“We make techno music like we draw manga!”
We have a brand-spanking-new release knocking about this week, through our rambunctious label IF?, a digital download offering available exclusively via Addictech, and it’s from Japanese artist par excellence (as the French mutter), Alone Together.
Also known as Yuki Ota, he’s one of the truly innovative (nice) guys here in Tokyo, and even Toshiyuki Yasuda thinks Yuki’s unique and crazy. We consider his stuff wild, scattered, amazing, eccentric, and way way cool—precisely IF?’s cup o’ tea.
Yuki remains deceptively low-key about his occasionally madcap electronic sounds. “I am a broken piano player,” he says on his MySpace site. “I practice Broken Piano theory in Alone Together.”
Yuki also informs that he plays (and creates) pop music that’s not currently part of the Alone Together play-list, using his real name as the production alias.
Yuki’s debut Alone Together EP is titled The Beginning of Human, and you can check out the video (above), or samples of his tracks online @ the IF? d/download site
Iffy Bizness: Who or what is your No. 1 inspiration when you make music?
Yuki: “Computer technology.”
Some people compare your music with Si Begg, Toshiyuki Yasuda, Cassetteboy and Luke Vibert. Are they influences?
“I didn’t know them. But I searched for them on YouTube, MySpace... Their music is very individual and experimental. I like their music.”
What exactly would you call your own music?
“I call my music Broken Piano and Sound Collage.”
So how is it unique?
“This is a difficult question. I make the music that I want to listen to. I don’t make music when there has already been the music that I want to listen to in the world. There may be some kind of connection there.”
What’s your favourite Japanese action movie?
“Battles Without Honor and Humanity, by director Kinji Fukasaku. Quite simply it’s a cool and clear movie, and Bunta Sugawara is wonderful.”
Do you like J-Pop or Enka music?
“I like some Japanese musicians—especially CHARA. I really love her music and a voice.”
Who’s your favourite Japanese musician?
“CHARA (チャラ), Shibusa Shirazu Orchestra (渋さ知らズオーケストラ), and Kazuki Tomokawa (友川かずき).”
In a grand master bout between Godzilla and Mothra, who’d claim the golden glove?
“I’ve never watched any of those movies.”
What’s your favorite Japanese food?
Finally, why is it that Japanese techno and electronic music is so darned cool?
“In my opinion, the Japanese cannot sing like James Brown, and we’re poor at using the body—but we like to imagine. The sequencer gave us the means to express that imagination through music. And we make techno music like we draw manga!”