Velfarre

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Velfarre interior in 2005 Velfarre floor 1.jpg
Velfarre interior in 2005

Velfarre (ヴェルファーレ, Verufāre) was a disco located in the Roppongi district of Tokyo, Japan. Velfarre was the self-professed "largest disco in Asia" with a capacity of 1,500 people, with three floors above ground and three floors below; owned by Tetsuya Komuro and Avex Trax. Velfarre was known for Trance, Eurobeat, Techno, Para Para, and Disco related events. Velfarre held concerts for Avex Trax artists, and was able to be rented for private events. [1]

Contents

Influence

Velfarre played a significant role in the Para Para scene. In 1998, velfarre hosted its first Para Para event called SEF HYPER; SEF being an acronym for Super Euro Flash. The weekly Para Para event at velfarre underwent two name changes over the years, first changing to: SEF MACH! (from the 3rd Para Para boom); and ending with SEF GOLD.

Hi-NRG Attack Studios produced several Eurobeat songs dedicated to Velfarre, including:

TCV stands for The Class of Velfarre; the nickname of Velfarre's VIP Floor.

Velfarre hosted many world-class Trance DJs, such as Johan Gielen [3] and Ferry Corsten. Trance was a fundamental part of Velfarre. John Robinson first introduced it at Millenia and PLANET LOVE. [3] Cyber Trance was a natural evolution from the movement started by John Robinson at PLANET LOVE. Johan Gielen also played a significant role with Cyber Trance at Velfarre. When he was working under John as a resident DJ from 1995 to 1997 [3] - trance was a major part of their sets. Gielen was at the final Cyber Trance at Velfarre; John was the DJ for the final New Year countdown, Johan played after John ~ there then followed a succession of DJs who had played at Velfarre over the years before John returned at 11am and played the final set before Velfarre's oversized mirror ball was dimmed for the very last time.

Albums

Avex released its first Velfarre CD "Velfarre Volume 1 - Welcome To The Future" in February 1995. This release was the first in a series of discs, which was the replacement for the "Juliana's Tokyo" mix CDs. The importance of the mix CDs cannot be understated ~ without the Juliana's Tokyo series, there would be no Avex or Velfarre as that was what provided the seed money for the rapid growth of the company. (Both series were mixed and produced by DJ John Robinson who was also the head DJ at both clubs. He was later rewarded for his efforts by being appointed to the board of directors of Velfarre). "Disco Week in Velfarre" also released in 1995 was bundled with an Avex J-POP concert album titled "TK DANCE CAMP" to make up a 2-CD set titled "AVEX DANCE MATRIX `95 LIVE". "Disco Week in Velfarre" was also the first velfarre video release in VHS/LD featuring performances by International and Japanese performers. And additional performances not found on the CD version. In 1997, with the success of the "J-POP NIGHT" events at Velfarre", Avex released "VELFARRE J-POP NIGHT presents DANCE with you" which featured MAX, SPEED, D&D and many others singing a Eurobeat rendition of classic J-POP songs by Pink Lady, Finger Five and more.

Velfarre's influence in the Cyber Trance genre prompted Avex Trax to release a moderately successful series of non-stop Trance mixes bearing velfarre's name. [4] The first album in the series did not bear the velfarre name, released simply as "Cyber Trance" on July 4, 2001. The first album bearing velfarre's name is actually the second album in the series, "velfarre Cyber TRANCE 01 ~BEST HIT TRANCE~", released November 7, 2001. Whether series will continue after velfarre's closing is unknown. The most recent release in the series to date is a 2 CD+DVD box set titled, "Velfarre Cyber Trance Complete Collection" [5] and "Velfarre complete best 1994-2006" which is a 6-CD box set featuring the different types of music from velfarre past broken down to groups such as "Hyper Techno Floor", "Hyper Trance Floor", "Dance Pop Floor", "Eurobeat Floor", "Disco House Floor" and "After Hours Floor" and including a booklet detailing the history of velfarre.

