Saturday, July 17, 2010

Fountain Music and Plaza In Crowd

At the moment I'm doing this completely self-indulgent series of articles for Impact magazine over in the UK - focusing on what I've unoriginally dubbed The Greatest Anime Ever Made.

Most of it's selected by me, much of it is obvious (Ghost in the Shell, Akira), and on the feedback front I've conscripted a lot of local Japanese filmmakers, manga artists, anime crew, and - well, since they're cool and I dig their muzak - DJs and producers.

One of these helpful talking heads has been Shinji Tokida, who runs the record labels Fountain Music and Plaza In Crowd, and he cites Akira as the number one anime experience in his lifetime. "I love Akira - I even had the jacket," he recently told me. "I love the drawing touch and the characters' eyes, as well as the universal future concept which struck my mind when I was still in primary school."

Tokida also cited Mamoru Oshii's early opus Patlabor. "Oh, the Patlabor movie - I watched it when I was in elementary school; also I collected the manga and read it on my futon. I was a heavy fan and I remember that I bought the model kit, but I was too young to figure it out and put it together. Still, it was a good memory."

Then he pulled back to the here and now.

"These days I'm only into music, so I don't watch movies or TV and I don't read comics."

When I pitched the idea at Shinji this week that I'd like to extend beyond the anime references and talk to him more about his labels and himself, the man was thrilled. "One of my dreams has been to be interviewed by someone - thank you for fulfilling that!" he enthused.

Without a second to breathe, it seems, Tokida is off - the guy is a joy to quiz.

"I started DJing at 17, scratching records - I'd just changed instruments from the guitar to turntables and got right into hip hop. Then, in my Tokyo years, I came across more valuable music like house, jazz, soul and funk - and at last I arrived at techno. This was my true start to explore the business of music in my life."

The rest of this interview is now online @ Fun in the Murky.

No comments: