Our latest artist interview features Satoshi Fumi who has a brand new single entitled ‘It’s Time’ out on Asia Music.
1. Hi Satoshi thanks very much for joining us here, this is the first time we’ve interviewed you so let’s give our readers and your fans some background info. where are you based and how long have you been producing and Djing?
Hi Mitch, firstly let me thank you for this interview……….About me……well, I’m from Tokyo in Japan and I have been DJing and producing for around 20 years.
2. Where do your musical roots lie, what are your first memories of electronic music and when did you know you wanted to pursue it seriously? Was there any moment or particular track that really sucked you into electronic music permanently?
My first musical inspiration comes from when I was a teenager, I saw Yellow Magic Orchestra on TV and I was in complete awe of them. The track that stood out most was “Epilogue”. I can still remember the feeling I got when listening to them and it still sends shivers through my body now.
3. You’ve been a part of the Japanese electronic scene for over 20 years, how has it changed and grown over that time and how does it differ from other countries you’ve played in? Where are your favourite places to play?
There is a great underground scene in Tokyo but I don’t think it differs from anywhere else in the world, at the end of the day we play for a crowd and they always want quality music so that is what we give them. I don’t really have a favourite place to play because for me each event is defined by the crowd and how we can interact with them.
4. You currently have a residency at Womb Lounge, Toyko; tell us a bit about that night and where else in Tokyo can people come out to hear your music?
Yes, I run SENSUAL at WOMB Lounge and we have been going for over 3 years now. It is on a Thursday night and it has an intimate atmosphere, the crowd know what they are coming for and that makes things much easier for us. We play Deep House, Tech House and Techno. I play at other venues in Tokyo and across Japan and as I mentioned above each place is defined by the crowd so it doesn’t really matter which venue I play at as long as I can get that connection with the crowd.
5. You have a new single out this week on Asia Music, it’s entitled ‘It’s Time’, does that have anything to do with Time nightclub in Manila, Philippines which Asia Music is connected to? Or is the title purely coincidence? and tell us a bit about the track, does it have any special meaning for you?
Actually yes. I drew inspiration from TIME in Manila for this EP. My introduction to TIME was through Alinep one of the residents there, he introduced me to Pav Parrotte who is the boss at TIME, coincidently both Alinep and Pav also run the label Asia Music. I first played at TIME about 3 years ago and have now played there 3 times and every time is a new experience for me. The first time I played there I knew I wanted to write some tracks drawing on my experiences from this little underground haven. The place has a seriously wicked vibe and I will be playing tracks from this EP every time I play there from now on 🙂
6. How would describe the music you make? There always seems to be a timeless quality about your productions. Looking back over your discography there isn’t any part of it which feels dated to a particular period of time. Is this something you’re conscience of? And what inspired this in your music? I would guess the early Detroit / Chicago sound must have shaped you in some way?
I always write tracks that I want to listen to, I don’t really follow trends or fads. The music I write is the music I play. I do love the Chicago and Detroit House and Techno sounds and I think those influences shine through in my productions but I love many different kinds of music such as Ambient, Ethnic, Classic, Jazz etc as long as it is good music.
7. How difficult was learning to produce for you in the beginning? Did you take any Audio Engineering programs or production courses to help you out or are you pretty much self taught? And did anyone give any advice early on that really helped?
I started a band as a teenage and we only played original tracks. I learned everything by ear because I could not read or write music. I learnt to play guitar, bass and keyboard keyboard and it took off from there.
8. What parts of the production process do you find the most difficult and what comes easiest for you? When you do hit a creative block what helps you through it?
I run into creative blocks every time I write a new track and when I get stuck I just try to apply something new, something different, something that I might not have tried before because it is too easy to get stuck on the same thing for too long and keep going round in circles. I like to pouch my boundaries and explore new things every time I write a track.
9. Tell us a bit about YoshiFumi which is new collaborative project for you. Who’s involved, when did it begin and how does it differ from your solo work?
YoshiFumi is a collaboration project between Yoshi Horino (UNKNOWN Season) and myself. we have been friends for a few years now and we decided to work together on productions just recently. I love working with friends and expanding my knowledge as well as being able to pass on things that I know. Its good when you have a production partner to bounce ideas off each other.
10. What’s a normal day like for you? (Do you have a job outside of electronic music?) And what do you like to do when you’re not working on music?
Music takes up most of my time but I always have time for my family and my cats 🙂
11. Apart from electronic music what other genres do you listen to and who are your favourite artists outside of electronic? and do these genres or artists have a direct effort on your own productions?
I really love the neo-classical, minimalist sounds of Eric Satie. On the same minimalist note, Steve Reich is another composer that I really love to listen to. You can probably work out from listening to my tracks that I really love to use keys and I guess this comes from listening to music by these great composers in some way.
12. What was the first and last physical (CD, Vinyl, Cassette etc) piece of music you bought?
Yellow Magic Orchestra’s Album- Solid State Surviver in cassette format was the first physical piece of music that I bought many years ago. I can’t remember that last piece of physical music that I bought.
13. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?
What you see is what you get with me but I try and surprise people with every new production.
14. Which producers in your opinion get consistently overlooked?
I guess its always the guys that keep the local underground scenes running, no matter where in the world they are, they get overlooked the most
15. Which producers consistently inspire you? And where else does your inspiration come from?
UR, Frankie Knuckles, Larry Heard, Francois Kevorkian, Robin Guthrie. all inspire me. My brain is like a blank canvass when it comes to writing music and I can draw inspiration from pretty much anything
16. Apart from electronic what other styles of music do you listen to and who are your favourite artists of electronic music? and do these genres or artists have a direct effect on your own productions?
Brian Eno.I love his ambient works. Sometimes I make ambient tracks.
17. So you’ve been producing for almost 20 years, how has your studio changed in that time?
Its changed a lot as you would expect with advances in technology. In 2005 I built my own studio computer and started to use plugins and vsts… no you can get pretty much any instrument in virtual format and make any sound that you want
18. There are countless producers out there trying to find their way and create their own unique sound, what advice do you have for them?
Keep trying new things, experiment and make new and exciting sounds.
19.If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?
No doubt, ”It’s TIME”!
Thanks for your support
‘It’s Time’ is out now on Asia Music, you can purchase the release: here