DJ SHIMAMURA, Talk About Hardcore! – DJ Shimamura Inteview

Tokyo Case’s Foreign Correspondent here! A while back we asked you about who’s interview we should have translated in the lead up to Tokyo Case Vol. 5. But now I am very happy to present to you the translated interview with DJ SHIMAMURA.

A few days ago he was playing a gig in Hawaii, but soon enough he’ll be at Tokyo Case Vol. 5!
In the meantime, Tokyo Case sat down and had an interview with him!
We’ll talk about his outlook on music and the charms of hardcore.


DJ SHIMAMURA, Talk About Hardcore!

1) The switch from analogue vinyl to CDs and digital music on PCs within 10 years
2) DJ Shimamura’s music composition activities
3) The “Japan Boom” overseas and the domestic situation
4) DJ Shimamura talks about what hardcore is him…

1) The switch from analogue vinyl to CDs and digital music on PCs within 10 years

Your DJ history spans more than 10 years. So please tell us your feelings about the differences between the scenes of now and then and what has changed, if anything?

Hmmm. The one thing that’s really changed is the “record culture” as the main way of getting songs now is through CDs, MP3s and on your PC. I’d say that was the main thing.

So for example, do you think the younger generation aren’t really aware of the fact that DJs used to spin and have their tracks exclusively on vinyl?

Up until relatively recently, analogue was the main way of performing but now you have CDJs and PCs coming on to the stage… I feel now that they’re all equal ways of playing out in the arena of performance.

“Analog is analog, PC is PC. They’re both equally good.” I think it’s good to be flexible and not be one sided because everyone has their own method that they’d prefer and there’s a lot of choice out there.

So there are people who really aren’t flexible and won’t accept it and stop DJing and playing music out??

Or otherwise complain about it…

Well, there are people who have their preferences and say “DJs who use vinyl records are DJing the right way”

For example, in a band, people would be impressed by the technical guitar playing. But there’s also the appearance aspect of it of seeing someone do that which fascinates them, I think. And in a way, you get something like that in club music which you can’t really detach from it.

The young generation’s feelings about it are pretty laid back though. (laugh)

Yeah, the younger generation are laid back and pretty cool about it. Because their views aren’t as set in stone and what’s popular to do changes quickly with the amount of information they have access to, they see things on a level playing field.

You’ll get some who have their preferences but at the heart of it’s how they choose to feel. Really, people can say “I’m really into it” and so they’ll go out there and enjoy themselves regardless.

And that’s their nature, so that’s something to be praised. (laugh)

Back in the day sometimes there was a feeling of cliqueishness but now you don’t get that. Everyone’s there genuinely because they enjoy themselves.

2) DJ Shimamura’s music composition activities

It’s been ten years since you set up Dynasty Records already? Your releases are piled up one after the other…

Aah, I’ll stop releasing things when I come to it (laugh)?

I’ve had a flow of releases since the year before.

Because it’s only my work that I’ve announced on there thus far, other artists pick up on that… I think.

But recently in clubs, young artists have made comments on a lot of my songs which makes them want to find out more and that makes me happy.

And in ten years, what has changed musically?

At first breakbeats was the main focus but now the focus is on a full UK Hardcore sound.

What’s changed… I think my feelings about the whole thing have changed.

In reality clubs are places you go to have an experience so I’ve adopted a sound which fits that.

In the production environment of a studio, in the old days samplers were pretty common but now the PC is my main workstation… though it actually has a sampler in that too. (laugh)

Please tell us what an ordinary day is like for you. Your day to day feelings about when you’re producing.

I don’t stay up all night, for one thing.

There isn’t really a structure to it, I enjoy making music. Generally I get up during the day and have a meal, then from there produce, then have dinner, then produce again…

So you moved on from your habits back then, do you do any of that now?

Nowadays there isn’t much of a sense of “I have to get myself to do this” because it was hard to get myself to do things back then. If I have a deadline coming up then I use my head and embrace the time I have fully, imagining myself producing.

But because I don’t do much during the day, I like doing things in the light now. I get up in the morning around 9 and want to produce from then. I don’t like producing at night anymore.

