Well, this one sure takes me back. Yoji Biomehanika is a hard house/hard dance DJ you’ve probably never heard of, and plays music harder than anything you’ve ever heard. I’m serious, this guy headlined Sensation Black, back when hard trance & hard dance were still genres of music people listened to. For the faint of heart, you’ll want to fast-forward through the first 60 seconds to get to the good part. Yoji, while super heavy & frenetic, can create the most beautiful, trance-inducing hard vibes, unlike anything you’ve heard from a DJ that hails from America, Australia or Europe. Japan has some of the craziest dance music out there, and Yoji has led that charge. I’ve been jamming out to this guy for almost 10 years. The vibe he creates can only be described as “rave in Neo-Tokyo.” There are very few DJs that can keep the energy up like he can, and to celebrate his glorious return, I’m going to be peppering my blog with Yoji related posts this week. If you can’t handle it, run & hide. If you’re as excited for this as I am, his album dropped literally 48hrs ago and you can grab it here and here.
1. How was 2014 for DJ Shogun? Any cool stories or crazy experiences? It was a busy year for me, mostly finishing the album was my main focus. I bought my lambo, and ate Blowfish for the first time!
2. What made you stop and do a full length album this year? How long has this been in the making? It’s been in the making for four years. After so many singles and remixes, I wanted to put my main focus on making my album as good as possible so it felt right to really give people something special like an album.
3. Skyfire was such a massive favorite for so many trance fans in 2011/2012. Do you have a favorite memory or performance associated with that song after it became the huge hit that it deserved to be? I did my first sit down in Buenos Aires, Argentina with Skyfire. There was a crowd of 15-20k that all sat down and jumped up during the breakdown of Skyfire. That was an awesome sight to see.
4. Are you ever mistaken as a foreigner even though you’re an American DJ? Have you ever dealt with discrimination on the road or trying to make it? I’m pretty Americanized so I don’t run into discrimination that often. But I’ve had it happen once or twice, because even though I’m an American, I look Asian. It’s not a big deal though and it’s rare, a lot of my fans come to my shows are Asians so it’s all love.
5. You’ve mentioned that one of your influences is The Prodigy in interviews. Have you ever thought about remixing a Prodigy track? They are a big influence, I’d like to do a massive remix for ‘Firestarter’.
6. Do you feel it’s still necessary for producers to have training or experience playing conventional instruments? I think it always helps to get the creative juices flowing, but it’s not necessary. The most important thing is how to translate what you hear in your head to a song.
7. How does it feel to be a Beatport #1 with Dragon ft. Adara? It’s incredible, Dragon is a very personal track to me and the title of my album so seeing it doing so well is an amazing feeling!
8. Do you have a favorite size of party? Some DJs really like small events, while others crave the stadiums.I like both festivals and clubs, they are both special and I like a balance between them. Festivals are amazing to play at but I like the intimate vibe of clubs.
9. If I could wave my hands and pay for a national tour with you as a headliner, who would you have as your opening act(s)? Prodigy!
10. You’ve been in the trance game for a while now, how has it changed in your eyes? Any thoughts on what to expect from Trance in 2015? It’s become a lot more progressive and big roomish. I hear a lot of influence in different genres like electro house, but I think it’s a good thing to have some changes. Trance in 2015 will be big, and always here to stay.
Bonus: Favorite Trance Track or DJ Mix of the year?
Shogun – Laputa!
As I’ve mentioned before, Japan does not like you moving your body rhythmically. Apparently, that might be changing though, as a sub-committee has agreed those laws may need to be relaxed. Some people who have posted this story over the last week have pointed to the upcoming World Cup games in Tokyo, and the need to modernize and attract more tourists. As the world definitely likes to dance, especially on holiday, they may need to change. While this re-categorization of dance music nightspots could do wonders for the Japanese music/DJ scene, this is only a recommendation, which still needs to be presented and accepted by the government. Fingers crossed my Nippon-based brothers. (article via FACT, image via VICE)
Two weeks ago, Vitamin Water debuted a new commercial for its coconut water shot in NYC. The NYC they’re discussing however, has no connection to anything I’ve experienced. While I’ve read about baby exercise, ramen burgers & dinner theater, very few of us have the time, organization or cash flow to actually get a ramen burger. I also do not have an MC following me around with a giant boombox for a head. The ad is wild and somewhat hilarious, with some decent hip hop (for an ad) interspersed throughout & the giant boombox changes like an anime character depending on the scene. Hey Japanese people, just ask me, I’ll show you to the right spots in Brooklyn, don’t listen to Glaceau.
So, it seems one country really can make the difference when it comes to sales of an entire medium. In case you weren’t aware, the Japanese need to have it. Not a download of it, It. The purchase of the vinyl, cassette, 8track or CD has been a shot in the arm for the industry for years, with hard-to-find physical presses with bonus tracks only available in Japan (like the Random Access Memories CD with an extra track, not released anywhere else in the world). As the world slowly switches to internet-based streaming services such as Spotify, Soundcloud and Pandora, the sales took a huge hit in Japan, to the tune of a 16% drop in the country. To put that in perspective, digital consumption was up 13% in Europe. Writing’s on the wall everyone. Get your shit up for free on Soundcloud & YouTube. Ain’t no one buying your CD until they see you at a show. (via FACT)
This was sitting in my feed this morning, and I had to make sure you all saw this. Apparently, a bridal practice, this Japanese bride-to-be pushes out some amazing acid house & techno on a 707, 303 & a few pieces of other super old school gear. There’s even a kitty which she jams out with, around 3 minutes in. I’d say more, but then you wouldn’t be watching/listening to the minimal action & most polite techno creation ever. (via Stoney Roads)
New York City venues have been battling obnoxious Cabaret Laws (More info here) for decades now, and I’d desperately hoped we were alone in the practices of “banning dancing.” It seems last year, Japan joined the list of idiots that think you can legislate moving in time with music.
Apparently, this happened back in May but I didn’t hear anything about it. Japan passed a law requiring clubs to have a dancing license while also 66 sq. meters of unobstructed floor space, while closing by 12AM/1AM (Booo!). This is in response to a period of some random but brutal violence in nightclubs, but thankfully, a group of brave warriors are fighting. Stoney Roads reports that “Let’s Dance” is trying to make shaking it legal again. Their petition generated 155k ssignatures and now, with the election season bearing down, let’s see if something can happen. Does anyone know how to say “You Gotta Fight For The Right To Party?” in Japanese? Internet points to you if you post it in the comments.
Does what it says on the tin. You’re welcome 😀 (Via NoBPM tumblr: http://nobpm.tumblr.com Good looks on this y’all.) Also, if you haven’t seen it, here’s the prom Unboxed video they dropped last week to hype it up.