A Journey of Refrains, Vibes, and Ambience: Félix Guattari and Japan in Terms of Minimal Techno and Techno-Pop

Toshiya Ueno

conference: DARE 2015: the dark precursor
date: November 11, 2015
venue: Orpheus Institute, Dining Hall
format: concert
practice: music and sound
keywords: Félix Guattari, Kobo Abe, pop, refrain, techno

abstract about the author(s)


In his numerous texts, Guattari confirmed the potential of rock, pop, and hip hop in their transversal, mobility, and actuality, although his taste was to dislike these music genres. As is well known, the refrain was a crucial notion in the thought of Deleuze and Guattari. This DJ-set presents the possible interpretation and appropriation of refrains in performances and vibes in techno and ambient music. In addition, to commemorate Guattari’s interest in Japan and his friendship with Kobo Abe (Japanese novelist) in the 1980s, here contemporary minimal-techno is mixed and mushed up with some Japanese techno-pop and rock music. This set then echoes Deleuze and Guattari’s quotation: “Philosophy is no longer synthetic judgement; it is like a thought synthesizer functioning to make thought travel, make it mobile, make it a force of the Cosmos (in the same way as one makes sound travel)” (Deleuze and Guattari 1987, 343).


Deleuze, Gilles, and Félix Guattari. 1987. A Thousand Plateaus. Translated by Brian Massumi. Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press.

about the author(s)

Toshiya Ueno

Toshiya Ueno is a professor, critic, and TJ/DJ at the Department of Transcultural Studies, Faculty of Representational Studies, Wako University, Tokyo, and a visiting professor at the Department of East Asia Studies, McGill University, Montreal 2007–12 (winter semesters). In the 1980s he was involved with free pirate radio in Tokyo, which Felix Guattari visited and did a workshop with. He has published numerous books in Japanese on critical theory, cultural studies, and social philosophy and is currently preparing a book on Guattari. Among his publications in English are “Guattari and Japan” in Félix Guattari in the Age of Semiocapitalism, edited by Gary Genosko (Deleuze Studies special issue 6 [2], 2012) and “Unlearning to Raver,” in The Post Subcultures Reader, edited by David Muggleton and Rupert Weinzierl, Berg, 2003.

info & contact


Wako University, Tokyo, JP