Legend has it that Ayumi Hamasaki first met her future producer, Max Matsuura, one night at velfarre. Ayumi was known to frequent velfarre in her teenage years. [6]

Earth, Wind & Fire recorded a live album, Greatest Hits Live, at Velfarre in 1995. [7]

Closing

Promotional poster for the last events held at Velfarre, as seen in Roppongi, Tokyo. Velfarre last dance poster.jpg
Promotional poster for the last events held at Velfarre, as seen in Roppongi, Tokyo.

Velfarre opened on December 2, 1994 and closed their doors on January 1, 2007. After 12 years of operation, Velfarre was forced to close as the lease on the land that the club was built on could not be renewed.

On December 31, 2006, velfarre hosted its final countdown event, "Countdown to the Future", and on January 1, 2007, featured "the LAST DANCE", the final event for velfarre and the first dance of 2007. Velfarre closed its doors and ended its 12-year history at noon on January 1, 2007.

At the Cyber Trance FINAL event on 30 December 2006, Komuro Tetsuya stated on stage that, "Velfarre will be back!".

In July 2011, Niwango, the operator of Nico Nico Douga, started operating "Nicofarre" at the same place but with a smaller size. [8] The new club has five LED wallscreens that project comments to the crowd, much like Niconico's comment system. [9] "Nicofarre" ended its business at the end of July 2019. [10]

Related Research Articles

Para Para is a synchronized dance that originated in Japan. Unlike most club dancing and rave dancing, there are specific synchronized movements for each song much like line dancing. Para Para is said to have existed since the early 1980s when European countries started selling Italo disco and Euro disco, and in the mid-to late 1970s, new wave and synthpop music in Japan. However, it did not achieve much popularity outside Japan until the late 1990s.

Eurobeat

Eurobeat refers to two styles of dance music that originated in Europe: one is a British variant of Italian Eurodisco-influenced dance-pop, and the other is a hi-NRG-driven form of Italo disco. Both forms were developed in the 1980s.

<i>Loveppears</i> 1999 studio album by Ayumi Hamasaki

Loveppears is the second studio album by Japanese recording artist Ayumi Hamasaki. It was released in Japan, Hong Kong and China on November 10, 1999 through Avex Trax and the China Record Corporation, and distributed worldwide on April 10, 2001 by Avex Entertainment Inc. It was entirely written by Hamasaki herself, while the production was handled by Japanese musician Max Matsuura. Musically, Loveppears is a dance album and lyrically focuses on themes of love, frustration of life, loneliness, and individualism.

<i>Duty</i> (album) 2000 studio album by Ayumi Hamasaki

Duty is the third studio album by Japanese recording artist Ayumi Hamasaki. It was released on September 27, 2000 by Avex Trax. Duty is Hamasaki's first studio album inside the 2000 decade, and her third consecutive studio album to be fully produced by Japanese musician and businessman Max Matsuura. The album's composing and arrangement was handled by several music collaborators, such as Ken Harada, Kazuhito Kikuchi, Dai Nagao, HΛL, among many others. Hamasaki contributed to the album as the primary and background vocalist, and songwriter to every song. Three different formats were released to promote the album: a standalone CD, a limited edition Playbutton, and a digital download. The cover sleeve has Hamasaki wearing a leopard-print cat suit.

<i>Rainbow</i> (Ayumi Hamasaki album) 2002 studio album by Ayumi Hamasaki

Rainbow is the fifth studio album by Japanese recording artist Ayumi Hamasaki, released on 18 December 2002 by Avex Trax. Production of Rainbow had commenced after the release of Hamasaki's fourth studio album I Am... that January; All lyrics were written by Hamasaki, and Japanese producer Max Matsuura returned to produce the album. The album was Hamasaki's first to feature conversational English lyrics, where in her previous works she had only used single words.

