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de-VICE the 3rd

IF? Records gets all shameless & impudent

home on da range: 2007
the rambunctious de-VICE philosophy spiel
de-VICE back issues
a quickie with PLAID
a quickie with MR. SCRUFF
HAPPY FEET movie review
TOKYO INTERNATIONAL ANIME FAIR 2007
michael arias on TEKKON KINKREET
DJ KENTARO enters the picture
MAD PROFESSOR huffs and puffs
the de-VICE answer to Tarantino's DEATH PROOF
ZUZUSHI 2 melbourne vs. tokyo
KID CALMDOWN and SLEEPY ROBOT: sydney's coolest djs?
ISNOD is good
J-MACHISMO: top men in Japanese anime cinema
DJ NEO: acid meister
photographic exhibition KEITAI KOUTURE
CAPTAIN AMERICA is dead
IF? Records gets all shameless & impudent
movie review: PAPRIKA
SON OF ZEV: who's your dad?
GOLDIE
GENIUS PARTY: new anime from Studio 4C
RYOJI ARAI: the best kids' book ever made into animation?
does DIGITAL PRIMATE have a siege mentality?
just how sweet is KANDYMAN?
jonathan more on COLDCUT
much ado about BASEMENT JAXX
JEFF MILLS: one man spaceship
from the back of the fridge: SI BEGG
from the back of the fridge: GAIJIN BABY
e-us if u really have'ta

 

 

 

 

 

Dada, an art style that called itself anti-art, peaked way back in 1917 with Marcel Duchamp’s display of a toilet urinal at a horrified exhibition. But if Andrez Bergen is to be believed, Dada is an integral component in the workings of the Japan-based IF? music junta 90 years later.

 

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Kid Calmdown vs. Sleepy Robot

“It’s as vital as the decks and samplers we use at gigs and in our studios,” he reveals. “Dada was all about throwing art and the respected trends on their head; it was focused on a sense of mirth, the cut-up ‘found’ art aesthetic, and innovation. We like to think that IF? pursues all these things.”

 

Perhaps that’s why the collective’s first party in Melbourne in two years – to be held at Horse Bazaar, on Saturday February 10th [2007] - is called Zuzushi, a Japanese word that translates as “shameless and impudent”.

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son of zev + isnod

After all, just as the influential magazine American Art News once naively called Dada “the sickest, most paralyzing and destructive thing that has ever originated from the brain of man”, UK commercial club ‘zine Mixmag once disparaged an IF? Records release – Zeitgeist 2, in 1996 – as sounding “like a rabid dog being flogged against a corrugated iron fence”.

 

Since 2001, after shifting base to Tokyo, IF? has made some dramatic inroads with a flurry of events and records, working with DJs and producers in Japan like Tatsuya Oe (Captain Funk), Magnet Toy, Yamaoka, Slam-dunk Ninja, Funkamor, and the experimental TTAK Collective – along the way exploring more innovative Japanese electronica, techno, house and hip hop.

 

Tokyo is more competitive,” says Bergen, who took the label to Japan also six years ago. “In some ways it’s a tougher scene to break into. But generally people are very open-minded, and they’re there to revel in the music rather than associated psychotropic influences. But there were people like that before we came to Tokyo, and they made the early years of IF? something special.”

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DJ Neo

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LNEE minus 2

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If it sounds like Bergen is making comparisons, it’s because he is – with Melbourne, the city that gave birth to IF? in 1995.

 

Back in the ‘90s, IF? kick started the careers of Melbourne-based producers like Adam Raisbeck (Sense), Shaun Green (Blimp), Damian Stephens (Isnod), vocalist Marcella Brassett, Allan Klinbail (Son Of Zev), Bergen’s own musical outlet Little Nobody, and the collaborative LN Elektronische Ensemble – which churned out one of the more memorable, hilariously eclectic reconsiderations of The Doors classic Light My Fire.

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IF? worked extensively with pioneering Melbourne live acts Voiteck, Zen Paradox, Honeysmack, Frontside, Digital Primate, and Artificial, early on in their respective careers, and collaborated with clubs like Filter, Centriphugal, Honkytonks and Teriyaki Anarki Saki, as well as the MUD rave party crew (Every Picture Tells A Story).

 

The events IF? put on were mad – innovative collaborations of DJs and live acts crossing the spectrum of beats and pieces, often called upon to play one-on-one and challenge themselves as well as each other, at parties like the Omniglobe raves at Global Village, and the legendary Zoetrope live sessions at the Punters Club in Fitzroy from 1997 to 2001.

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“When we started out, the only decent local label was Psy-Harmonics and there was nowhere that live acts could get a regular gig,” Bergen recalls. “By the time we left [in 2001], the situation was a lot healthier.”

 

Zuzushi 2 will mark the first time the former Melbourne IF? crew and it’s newer Tokyo brethren will come together in two years.

 

“It’ll be a bit of a reunion gig,” Bergen admits, with a knowing laugh. “It’ll also be about showcasing new, innovative styles of music – as well as drinking vast amounts of alcohol in creative new-fangled ways!”

 

Bergen will be playing under his Little Nobody alias, a project in which he has previously performed alongside the likes of Squarepusher, Jeff Mills, Coldcut, Scanner, Cari Lekebusch, Ben Sims, Luke Vibert and Derrick May, from Tokyo to Detroit.

 

His second album, Action Hero (2000), was one of the four nominees for Australian Dance Music Album the following year, alongside The Avalanches.

 

Bergen will also appear later the same night at the next More Bass party at Ace Morning in Brunswick - playing live with accomplices Isnod and Son Of Zev under the alias of the LN Elektronische Ensemble - and he will be having an exhibition of his Tokyo photography, held at Brunswick Street Gallery in Fitzroy from 2nd February to 15th February, to coincide with the tour.

 

“Same concept, art and music – shameless and oh-so-impudent,” he quips.

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andrez + marcella

Zuzushi 2 happened on Saturday 10th February 2007 at Horse Bazaar (397 Little Lonsdale St., Melbourne), from 8pm to 3am, featuring Little Nobody, Tokyo’s Slam-dunk Ninja vs. Schlock Tactile, Sydney’s Kid Calmdown and Sleepy Robot, and Melbourne’s Isnod, Kandyman, DJ Venom vs. Ghetto Boys, DJ Neo, Son Of Zev, and the LN Elektronische Ensemble feat. Marcella. Entry cost just $5.

 
LINKS:

IF? RECORDS

IF? @ MYSPACE

By Jamie Ata - story originally published in Beat [Melbourne], 7 February 2007

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