Event Guide: Red Bull Music Academy Tokyo 2014

A comprehensive guide to our month-long series of Japan-inspired concerts, club nights and talks that blend music, art and culture.

Coming to Asia for the first time in its 16-year history, the Academy sets out to explore the rich musical and artistic legacy of Tokyo, and shine a light on it for the world to see. The program reflects a deep reverence for the trailblazers of Japanese culture past, present, and future – including a public, large-scale sculptural light installation by renowned sound artist Ryoji Ikeda; a night with Rustie, Oneohtrix Point Never, Fatima Al Qadiri and more saluting Japan’s leading composers of video game soundtracks with special one-off tribute sets; an improv-themed show led by EYヨ of seminal noise rock group Boredoms and pioneering avant-gardist Otomo Yoshihide; a multi-booth live stream from famed karaoke hotspot Karaokekan Shinjuku; a homage to the almighty “Amen” break led by Special Request a.k.a. Paul Woolford, Randall, dBridge and Mark Pritchard; a prodigious closing night featuring Detroit legends Carl Craig and Robert Hood donning his Floorplan guise, as well as acclaimed selectors Pépé Bradock and Gerd Janson; public lectures, collaborations with local festivals and club nights, and much more.

Fuelling the exchange between local and international creatives, Red Bull Music Academy is set to invite a hand-picked selection of musical luminaries and Academy friends to perform across the Tokyo metropolis. Alongside Academy participants like Mumdance, Xosar, Zebra Katz and WIFE, the five-week event program will also feature New Jersey club music pioneer Tony Humphries, Hessle Audio co-founder Ben UFO, DMZ duo Mala & Coki, South East London sound system boss Jah Shaka, Eglo's sound scientist Floating Points, digital experimentalist Holly Herndon, New Zealand’s prime soulful dub export Fat Freddy’s Drop, Border Community honcho James Holden, among many others.

What follows is a comprehensive guide to the events we have planned in Tokyo in October and November of 2014. Tickets will go on sale August 23rd. Sign up to our newsletter at the bottom of the page and we'll alert you when new tickets become available.

Red Bull Music Academy presents Dohyo-Iri
October 12, 2014
[Tickets and more info]

Red Bull Music Academy cuts the red ribbon and celebrates its arrival in Tokyo with a night travelling deep into the outer spheres of soulful house music. Originator Kerri Chandler has been ahead of the pack for more than two decades, and with Daikanyama institution Air supplying the proverbial basement and a red light or two, you know the one thing that won’t be missing is vibes.

RED ZONE - A Red Bull Music Academy Special with Just Blaze
October 14, 2014
[Tickets and more info]

Get low, low, low beneath the city streets at HARLEM, Shibuya’s long-time hip hop hub, with super-producer Just Blaze on the ones and twos. Just Blaze started out as a DJ in Paterson, New Jersey, before going on to become a producer with one of the most envied discographies in the business. Also performing will be hip hop legend Marley Marl and Zebra Katz, the multimedia performance artist turned rapper and producer.

Red Bull Music Academy presents Dorian Concept Live
October 16, 2014
[Tickets and more info]

Dorian Concept has made a name for himself at forward-thinking beat bonanzas around the globe, bringing his exemplary production skills and exuberant improvisational flair. The overwhelming electronic chord changes of this Red Bull Music Academy alumnus doff a cap to hip hop and jazz, experimental electronica and classic virtuosity alike. Come see him colour outside of the lines with the Japanese debut of his live show with the Tokyo Secret Strings Quartet at WWW, the cinema-turned-club with a Funktion One system.

Red Bull Music Academy presents Wails to Whispers
October 17, 2014
[Tickets and more info]

Noise and silence. They’re polar opposites. But, in the end, not that far off from each other at all. Red Bull Music Academy’s Wails to Whispers seeks to explore this dichotomy with artists who explore both extremes. In the early evening, there will be wails: Fushitusha will headline alongside the long-running group Melt-Banana, joined by Japanoise veterans Violent Onsen Geisha and Masonna. The night will then transition to a whisper, in which Robert Rich will bring his infamous sleep concert concept to Japan and Keiji Haino will perform once again, this time with Hurdy Gurdy.

Red Bull Music Academy presents EMAF Tokyo 2014
October 18 - 19, 2014
[Tickets and more info - Day 1,
tickets and more info - Day 2]
The Red Bull Music Academy will once again partner up with EMAF, bringing a bold arsenal of beats to blast through the world-class sound system at Liquidroom. Day 1 of EMAF will feature veteran UK producer and Aphex Twin associate Luke Vibert, digital experimentalist Holly Herndon, R&S jockey Lone, and Japanese Academy graduate Daisuke Tanabe. The 2nd day of EMAF will see visionary DJ and producer James Holden, Hemlock honcho Untold take to the decks, along with Brainfeeder’s new age explorer Matthewdavid, and many more.

