14th January 2017 // talk about tokyo’s underground music scene w/ Kazehito, Memai, Terada // SPEKTRUM, Berlin

14th January 2017 // talk about tokyo’s underground music scene w/ Kazehito, Memai, Terada // SPEKTRUM, Berlin

Preface: Download talk slides here.

What is the underground sound of tokyo? When JAPANOISE and its derivatives climbed out of Tokyo’s scene and into the eyes of the world in 1990-2000’s, did their DIY, punk, hardcore just end? This talk is about how the japanese scene these days looks like and rather than listening to westerns, talking about it, we will hear live examples from three extremely active artists:

  • Kazehito Seki / Organic Voice Noise
  • Dj Memai / 音楽か?ジャンルか?
  • The talk will be moderated by Pedro Lopes

Kazehito Seki is a Voiz (Organic Voice Noise) performer, who seeks for the sharpest sound by running between Noise (Abstract / Nerves) and Hardcore (Concrete / Muscle). Kazehito belongs to a particular scene in Japan, influenced by hardcore music, subculture, and what a western would see as Tokyo’s sonic ghetto culture. Kazehito’s approach to the voice as an instrument demonstrates its flexibility, oscillating between subtle sinewaves and brutal white noise in a microsecond. For more than 10 years, Kazehito has been fusing his voice with electronic noises. He also teaches training and keeping the voice safe, because after all the voice is and was (always) the primordial instrument.

When someone challanges both genre and what the “dj set” is, we are way beyond commonalities and definition-boredom. There is no space for boredom in Memai. It ultimately reminds of the misquoted/misunderstood “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture”… maybe if there is someone, who is dancing about architecture, it is Memai and he dances using two turntables. [Pedro Lopes, Tokyo 2016]. DJ Memai mainly performs in Tokyo. He has sessions with various artists as well as solo gigs. Previous featuring artists are Ichiro Shibata (Yura Yura Teikoku), L?K?O, Atsuhiro Ito (Optrum), Toshiharu Mikawa (HIJOKAIDAN), doravideo, Junji Hirose, Masaharu Sato (HIKASHU) and many other. Excels in effectors and scratch or even feedback noise are capable to create an intense sound environment. The style that creates unique and original ambience fascinates its audience. Dj Memai is also a member of “Fallopian Disco Force” and “S/G/A/V” with HIKO(GAUZE).

When you look at Kyosuke Terada as he picks up the instrument, you subconsciously prepare your body for shoegaze and alt-rock. But you are probably wrong, that’s what music genres did to us. What happens next is a monumental energy release that can only be described on their own terms: “Freeform-Freakout / Noise Jazz That Disregards The Methodology That Already Exists”. [Pedro Lopes, Tokyo 2016]. HUH is a duo, formed in July 2007 in Tokyo, by Kyosuke Terada and Takuma Mori. HUH is a constant search for the melting point of the groove and noise, junk, no wave, punk, jazz by free form improvisation. HUH is also a collective that organizes indie events, puts together the label “OOOSOUND” with GEVABOW and VAU! since 2012 and keeps promoting what is truly Tokyo’s underground youth sound.

Pedro Lopes will moderate this talk, not as an expert of japanese music (he is not!) but as a leigh listener, who just recently met all these three wonderful souls in Japan and has now the pleasure to curate/frame their performances at SPEKTRUM. There will be a small introduction to japanese music, punk scene and mostly examples provided by the performers of some of those actors that form the bubbling subculture of Tokyo now (今). Pedro himself plays turntables as full-fledged instruments, which means they can be bowed, percussed, scratched, subversed & hacked. He is often engaged in collaboration with visual artists, performance & improvisors. Pedro has played at Ljubljana jazz Festival, Knockdown Center, Transmediale, Serralves Foundation, Casa da Música, OutFest, etc.

More information at the Spektrum Event page

Slides for the talk are here (PDF download, Creative Commons Licensed).

Thanks for everyone that came to our event (FB page).

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