buttonDigitalism @ Shibuya Womb (23rd Feb. '08)

Saturday Night Electro Fever

      Shibuya district is always full of youngsters going from a restaurant to a bar, a shop to a karaoke or just hanging around enjoying the heat of neon lights on their tanned skin. Walking passed the frenzy of Hachiko square and Sentaa Gai, I enter the love hotel district of Dogenzaka where giggling couples are on the watch to find a suitable cozy place to spend the night. Crossing few quiet corners, I arrive at the Womb where a massive queue of partygoers is already waiting to get in. Most of the clubbers are wearing fancy outfits but I see many people wearing more colorful costumes with funny accessories such as wigs or retro kitsch sunglasses. Seams like everyone can't stand the cold outside and want to start the party right their on the quiet street. The Womb staffs do their best to keep the crowd silent… couples are sleeping all around after all.

      Once past the door, the Phazon sound system is already pounding it's music with powerful base and the kids flash their ID cards or quickly scan a finger while removing their winter jackets before accessing the dance floor. Unfortunately, I can't follow them as easily; blocked at the entrance, I'm absent from the press list. Few phone calls and I got some names from the Smash promoters to drop at the doorman. After some unsuccessful tries I got lucky and the friendly man let me in. I'm not sure if I said the correct magic name or if he just got pity of me. Never mind after a bit of stress my evening plans are intact. Inside, the place is solid packed with people everywhere, I rarely seen the Womb as full before, even on sold-out gigs. The reason for this impressive gathering is the presence of Digitalism for their 2008 Japan Tour presented by the trendy French label Kitsuné. For Djs aficionados, that is a guaranteed first-class night of cutting edge electro.

      Respected for poppy and commercial yet quality releases of electronic music and indie rock, Kitsuné have been created in 2002 by two former Daft Punk producers and collaborators Gildas Loaëc and Masaya Kuroki. Over the years, they also started a fashion label and released albums with rising musicians such as Bloc Party, Boys Noize, Crystal Castles, Hot Chip, Klaxons and of course Digitalism, the very first band signed by the Parisian label. Gildas & Masaya also performs together frequently along side their protégés and for tonight event they are the ones responsible to warm-up the floor for the German duo. But for some reasons Masaya is not present tonight, he had to cancel is trip to Japan and Gildas is alone to entertain the Tokyo hipsters. Playing many tracks from his label's catalogue full of French-house success, it doesn't take long before the crowd packed under the giant disco ball warmed-up seriously. The Womb turned into a massive fiesta. With no space left and unable to dance, the sweaty strangers resolve themselves to jumping and rubbing bodies on each other at the rhythm of the music of Chromeo, Cazals and other French-Touch masters. It's totally crazy! Over Gildas mixing the Technics turntables and Pioneer CD players, a giant projector display images of a dancing Ronald McDonald cut with videos of aerobic girls.

      When Jence and Isi of Digitalism take the stage to pump out their best success like Pogo and Idealistic mixed with Klaxons, Soulwax, Daft Punk, Tiga, D.I.M. and such, the steam rise even more. We also have the opportunity to ear some of their new remixes from their latest album Moshi Moshi. This EP album was released few weeks ago exclusively in Japan to celebrate this tour. The party feels like a busy Yamanote but most people don't care and everyone is enjoying the beats while having good time. The German duo from Hamburg deliver a good set with heavily mixed tracks that succeed each other at fast pace.

      Well past 3AM when Off the Rocker with Kyoto native Shinichi Osawa a.k.a. Mondo Grosso take on the spinning tables, some people call the night off and the more resilient clubbers start to be able to pull-out their best dance moves and we finally found some air to breath. Even thought we can't call the happening intimate yet, I'm relieve the pressure of the crowd is easing a bit. The last people still here doesn't only get the chance to benefit the valuable extra dance floor liberty but can also enjoy one of the best set I have heard in a while. Osawa pulls out an interesting twist to the evening while still playing the same genre of music. Adding some interesting distortion filters, creating samples and loops, he definitively gives his set a personal touch and delivers a mix that stands out.

      When I finally concede some rest to my legs and get out of the Womb myself, it's already dawn. Shibuya district is still animated with people emerging from bars, clubs and love hotel. Together, we walk peacefully back to the train station after a busy Tokyo night.

report by seb
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buttonmag files : Digitalism

buttonSaturday Night Electro Fever : (08/02/23 @ Shibuya Womb) : review by seb
buttonスパ! デジタリズム : (08/02/19 @ Shibuya AX) : review by mimi

The official site



check 'em? -->My Space / iTunes

The latest work


(国内盤初回限定 / US import / / UK import / iTunes)
The latest single


"Idealistic" (UK import / iTunes)

Previous works

"Moshi Moshi" (国内盤 / iTunes)
"Zdarlight"(UK import - '12analog)
"Zdarlight the Unrealized"(iTunes)
"The Twelve Inches Ep"(UK import / iTunes)
"Pogo"(UK import / iTunes)

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buttonSaturday Night Electro Fever : Digitalism (23ed Feb. @ Shibuya Womb)
buttonDiva in Town : Björk (19th Feb. @ Nippon Budokan)


buttonover all view on Asagiri Jam (06 to 07/10/07 @ Asagiri Arena)

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