therefore appreciates the full reality.

    but if you would prefer to complain about lost fields, i can't stop you. those who are spoiled or prematurely aged tend not to adapt well to change. and it's certainly easier to complain about lost fields than make a mental and imaginative adjustment.

    keep in mind the journey of going from the dark before sunrise to the dark after sunset is not inherently less than the journey from midnight to day. i just have to adapt a different frame of mind when structuring the music for the event, and i assume our crowd, a mature one, will do the same.

    think of the final day at labyrinth. last year it was basically only oliver ho who played dance music at night. everyone else was the day. for me nothing beats the final set going from day to night--and this year we can experience that three times.

    one final point: if you think i'm going to stop Donato Dozzy's closing set at sunset, you're out of your fucking mind...

  23. > one final point: if you think i'm going to stop Donato Dozzy's closing set at sunset, you're out of your fucking mind...


    Russ YOU DA MAN!!

  24. and then russ comes in, puts it all together elegantly and concisely, and we truck on to the labyrinth and await another soul revival.

    seriously russ...can't express to you how honoured i am to play, and i know its going to be a huge turning point in my life, both musically and karmaicly.

  25. but if you would prefer to complain about lost fields, i can't stop you. those who are spoiled or prematurely aged tend not to adapt well to change. and it's certainly easier to complain about lost fields than make a mental and imaginative adjustment.

    alright alright, I take your point. I'll drop the flowery prose and Lebowski references... sigh, it is hard to maintain a 'human' persona on the internet.

    Anyhow, in plain speak...
    1. I am prepared to make the mental adjustment necessary to fully enjoy the party, and I agree with you that the Labyrinth crowd in general is as well. I can't wait.... I think it'll be a great party.
    2. I do realize you are making the best of the situation, and I would trust no one more than you to do that..

    3. I still am surprised at the lack of 'surprise' surrounding the situation, and at the way it seemed to be an absolute non-issue from the start. Nobody appears to be interested in talking about it (perhaps I should've taken the hint :) ) Conditions changed after agreements have been made? A different set of rules for Fuji Rock and Labyrinth... using the same site? Does that make me an asshole to be curious about that? I realize that there are most certainly ins and outs to the situation that I'm not privy to but... ? I guess it's just me...
    4. I simply wanted to make my voice heard in it's own tiny way as a Labyrinth loyalist to try and prompt you to, I don't know, look longer and harder to find a friendly venue next year... yes yes, on top of all the other things you do, I know.

    Sigh, reading back I'm sure I'm just making myself more and more of a pariah but what the hell...

  26. And Eric, and others... please don't let my grumblings get to you (I don't suspect they would)... they are primarily concerns about Japan I suppose, and yes, I am guilty of taking Labyrinth for granted as well.

    Anyhow, it had been the highlight of my year, musically and personally, for many years, and I don't suspect that will change anytime soon... you'd be safe to expect the same I reckon...

  27. @jeff : trust me...your grumblings are doing nothing to dissuade me. i've already pulled about 12hrs. worth of records i'm so excited...haha!

  28. cheers Eric.. look forward to your set

  29. Yep, there is certainly no need for anyone to worry about the music changing from night to day. For me, some of the best sets I heard at Labyrinth were at sunrise and early morning anyway. Not forgetting Donato at sunset...strap yourselves in people. And as Russ very well pointed out, you have 3 sunset mixes this year!

    I was lucky enough to attend Labyrinth for the last 2 years. Unlucky that I'm no longer in Japan and probably cant go this year. But I will be back to the best party I have ever experienced. Here's to the good people who make Labyrinth what it is. Enjoy.

  30. only 3 weeks away now. i am getting very, very excited. PUMP!

  31. Things are getting a little cloying...

    O, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown! How now, knave, thou dare’st infect thy ignoble truths upon this Hallowed kingdom! O...woe!

    Russ, spoken like a promoter. We are eternally in your debt and thank you weepily for your all your efforts. We are not worthy. Only ¥17,000+ this year? Cheap at twice the price. Here, take my shirt, no really, your one made of hair is looking a bit worn. I'd kiss your ass too, but I'm not fond of line-ups


    V. promising, looking for big sets from Fengler and van Hoesen (among others)...bring the noise!

  32. Extremely excellent news on the timetable!!

    Going until 22:00 or 24:00 makes a huge difference I think, not so much on the music perhaps (as has been well noted by many) but on the overall atmosphere of the camp and the party. Whatever it took to secure that... nice one!

    So many acts and transitions to look forward to... can't wait!

  33. @Justin don't know if I will have a chance to get my production together now with the later finishing times, but I will think over your audition for Ophelia...:)

  34. "The Labyrinth 2009 Timetable"

    9/19 土曜日

    19:00-23:00 Hiyoshi

    9/20 日曜日

    6:00-9:00 Marcel Fengler
    9:00-12:00 Eric Cloutier
    12:00-15:00 Will Saul
    15:00-16:00 Koss (live)
    16:00-19:00 natura/electronic.system
    19:00-21:00 Donnacha Costello
    21:00-22:00 Koss (live)

    9/21 月曜日

    5:00-7:30 Eavesdropper aka Sendai
    7:30-9:00 Peter Van Hoesen (live)
    9:00-12:00 Three
    12:00-13:30 Vince Watson (live)
    13:30-15:00 So
    15:00-18:00 Daniel Bell
    18:00-21:00 Function aka Sandwell District (live+dj)
    21:00-24:00 Donato Dozzy

    9/22 火曜日

    5:00-6:00 Hiyoshi
    6:00-9:00 Peter Van Hoesen
    9:00-12:00 Dave Mothersole
    12:00-13:30 Donnacha Costello (live)
    13:30-16:30 Marcus aka Minilogue
    16:30-finish Donato Dozzy

  35. those are some early starts!

  36. Little info to share. There was an announcement that it will be a music all night long at second stage. the volume will be smaller compare to main but will be a "Function One" quality.

  37. so what did people think of this years event? good points/bad points?

  38. Reckon doing this on some bloody grass is a good idea. Looks like a parking lot. Nice when you were mashed @ 18 yrs of age wearing a smiley t-shirt and trolleyed on E but when more discerning, luscious grass simply works better.


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