Avex Group

Avex Group Holdings Inc. is a Japanese entertainment conglomerate led by founder Max Matsuura and headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Founded in 1988, the company manages J-pop talents like Ayumi Hamasaki and internet sensation PikoTaro. It has also shifted into other business domains like anime, video games and live music events, partnering with Ultra Music Festival and hosting the annual A-nation. The company is a member of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) keiretsu.

Surreal (song)

"Surreal" is a song by Japanese recording artist Ayumi Hamasaki, taken from her third studio album Duty (2000). It was written by Hamasaki and produced by Max Matsuura. The song is a rock with elements of alternative rock. "Surreal" describes Hamasaki's madness and sense of confusion, while the themes of "Surreal" are based on Hamasaki's concept of loneliness, chaos, confusion, and the burden of her responsibilities, aimed mostly toward her public image as a recording artist. It was released as the fourth single from the album on 27 September 2000 by Avex Trax and Avex Taiwan.

Whatever (Ayumi Hamasaki song)

"Whatever" is a song recorded by Japanese recording artist Ayumi Hamasaki for her second studio album, Loveppears (1999). It was written by Hamasaki, while production was handled by Max Matsuura. The track is Hamasaki's sixth single with Matsuura since her debut single in April 1998, "Poker Face". "Whatever" premiered on February 10, 1999 as the lead single from the album. It was re-released on February 28, 2001 as a CD single.

To Be (song)

"To Be" is a song by Japanese recording artist Ayumi Hamasaki. It served as the third single from Hamasaki's second studio album Loveppears (1999). The track was released by Avex Trax in Japan and Taiwan on May 12, 1999, and through Avex Entertainment Inc. worldwide in September 2008. It was Hamasaki's final single to be distributed as a Mini-CD, a format that debuted at the start of her career in April 1998. "To Be" was written by Hamasaki herself, while production was handled by long-time collaborator Max Matsuura. Musically, it is a J-Pop that was written in third person perspective, much like the content from the parent album.

Boys & Girls (Ayumi Hamasaki song) 1999 single by Ayumi Hamasaki

"Boys & Girls" is a song recorded by Japanese recording artist Ayumi Hamasaki, serving as the fourth single for her second studio album, Loveppears (1999). It was released by Avex Trax in Japan and Hong Kong on July 14, 1999, and through Avex USA in North America in early 2001, while being re-distributed in 2003. "Boys & Girls" marks Hamasaki's first single to be made available for purchase as a maxi single with additional remixes. The track was written by the singer herself, while production was handled by long-time collaborator Max Matsuura. Musically, the song is a dance recording, a genre that heavily influences Loveppears. The single's lyrical content is written in third-person perspective.

Appears 1999 song by Ayumi Hamasaki

"Appears" is a song recorded by Japanese recording artist Ayumi Hamasaki. It was released by Avex Trax on November 10, 1999 as the sixth single from her second studio album Loveppears (1999), which was released on the same day. Alongside this, it has been released in several other territories with different release dates under her Western alias Ayu. It also served as Hamasaki's first limited edition single, limiting physical sales to 300,000 copies. The track was written by Hamasaki herself, while production was handled by long-time collaborator Max Matsuura. Musically, "Appears" is a dance song written in third person perspective, and is about the third person watching what appears to be a happy and loving relationship. Upon its release, "Appears" received positive reviews from music critics. Alexey Eremenko, writing for AllMusic, selected the track as the best song from the album and her career. However, an editor from CD Journal criticized the amount of remixes on the CD single.

Kanariya 1999 single by Ayumi Hamasaki

"Kanariya" is a song recorded by Japanese recording artist Ayumi Hamasaki for her second studio album, Loveppears (1999). It was released by Avex Trax in Japan and Hong Kong on December 8, 1999, and through Avex USA in North America in early 2000. The recording also served as Hamasaki's second limited edition single, with limited physical units of 300,000 copies. The track was written by Hamasaki herself, while production was handled by long-time collaborator Max Matsuura. Two versions of "Kanariya" were made available for consumption—a radio edit produced by American disc jockey Jonathan Peters, and the album version composed by Yasuhiko Hoshino. Lyrically, the song was written in third person perspective.

