Pretty excited to share this weeks mix and interview with you from Japan’s Risa Taniguchi. Also known as DJ RS she has taken her own country down the Techno rabbit hole and is now set to share her talents with the rest of the world. In addition to her own label on which she has several top notch releases she has recently set about the rest of the world with recent releases on Lyase Recordings which was quickly followed up by her debut EP for Clash Lion, ‘Ambush’. We have certainly been taken by surprise as well and most pleasantly. Sit back and let yourself be taken on this journey from Taniguchi and check out the full track listing and weekly interview with Risa conducted by PZB down below. Enjoy.
PZB: Hello Risa and thank you for taking the time to join the LAMP podcast and interview series. I have been waiting excitedly to share your mix with everyone. Can you let our listeners know what they can expect from your mix please?
Risa Taniguchi: Hi, and thank you for having me 🙂 In this mix, I put some of my songs including unreleased ones and mixed them up with some of my all time favourites, as well as the latest songs from the favourite artists. I hope you enjoy the mood which gradually builds up and shapes a
midnight floor base.
PZB: I am currently listening through your new EP with Clash Lion Records. Congratulations on all of the support you are receiving with this release. Each song feels like they tell their own story and has a very unique style that I can really get into. Can you tell us a
little how this EP came together and some of the inspiration that led to the production of the music?
RT: Thank you! The first two were made around the same time, as you can see, I used some of the same effects on them, and the third one “Monica” was unexpectedly made when I was jamming drums and recorded my voice. I’m happy that Clash Lion picked up those three songs together! For the origin of my inspiration, I was wondering what it was and today I realised it was when I was playing a piano. I’ve been playing classical songs like Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy etc for decades and the feel for my latest songs might have been generated by some of my favourite
pieces from Beethoven. I like his piano sonatas, especially for “Appassionata” and “Pathetique”, and all my favorites are always in minor and very aggressive. “Ambush” and “Execution” seem to consist those elements.
PZB: That was our first exposure as it is one of your first releases outside of your home country of Japan. I was listening to some of the other tunes from your label Blink and can hear some really classic techno vibes coming from your releases. Who have been some of your musical inspirations growing up?
RT: I am happy to see that you did some research on my history! Back when I started producing my music, I was into the UK bass music scene and thus used some beats from UK funky / Grime (since I was living in London for a few months around that time) and the more I went to festivals the more my attention was drawn to the Techno vibes. Especially when I first listened to Maceo Plex’s works, I made up my mind to give it a try at making some Techno. I guess you can see the transition which consists of those two elements from my previous work. I was also influenced heavily by the Chicago House scene, so artists from the scene like Frankie Knuckles and Ron Hardy had a big influence.
PZB: You have quite established yourself through your homeland. For someone who is unfamiliar with the Japanese techno scene what would a typical night out in your favorite city in Japan look like. How would it start and where would you take me before our legs fall off from dancing too much?
RT: In Japan going to the club is not that common compared to Europe, people are working so hard during day time, and have really long working hours. We also have no trains running in the city at midnight, so that means once you miss the last train you have to go to the club, unless you live close to the center of Tokyo and can get around in a taxi or walk. But yeah, of course there are so many Techno fans in Tokyo and we usually go multiple venues in one night, which is what we call “Hashigo” (means, a ladder in English). Before we go to the club, we usually go to some bars or Izakaya to get a few drinks, and then we explode onto the dance floor.
PZB: On that note what are some of your favorite places to play in Japan?
RT: A venue called “VENT” which is located in the middle of Harajuku and Shibuya is one of my most favourite venues to play, they have a good sound system and they always having great artists from overseas, as well as support for local artists. In addition, we have good venues not only in Tokyo of course, I’d say “Mago” in Nagoya is also a nice venue to play.
PZB: This year is seeing your music reach further and further across the globe. Are there any plans to do any touring overseas anytime soon?
RT: Yea I’ve just started to plan some touring overseas recently, I’ll keep you updated! 🙂
PZB: Take us into your studio for a minute please. What kind of software and hardware are you using to produce all of these incredible sounds with?
RT: My main DAW is Ableton Live which I’ve been using since the start of my producing days. And I used to use some of the hard synthesizers and pad controllers for drumming, but you know, we usually live in a small space in Tokyo, my space has been filled up with the hardware gear and recently I’m slowly switching it to some plugins like Softube, UVI, etc. When I get some more money and I’m able to live in a bigger space here, then I’ll definitely drag all my hardware out of storage (They are currently all put away in the boxes and in my closet) so I cant wait to be able to use them again.
PZB: Fingers crossed that happens for you soon. When you sit down to make a track, what are some initial things you always do before getting started? Do you usually have something already in mind before you set out to start crafting the song?
RT: I usually have a specific drum pattern in mind which I wish to use in a song before my production, and I create a nice sounding drum pattern first, and once I figure that the drums are ready to go, I put some bassline on it. But it really depends, I sometimes record my vocals first, if I have something which comes to my mind. Go with the flow as they say!
PZB: Let’s say you’re working on a new tune and you’ve got the chance to program some remixes for the EP. If you could have your pick and money, time etc were no object who are some of you favourite producers right now that you’d want to have a go at reworking your tracks?
RT: Honestly, this is one of the most difficult questions since there are too many options in my mind, but yes, as I mentioned above, Maceo Plex opened a new world for me, so I’d like to ask him of course.
PZB: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions. PLease keep us posted on future releases and tour dates. Hope to see you in Los Angeles soon!
RT: Thank you for inviting me! LA is one of my favourite cities, so I hope we get together in the near future and that I get a date there to play one of the many amazing venues!
01. Adam Beyer – The Convertion
02. Xen, Man Power – The Zen of Xen (Parts I & II)
03. La Fleur – Devil Sigh
04. Anna V. – Neuronic
05. Risa Taniguchi – Execution
06. Sciahri – Demur (Henning Baer Remix)
07. Risa Taniguchi – Ambush
08. DJ HMC – 6 A.M.
09. Tension – Out
10. Risa Taniguchi – Roger
11. Kamcken, Silenzo – Hell
12. Charlotte de Witte – Kuda
13. Risa Taniguchi – Calling You
14. Paul Woolford, Psycatron – Stolen
15. Risa Taniguchi – Freak
16. Risa Taniguchi – Yes