Interview | Tsuyoshi Ogawa

Updated: Sep 8, 2018

In 2017, aubele announced Kiribako-CD Vol 2. The label owner DJ/Producer, Tsuyoshi Ogawa talks and shares his music career and Kiribako CD episode. In this exclusive interview at his studio called Hinode Studio on a fine weather afternoon.

—When did you start DJ? How was in Tokyo at that time?—

I started a DJ in 90’s as part of Tokyo underground techno crew that called Water Cable. I met the crew in 18 years old, They was playing UK, Detroit, French, Japanese and many kind of techno and electronic music, I had never listen it, Them playing music absolutely knocked out me. I joined them family and playing Tokyo’s underground clubs. Currently, Tokyo is well known as a safe city, but the 90’s were wild in there, it was yakuza and bandits, money, drug… very danger city. In fact, One of our crew is a drug dealer. Have you seen the movie Straight Outta Compton by N.W.A? I was spending a dangerous and exciting music life just like the movie, It is a good memories now [laughs]

—Tell me about your musical background?—

I’m crazy fun of Yellow Magic Orchestra, I consider their music to be the godfather of techno dance music. They are a huge influence, along with Kraftwerk. The Yellow Magic Orchestra’s music was really ahead of its time and very influential on me. I was also heavily influenced by detroit techno and early house producers and the label , i.e., UR (Underground Resistance), Trax Records, Dance Mania. Their music is great, but we should pay attention to their DIY spirit more than that. Plus, They have love for one’s home province, I also love my hometown Tokyo like them, so I able to sympathize with their music and spirits.

—How was the Kiribako CD born in the background?—

I know all of the world peoples interested in classical Japanese culture, but it is declining in Japan, There are excellent Japanese craftworkers in here, but They has been decreasing year by year, and They has begun to suffer from a shortage of successors. I wanted to preserve this amazing culture as a Japanese.

—There is theme for the CD?—

The theme is Old & New. Kiribako CD foucus to my home town Tokyo, Here is crossing old culture and new culture where is unique hybrid city. To follow it, Kiribako CD modern electronic music meets classical Japanese culture as concept. Technology will evolve day by day. But don’t forget the amazing culture of the past. We should lean and grow and pass it on to next generations. That will be create a new future.

—Are you careful in the materials for the CD?—

Yeah, Japanese classical gift box Kiribako have been used to protect treasured items, We create our custom box as a way to keep this custom for music, that specially ordered to Kiribako shop that was founded from the Meiji (1912) in Tokyo, The box tied Sanada cord that was named by the real Samurai “Yukimura Sanada”, His father Masayuki used it around the Japanese sword handle. Further, when you open it, you can find the traditional Japanese art paper folding “Origami” in this box that ordered from Tokyo Nihonbashi Japanese paper store, which celebrated 360 anniversary from its founding.

—Interesting in music as well—

All tracks made by Tokyo producers; Foog (a.k.a Yukihiro Fukutomi) and DJ Wada (Co-Fusion) are pioneer of Japanese electronic music scene who started a DJ in early 80’s in Tokyo, and Hajime Hidani, Jantenna, Ryu, Brisa, Hirotaka Miyamoto, and Aimich are known new generation producers in Japan. Their music is great, I’m so glad to introduce to hidden talent in Japanese underground music scene.

—You try to Japanese approach?—

Of course, My track “Tokyo crossing introduction” that included Kiribako CD is using real street noise in Tokyo. I field recorded it on my microphone at Shibuya crossing and edited it on ableton, You can feel real Tokyo vibes in the track. Plus, I’m using Japanese synth and drum machine all tracks, For example, TR-808 and TR-909 by Roland, I really like both drum machines and I’m proud that still affects the electronic music of all over the world even now as Japanese.

—Finally, Could you give any message please?—

I just wanna say ”Do It Myself”, Kiribako CD is all handmade and self-distribution and self-promotion. That’s a hard work which needs a lot of time and effort, but on the other side of the coin, because of that I could know amazing traditional Japanese culture and strong music connection of all over the world. Your life will be very exciting with little effort. Believe in your self and Go your own way.

December 2017, Tokyo Japan @Hinode Studio

Interviewer: Francesco Magagni – Emerging Electronic Music Scenes in London