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Metamorphose ’09

by Jeff Hammond

Following last year’s booking of Manuel Gottsching, Metamorphose continues to introduce Japanese audiences to the roots of electronic music with legendary Krautrock group Tangerine Dream headlining.

A real coup for the festival, this is the band’s second ever time in Japan, the first, and last, being 25 years ago.

Formed in West Berlin in psychedelic ’67 by art student Edgar Froese, who had studied under Salvador Dali, the band ‘s early performances blended mind-bending music with multimedia, literature and painting. Like fellow German avant-garde rockers Kraftwerk, they made their own primitive electronic instruments, but as synthesizers such as the Moog came more readily available, these became an integral part of the Tangerine Dream sound — their repetitive sequencing and electronic soundscapes helping pave the way for techno music decades later.

Also at the festival will be hip-hop founding father Afrika Bambaataa, as well as techno wizards Larry Heard and Richie Hawtin. Dubmeisters Smith and Mighty will be representing for the U.K., while on the live stage domestic talent comes in the shape of chilled jazz-heads Calm and psychedelic popsters Yura Yura Teikoku.

The event takes place in beautiful countryside scenery and close to many onsen, making this an event, like Fuji Rock, where the setting can impress as much as any of the artists on show.

Metamorphose ’09 takes place on Sept. 5 at the Japan Cycle Sports Center in Shizuoka Prefecture, 1630- the next day. Tickets are ¥11,500 in advance, ¥13,000 on the door. Parking is ¥2,000 in advance, ¥2,000 on the day. Camping is sold out. www.metamo.info