Richie Hawtin will return to Womb Adventure this weekend in Tokyo.
Since it started five years ago, Womb Adventure has been one of the biggest electronic music festivals on the calendar in Tokyo. Minus has always been a cornerstone of the event, and this year will be no exception, with Hawtin bringing his Enter. concept to Japan for the first time. Aside from Hawtin himself, the lineup features Dubfire, Loco Dice and Matador (playing live) in the main room. Daddy G of Massive Attack is billed in the Womb World Wide Arena, along with Darren Emerson, Nina Kraviz and Mark E. There's an afterparty scheduled the next weekend Womb, though lineup details for that one are still under-wraps.
Chatting via email earlier this week, the crew behind Womb Adventure gave us some inside perspective on the annual event:
How did Womb Adventure start? What was the original idea or concept behind the festival?
When womb was ranked as one of the world’s top venues in 2004, we became more aware of all the other venues in the world. But all these top-class venues hold 3,000-6,000 people, whereas Womb holds about 1/3 of that. So we thought about putting Womb club outside of it’s space for one night with a 3,000+ capacity. This concept was the start of Club Phazon, which was the former of Womb Adventure.
Club Phazon offered Tokyo’s dance music scene a lineup that always fit the times. Like showcasing Richie [Hawtin] and Ricardo [Villalobos], a special joint appearance of Sasha with John Digweed. We put on events that would have been too big for Womb. Club Phazon grew bigger, eventually reaching 3,000 people capacity; in 2007 we sold out Laforet Museum Roppongi. After this we thought about evolving this festival and decided to build another stage, making it even bigger with better sound and overall production. This turned into Womb Adventure.
At first we aimed for 10,000 people, and since then it has become an exceptional event. This year will be our fifth.
How would you describe the atmosphere of the event to someone who's never been?
It has a higher production value than Womb,larger scale and with a bigger audience. It’s an opportunity to meet and get to know people with the same tastes. Even for those who’ve just begun to take an interest in dance music, and don’t have an extensive knowledge on it, it’s a chance to see many artists. The real thrill of it is in that experience.
How did Minus end up being so integral to the festival? How has the programming changed over the years?
It started from the connection between Yuuki Ito, who was in charge of bookings at Womb, and Richie Hawtin. Hawtin visited Japan again and again, so there was a good relationship between him and the club. When we did the CLub Phazon party with Richie and Ricardo, that was kind of a trigger: our name got bigger alongside Richie’s. It was Richie’s idea to do the Contakt showcase for Womb Adventure. From then on we’ve begun to think about what we can work on next.
What's new with this year's edition? What are you looking forward to most?
It’s got to be Richie's new party, Enter, which caused a storm in Ibiza this summer. There’s also the fact that Richie is a Japanophile, and he’s taken four great things about the country: sake, music, technology, and entertainment. The idea was that he’d take these things as inspirations from Japan and bring them to Ibiza. This was the concept of Enter. Now he’s bringing all that back to the land where it came from.