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Japanese DJs Defy “No Dancing” Laws With a Killer Club Music Compilation

Fight the man.

Michelle Lhooq

Michelle Lhooq

Japan's Trekkie Trax crew

For the last three years, nightclubs all over Japan have been dealing with a particularly bizarre restriction: by law, people are not allowed to dance in nightclubs that don't have proper "dancing licenses." We reported on a troupe of lawyers and industry insiders who had banded together to fight the regulation. But has anything changed in the interim?

According to Seimei Kawai, boss of the Tokyo-based underground label Trekkie Trax, the answer is—sadly—not really. "In all honesty, the club scene in Japan is getting worse, we think, because of the strict enforcement of [this] law," he said. But that's not from lack of trying. Kawai added, "The circumstances ironically motivate us to try to improve the Japanese scene with our music."

To that end, Trekkie Trax has teamed up with Top Billin—the Helsinki label that also brought France's Club Cheval to the world—for a compilation album stacked to the brim with some of Japan's finest underground DJs. We're premiering the first half of the two-part album, which zips from ghetto club to juke to garage to house and back. Don't miss the promo video of the Trekkie Trax crew below, if only to get a glimpse of the famous Shibuya crossing, and shots of the Trekkie Trax boys screaming into megaphones at one of their rambunctious parties.

Top Billin Presents: Trekkie Trax Japan Vol. 1 is out on April 16

Michelle lived in Tokyo for a spell but only partied at Gaspanic - @MichelleLhooq