Interview / Ryota OPP / Meda Fury / Time Capsule

Ryota OPP has been DJing for around 20 years, and making music for at least 10. Releasing the Unknown Place E.P. on his own Future Life label, got him noticed by the R&S-affiliated, Meda Fury, and last November saw the completion of his second album for them, Esoterica. Some will know Ryota from his time behind the counter of legendary Tokyo record store, Coconuts Disk. Others might remember the Toru Takemitsu mix he put together for The Vinyl Factory. Ryota is also a member of the crew of international curators responsible for the acclaimed London-based imprint, Time Capsule. He will be one of the very special guests of Lone Star, at Bar Bonobo in Harajuku this Saturday (2020_02_01).

Ryota OPP photo


Where is your home town?

I’m from the Tokushima prefecture, on Shikoku.

Where are you based?

I moved to Tokyo, more than 10 years ago. 

Where is you favourite local place for food? 

Shamaim. This is a Japanese izakaya, in Ekoda, which serves great Israeli food.

Where is your favourite local place for coffee? 

WEST in Ginza is a classic Japanese coffee shop. The place has a lot of history, and a very cool mood. 

Where do you currently buy your records? 

For the latest releases I go to Lighthouse Records. For second-hand stuff I go to EAD Records, the ORGANIC MUSIC + PLANET BABY / PHYSICAL STORE, and COCONUTSDISK – where I used to work. I love GLOCAL RECORDS, too. Recently I did an in-store DJ gig at HMV Shibuya – and they have a huge stock of vinyl. I especially like their world music area.

(Rob – for foreign readers, the HMV in Shibuya is not like any other HMV store – they are very focused on vinyl – both new and second-hand – and their buyers are extremely well respected).

How long have you been DJing? 

21 years. 

What inspired you to start DJing? 

I used to be a hip-hop dancer, and through hip-hop I fell in love with a wide range of music – which led to me collecting records, and becoming a DJ. I didn’t even know how to use a turntable but I had some friends who were in a band, and so I jammed with them. Me scratching around their instruments. 

Where were your first gigs?

HEAT in Tokushima. It was my 18th birthday. I remember that I was so nervous.

Do you currently have any residencies or regular gigs? 

I have a party called Tripping at Cafein in Asagaya, that takes place once every two month. The 4th Saturday of each odd numbered month. 

ryota trippin

Where are your current favourite places to play and party? 

I have so many places that I love to play – Of course Bonobo, Cafein, Aoyama Zero, OPPA-LA, Brilliant Corners in London, West Harlem in Kyoto, Deus, Contact as well. Recently I enjoyed playing at the OL Brewing Company in Tokyo which hosts a lot of different events with different DJs. There are more, but you won’t be able to list everything.

You`ve released 12”s on Future Life and Meda Fury. Are you making any music at the moment?

Yes, my album Esoterica came out in November, on both Meda Fury and Tastee T Production. Now I’m working on a different project, but also remixing Esoterica. The album is quite chilled-out and more meant for listening, so I’m making some new dance-floor versions of some of the tracks. I did this live at CONTACT a couple of weeks ago, and I got a lot of good feedback, and new ideas. 

Can you give me a current Top 5 records that we might expect to hear you play at Bonobo?

I’m not sure what I`ll play but here are a few of my current favourites. 

Márquez – Márquez

Bamina – African Salsoul

Raja – Lebanon

Mandingo Featuring Foday Musa Suso – Watto Shitta

Jose Prates – Tam… Tam… Tam

To help us promote the party at Bonobo Ryota has kindly shared his recent live set from Contact, recorded on January 21st.

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