Top turntable technos to invade electro-music clubs
The international stars continue to jet into Northern Ireland next week, from French dance icons Agoria and DJ Gregory to, er, Japanese Popstars. Brush up on your languages, warns Patric Baird, or just keep dancing ...
Fans of Bambu Beach Club at the Odyssey Pavilion will be delighted to hear that they're all invited to a special VIP party taking place at the venue tonight, with free admission until 10pm and a drinks reception, courtesy of Bacardi.
The reason for the celebration is that the brand new, totally redesigned VIP lounge is going to be unveiled for the first time and there's a cracking line-up of acts on hand to help get the party started.
Opening the proceedings will be Movida Corona World DJ Champion, Mark Cowan (AKA Afro Thunder), who'll be manning the decks from 8pm and treating customers to some of the turntablism skills which won him the coveted title in last year's finals.
The headline slot is occupied by one of the biggest acts to come out of Londonderry since the Undertones, namely the Japanese Popstars, who can turn their hand to most things with a musical beat, being just as entertaining behind the decks as they are playing live.
With a new album due this year, the Derry trio are currently signed to bespoke electronica label Gung-Ho Records and have been making waves across the UK, gaining praise from the likes of Erol Alkan, 2ManyDJs and Pete Tong.
They count support slots with The Klaxons and Hadouken! amongst their achievements and were recently voted Best Live Act at the Irish Dance Music Awards, beating the likes of Alloy Mental and Sinister Industry.
They hold several DJ residencies, including Belfast's Club Yello and Dublin's Trinity Rooms and are set to play both the Glastonbury and Oxegen music festivals this summer.
Japanese Popstars have taken up the electronica baton relinquished by their illustrious forebears Hedrock Valley Beats and ran with it into a future where music technology knows no boundaries and the line between indie and dance genres is becoming increasingly blurred.
Mono continues to provide some quality nights at its newly-refurbished Ann Street home with a fantastic selection of international DJs booked to play at over the coming few weeks at weekend clubnights Urban Lounge and Pop.
Tonight sees an appearance by London RnB master DJ Lonyo, while tomorrow night it's the turn of French house icon DJ Gregory to provide the beats, alongside resident Gavin Wilson.
Gregory first made his name in 2002 with the release of his underground hit Tropical Soundclash, which he followed up with percussive club anthem Elle and had further successes with his collaborations with Julian Jabre on Tourment D'Armour and Block Party.
Well known as one of the original members of Bob Sinclair's highly regarded Africanism project, he runs his own highly successful label Faya Combo, was resident DJ at the trend-setting Paris club TGV and spends most of his time touring the world's biggest clubs and festivals.
Another Frenchman visiting Northern Ireland this weekend is techno artist Agoria, who'll be appearing at Stiff Kitten tomorrow night with homegrown electro wizard Phil Kieran supporting.
Without the assistance of CDJs or a laptop, Agoria's sets are based purely on some skillful pitchshifting, plenty of adrenaline and a good knowledge of the tracks required for delivering a performance rich in melodies, grooves and beats.
If you can't wait until tomorrow for your electronica fix, London-based DJ/producer Herve (AKA The Count Of Monte Cristal) will be deckside at the same venue tonight, alongside residents Joe Dougan and Jim Harte.
Doors open 10pm and admission is £8 and £10 on Saturday.
At the Dungloe in Derry tonight, Dutch trance star Cliff Coenraad will be making his Irish debut at the latest TCF Promotions night, with Ethan McKinney, Shaun Kavanagh, Colm Dorrity and Conor Johnston supporting. Doors open at 8pm. Admission is a fiver.