Ooooze 10th Anniversary - Memorial Talk -
In 2002, Ooooze came out into the Tokyo party scene and will be celebrating their ten year anniversary this February. With ten years under their belt, Ooooze has built itself as one of the biggest household names in the Tokyo party scene. We talk with Ooooze organizers Nick and Raha just before their Anniversary Party at WOMB on February 11.
Raha: 最初はNick、Peter、Mikeの3人で始めたんだよね。だけどNick以外の2人が国に帰っちゃうことになって、新しいパートナーとして俺のことを誘ってくれたのが2003年の終わり。青山のカフェで話したの覚えてるよ。ちょうどその時僕は、前の年から、のちのDexpistolsのDJ Darumaや"ROC TRACKS"のYan、ダンサーのBobbyやDJ Oliveと共に、今は無き渋谷"La Fabrique"で「Boogie Nights」っていうパーティーをやってました。当時日本で初めてファンキーハウスをかけ始めた"音"と"お洒落"主体のこれまた最高のパーティーで、これはこれで当時一世を風靡してました。そのころ、Nickとはすごく仲良くなってて僕のオーガナイズの手腕なんかも「Boogie Nights」を見て、分かってくれてたから誘ってくれたんだと思います。
NICK: We started the Ooooze parties in the spring of 2002. What started it all was actually the World Cup soccer in Japan. As there were a lot of soccer fans that we knew were coming from abroad to Japan, we wanted to provide a party that they could enjoy here in Tokyo and so we gathered some of the best Tokyo underground house and techno DJs, invited the coolest internationally minded clubbers from around Tokyo and did a party at a club called CHIC in Nishi-Azabu. By doing so, we were able to create an incredible and unforgettable atmosphere. It turned out to be a lot more fun than we expected and into a party like no other at the time, and even though we only planned to do it once, over 400 people gathered and we were asked by a lot of people to do it again. This is how Ooooze was born.
RAHA: It all started with Nick, Peter and Mike, but as Peter and Mike had to leave to go back to their respective countries, I was asked to join Nick as a new partner. That was in the end of 2003. I still remember we talked about this at a caf? in Aoyama. At the time, I was pulling off a party called "Boogie Nights" at the now closed la Fabrique club in Shibuya, together with likes of DJ Daruma, who would eventually become a part of the DEXPISTOLS, and Yan from Roc Tracks, Bobby the dancer and DJ Olive. This party was, at the time, a one-of-a-kind as well, as we were the first party in Japan to play and provide Funky House in an atmosphere mixed with "music" and "fashion," and so it was a party that was well received by the Tokyo party scene. Around that time was when I became good friends with Nick and I think he knew how well I organized parties like Boogie Nights and so I think that's why he asked me to be his partner.
Raha: パーティーコンセプトの1つとして、会場を1カ所だけに固定せず、常に新しい話題の店、注目を集める店でいち早くパーティーを行うということも挙げられます。また、渚やBody&Soulのオーガナイザーとして知られる石原氏オーナーのシークレットバー"Sound Bar"や泉ガーデン"Ma Chamble"などのオープニングなどをOoooze単体で任せられることも度々で、クラブ業界においては信頼を得ている証拠かなとも思っています。2010年4月にお台場で10,000人以上を集客して行われた野外フェスティバル「渚」では、ステージの1つである"星ステージ"を単独チームで任されオーガナイズしましたし、高い集客力と最高のバイブスでさらに幅広い各方面からの高い評価を獲得することにもなりました。あと昨年11月26日に幕張メッセで行われた「WOMB ADVENTURE」でも、「Ooooze x RAFT TOKYO AREA」のオーガナイズを任されたりもしました。
NICK: Since our start in the spring of 2002, Ooooze has built itself as one of the most recognized parties in the Tokyo party scene.
We are recognized as one of the coolest parties in Tokyo, that are held at some of the most exciting, cool and elegant venues such as the ageHa Poolside, Dessert Rose, Fusion, Velours and Zaimokuza Beach in Kamakura where each year the party just gets better and better.
Our crowd consists of 20-30 something stylish and cool rich people and there are also many foreigners as well. Our dance floor is constantly covered by a peaceful and fun crowd that helps create a really groovy atmosphere that envelops the entire party. This alongside an eclectic mix of the latest in tech house, techno, deep house and minimal sounds, we are the only party in Tokyo that provides an atmosphere that is accepted by stylish party people as well as music hungry core clubbers.
RAHA: Another big party concept of Ooooze is that we don't do our parties at only one venue and constantly look for and conduct parties at new and upcoming venues, venues that are in the spotlight and be one of the first parties to be held there.
As we were asked to organize the Nagisa and Body & Soul organizer Ishihara-san's secret bar Sound Bar opening, as well the Izumi Garden Ma Chambre opening parties, we are really trusted by the clubbing industry as one of the top organizers in the business.
