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Underworld's Electraglide 2005 performance to be released on limited-edition CD

I was planning to mention this earlier - much earlier, as I've actually had tickets for a month and a bit now - but I'm going to Electraglide this Friday. Electraglide is a dance music mini-festival held every November at a large convention center in eastern Tokyo (Chiba, actually, but who's counting?). In recent years, there's been a second leg added the next night in Osaka, with most of the same acts.

This year's lineup is one of the best yet:

  • Underworld
  • Autechre
  • Carl Cox
  • Coldcut
  • Towa Tei
  • Vitalic
  • Ken Ishii
  • Chris Cunningham
... and those are just the ones I can remember off-hand.

Underworld have played the event a couple of times; I was fortunate enough to make it to the first Electraglide, back in 2000, which they also headlined. The 2000 lineup is widely regarded as the best ever (Underworld, Orbital, Richie Hawtin, Two Lone Swordsmen), but I think this might just top it - I'm very excited about Carl Cox, in particular, as it was one of his sets at Cream in Liverpool, once upon a time, that really got me turned on to proper clubbing in the first place. I've seen him since, most recently at Yellow in Nishi Azabu a couple of years ago, but this is going to be different - 20,000 screaming punters different.

I also saw Underworld at Electraglide 2003 (not to mention the Liquid Room in 2000), but couldn't get right down into the throng as a friend I was with had a broken ankle and didn't fancy mixing it with 15,000 sweaty, rowdy, Shimo-kitazawa boys. Nor could I particularly blame him.

The only pisser about Electraglide each year is access to Makuhari Messe... it's a real arse to get to. Half an hour by express train from Toyko Station - which is fine in the grand scheme of things, but when your girlfriend is finishing work half an hour in the opposite direction from Shinjuku (i.e. as diametrically on the opposite side of Tokyo from Chiba as one can get) at 9pm, which is when the first act starts... well, it leaves you wishing it were a wee bit more central.

And then, when you're standing, exhausted, on Kaihin Makuhari station platform at 6am the following (late November) morning, freezing your bits off waiting for the next train back to Tokyo with 20,000 other revellers, knowing it will take you at least an hour and a half to reach your own bed, you stop merely wishing it were a wee bit more central and start questioning your own sanity.

So I think we'll be getting a hire car this time.

But anyway, the big Electraglide-related news is that Underworld will:
a) be doing a mammoth 3-hour live set,
b) recording it, and
c) selling it as a limited-edition 3CD set, exclusively to Electraglide 2005 attendees.

Details are on the Electraglide site, hidden in a pop-up, which I have hacked open for your convenience here. Bascially you need to download a form and take it with you to the event, hand it over with ¥3,000 and they deliver the CDs to you a couple of weeks later. Yoosh!

So, yes, massively looking forward to it, should be an awesome night. And if, by any chance, Karl Hyde should be reading this, I'd just like to say ありがとう for all the great tunes and club nights. And I'm sorry if I scowled at you (at least I think it was you) across the crowded bar when you played the Liquid Room in April 2000. It's just my default look - I was actually very very happy.

Further reading: Recent Metropolis interview with Karl Hyde (not a permalink, may expire)
Underworld live
Electraglide 2005

Posted by chris at November 24, 2005 12:34 AM | Permalink


Hmn... still weighing this one (I know: would be about time to decide)...

But seriously, ¥8K... that's a freakin lot for a damn concert/rave/club night... anywhere in the world...

Need to find a valid excuse to blow that cash on a 3h Underworld set...

Posted by: dr Dave at November 24, 2005 02:24 AM

Yeah, it is a fair bit of cash, but if you break it down over the acts you're likely to see, it works out quite a bargain. ¥2,000 for each of Autechre, Coldcut, Underworld and Carl Cox.

Plus! Ken Ishii, if you arrive early enough, and twenty minutes of Chris Cunningham thrown in for free. What's not to like? (Oh yeah - the location. And dancing on concrete for eight hours.)

Posted by: chris at November 24, 2005 10:56 AM

Car hire sorted - yoosh!

Posted by: chris at November 25, 2005 03:13 PM

"What's not to like?"

raves? techno?

obviously not my cup of tea - but have a seriously good time:-)

Posted by: tokyobogue at November 25, 2005 04:14 PM

Have a good one. Not jealous. Honest!

Posted by: Rich at November 28, 2005 11:29 PM

It were ace. Just ace. Missed most of Autechre, but caught all of Coldcut, who were grrrrreat, back up to their old video-scratching tricks. They did the Jungle Book "I'm the king of the swingers" routine (DnA may remember this from FujiRock a few years back?), plus a bunch of other stuff. They brought on DJ Kentaro for a very brief set, which was awesome - I'd never seen him before, so I was pretty chuffed with that. Machine gun mashup mentalism. And then John Spencer turned up on stage for a quick blast of the new Coldcut single, 'n all.

Chris Cunningham was also great - V was extremely disturbed by Rubber Johnny, broadcast as it was on a rather large screen and at deafening volume. He followed it up with a piece of utter genius - a hip hop video track fashioned out of cuts from the climactic Luke Skywalker / Darth Vader lightsaber battle from The Empire Strikes Back, every beat synchronised with a clash of their lightsabers - all in full AV. Brilliant. If that isn't made available on DVD somewhere in the near future, I shall be upset. And you don't want that.

Underworld, Underworld, Underworld. How do I love thee? Let me count the albums, and then add a couple for the bonus discs and Dark & Long EP. We queued up for the limited-edition CDs before the set started, and are now eagerly awaiting the projected delivery date of December 10th. They were excellent, again, and really kept it going very well despite the length of the set (three - count'em - hours). Lots of good jamming and segueing between tracks, some new material, plus plenty of trademark Karl Hyde shape-throwing. Rick Smith looked very yacht-club, suit jacket done up the whole time - expected him to pull a cravat from his breast pocket at any moment. AND they played the Dark Train mix of Dark & Long, a.k.a. "the other Underworld track from Trainspotting, you know, the one with the baby crawling across the ceiling", which I don't believe I had heard done live before. So there was much to be chuffed about. They finished on Moaner, with Karl belting it out in a big white dress. Actually it kind of suited him. I'm not going to think about that too closely.

We were getting tired by this point, so only stayed for a short burst of Carl Cox, but he certainly seemed to be giving it some, bopping away behind the decks. Bless.

Leapt back in the hire car, (mis?)programmed the navi system, got talked (by the navi, not the girlfriend) into missing the expressway, found selves stuck in traffic trying to rejoin it. Who the hell were all those people driving around Chiba at 6am? Detoured via the Rainbow Bridge on the way home, just catching the smogrise in the east as we did so.

Returned hire car at 7:30am, jogged home (it felt like a good idea at the time), fell into bed, mumbling "let your feelings slip boy but never your mask boy" as I drifted off to sleeeeeeeep. Top top top top top night.

How about you guys? Good weekend?

Posted by: chris at November 29, 2005 12:51 AM

can somebody please copy the Underworld 3 CD live at the electraglide???

Posted by: Patrick at December 21, 2005 05:28 AM

How can I download the Underworld 3 cd live at the electraglide from the net?

please answer me!



Posted by: pressure at January 21, 2006 08:52 PM

Now now, that would be naughty. I saw it on eBay for USD130 or something the other day, though :)

Posted by: chris at February 21, 2006 05:31 PM

Anyone have the 3cd's yet? I have lots to trade for it. Mail me please,


Posted by: dave at April 2, 2006 11:29 AM

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