3) The International “Japan Boom” and Domestic Scene

This year, the amount of game theme songs you’ve done is a lot, plus your DJ bookings in Akihabara have increased a lot. How does that make you feel?

Yeah, I’m happy about it.

I never really thought I’d end up composing game theme songs but here I am doing it, it’s an amusing thought.

Because I myself like games as well, I feel like I’m giving back to that kind of culture.

Tell me about your participation in overseas “Japanese Festivals”

I went to America and England. In America I went to Chigago’s Anime Central (ACen) and in England I went to the MCM Expo in London.

When I performed in America, the impression I got was that everyone really liked Japanese culture

Plus, everyone really lets loose on the dancefloors overseas. They really get into it and I feel like I’ve brought my part of Japan to these countries for them to enjoy.

So they’re really bold and not afraid to express how they feel in that situation?

Being bad at that sort of expression is a national trait of the Japanese.

Japanese people naturally live in unity with the village, and if you differ from that you’re ostracized, told “read the atmosphere!” or such and so,  oreover, there’s an atmosphere of adherence and crushing one’s self to death.

However, I think it’s good if you can grow to enjoy yourself.

But now, we’re finally in the process of making situations where everyone can naturally enjoy themselves like that, it’s not the “Lost Decade” anymore but, truly, the good feelings of “I can enjoy the person I like” is coming back.

The meaning of the word “positive” is back, I think. But conversely, when big things occur, large parties and events where people can enjoy themselves steadily decrease.

It’s not really necessary to have a good time though, I don’t think.

We all have our reasons to enjoy things, It’s not really necessary to have big parties to have a good time, yeah?

4) DJ Shimamura talks about what hardcore is him…

Big scenarios have occured, and large parties are being set up again. So do you have any issues with those parties?

Hmmm, my only response to that question is that my hardcore music isn’t the only kind to be enjoyed, I can enjoy all types of styles of parties.

I like all sorts so I want to know about them.

… That’s how I want to tell to tell people about the hardcore I like. When people are more open minded about things, then they can enjoy all sorts.

But I know not everyone is as accepting, so I’ve come to terms about it.

I think the charm in hardcore comes in listening to it.

Techno music came out at the end of the 80s (this is my interpretation of it) as the ultimate counter music.

It was rigid and solid, inorganic but it gave birth to some warm and inventive sounds… but that’s my interpretation of it as the “the ultimate counter music” from Derrick May who gave birth to Detroit Techno.

That’s right. The hype surrounding it was amusing, I think.

It was a movement that was two steps ahead.

… However because those counter elements were really strong, the meaning behind it quickly became old.

But “HARDCORE” is a kind of techno-style dance music with “by no means” any of the mannerisms behind techno in the first place. So what’s your interest in it?

That’s right, my views behind it are…

The Prodigy and Alter8 were the first rave musicians, and from there came the first hardcore music.

The reason it’s continued for a long time is because of the United Kingdom’s character.

They love “promise and tradition”. And that’s something that a lot of people hold on to.

With that comes some sort of “sense of security”. Around the same time, hardcore came around with these new sounds and “stimulation” was there. So all that promise and tradition and security flew out the window and it’s amusing to think that hardcore was never really about that sort of thing, I think.

So what do you want to tell the people going to Tokyo Case?

Whatever parties or scenes you’re into, us producers and DJs want everyone to enjoy yourselves.

People who gather to party have differing tastes in music, and the DJs and producers work hard to reflect this by being diverse, but we also want everyone to participate and get involved. We want to tell you about the good you can find in hardcore that steadily makes you feel elated.

Especially with this party, kors k and I are creators of hardcore music, so we want to showcase what we have done this time.  Plus with resident DJ WILDPARTY, we want you to come and we want to show you what we can do.

There will be loads of good energy overflowing from this party from both the DJs and the people who have come, I think

… I hope that it gets through that it’s really important that everyone feels excited and has fun with the happiness of hardcore that we’ll be playing about.

Translated by Tokyo Case Foreign Correspondent + Kanna
Original text by Natsack + Tokyo Case
Many thanks to DJ Shimamura for being interviewed!

カテゴリー: 未分類 パーマリンク

DJ SHIMAMURA, Talk About Hardcore! – DJ Shimamura Inteview への3件のフィードバック

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