On the morning of June 22, Tokyo will lose a modern cultural asset when Club Yellow, also known as Space Lab Yellow, closes its doors for the final time before its premises are sold to land developers. Since 1991, this event space has hosted world-class DJs, gained a reputation as one of the best clubs in the world, and been at the forefront of the Tokyo dance-music scene as it rode the wave from subculture into the mainstream.
As legendary New York DJ Francois K put it: “When in Tokyo, (Club) Yellow has been the place I have called home for the last 16 years. I must have played there over 40 times, so many memorable events and parties, with a very dedicated staff, fabulous sound system, and the most incredible and supportive audience. I really do not know what the future will hold for us without it, as — at this moment — there is no other club I know of that could really take its place.”
Those upset by the club’s demise — who must number in the thousands if not tens of thousands — can take heart in the lineup that the staff have arranged for their final week of parties. The week — June 16-21 — starts with a night of jazz and house courtesy of Japanese DJs including Kyoto Jazz Massive’s Okino Shuya, Mondo Grosso and United Future Organization. Tuesday and Wednesday sees international DJs Derrick May and Danny Krivit playing techno, and house and disco respectively before the final three parties.
On June 19, Fumiya Tanaka, whose recent work with techno minimalist Ricardo Villalobos as Fumiyandric has gained acclaim, will be the final Japanese DJ to grace the main floor of the club. June 20 sees France’s Laurent Garnier on the decks, and then Saturday (June 21) will see the last-ever party take place in the venerable Nishi-Azabu institution, hosted by Francois K.
Dance culture will always endure and no doubt there will be a club that attempts to replace Yellow appearing in the near future, but after June 21 Tokyo night life will never be the same again.
The Very Last Week at Space Lab Yellow runs from June 16 to 21. See the Web site (www.club-yellow.com) for more information.
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