Shoko Igarashi: The ‘Monday Is OK’ Mix

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Shoko Igarashi‘s musical journey has taken her to places across the world.

Born in the snowy countryside of Tsuruoka in Japan, Shoko then moved to Tokyo, before continuing her education at the Berklee College of Music in Boston where she gained a music degree. This training solidified her path as a a saxophonist and flautist, as well as grounding her skills as an arranger and a composer.

This took her to Brooklyn where she quickly made connections with other jazz musicians, playing across the city at various places and spaces. Not one to rest on her laurels, Shoko upped sticks again, making a move across the pond to Brussels.


It’s in the Belgian capital that she founded Maniac Maison with her partner, pianist Casimir Liberski, and guitarist Lucien Fraipont, as a means of experimenting with electronic and jazz composition.

When she’s not collaborating, she’s making her own colourful electronic music which pulls from a diverse pool of influences like jazz fusion, anime music, Japanese City-Pop and Earth, Wind & Fire. These inspirations are on display on her debut LP, Simple Sentences, which came out last month on Tigersushi Records, and find her creating the perfect balance between bright and uplifting sounds and ones that ground and sooth.

She takes us into a new week with her ‘Monday Is OK’ mix which matches experimental electronics, soothing ambient, droning atmospheres and a handful of abstract sounds to shake you awake…

Please introduce yourself… Who are you, where are you, what are you?

Shoko Igararshi. Just a tiny saxophonist in Brussels.

Tell us about the Monday mixtape you’ve put together for us. 

These are my treasures.

If it were to be drawn what would it look like? 

A line

If it were a food what would it be? 

Apple and Banana.

What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?

Home speaker with a cat

What should we be wearing?

XXL T shirts and underwear 

Where was it recorded?

Several studios in the world or Mars?

Are you on the same wavelength as the boomtown rats or do you actually like Mondays?

I love Monday more than Sunday because you don’t need to queue to get an ice cream on Monday.

Who got you hooked on music?

Myself and iPod mini when I was a teen. 

What was the first record you heard and how did it make you feel?

Giant Steps by John Coltrane and it made me like, “what’s going on?”

What were the first and last records you bought?

First, Manu Dibango Electric Africa

Last, Manu Dibanfo Surtension

What are you obsessed with at the moment?

My cat “KAYU” 

If you could travel in time…where in time would you go? Why? 

What about, posing “NOW” ?

Am I excited to dive into the challenges that I have lined up for the week?

A challenge is actually a fun thing.

Am I looking forward to engaging with the people I am meeting or working with?

If you say no, what kind of person are you then?

Am I going to my dream job?

Dreams can change anytime you want! 

Am I being compensated fairly for the value I bring to my job?

I don’t know, I don’t have a manager yet.

Do I feel energised, rested, and confident?

I will visit my hometown in Japan in two days which means my rest is promised. 

If you were trapped on a desert island with one other person, who would you choose? How long would it be before you eat them?

My clone and eat her so I don’t hurt anyone?

Your doctor says you need more exercise….what do you take up for exercise?


What’s your answer to everything?

Listen to my music.

Anything else we need to discuss?

Don’t eat people!