INTERVIEW #007 / TAKAAKI ITOH [WOLS, MODULARZ]
En parallèle de son podcast bien introspectif, on a essayé d’en savoir un peu plus sur Takaaki Itoh. Dans cette interview, le boss de Wols nous parle de la scène japonaise, ses influences et ses projets…
Hi Takaaki, can you introduce yourself?
I’m dj and producer from japan.
What is your musical background on both electronics and non electronics ?
I used to listen and play italo and house then came into techno.
What’s your story with djing ? Where you a fast learner or did you need more time to get familiar with it ?
Jeff mills brought techno to japan in old 90’s. I was completely shocked that he handled music like material. I have found out that this is what I wanted to do !
Can you tell us about your production setup ? Are you more into digital or analog ?
I use both now. I think it’s the best way for producing.
You founded your own label Wols in 2002, does this idea come from a need of more freedom to release your music ?
The concept is very simple. In the begining, I have released a lot of records for other labels. But i thought having own label is important to get your own musical identity.
Did you ever think of releasing other artists music on Wols ?
I’m considering that point. I have asked some producers to do a remix but haven’t asked for an original track yet.
You have two other aliases, Yarda and Still Blue, can you tell us few words about these two ? Are they ephemeral projects or are you planning to use them again in the future ?
Yarda is a project dedicated for home listening. On the other hand, Still blue is a Tech-house project, but it’s not mine actually, I was only involved in the sound engineering. Those two aliases were more like a hobby for me. Now I’m definitely focused on techno like before.
One of your last release was on Developer’s Modularz. How did you collaborate with that imprint ?
Developer has some old vinyls of me. He contacted me to have a track on his label.
Who are the japanese techno artists that you repect the most ?
Fumiya Tanaka and Ken Ishii. Those two introduced so many techno from all over the world.
Many of the big techno names think that the japanese crowd have the craziest vibe on a dancefloor, do you share this statement ?
Japanese people knows music very well. There are many maniacs who anlyses how techno tracks are built in details.
What are the underground techno clubs that you would advise to visit in japan at the moment?
« Unit » and « Air » in Tokyo are hosting loads of very interesting parties.
One of the most important item on my « things to do » list is attending to the Labyrinth festival in Japan, have ever been there ?
Yeah I’ve already been there. It’s one of the best outdoor festivals. Nothing is special there but everything is simple and perfect.
In which foreign country you experienced your best connexion with the crowd ?
Berghain in Berlin was the best. I could play whatever tracks I wanted.
In my opinion, European people dance more happily compared to Japanese people.
What are your connexions with the french Techno scene ?
I know Zadig, Antigone and the guys from Dement3d label. You have really good techno producers and labels.
What can we expect from you in the near future ?
I hope I could play in France.
What are the labels that drew your attention lately ?
Some swedish labels are really interesting : Northern electronics and Hypnus.
What’s your favorite non electronics artist or track ?
The silence in the mountain is the best music.