DBS - A Red Bull Music Academy Special with Mala and Coki
October 18, 2014
[Tickets and more info]

Red Bull Music Academy teams up with Tokyo bass collective DBS at one of the city’s most respected afterdark venues, Unit in Daikanyama. This rumble in the concrete jungle will be headed up by dubstep pioneers and Digital Mystikz masterminds Mala and Coki. Joining them will be Japan’s bass mastermind GOTH-TRAD, Mexico City’s LAO with his menacing mix of house, techno and bass, the moody, deconstructed R&B stylings of Vancouver’s Ekali, as well as a host of local names.

Red Bull Music Academy presents The Garden Beyond
October 20, 2014
[Tickets and more info]

Steeped in tradition yet embracing the present, The Garden Beyond embodies Japan’s eternal timelessness. In front of The Gallery of Hōryū-ji Treasures at Tokyo National Museum, pioneering hip hop artist DJ KRUSH will demonstrate his mastery of the ones and twos in conjunction with a group of musicians playing traditional Japanese instruments.

Red Bull Music Academy presents Terabyte Transfer
October 21, 2014
[Tickets and more info]

Reboot your dancefloor drive courtesy of some of the world’s most promising house and techno producers, as Roland drum machines, vintage synths, sizzling hi-hats and starbursts of melody collide like an otherworldly meteor shower. RBMA participants performing include Palms Trax, Xosar, Olefonken, La Mverte, and Alejandro Paz.

Red Bull Music Academy presents Lost In Karaoke
October 22, 2014
[Tickets and more info]

Bringing the sound of Japan to the comfort of homes across the globe, Lost In Karaoke will be broadcast live from inside seven separate booths in Tokyo’s most popular karaoke house, Karaokekan Shinjuku. Instead of Bill Murray interpreting Roxy Music, the night will feature local crews waving the flag for various musical subcultures as well as a host of participants from the Academy.

Red Bull Music Academy presents A Conversation With Otomo Yoshihide
October 23, 2014
[Tickets and more info]

Pull up a pew as electroacoustic and experimental rock artist and soundtrack composer Otomo Yoshihide joins us on the famous Red Bull Music Academy couch, to share some of the stories and inspirations behind his infamous and prolific catalogue.

Red Bull Music Academy presents No Requests
October 24, 2014
[Tickets and more info]

Red Bull Music Academy wraps up the first half of its Tokyo takeover at the legendary Womb. Room 1 will pay homage to the almighty Amen, with Paul Woolford and his UK hardcore-inspired Special Request project, alongside Randall, dBridge, and Mark Pritchard. Room 2 will be taken over the entire night by the disco-tinged sounds of Tiger & Woods. Room 3, meanwhile, has the Jazzy Sport collective setting up shop with bags full of soul, funk, and all manner of groove-orientated musics.

Red Bull Music Academy presents Sinewave Sunday
November 2, 2014
[Tickets and more info]

After a quick breather, the 2nd Term of Red Bull Music Academy in Tokyo kicks off at Minato’s Origami nightclub. Canadian-born techno renovator Mathew Jonson will rev up the engines on his live set-up, while BBC Radio 1 host Benji B will throw down a set that is sure to turn heads and confuse Shazam’s algorithms.

Red Bull Music Academy presents 6852: Stratovolcanic Vinyl
November 4, 2014
[Tickets and more info]

Geologists may frown and rocks will crumble at the amount of digging conducted in Shibuya for this plate-disrupting vinyl celebration. Split between three exceptional rooms, this night will focus on scrapping together the finest vinyl from the 6,852 islands of the Japanese archipelago. 7, 12, 45, 33… you can play the numbers game all night, but in the end it’s all going to add up to one unforgettable event of spinal groove delirium with special acetate aficionados like Ben UFO and DJ Nobu reaching deep into their bags.

Red Bull Music Academy presents test pattern [n°6] : Ryoji Ikeda
November 5, 2014
[Tickets and more info]

We kick off the second half of the Red Bull Music Academy program with a very special exhibit from pioneering electronic and visual artist Ryoji Ikeda. Famed for his detailed explorations of sound, as well as his large-scale sculptural light installations, he transforms the visible and invisible data that permeates our world into audible and visible works that transcend our everyday imaginings.

Red Bull Music Academy presents A Conversation With Daito Manabe
November 5, 2014
[Tickets and more info]

Red Bull Music Academy presents an intimate talk with composer, programmer, VJ and co-founder of design collective Rhizomatiks, Daito Manabe. The work of this experimental artist explores the axis between physical and digital dimensions. His technique of motion capture and projection mapping of vivid, geometric designs onto human forms has been seen in stage show designs for J-pop trio Perfume and in his video for Nosaj Thing’s “Eclipse/Blue.”

