Event: Giorgio Gigli and Refracted at Vent, Tokyo Japan

Vent is another one of Tokyo’s underground techno venues I was very curious to take a look at. Last night, they had invited Italian techno producer and DJ Giorgio Gigli as well as Refracted and a couple of other international and local artists. What looked very promising turned out to be a great night with two bomb sets and left me impressed again with Tokyo’s night life.

Vent is also located in Tokyo’s nightlife area Shibuya, but a bit hidden from all the hustle and bustle going on there. The concept of the club is very minimalist and stylish, with lots of concrete. They have a very strict no-photo-policy and in general this space instantly felt more underground than Contact. There are two floors: one very small room with a bar and a DJ booth in the corner, and the very dark main dance floor with high ceilings and concrete pillars. The atmosphere felt a bit cold and unwelcoming at first, but I grew to really like it in the end. Their sound system is also incredible – very clear, crisp and highly nuanced sound that I haven’t experienced in that way before. And also the crowd is as hip as the venue, with again a lot of Western people.

Before 1 am, the floor was busy already especially for a Monday night leading up to a holiday. I caught an hour of local DJ Masafumi Take’s heavy techno set that I couldn’t fully get into in that time. However, when Refracted started his set at 1.30 am, I was instantly hooked by it. It was so hypnotising and incredibly fluent that it felt like one big track sometimes. There was a nice progression in energy throughout the set. It was one of these journeys, where you forget where you just were before and find yourself lost in thoughts. Absolutely great set!

Then at 3 am Giorgio Gigli took over. He started off slow, but the second track was already a banger and set the tone for what was going to be an amazing set. The track selection was so unique and on point. He also played quite a view tracks with vocals which was refreshing. In general, the whole set had such a nice, uplifting energy and felt so entertaining that it just kept everyone dancing. The crowd absolutely loved it and there was such a good energy on the dance floor. Towards the end of his two hour set, he heated up the floor even more with his powerful, hypnotic techno. To me this set was perfection and the best one I’ve seen in my time here in Asia so far.

At 5 am, the floor got more empty, but the party wasn’t over yet. Generally, it felt like people had actually come to enjoy the music and dance. It was a proper rave. I’m glad that in Vent I found a place that feels more underground. And again, I’m quite impressed with what Tokyo’s nightlife has to offer: well conceptualised clubs with amazing sound systems, internationally known names playing but also talented local artists and a big, dedicated crowd.

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