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MOGWAI: Metamorphose

by Richard Smart

If you had told Glaswegian band Mogwai when they formed in the mid-1990s that they would end up headlining a dance music festival, they would have laughed in your face. But over the years Metamorphose has evolved from a festival representing electronic music that avoids hype (it was set up in 2000 to counter the hysteria surrounding big beat and electro) into a diverse celebration of left-of-center acts. And their powerful live show makes Mogwai the perennial “other stage” headliners at festivals worldwide. Expect rock music featuring long buildups and uplifting peaks that match anything the techno acts at the festival can produce.

Also check out: Former Underworld producer and Underwater Records head Darren Emerson will provide progressive and electro sounds, old school hip-hop artist Grandmaster Flash will be a crowd favorite and expect a set of deep classics from hugely influential Chicago house artist Larry Heard.

The setting: Expect a friendly, unpretentious crowd and none of the fads of Tokyo’s club scene as the festival celebrates its 10th anniversary near Shuzenji. Nearby hot springs and the possibility of seeing Mount Fuji make it one of the nicer places to stage a festival.

When/where Sept. 4, Bicycle Country, Cycle Sports Center, Ito City, Shizuoka Prefecture. Tickets: ¥12,500 in advance, ¥14,000 at the gate. Parking costs extra. www.metamo.info