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Masayoshi Iimori is a Saitama, Japan based producer who is making music that sounds like nothing else. Or rather, it sounds like everything at once. He takes the structure of EDM trap, lights it on fire and throws on a rollercoaster of other styles. His Nest HQ-premiered “NRG” remix, one of the best tracks of the year so far, is like the IMAX action movie of trap anthems. His flip of Mr. Oizo’s “Positif” refits Ed Banger disco with mainstage-sized adrenaline. Everything he does pushes the boundaries of what’s expected from a banger.

I reached out to Masayoshi for a Nest mix hoping he would come back with 30 minutes of the most insane turn up out there, and he didn’t disappoint. This is punk music.

Backflip out of your comfort zone, dig into the mix, and get to know Masayoshi in our interview below.

What does a day in the life of Masayoshi look like?

I live in a suburb of Tokyo. So I usually make music or search for the interesting music on the Internet, when I don’t have any classes or shows.

Do you start a track with the intention of making as crazy as possible or do these melodies and rhythms just come naturally to you?

I actually make tracks as crazy as possible intentionally but I don’t have any specific pattern or method for making music. I always try to produce a song that can’t be forgotten easily and makes people like “What is happening on this track?”

What is the dance/club scene like in Japan right now?

Japan has a developed Internet scene and also Japanese people tend to absorb various cultures. Therefore, we have our own original and domestic music markets such as Comic Market/M3. The scene has so many great artists who can make every different genre, and they are creating the scene as more interesting. However, there is a problem that the DJ/Club scene and that producer’s scene on the Internet are extremely separated. As a musician relates with those two different scenes, I want to tie up all these things together.
日本はインターネットが発達しているし、日本人は色々な文化を取り入れる性格だから、Comic Market/M3など日本独自の市場が生まれ、あらゆるジャンルを作る人が混在して非常に面白くなっていると思います。


Is it still against the law to dance in clubs in Tokyo?

Recently, Tokyo’s clubs have been surrounded by this issue, but to be honest I feel those are not my things. My intention as a musician doesn’t relate to using drugs or offending public morals. Also, we go crazy and wild at the day time party for all ages, with huge enthusiasm so many times.

You’ve remixed several Ed Banger tracks, would you say they are a major inspiration to your music?
君はEd Bangerの曲をいくつかRemixしてきたけれど、やっぱり彼らの音楽には影響を受けた?

Like Porter Robinson, the biggest influence of my music is Japanese music games which contain almost every genre. I met a bunch of great Japanese producers like kors k and Remo-con via those games. From their blog posts or interviews, I could find a lot of rave/techno classics and amazing electro producers. That’s why; I started to listen to Ed Banger. I felt that Trap music fits those Electro songs rather than just EDM tunes. So, I’ve remixed Ed Banger’s songs so far.

Also, those Japanese music games include Hard Dance/Hardcore songs. Those songs made me to listen to Japanese Hard Dance producers like YOJI BIOMEHANIKA, and I listened to Dominator Festival’s compilation including Art Of Fighters, Evil Activities and Mad Dog’s songs a lot too. And actually I was into Darkstep labels like PRSPCT or Yellow Stripe as well. Even though I’m making Bass Music right now, I don’t have any HipHop or Rap music influences on my music.
僕が最も音楽的な影響を大きく受けたのはPorter Robinsonと同じように日本の音楽ゲームです。音楽ゲームにはあらゆるジャンルの曲が収録されていて、その中でkors kやRemo-conといった現在でも日本の第一線で活躍するプロデューサーに出会いました。さらにブログやインタビューなどでそのアーティスト達が影響された作品を辿っていくと、偉大なテクノ/レイヴのクラシックや天才的なエレクトロのプロデューサーを知り、そこでEd Bangerを聴くようになりました。
僕はトラップにEDMではなく純粋なエレクトロとしての可能性を感じたので、最も偉大なフレンチエレクトロのレーベルであると考えるEd Bangerの曲をリミックスすることにしました。
また音楽ゲームにはHard Dance/Hardcoreの曲が多く収録されていて、その影響でYOJI BIOMEHANIKAをはじめとする日本のハードダンスのプロデューサーの曲や、Art Of Fighters、Evil Activities、Mad Dogなどの曲が収録されているDominator Festivalのコンピレーションを聴いたり、PRSPCTやYellow StripeなどDarkstep系のレーベルを聴いていた時もありました。
今はBass Musicを作っていますが、実は僕のルーツにヒップホップやラップは全くありません。


Are there any other labels you’ve been really into lately?