Vogue (Ayumi Hamasaki song) 2000 single by Ayumi Hamasaki

"Vogue" is a song recorded by Japanese recording artist Ayumi Hamasaki for her third studio album, Duty (2000). It was written by Hamasaki, while production was handled by Max Matsuura. It premiered on April 26, 2000 as the lead single from the album. Her third consecutive lead single to be produced by Matsuura, the song is part of a trilogy from Duty; the other two singles being "Far Away" and "Seasons".

Seasons (Ayumi Hamasaki song) 2000 single by Ayumi Hamasaki

"Seasons" is a song recorded by Japanese recording artist Ayumi Hamasaki for her third studio album, Duty (2000). It was written by Hamasaki, while production was handled by Max Matsuura. It premiered on June 7, 2000 as the third single from the album. The song is the final part of a trilogy from Duty; the other two singles being "Vogue" and "Far Away".

<i>Super Eurobeat Presents Ayu-ro Mix</i>

The Super Eurobeat Presents Ayu-ro Mix remix album was released by Ayumi Hamasaki on February 16, 2000. The album became the second highest selling remix album in Japan of 2000 with 700,000 copies sold. The album became Hamasaki's longest charting remix album with over 31 weeks on the chart. It is the 4th best selling remix album in Japan and also the 9th best selling remix album worldwide of all time.

<i>Super Eurobeat presents Euro Every Little Thing</i> 2001 remix album by Every Little Thing

Super Eurobeat Presents Euro Every Little Thing is a remix album, consisting of recordings by Japanese pop group Every Little Thing remixed by various eurobeat producers from Italy, released in 2001 by Avex Trax.

Bratt Sinclaire is an Italian Eurobeat/Italo disco producer. He has produced a countless number of tracks for the Super Eurobeat series, the world's longest running series of dance compilation albums. He is the founder and owner of the dance music record label SinclaireStyle and one of the three co-founders of Delta, one of the most known Eurobeat record labels.

<i>J-Euro Non-Stop Best</i> 2001 compilation album by various artists

J-Euro Non-Stop Best is a megamix compilation album, consisting of recordings by various Avex artists produced and/or remixed by various music producers mostly those of eurobeat from Italy, released in 2001 by Avex Trax.

<i>Super Eurobeat Presents Euro Dream Land</i> 2000 remix album by Dream

Super Eurobeat Presents Euro Dream Land is a remix album, consisting of recordings by Japanese all-girl dance band Dream, released in the late 2000 by Avex Trax.

<i>J-Euro Best</i> 2001 compilation album by various artists

J-Euro Best is a compilation album, consisting of recordings by various Avex artists produced and/or remixed by various music producers mostly those of eurobeat from Italy, released in 2001 by Avex Trax.

References

  1. A Special Tribute to Velfarre April 8th, 2007, by Dennis A. Amith, Michelle Tymon, Hiroshi Tagawa and Mamiko Kubota, retrieved April 8th, 2007
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 "Eurobeat-Prime 3.0". Eurobeat-prime.com. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
  3. 1 2 3 "velfarre". Velfarre.avex.co.jp. Archived from the original on December 15, 2006. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
  4. "CyberTRANCE - DISCOGRAPHY". Cybertrance.jp. Archived from the original on July 24, 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
  5. "CyberTRANCE - INFORMATION". Cybertrance.jp. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
  6. "TIMEasia.com: Japan - Ayumi Hamasaki". TIMEasia.com. Archived from the original on April 20, 2008. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
  7. "Live at the Velfarre (Japan) Album Review, Songs, Ratings". Starpulse.com. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
  8. http://info.nicovideo.jp/nicofarre/
  9. Ashcraft, Brian. "Legendary Japanese Club Reborn with Trolling" . Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  10. https://dwango.co.jp/news/press-release/2019/0722/news-95.html

Coordinates: 35°39′50″N139°43′51″E / 35.663981°N 139.730898°E / 35.663981; 139.730898