Takeo Toyama AKA DJ Mizuki is a promoter, club owner, and one half of musical duo, Okinawa Delays. The 10” they released this year with Claremont 56 has proved to be one of the label`s biggest sellers. With a sublime version of a traditional Japanese Folk song (remixed by Cantoma`s Phil Mison) on the A-side. Partnered by a cracking cover of Kimiko Kasai`s City Pop classic, Vibration (Love Celebration), on the flip.
Takeo was our guest at Bonobo a few months ago. I took the opportunity to ask him a few questions.
Translation by Rami Suzuki.
Where is your home town?
Where are you based?
What are the major differences between Okinawa and Tokyo?
Nature is such here that a beach is always nearby. We have greater personal space. These two things alone make Okinawa very different from Tokyo.
How long have you been DJing?
I`ve been DJing since my teens. So about 30 years.
What inspired you to start DJing?
I loved music from the beginning. When I was at junior high, my parents would continually tell me off for having my stereo too loud. When I was at high school, I went to Discos. The DJs were playing music loud, and I liked that. It seemed inevitable that would end up being a DJ.
Where were your first gigs?
My first gigs were at a club called Pasha in Roppongi. Thinking about it now I realise that it was the place was named after the famous Pacha in Ibiza. The club was full of stuff like palm trees.
Where do you currently buy your records?
Mainly, from Discogs, Juno and eBay.
Do you currently have any residencies or regular gigs?
In Naha, Ikinawa, I have a very small club called Red Room. That`s where I play. It`s tiny but it`s the only venue locally with Funktion One. So the sound is good.
Can you give me a current Top 5 that we might expect to hear you play?
Сен Қайдан Биласан – Откуда Тебе Известно
Horse Meat Disco ft. Roy Inc – Waiting For You To Call
Faze Action feat. Nina Miranda – Vamos Pinter (Max Essa Club Mix)
Kangaroo – Chicago
Seaboard Coastliners – Dance Dance All Night Long
How long have you been making music?
I used to be a synthesiser otaku (often misused word for a super geek – someone who never leaves the house, instead lost in their given “hobby” – Takeo is not an otaku). I`ve been making music properly and producing for about three years now.
What inspired you to start making music?
I met a singer called Satoko Ishimine. I thought with her, I can make good music. That’s how it started.
Can you tell me about Okinawa Delays?
Right now, Satoko and I are the core members.But the group also includes brilliant session musicians, like Tadashi Ueda. In the beginning we were making Chill Out music. Lately we`ve adopted a more becoming “Balearic” style.
Does the band play live?
Satoko has regular singing gigs, and she will sing Okinawa Delays songs. When we hold events together they are under the banner of Okinawa Delays.
How did you make the connection with Claremont 56?
I met Max Essa when he came to Okinawa. I asked Max for a remix, which he sent to Paul Murphy at Claremont 56. Paul then came to Japan and DJed at a party at my club … That’s how it went.
Where are your current favourite places to play and party?
In Okinawa, of course, it`s Red Room. I also like where you invited me the other day – Bonobo. I like small venues.
Are there any interesting bands or DJs from Okinawa that we should look out for
There`s Chirashima Navigators and Yamp Kolt. I may be releasing music in collaboration with Yamp Kolt in the near future. There are already some rough tracks.
When can we expect the next Okinawa Delays release?
We`ve just completed the latest recordings. So we will request remix, soon. If all goes well, we should be releasing in March or April, 2018.
Satoko Ishimine plays Aisotope Lounge in Shinjuku on December 28th. She`ll be previewing new Okinawa Delays material and Takeo will be providing DJ support.
Takeo kindly put together a mix of some favourites, which will be broadcast on FM Karuizawa, as part of The Remedy, this Saturday evening – between 20:00 – 21:00 Japan time.
The Studio Group – 2001
HOT R.S. – Slow Blow
Doogy Degli Armonium – Mescaleros
Horse Meat Disco Ft. Roy Inc. – Waiting For You To Call
Locussolus – Next To You (Marcy Rising Edit)
Beautiful Ballet – Energy
The Duke Of Burlington – Flash ’83
Grace Jones – Pull Up To The Bumper (Remixed Ver.)
Neau Wave – Groove Me
The Beat Broker – Honey It’s You
Susana Estrada – Quitate El Sosten (Javi Frias Extended Disco Edit)
Secret Squirrel – #4
Stupid Human – Get On Up
Roxy Robinson – You Know Why