I think the Netherland’s Barong Family is one of the most up & coming interesting labels in the scene. I love them because they have a sense of unity as dance music label but also they crossover many genres in same time.
I also like DJ Craze’s Slow Roast Recors and Astronomar’s Main Course so much. They reconstruct the genres that developed within the festival culture by interpreting with old school breakbeats and house music.
Also, I like Belgian Jumpstyle/Tekstyle scene’s mentality that tries to mix every genre as something one original sound. I usually check many great labels such as Crunk’D Records, Zoo Records, Noize Junky, and Fresh Beats. It’s really interesting that many artists release their artist album from their own label like Davoodi, Bestien, and Lords of Tek from Mark With a K did.

Likewise, in Hardcore scene, there’s a label called Heresy which is run by Igneon System. They’ve been releasing interesting sound that crossover Hardcore and Bass Music so far. I respect the labels that release something impossible which means I’ve never heard before and mix every sound together in cool ways.

オランダのBarong Familyは最も盛り上がっているレーベルの一つだと思います。ジャンルに捕われず、でも「オランダ的な曲」という雰囲気が統一感を生んでいることが素晴らしい。
DJ CrazeのレーベルSlow Roast RecordsやAstronomarのMain Courseも大好きです。フェスティバル文化で成長したジャンルを、ブレイクビーツやオールドスクールなハウスで再解釈しているところが好きです。
それからベルギー系のJumpstyle/Tekstyleシーンのあらゆるジャンルを混ぜようとしている姿勢は最高だし、Crunk’D Records、Zoo Records、Noize Junky、Fresh Beatsなどの主要なレーベルのリリースはここ最近ずっと追っています。
Davoodi、Bestien、Mark With a KのLords Of Tekの3人をはじめ、多くのアーティストが自分のレーベルからアーティストアルバムを出すという流れが出来ているのも興味深いです。
またHardcoreでは、Igneon SystemのHeresyというレーベルがHardcoreとBass Musicをクロスオーバーしたようなサウンドをプッシュしていて、設立当初からチェックしています。

How did you get involved with Trekkie Trax?
どのようにしてTREKKIE TRAXと関係するようになったの?

As I told you already, I was inspired by the music games and I’ve been submitting my songs to those game companies’ competitions. However, I couldn’t get a good response from them because they didn’t appreciate Bass music a lot. So I changed my style and put my cheesy Trap beats on Soundcloud. And right after that, I got a message from Seimei & Taimei. Seimei said “I love your music so much” and we became good friends. I actually knew their name and their label TREKKIE TRAX from the Japanese radio station called where they have own label’s show. They invited me to TREKKIE TRAX’s show in actual events and radio. They introduced me to the scene in Japan and then now people started to know about me very well as Masayoshi Iimori.
のビートをサウンドクラウドにアップし始めました。そうするとすぐにSeimei&Taimeiから連絡が来て、僕は以前からTREKKIE TRAXをblock.fmというラジオで知っていたので何度も会うようになりました。


Your friend Seimei of Trekkie Trax had mentioned that getting coverage in the U.S. is a big deal for JP artists. Are there no media outlets in JP for the music scene?
TREKKIE TRAXのSeimeiは、日本人アーティストにとってアメリカのメディアで取材を受けることは重大な意味があると語っていたけれど、日本の音楽シーンには情報源になるようなメディアは存在する?

In America or Europe, there’re so many well-known media like this NEST HQ, Pitchfork or Run The Trap. However, in Japan, personal blogs and SNS like Twitter have the hugest influence to the scene. For example, DJ TECHNORCH’s blog has been affecting other listeners who started digging new sounds cause of the music games like me.
アメリカやヨーロッパはこのNEST HQやPitchfork、Run The Trapのような有名メディアが存在しますが、日本は個人のブログやTwitterなどのSNSの影響が大きいです。
例えばDJ TECHNORCHのブログは、僕も含め、多くの音楽ゲームからDigをするようになったファンに影響を与えています。

Who are some of the artists that got you into the trap sound?

I think Flosstradamus got me into the trap sound. Initially, I was making Dutch style Hardcore/Hardstyle songs, and at that time, I was thinking Trap music is a part of commercial EDM scene. But when I listened to Flosstradamus’ EP called XO, which contains many Trap edits of Hardstyle songs, I was super shocked and realized that it’s possible to do something crazy and original within the Trap music. Also, Munchi’s Vol.Ⅰ: Skulltrap EP made me to realize how trap music is cool. The EP has Trap and Dubstep edits of Drakstep/Crossbreed artists’ songs made by like Current Value or Limewax. Those sounds are super unique, and Munchi is actually the best producer ever to me. He put Latin vibes into Moombahton and Trap music so far. And additionally, he adds Hardcore and Drum’n’bass elements into them and still he is making those music crazier as possible as he can.
他にはMunchiの「Vol.Ⅰ: Skulltrap」というEPは、Current ValueやLimewaxといったDarkstep/Crossbreedのアーティストの曲をエディットしてTrapやDubstepに落とし込んでいて、唯一無二のサウンドになっています。

Have you been able to play many shows?

