The nightlife of Japan’s capital Tokyo is definitely as vibrant and buzzing as the city itself. Contact is one of Tokyo’s biggest nightclubs for electronic music and brings big names from the underground scene to Japan every weekend. Last night, Contact hosted an event with the Berlin collective Patterns of Perception. On the line-up were Peter van Hoesen, Cyspe, Eric Cloutier, So and Tatsuoki, as well as three DJs from Patterns of Perception. So it was quite a big night and a great opportunity to check out Contact and Tokyo’s scene.
Contact is located in Tokyo’s busy nightlife area Shibuya and hosts several events per week. It is quite an impressive club because of its size and massive, powerful sound system. There is a big bar area, a lounge and two separate dance floors. Studio x is a very big, dark room with a huge sound system and big DJ booth that overlooks the crowd and hence is quite suitable for intense techno sets. Even before 1 am this huge floor was already quite busy. The other floor, Contact, is right by the bar area and way smaller and brighter. It also has a good sound system and generally is more the place where people casually dance with their friends and a drink in their hand. Kim Bergstrand from Patterns of Perception was playing some groovy records there and lots of people were dancing already.
Meanwhile, Japanese DJ So was getting the Studio x more and more crowded and the people really excited for the night with his techno set. He had brought the energy up so high, that it was quite the pressure for Cyspe to continue with his live set and keep the people entertained. Cyspe had to build up his live set relatively fast in order not to lose the crowd. So it was quite a different set to the one I had seen a week ago at vurt in Seoul. He did bring up the energy faster and overall the set was more up-beat and high-energy. Again, he could not fully capture me. At some times it felt like the floor had lost some of its energy. There were some powerful moments, but generally it didn’t seem like the perfect time and crowd for a live set like this, as people were rather impatient and excited. It’s good to see that Cyspe could adjust his live set to this situation and he did bring up the energy nicely towards the end for Peter van Hoesen to follow. As expected, van Hoesen played intense and powerful techno and heated up the room again within a few minutes. For some reasons, I personally couldn’t fully get into his set; It felt a bit too cold and harsh for me. So I enjoyed the end of the night at the contact floor, listening to Eric Cloutier’s lighter but up-beat set.
It was incredible to see how many people had turned up that night. By 2 am, the place was completely packed and even after 4 am there was still a huge amount of people dancing. With this line-up you can assume that it was one of the bigger nights, but surely Contact always has a crowd there. Looking around, you could see a lot of Western people there, and generally it was a very mixed crowd. Contact is certainly one of the best and biggest techno clubs in Asia and it was a great experience to check it out. However, it does cater to the big crowd and is more of a commercial and mainstream than actual underground club. So if you’re looking for the European underground, rave atmosphere, this might not quite be your place.