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Around The World In 80 Raves: Numbers, Tokyo

A pitch-black party in the bowels of Shibuya... but don't hold out for sex or drugs.

by Lina Abascal
Dec 5 2013, 12:00am

Around The World in 80 Raves takes you into the basements, warehouses, and back rooms where the magic happens—from Caracas to Calgary and back.

NAME: Numbers Tokyo
LOCATION: Tokyo, Japan
RECENT HEADLINERS: Jackmaster, Mike Q, Girl Unit, Bok Bok, Nick Hook, Roska
VIBE: A pitch black basement awash in a sea of smoke and lasers
VENUE: Module, a split-level club in the perenially trendy Shibuya neighborhood
WHEN IT HAPPENS: Sporadically

WHAT'S THE DEAL THO: Numbers is doing something different from "the other 700 parties happening in Tokyo every night," says resident DJ P.O.L. Style. From bringing vogue dancers to dousing the crowd with free tequila and glowsticks, Numbers Tokyo blends the familiar and the not-so-typical. For example: you won't find gaggles of ladies doing keybumps in the bathrooms. According to DJ P.O.L. Style, drug culture is not synonymous with nightlife in Tokyo. "People will party till 7 or 8 in the morning without the aid of anything (but alcohol) to help them," he says, "The first train doesn't leave till around 5AM, so people can either be totally wasted on booze, or dead asleep. But no drugs."

Throwing parties in Tokyo for the past eight years, P.O.L. Style has modeled Numbers after a party of the same name in his hometown of Glasgow. Perhaps due to the dark and sweaty nature of its host club, Module, you won't find many of Tokyo's fashion-forward denizens lurking around Numbers trying to score a make-out session. The party has, "more emphasis on the music than hooking up, which is the focus of most parties in Tokyo," he says. 

Japanese ravers are not as easily impressed as partygoers worldwide. "Wilin' out isn't really a thing. It is kind of frowned upon in the club. Maybe because Japanese society is so orderly or because club culture is a fairly recent phenomenon here." Warp-style IDM is a favorite of many Numbers regulars, along with classic techno tunes. But on the rare occasion, the ratchet is released. A stage nearly collapsed recently when hundreds of girls crowded the DJ booth while dancing, which resulted in a stern talking-to from the club's owner. Oops.  

Follow Numbers Tokyo on their website. 

Lina likes popsicles and walruses. Follow her -@linalovesit