Yes. Since I’ve released EPs and have done some remixes, I’ve got many offers to DJ. We live in the era that music equipment is developed quickly. So, I feel making original songs and releasing them properly help to get more shows as a DJ.


How do your live sets compare to the sounds you’re making?

Every time, I try to keep coherence between my songs and live set. I started my career as a producer rather than as a DJ. So, I want to make my originality by producing but not DJing. That’s why I’m always looking for the new sound that can be created only by me.

Who are some other artists rising out of JP that we should keep an eye on?

I played two up and coming guys’ songs in my mix. A first guy is my friend Blacklolita, who did a remix for my first EP on TREKKIE TRAX. He has contacted Never Say Die’s SKisM and supported Alvin Risk’s Japan tour recently. I bet he will get more bookings and will release more good songs. Also, Ennnn (aka Rave Rising) has been releasing high quality B-more tracks on Soundcloud. He is already well-known as a famous Breakcore artist in Japan, but I’d like to listen more his B-more style stuff.
以前RemixをしてくれたBlacklolitaはNever Say DieのSKisMと連絡を取ったこともあるし、先日もAlvin Riskと共演したばかりだから、これからブッキングもリリースも増えていくと思います。
また日本ではBreakcoreのアーティストとして既に有名なEnnnn(a.k.a. Rave Rising)は、最近クオリティの高いBaltimore系のトラックを連発していて、その方面のリリースをとても期待しています。

What are your plans for the rest of the year?

I’d like to release something integrated, maybe like an EP. I actually succeeded in making people to consider Masayoshi Iimori as a Trap producer. So, for the next level, I want to include more Hardstyle or 4×4 sounds into my productions to get the new artist image that Masayoshi can crossover any types of music!

What can we expect in this mix?

I put tons of my edits and original songs in this mix to show who Masayoshi Iimori is to the world. I also put some songs by Japanese producers who inspired me, I respect, and I pay attention. So, this is the actually first NEST HQ mini mix which only has Japanese songs. And as I answered in this interview, I want people to know that I can crossover many genres but not only play and produce Bass Music. So, I intentionally made a mix that changes the rhythm rapidly.

I hope you will listen to this from the beginning to the end.
自分がどのようなトラックを作っているかこれを聴けばわかるように、かなり自分のエディットとオリジナル曲を多めにしました。その他の曲は自分が影響を受けた・尊敬している・注目している日本人アーティストの曲になっているので、NEST HQ初の日本人だけのMixになっています。
またこれまでの質問で答えたように、自分がBass Musicだけではなく様々なジャンルをクロスさせているという事を知って欲しいので、めまぐるしくリズムが変わるような展開にしました。

Nest HQ MiniMix: Masayoshi Iimori Tracklist:
Track List
01. Intro
02. Justice – Stress (Japanese Version)
03. Mr. Oizo – Positif (Masayoshi Iimori Bootleg)
04. Ennnn – I’m The One And Only Dominator
05. 三毛猫ホームレス [Mikeneko Homeless] – そばが食べたい [Soba Ga Tabetai] (Masayoshi Iimori Remix)
06. Blacklolita – Apotosis
07. The Arcade Nation – Dance Electric
08. Morphonics & Remo-con – Paper Bag
09. Remo-con – Hello, Mr.Breakbeats (Masayoshi Iimori Bootleg)
10. ナマコプリ [Namakopuri] – あったらいいなJAPAN [Attara Iina Japan] (Masayoshi Iimori Remix VIP)
11. DJ TECHNORCH – 無明ヶ丘危険地帯 [Mumyougaoka Kikenchitai]〜Ataraxia〜
12. 佐伯誠之助 [Saeki Seinosuke] – 肛門的重苦 Ketsujiru Juke (Masayoshi Iimori Remix)
13. Masayoshi Iimori – Every Posse Jumpin
14. Masayoshi Iimori – Doden
15. DJ Mehdi – Signature (Masayoshi Iimori Bootleg)

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Words: Fan Fiction
Special thanks to Seimei of TREKKIE TRAX for the translation.