Interview by Max Essa. Translation by Ken Hidaka.
Tim Lambourne, aka Good Company Broadcast Group, left New Zealand for Tokyo a few years ago, and has gone on to become a regular fixture at some of the best parties the city has to offer. Indulging his love of all things house and disco – DJing at fashionable clubs such as Vent – Tim co-hosts the popular Yes Chef! parties at Shibuya`s legendary, Oath. Tim can also be found at the controls of The Good Radio Show, which broadcasts every Sunday on New Zealand station George FM. Tim will be one of our very special guests at Zim Zam Zu! on May 7th.
Where are you from and where are you based?
I’m from Auckland, New Zealand. Now I live and work and play in Tokyo, Japan.
When did you start DJing?
My friend and I talked our way into a weekly midnight-2AM radio show on an electronic music radio station during our last year of University, about 10 years ago. We barely knew how to use the CDJs and mixer, but gradually figured it out week by week. Our lack of skills would have been very audible to any of our 17 listeners.
Where were your first gigs?
Once we knew our way around the equipment we started getting booked to play in random bars and the odd party around town. My first serious gig that I can remember getting excited about was for Nick Dwyer’s legendary “Weird Together” party. Todd Edwards was headlining and it was as amazing as you might expect.
What sort of music were you playing?
At that time I played a lot of nu-disco and indie dance stuff. DFA records and associated acts were big for me: LCD Soundystem, Hot Chip, Soulwax, Justice, Errol Alkan, etc. I think those artists, and that sound, were a bit of a gateway for me to get into proper house music.
What brought you to Japan?
I moved here on a working holiday visa in 2014, and had a really fun year, but thought that would be the end of my Japanese life. After living a few other places I came back here on holiday in 2017 and realised that I still had a lot left in the tank in Tokyo, so made the call to move back here. I’ve been here ever since and have never been happier.
How long have you been doing your current radio show?
The Good Radio Show has been going since May 2019…so it turns three years old any day now. It’s been pretty crucial for me to be making an hour long mix every week in terms of keeping my DJing skills tight and hunting for “new” old songs to share with the audience.
Do you currently have any residencies or regular gigs?
I have a monthly party at Oath in Shibuya called, Yes Chef! I run that with my friend Joe “O” Oliver on the first Friday of the month. I also have a semi-regular party called, AA, that I throw with another friend, and DJ, called Oriön.
How did the Yes Chef! party at Oath come about? Had you DJed at a lot of other Tokyo parties / venues beforehand?
Joe pitched me an idea for a party called “Yes Chef!” one night, and I thought it was a pretty funny name. We`d done a couple parties at Oath without a name, and so we asked Akira-san – who runs Oath – if we could make it a monthly party and brand it ourselves. Joe is a talented graphic designer and I really believe his flyers have a lot to do with the success we have had so far. Of course, we always keep the music interesting and fun, but an eye-catching flyer – that can instantly communicate the vibe of the party – is so crucial in bringing people in. Before Yes Chef! I`d been DJing sporadically, at DJ bars like Lion, Tengu and Mitsuki, but Yes Chef! has definitely helped us to get our name out there and play bigger venues with some of our heroes, like Soichi Terada, Kenji Takimi. etc.
What`s your favourite record shop?
Satellite in Gakugeidaigaku !
Can you give us a current TOP 5 that we might expect to hear you play?
These records haven’t left my bag for the last couple months…
Gathering – In My System (Dub System Mix)
DJ Pierre – Muzik (The Tribal Wild Pitch Mix)
PURE ENERGY – Party On
Blaze – Cult Of Soul
Demarkus Lewis – Hustler
What are your plans for the rest of 2022?
My main focus, DJ-wise, is to get better at mixing disco vinyl. Trying to stay on top of live and unquantized drums is a white knuckle affair, so I’m practicing a ton. It’s scary but very rewarding the few times it goes right! I`m also working on some edits and other little bits and pieces.
ZIM ZAM ZU! is a new party hosted by myself, Ken Hidaka, and Dr. Rob. Held at Bar Bonobo, in Harajuku, the first one takes place on Saturday, May 7th. The aim of the party is to help promote interesting, up and coming, Japanese artists, both DJs and live performers.
For the inaugural event, ZIM ZAM ZU has invited two contrasting guitarists, Kashif and Takeshi Nishimoto. Kashif will be doing a wonderfully groovy, guitar & turntable set downstairs, while Takeshi Nishimoto will wow the second-floor tatami lounge with his uber-chilled ambience. Tim Lambourne of The Good Company Broadcast Party, and co-host of the popular Tokyo-based party, Yes Chef! will also be joining us manning the downstairs dance-floor decks.