In April 2010, we were put in charge of the Star Stage of the Nagisa outdoor festival in Odaiba, which gathers over 10,000 people every year. We were able to gather a huge crowd and create a really good vibe within the festival, helping to create and strengthen our name in the industry even more. On top of this, on November 26 last year, we organized the Ooooze x RAFT TOKYO AREA within the WOMB ADVENTURE event that was held in Makuhari Messe, which really made our name a solid and trusted name in the industry.
NICK: Another pillar concept of our parties is that we invite Japan's up and coming exciting new DJs to the scene. We invite foreign DJs as well but we try to focus on creating a great atmosphere with local, Japanese DJs.
NICK: It's a lot of really different places. From some of Tokyo's biggest clubs to outdoor music festivals, beach parties, the Harumi Pier Terminal, the Ryougoku Kokugikan, a bar in one of Tokyo's luxurious hotels, Hanami parties in the park to opening parties of cool new venues. We've done over 50 parties in the last ten years.
RAHA: Yea, that's true, when we were counting just a few days ago, I think we were over 70 parties, right? If it's a new venue, we really want to do a party while no one else will or have. If a few parties have already been held there, I don't know if we would be too interested.
Raha: なんだよ、全く同じじゃないか(笑)。まあ、一緒にやってるから当たり前と言っちゃ当たり前なんだけどね。中でも、鎌倉材木座で毎年やってるOoooze BEACH（過去6回開催）は、たしかにこれだけいろいろやってる中でも特別なものなんです。今やらせてもらってるあのビーチハウスは、数年前に俺とNickで、東は葉山の一色海岸から、西の辻堂海岸までの間に9コぐらいあるビーチを全て端から端まで歩いて回って1コ1コ全部の海の家をこの目でチェックして選んだ場所なんです。そうした思い入れもあるし、日本にいる時はおもしろそうなビーチパーティーがあると全て遊びに行ってて、諸事情が違うから海外のものとは比べることはできないけれど、少なくともこの国では、Ooooze BEACHが1番だなっていう確信があります。
NICK: That's a really difficult question! With the help of a great crowd and excellent DJs, we've been able to pull off a lot of really good parties. But if I had to choose just one party, it would be the Ooooze BEACH @ Kamakura Zaimokuza beach that was held 3 years ago and gathered 1000 people. That was a party that really had the best vibes that I don't think I could ever forget about. Also, the earthquake/tsunami disaster charity party we held at the ANA Intercontinental Hotel in April last year left a strong impression for me. I was really moved by everyone's energy and charitable feelings.
RAHA: Oh great, that's exactly what I was going to say (laughs). Well, we do it all together, so I guess it's no mystery if we say the same thing.
I really think within all of the parties we do, the Kamakura Zaimokuza Ooooze BEACH parties we do each year is very special. We've done 6 with last years beach party. The beach house in which we do the parties is a venue Nick and I found a few years back. We walked up and down the beach from Hayama to Isshiki Beach and Tsujido, looking at about 9 beaches walking down the beach, checking on each venue's potential. It's because of this, I really think the beach party is special to us and I can say for a fact that I've been to all of the beach parties when I'm in Japan that are considered to be fun and exciting and of course there are differences with other countries because there are different rules and regulations, but as I have been to many beach parties abroad, I can say with confidence that our Ooooze BEACH party is the best beach party in Japan.
NICK: Put simply, the most difficult part about this is how we can keep each party as fresh, exciting, stimulating and unique as the one before. Every time we plan out a party, we really need to dig in deeper into our creativity, so that we can surprise our guests with Ooooze's fun and warm atmosphere.
RAHA: People get used to a certain type of stimulation. For instance, even if a certain venue is just magical and exciting, if we did a party there several times, the crowd wouldn't be able to appreciate the venue as much (laughs).
Another thing is, although sad but an unavoidable fact, one characteristic of our parties is that as many of our guests are foreigners and many of our good friends are foreigners as well, which means many of them leave the country after a few years. Our Ooooze guests as well as people we consider family have been coming and going in the last few years. This is a problem that we wouldn't face if it was just with Japanese guests, but for Ooooze, it's something we face on a regular basis.
NICK: We're thinking about a lot of things. To bring Ooooze to the next level. We really want to create collaborations between Japanese and foreign artists and by doing so introduce a fresh and innovative sound to the Tokyo scene. Obviously we want to continue to invite Japanese and foreign club people to keep creating a special party like no other in Japan.
SEXY, FUN & COOL…. WATCH THIS SPACE!!!
RAHA: I think the Japanese club scene is, right now, at a turning point. On one side we have the after earthquake atmosphere that has enveloped the nation and also the laws and regulations that command the clubbing industry and of course a really bad economy, these kind of elements that surround us are not easy to overcome. Yet on another side, we have artists visiting from abroad who talk so highly of the Japanese club scene and so I really feel the sky's the limit to what can be possible in our country's unique (club) culture that is really so different compared to our European counterparts.