Back To Chill - A Red Bull Music Academy Special with The Body
November 6, 2014
[Tickets and more info]

Over the past decade, GOTH-TRAD has been Japan’s pre-eminent champion of forward-thinking bass-led sounds. As part of this year’s Academy, we’ll team up with GOTH-TRAD for a Red Bull Music Academy Special of Back To Chill at its home in Shibuya, clubasia. Joining GOTH-TRAD on the night will be the avant-garde metal duo The Body, untethered Tokyo bass music producer Ena and plenty of local talents.

Red Bull Music Academy presents Harmonics & Heartbreak
November 6, 2014
[Tickets and more info]

Expect an evening of emotional catharsis in the heart of Shibuya, featuring a hand-picked cast of Red Bull Music Academy participants. Black metal bandleader turned Tri Angle solo recording artist WIFE will bring his brooding washes of sound to Galaxy - Gingakei, alongside LA-based multi-instrumentalist and gifted vocalist Kadhja Bonet, and Argentinian ambient expert Plasma Rüby.

Red Bull Music Academy presents No Sleep Til Zanzibar
November 7, 2014
[Tickets and more info]

Red Bull Music Academy is proud to present a special night of house music, celebrating the leading light of the New Jersey scene, Zanzibar, and its most famous resident Tony Humphries. We’ll welcome Humphries to Legato to play on the night with two crate-scraping diggers who aren’t afraid of an anthem or two: Eglo’s Floating Points and Japan’s DJ Nori.

Red Bull Music Academy presents Culture Fair
November 8 - 9, 2014
[Day 1 - More info / Day 2 - More info]

Red Bull Music Academy will once again come to Ba-Tsu for a day of music and food at our 2014 Culture Fair. Located in Harajuku, Ba-Tsu is the ideal space to host a multi-disciplinary event. Its different rooms will house a record fair with shops from around Japan, live performances from musicians, and a bit of food from local vendors. More details of the free event held over two days will be revealed as we get closer to the Academy, but expect all three elements to be a part of this casual get-together.

Red Bull Music Academy presents The Roots Commandment: Tokyo In Dub
November 8, 2014
[Tickets and more info]

For The Roots Commandment: Tokyo In Dub, Red Bull Music Academy brings South East London roots pioneer Jah Shaka and New Zealand’s biggest dub export Fat Freddy’s Drop to Unit. They will join forces with Cojie from Mighty Crown and Tokyo’s own Jah-Light for a night celebrating international and local sound system traditions. In a separate room, Buraka Som Sistema's Branko will have the crowd meditating on a differently-paced bass weight, alongside Academy participant Mumdance and Lima duo Dengue Dengue Dengue!.

Red Bull Music Academy presents Chaos Conductor
November 11, 2014
[Tickets and more info]

Improvisation is a key element of music-making, and it’s why the Red Bull Music Academy is proud to bring the Boredoms’ EYヨ and Otomo Yoshihide to separately work with participants from this year’s Academy for a special show. With both conducting the improvisations of the participants throughout the night, the result will undoubtedly be a one-of-a-kind experience.

Red Bull Music Academy presents Scales Of Infinity
November 12, 2014
[Tickets and more info]

Scales Of Infinity sees RBMA welcoming artists whose work has something of the otherworldly about it. Headlining will be the continuous music evangelist Lubomyr Melnyk, whose intense piano excursions have been released on Erased Tapes and Hinterzimmer. He will be joined on the bill by Iceland’s Hildur Guðnadóttir.

Red Bull Music Academy presents 1UP: Cart Diggers Live
November 13, 2014
[Tickets and more info]

Following on from the release of the Red Bull Music Academy’s Diggin’ In The Carts documentary series, a night of special performances: Rustie will construct a set around the music of Streets of Rage composer Yuzo Koshiro, Oneohtrix Point Never works with bullet hell shoot ‘em ups, Fatima Al Qadiri serves up an assortment of Konami bootlegs, Metroid and Donkey Kong composer Chip Tanaka plays live, and DUB-Russell and (L_) team up with open source hologram Hatsune Miku. In the second room, we’ll welcome a collection of crate digging game music DJs, each playing some of their faves from the genre’s rich history.

Red Bull Music Academy presents Senshyu-Raku
November 14, 2014
[Tickets and more info]

Senshyu-Raku sees Red Bull Music Academy saying farewell to Tokyo in style. We will be taking over Liquidroom for one night, with a lineup of house and techno heavy hitters. Leading the charge in the main room will be Planet E mastermind and Detroit hero Carl Craig, the house-inspired Floorplan project of Robert Hood, the French avant-house stylings of Pépé Bradock and Running Back’s own Gerd Janson.

By Red Bull Music Academy on August 20, 2014

On a different note