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LIVE

The Shapeshifters

by Shawn Despres

One of the world’s premier house-music labels, the U.K.-based Defected Records, brings its famed global “Defected In The House” shindig to Tokyo on Nov. 6. Headlining the event are The Shapeshifters.

The London DJ and production duo of Simon Marlin and Max Reich (known as Shape:UK to American audiences) first met in the mid-1990s in Reich’s native Sweden. Marlin was working for Downboy Recordings and Reich handed him a cassette of his techno tunes. Marlin was impressed and signed Reich a mere two weeks later. While that marked the start of their professional relationship, the two didn’t begin making tracks together until 2003. Their first collaborative effort was the 2004 chart-topping dance single “Lola’s Theme.” Named after Marlin’s wife, Lola, they adopted the moniker The Shapeshifters and created their own label, Nocturnal Groove, to issue the song.

Propelled by the success of “Lola’s Theme,” Marlin and Reich were nominated for a Brit Award in 2004 and won House Music Awards in 2004 and 2005. They were invited to craft remixes for big name pop acts such as George Michael, Christina Aguilera, Moby, and most recently Natalie Imbruglia. They released their debut long-player, “Sound Advice,” in 2006 and had finished a sophomore effort in 2008 but shelved it after leaving EMI subsidiary Positiva Records and inking a deal with Defected.

The Shapeshifters made their first visit to Tokyo in December 2008 for a performance at Air in Shibuya. Nocturnal Groove’s in-house staff say the appearance was “one of the best club nights The Shapeshifters have ever played at.” Live showcases this summer at Global Gathering in the U.K. and the Belgrade Beer Fest in Serbia, along with a residency at the acclaimed dance venue Pacha in Ibiza, Spain, and fall tour stops in North America, Brazil and Holland should have them well primed to keep clubbers gleefully grooving until the sun rises at their upcoming “Defected In The House” Japan gig.

The Shapeshifters play Nov. 6 at Air, Tokyo (10 p.m.; ¥3,500; [03] 5784-3386). For more information, visit www.air-tokyo.com.