Gilles Peterson DJ Set – Precious Hall, Japan 5th October
October 8, 2015
I was playing alongside Toshio Matsuura who as I walked in the club was playing some electronic bits that sounded so heavy, I threw a few in myself… Hope you enjoy!
Being in Japan for a 2 week stint gave me enough time to fly up to Sapporo on Hokaido and make a pilgrimage to Precious Hall. As you probably know I’ve become increasingly more obsessed with Sound and Surroundings when it comes to my DJ sets…I fully appreciate that some of the best parties happen on rubbish PAs in obscure venues, and that the art of a good event is primarily based on the people who attend, but with my increasing age behind the decks, the one thing I find most difficult to handle is shit sound or the devil’s own invention ‘the LIMITER’. It just means that I can’t keep playing all night like I used to – I mean, 90 minutes all well and good but 8 hours is a serious chore when your ears are being attacked violently by that particular frequency somewhere between FlyLo handclaps and Hank Mobley alto solos… Thats why I’m always moaning about the lack of fully formed great venues in London… Yes we have a brilliant crowd and interesting spaces but a venue like Output in Brooklyn just doesn’t exist, even though certain clubs have made strides in the last year. However, it still remains a disgrace in a country that practically invented modern day club culture. Many people scream Plastic People at me which of course had great sound and a perfect DJ booth that was practically on the dancefloor… but for me the magic was kind of lost when a new ‘closed in’ booth separated the DJ from the dancers…
Which takes me to Japan’s North Island and a dream space invented and nurtured by Satoru, a man inspired by David Mancuso’s sound and mood aesthetic… Precious Hall actually used to be in a different part of the 2 million inhabited city…I’d been fortunate to play there twice – in fact I almost got banned before even getting on the decks the first time, after I got caught taking a sneaky snap of the hand built bar…I didn’t realise that the club was way ahead of the curve in banning photos etc!
So when Joe Clausell told me the new space was a step up from the original site I immediately got on the case to put a night in. I don’t want to over hype it or anything but I can’t help it! From the art on the walls to the wooden dance floor to the hand built speaker stacks to those essential little escape corners to hide in… this is the perfect space designed with love…and that’s just the main floor… Upstairs the lounge is a cross between a cosy salon and a smoking bar under subtle lighting, mobile designs and hand-built wooden acoustic panelling that hang above another DJ booth controlling the most accurate sound I’ve heard coming out of a pair of Koetsu moving coil cartridges… no cd’s just vinyl in the style of Egberto Gismonti on ECM or Debussy…the ultimate chill out!
Here’s the thing about Precious Hall – its totally amazing and built with love but I don’t think some of the regulars realise it! To them its probably how all clubs are. In fact I was surprised that so few DJs play there – of the Japanese DJs it seems like DJ Calm is a big regular and Kuniyuki who’s local and even made a great song dedicated to the club,
but apart from Henrik Shwarz,Cosmo, Francois K Danny Krivit and Joe Clausell it seems like the secret has been preserved.
So here’s the thing…either:
1 – someone with more money than sense gives me unlimited access to their bank account to build a London Precious Hall
2 – who’s up for coming on an extensive coach trip to Northern Japan for a weekender? But leave your cameras at home…..