Japan is about as culturally advanced as you could possibly imagine a country to be. Art, music, fashion – it’s all there and it’s always about as unusual and distinctive as you can get. No surprise then, that the man in question hails from the land of the rising run, despite his eventual move to the UK to more closely align himself to the electronic music scene – and it was his upbringing in Japan that essentially rounded him as an artist, producer, entertainer and label boss.
Years and years on, he remains the quietly spoken Japanese wunderkind who isn’t big on long answers and creative responses, for he would rather let his music do the talking. He has dedicated his life to the electronic music scene – especially in his native Japan – but with a message he has delivered to virtually all corners of the globe.
As a kid in junior high school, he enjoyed Brian Eno, Depeche Mode and Gary Numan and was captivated by it all. It’s not a surprising story of influence but he reminisces about how he managed to successfully allay the suspicions of his parents for quite some time, however they kind of understand now – because his music certainly speaks for itself!
And when we talk about music – we mean some badass trance that will rock the socks of grandma in her rocking chair. Other than that, the man is a cultural visionary, being involved in promoting in his native Japan, all manner of various musical affairs. He is also the co-founder of the legendary trance label Matsuri Productions based in London.
Moving on, he has spent some time as a resident DJ at the famous Return to the Source in England in 1994 and Twilo in New York in 2000. He has played some of the biggest electronic events worldwide including the Berlin Love Parade, Sydney’s Mardi Gras and Tribal Gathering to name but a few. And he returns to Australia for what is becoming his annual pilgrimage to play at Rainbow Serpent Festival.
The guy also possesses more aliases than a criminal on the run, while he also plays, produces, writes and dreams about rock ‘n’ roll. So Joujouka is his electro rock band, Numanoid is his electro DJ alias and of course Tsuyoshi Suzuki is the original Goa-inspired psy-power DJ and producer.
Today, his music is more rounded and has somewhat of a more experienced, well-travelled feel. Either way, expect trance, electro, twisted vocals and some Japanese antics. Check out his Facebook and MySpace pages to get a feel for the vibe and the flavour he is delivering right now – there is plenty of free music to keep even the most hard-headed of you satisfied. And in the meantime, the don of electronica from the land of the rising sun is prepping his gear for a special outdoor show in country Victoria.
Recently, he advises that he has spent some time working on Joujouka. “Yes, I have been really busy producing the rock band Joujouka and have recently started out playing our live set in Tokyo. Also my electro-rock label Madskippers has been keeping me pretty busy as well. Then there is Madskippers, my electro/house/rock label from Tokyo. The organiser of [the] Madskippers event, Matsubara kun, introduced him to a guy called Daisuke Tsutsui three years ago and he has been at our events many times.
“And I have heard of him before, but when I heard his demo, I thought his style was totally individual. It has got some heavy electro rock taste in it but also J-Pop chords sync in-between. I really liked it! He is a professional guy and great to work with.”
So as a sum of a million different experiences, Suzuki admits that he has embraced electronic music in its multiple forms, especially being influenced by the trance and Goa sound. “That’s right,” he describes. “My Goa trance label, Matsuri Productions, started in the UK as I mentioned and it was 100% good timing to get it going really. That’s it! The things that inspire me – and influence me – also come from when I was realliy into listening to the old rock sound, especially stuff from the ‘80s; but then I also love films and so on. Over the years, you see music change up and it comes and goes around and around. But I have to say the Goa trance scene has come back I guess!
“As for the production work, Madskippers has some new material coming out as well as material from some of my other projects. There are always albums, EPs and remixes that we’re working on so that keeps my sound interesting and changing all the time. As for the tour, all I can say is that as always, I’m really looking forward to coming out to Australia again – I love it there – especially in the summer! I look forward to delivering a lot of the new styles and sound from my recent productions. See you all on the dance floor!”
Tsuyoshi Suzuki [JPN] plays Rainbow Serpent Festival alongside Protonica [GER], Ott [UK], Secret Cinema [NED] and more which takes place from Friday January 27 – Monday January 30 near Lexton, Western Victoria.