Tomoki Tamura grew up in Japan before moving to London a few years back, where he established his party, Holic, as well as his label, the appropriately named Holic Trax. The label has since merged into an essential vehicle for clued in, discerning electronic music, with Tomoki welcoming the likes of Tucillo, Satoshi Tommie and Mr G to celebrate it’s fifth anniversary!
Congratulations on 5 years of the label. What were your ambitions when you set it up?
Tomoki Tamura: I hosted my Holic party for a long time in London and Japan, and during that time I met a lot of great people and artists. Naturally, it connected me with other lovers of house music, so the label was a natural extension of that really.
Are you surprised at the resurgence in prog house?
Tomoki Tamura: Trends come and go, so it’s never really surprising to see a certain sound make a comeback. There is music within every genre that is handed down from one generation to the next, so it’s natural that people are going to love this music even now and want to explore it further. It’s better to follow what you love than to follow what’s popular now, so I’m all for new producers exploring this sound.
How does it feel to have someone with the experience and calibre of Satoshi Tomiie on your label?
Tomoki Tamura: Of course, I am very happy. I really respect Satoshi. He is definitely one of the top DJs in the world and one of the most important people in house music full stop, and I’m proud to say he’s Japanese too.
Although he’s had great success during his career, he is still so serious about his love for music. He continues to evolve, which isn’t something you can say for all producers of his generation. He’s an artist with a professional, underground spirit and I was delighted when he agreed to collaborate with my brother, Tuccillo.
Satoshi and Tuccillo have taught me so much. If there’s something I don’t understand about machines and synths, I always ask them first. They know it all!
What is your studio setup like?
Tomoki Tamura: I use machines with Logic, record in Logic and then make the final edits there. Other important bits include an MPC 3000, a TR 909, a TB 303, a MC 202, a Poly six, a DX 100, a Space Echo, an Alesis drum machine and some more bits too!
Who are your musical heroes?
Tomoki Tamura: It is impossible to name one person. I want to absorb each wonderful point of many great artists and keep stretching my character to next level. I am always hungry to see and listen to new music I have never heard.
Do you have any other interests beside music?
Tomoki Tamura: I love playing tennis, but not many of my friends play, so if anyone wants to play in Berlin, give me a shout! Also I love reading books in a hot bath almost every night too!
What is the reliable tune that you always have in your bag?
Tomoki Tamura: Hard to say, although I always have “US House from Late 90’s & early 2000” in my bag, it is kind of my roots musically. I love to close the party with these tunes to share emotional time with people.
Do you prefer DJing with vinyl, CD or digital?
Tomoki Tamura: I play vinyl & USB. I record all my vinyl collections on my USB stick. I think all DJs should go to record shops as I see so many great releases that are still vinyl only that you just can’t miss.
I also loving playing on CDJs because I use “real time loop” a lot and have fun while doing live edits. I don’t think it’s important what format or machines DJs play; the important thing is that DJs should make an effort to dig great music. Don’t be too lazy to do that.
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Tomoki Tamura: Maybe some of my favourite house singers like Peven Everett, Mr. White, Josh Milan… or Stevie Wonder!
What do you have in mind for the future?
Tomoki Tamura: Do my best, doing what I love and enjoying another great 5 years of the label. We keep on evolving.
HT23, HT24 and HT25 are out soon on Tomoki Tamura’s Holic Trax