It sounds complicated but simply put, what we want to accomplish is to basically to keep doing cool and unique things in Japan, leveraging on our uniqueness and whatever weapons we find available. What that might be, is something we will have to talk about later (laughs). Blake has joined in as another organizer for Ooooze from last year, so we'll knock all our heads together and figure that one out.
Raha: 2月11日（土）のパーティーは、僕らの総決算。ずっとパーティーをやってきたおかげもあって知り合えた東京の素晴らしい仲間たちがみんな協力してくれます。この日は僕らだけじゃない、みんなのお祭りだと思ってぜひ楽しんで下さい。僕たちも、だれにも負けないぐらい楽しむつもりです! あとで「あの日は楽しかったね!」って一緒に言えるように、みなさん、ぜひ参加して下さいね！
NICK: It's with everyone's help and enormous support that we've been able to continue on for ten years, providing excellent parties each time we get together. The next Ooooze tenth anniversary party is going to be a very special celebration, featuring a very special guest DJ, IBIZA's very own Marc Antona at the main floor and of course our local Tokyo underground club scene heroes DJ Kings, the Urushi VJ Crew and dancers across the other two floors as well. Obviously the party will also feature Ooooze's very own cool sexy club people and crowd, so we hope you can all come down and have fun with us. I can guarantee you that it's going to be an unforgettable night, Yoroshiku onegaishimasu!
RAHA: February 11th is going to be the mark we make of ten years in the game. We've been in the game for a decade, and so this party is really going to be supported and created with the help of all the friends we have in Tokyo. So we really want people to come down to the festival, as its not just for us but its also a festival for everyone. We certainly aren't going to stop ourselves from having the fun, so we hope you will all come down and party on with us. In doing so, we really hope we can all say "what a damn good party that was" someday later on!
- T.Ishihara (brand new made inc.)
「SHOUT for Ooooze ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ Congratulations for 10th ANNIVERSARY of Ooooze！この10年、色々なロケーションでOoooze Partyに参加してきました。僕にとってOoooze=大都会TOKYOを感じさせる外国人と日本人との程よいMIX感溢れる上質なパーティという想い出があります。色々な人に会えたのも、このパーティがきっかけでした。そんなOoooze FAMILY全員と、これからのNEW Ooooze FAMILYで、10周年をお祝いしましょう」
- SABi TAKAHASHi (Representative Director of WOMB)
- Kosuke Takada (ageHa Tokyo)
「"Congratulations to Ooooze for 10 Years of rockin' Japan! Big respect to Nick and Raha...the Ooooze/ Red Box collaborations were Epic events and we were honored to work with you guys! Wishing you continued success and look forward to more rockin' events in the future...!!"Much Love and respect from the RedBox Crew!」
「Its been an absolutel pleasure performing for Ooooze over the 8+ years since I first DJ'ed ... at that time for the terrible (!!!) trio Nick, Pete & Mike. Without a doubt one of Tokyo's party institutions !」
- DAVE TWOMEY aka TR NCH (MARIANA.TIME TO EXPRESS)
「10周年おめでとうございます！時が経つのは早いですね。Ooooze初期、RA-HA先輩と『あーでもない こーでもない』と言いながらフライヤーを一緒に作っていた事を思い出します。常に良質なパーティを続ける『Ooooze』にSpecial SetでDexpistolsが出演させて頂ける日は近い！...と信じてますw」
- DJ DARUMA (DEXPISTOLS)
T.Ishihara (brand new made inc.)
SABi TAKAHASHi (Representative Director of WOMB)
Kosuke Takada (ageHa Tokyo)
- DAVE TWOMEY aka TR NCH (MARIANA.TIME TO EXPRESS)
DJ DARUMA (DEXPISTOLS)
You can find a lot of another message on our official website (http://www.ooooze.org/wp-content/themes/ooooze2011_ver02/congratulationmessage.html), so please check it out!!
02.11 @ WOMB
OPEN : 23:00
DOOR : ￥4,000 Ooooze Discount: ￥2,500
LINE UP: [Special guest] Marc Antona (DISSONANT), Xiki Lozano (DISSONANT), RAHA (Ooooze), [Dancer] MIO & MAKOTO, [VJ] Urushi, [WOMB Lounge & VIP Lounge] Aosawa (Freerange Tokyo), Jay Zimmermann (RED MELON), Kikiorix (Ladies&Gentlemen), Kusda (RAFT TOKYO), DJ PI-GE (Pan Records/Raum...Musik/TRESVIBES), Ryo Tsutsui (Weekend Warriorz / EDEN), Satoshi Otsuki (TRESVIBES / Circo Loco Japan), So (Mindgames / LABYRINTH / TRI-BUTE), Son (Weekend Warriorz), Timo (RAFT TOKYO)
MUSIC : TECHNO, TECH HOUSE, MINIMAL, DEEP HOUSE