I first heard Maa DJ around five years ago. He was warming-up for Phil Mison at a beach bar gig, near Kamakura. It was a damn fine evening….at least until me, Max (Essa), and Phil ended up a little drunk at the horror of Sankey`s Tokyo (the clubbing chain had only just taken over the city`s legendary Club Air – we were curious – it was a mistake).
Over the last two years I’ve got to know Maa through Hamon Radio – the venture he runs with musical partner, Shungo. The pair of them organizing “chill-out” events across Japan. Hooking up with likeminded local crews. Pulling in visiting international guests, when Nippon club politics allow. Capturing the magic on both audio and video. Helping to promote not just good music, but also the diversity and beauty of the Japanese landscape.
The two have DJed with me regularly here in Karuizawa, and I’ve always been impressed by Maa`s selections. I thought I had a lot of records, but Maa`s got everything. Often playing tracks from recent LPs that I’ve initially passed on, putting their music into context, and sending me out looking for a copy.
Maa is now involved in a new project. Teaming up with “elder statesman” Kaoru Inoue, and “youngster” Shunhor, to present a monthly Sunday session called Euphony. Kaoru is in his 50s, Maa in his 40s and Shunhor somewhere near 30. Between them they span three decades of Tokyo club culture. Euphony is the place, sonically, where they meet.
Going by the trio’s current top ten, posted below, the aim of Euphony is to emulate the “listening parties” pioneered by Chee Shimizu at Shelter in Hachijoji. Bringing this suburban phenomenon – Hachijoji is a 45 minute train ride from central Tokyo – to Aoyama Zero, in the heart of the city. Creating a transcendental soundtrack unrestricted by physical borders, genre, or time.
Euphony Current Top 10
Black Merlin / Self Heat / Indonesia / 2018
De Grandi / Cable / France / 2019
Charlotte Adigery / Patenipat / Belgium / 2019
Waak Waak Djungi / White Cockatoo / Australia / 2018
Knopha / Yi / China / 2018
Bebo Baldan / Venti / Italy / 1991
Khidja Și Balabaș / Komagome / Germany / 2018
Mekine U Teksi / Liquidlibrium / UK / 2019
Neil Ardley / Prologue~Rainbow One / UK / 1976
Ryuichi Sakamoto / A Carved Stone / Japan / 1985
While the party will usually be held on a Sunday, the Euphony launch happens on Monday August 12 (which is a national holiday), 17:00 – 23:00, cover charge 1500¥. There are a couple of promo mixes on Mixcloud to help convince you to attend.