Japanese DJ and producer Que Sakamoto always brings a taste of his home to his musical exploits. Falling between the cracks of disco, dark wave, psychedelic rock and cosmic trippers, his DJ sets always find a common thread and translate to his influences as a producer too.
With releases under his belt on labels like San Francisco's Roam Recordings, Stoker and Bainbridge's Not An Animal records and Lyon's Hard Fist, he's made his stamp globally as well as locally as the founder of the Huit Etoiles parties and collective.
He takes care of this week's Shine A Light On mix which celebrates all those psychedelic flavours he's known for...
Please introduce yourself… Who are you, where are you and what are you?
My name is Que Sakamoto from Tokyo. I’m a DJ / Producer based in Japan, but travel most of the year outside of Japan. USA, South America, Europe and Asia. I’m the founder of Huit Etoiles in Tokyo which started in 2015.
What does your music sound like? Can you draw what you think it sounds like for us (an image from the old internet is acceptable)?
My sound is Japanese around 70s/80s psychedelic rock, dark wave, cosmic, disco edits, ethnic sounds with Japanese taste with my partner NT who is a sound engineer based in Kamakura. We made the track ‘Kamakura’ last year on the Not An Animal label. From my residency in MinimuzikhoI Istanbul took the name for my track by the same name on the Hard Fist label ethnic new wave electronic. Uchi Hikohachi... always falling in between many elements of house, disco, Japanese 70s/80s music and bringing the sounds together. My sound is always evolving.
Where was the mix recorded?
It was recorded at Vent from my warm up set for Red Axes last December.
What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?
It would be perfect for listening to at home after a big rave. When I played this mix at Vent people were surprised because the tracks were new to them and my mixing was unique to them, too.
What should we be wearing?
More vintage, rings, tattoos, and textured shirts
What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location/system/format?
An intimate room full of Japanese and European kitsch with everyone sitting on tatami relaxing and listening deeply to the music
Which track in the mix is your current favourite?
Plazmot’s Orot Levanim (Borusiade Remix).
What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?
It's between Ivan Smagghe’s Channeling Solo on NTS or his latest Ransom Note mix are hard to choose from.
If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?
My dream would be to open up for a Japanese New Wave band EP-4 because their productions are very special for me. Even now I’m playing their tracks off the Found Tapes EP. Their tracks are refreshing and inspirational.
What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?
My set up first was Technique SL1200-MK5 turntables and a Pioneer DJM-600. Now I have two Pioneer CDJ 350s.
What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?
I think the first three tracks are important to catch the listener so it’s necessary to play the most interesting tracks at the start.
What were the first and last records you bought?
My collection started early on and I really can’t remember now. The last record I bought was a Thai funk record in Bangkok from the 80s, but the name is written in Thai.
If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?
Definitely a tabehodai which is a Japanese all-you-can-eat buffet with takoyaki live octopus and a fusion of Lithuania food like popeja dumplings and purple beetroot soup.
If it was an animal what would it be?
It would be the Japanese Saru which is a monkey and it would be taking an onsen bath drinking sake from a square wooden cup.
One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?
Most 80s music I don’t mix, just select for the vibes and to appreciate from start to end.
Anything else we need to discuss?
In March I have our Huit Etoiles 6th Year Anniversary at Vent in Tokyo. After that I do USA, Mexico, Columbia, Guatemala, Australia and back to Asia. My first set at Panorama Bar is in June and I will be happy to play a lot in Europe this year.
Follow Que Sakamoto.
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