The Japanese festival's Russ Moench breaks down one of the most unique musical experiences in techno.
Few events loom as large over underground electronic music as The Labyrinth. The Japanese festival began more than a decade ago as an outdoor trance weekender, but by the mid-2000s it was incorporating the sort of deep techno and house acts you normally wouldn't hear outside of a sweaty nightclub. You'd be hard-pressed to find a more meticulously curated festival—its founder and curator, Russ Moench, thinks of coordinating the timetable like playing a DJ set. But its bookings, from resident Donato Dozzy to more experimental acts like Outer Space and Bee Mask, are only part of what makes it special. On a swing through Japan late last year, Jordan Rothlein stopped by Russ's home in Tokyo to discuss his vision and hear more about the act of god that cut last year's Labyrinth short.