The foreign contribution to Tokyo’s nightlife is not all Roppongi sleaze. Take Guy Perryman, for example, who has created a unique lounge-cum-event space around a radio station. Guy had just started his career as an FM disc jockey in Sydney when he was recruited by Virgin to spin at the opening of their first Megastore in Tokyo.
|DJ and club founder Guy Perryman|
“I was to stay after the opening to train local DJs in the ‘Virgin way,’ ” he laughs, as his honey-toned voice rises a decibel or two above its usual radio baritone. “But they couldn’t find any suitable candidates.” What was supposed to be a three-month stint became six, at the end of which he was hooked.
Guy also hosted U.K. indies nights at clubs, mostly under the Virgin banner. “The club scene was world class, but I was appalled by the lack of good FM radio in Tokyo,” he adds, noting that none of the options we currently enjoy existed then. And so it was that he inadvertently began a decade-long journey to realize a dream — his own radio station in Tokyo.
|Radio:on — where radio meets club|
Radio:on, as it was christened, began broadcasts five years ago, but it has only recently found a home. True to broadcast tradition, it is perched on the top of a building, but it doesn’t need to be elevated to enhance transmission, as Radio:on goes out via cable. From seven floors up, however, one is treated to a mesmerizing view of Aoyama by night.
“I wanted to reproduce a studio-lounge atmosphere,” Guy explains, as he surveys his handiwork. Sparse concrete walls define a generous space. An L-shaped bar hugs one side and a clear-glass recording booth clings to the another. Half a dozen long, black couches slink in at low wooden tables. High tables and stools take advantage of the view while one corner is fitted with tatami for lounging local style. Lighting is soothingly low key.
Radio:on:studio already hosts a variety of events, including Guy’s Baby Powder night the first Friday of every month, when he spins exotic bossa nova while divas schmooze the crowd. Every second Friday is DJ David Cook’s Secret Beats bash where you may enjoy “a juicy slice of planet Earth served with seasonal dressings of weirdness.” Every other Sunday experimental bands tinker at tunes. On weeknights one of Radio:on’s DJs will be at work in the booth recording a playlist for broadcast. Otherwise, the radio is . . . well, on!
No matter what you’ll find a warm inspiring vibe. Radio:on:studio is more than just four walls – it is a nest for musicians and muses. And it has only just begun . . .