Over drinks with a former Tokyo-based promoter recently, our conversation turned to the state of the city’s nightclub scene. In Europe, nightclubs can usually guarantee a certain number of patrons to show up on any given night, which is great for DJs who are scouted to perform at those clubs. In Japan, however, venues can’t make the same guarantee and drawing a crowd becomes the responsibility of event promoters and even the DJs themselves. It’s hard work but this New Year’s it seems to be paying off — the most promising parties are set to take place in some unlikely venues.

For music enthusiasts, the best party of the night will be at the cavernous and rarely used Tabloid (¥5,500; www.tabloid-tcd.com). This is a bit of a surprise to clubbers, as the last major act to DJ there was Lady Gaga in April. On New Year’s Eve, U.S. duo Metro Area will man the decks. In a poll taken by dance-music website Resident Advisor, Metro Area’s “Miura” was voted the top track of the 2000s. That song is a good introduction to the pair’s style of DJing, which is funky and modern, but maintains a retro vibe. The Tabloid event will likely go down well with both casual clubbers and scene veterans.

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