There are a lot of amazing DJs in Japan.
When I started DJing it was a case of “I`ve got some records, some else has got a bag of pills, let`s throw a party!” Enthusiasm over any idea of what I was doing. Learning (hopefully) in public. A Japanese DJ wouldn`t even think about leaving their bedroom until they could beat match perfectly. Blindfolded and without headphones. This, of course, shows. My more “instinctive” approach still raising eyebrows.
Out of the Japanese DJs I`ve been lucky enough to meet, you`ve got the Disco heroes like Nori, KZA and Kent. House “mavericks” like Marbo. All round “mavericks” like ALTZ. Heads like Moo. The younger chaps who came through Italo and Cosmic, like Chee Shimizu, Dubby and Dr Nishimura. All brilliant. But I`ve never met a Japanese DJ who understands “Balearic” as well as Masanori Ikeda. Put this down to his extended stay in London during the Acid House explosion.
I first met Masanori-san when we were both involved in Marbo`s Tokyo Balearic parties. Around ten years ago. He was playing to the main floor. I was supposedly doing a “chill-out” set in the bar. Marbo moaning at me that people were dancing. I think Masanori and I both recognised a kindred spirit. We were the two most pissed people in there. Me falling about. Masanori with his big smile. Laughing. A decade later, age has brought some kind of sobriety. But I`m still falling about. Finding trouble where you`d least expect it. Masanori`s still smiling. Laughing. Always laughing.
His set here – broadcast on FM Karuizawa last weekend – he describes as “pitched down, chopped, screwed”. Something a bit different from what he would usually play for dancers. A bass heavy mix of Ambient and Cosmic. Shell-shakers percolating with the Acid. Like the morning-after`s coffee. Words of praise and chant. Gypsy passion. A tribal dance of birdsong, cowbell and woodwinds. Timbale-tapping horny Salseando. Nu-Yorican Soul. The hypnotic drum talk of a Spiritual Yoruba Dub. Jungle chatter and a stripped back space Samba. It`s Detroit-Influenced Jupiter Jazz ambience segueing sweetly into a slow-hand Kosmische Psychedelic jam.
Kyo Sakurai – Bali Moon (MOODMAN Remix)
Von Den Regeln Der Klassik Zum Freien Experiment
Cantos De Vision – Mantis
Ikeda X – Mamba Percussion
Kip Hanrahan – Desire Develops An Edge
3 Generations Walking – Slavery Dub
Chari Chari – Calling Spirit
Geena – Natural High
White Days 02 – Ten Soldiers Wisely Led
DJ Sotofett & Jaakko Eino Kalevi – Ibiza Dub