Japanese duo Drunken Kong (made up of D.Singh and DJ KYOKO) have enjoyed a stellar year by all accounts with numerous releases across the techno spectrum including a standout run on Christian Smith’s Tronic. We caught up with the Toyko based duo recently to find out all about their plans for coming new year and the growth of their very own scene in Japan. They’ve also been kind enough to provide an hour long mix of their teak tough techno cuts for our listening pleasure!
1) Let’s kick things off with an easy one as 2017 is nearly upon us. What’s your big goal for the coming year and how are you going to achieve it?
Hello!!! Thanks for having us today!!
Our goal in 2017 would be to work on our album and then to go on an album tour. To achieve it, I guess we have to work hard 😉
2) More recently, what have you been working on recently in the studio?
Currently we are working on our next EP for Tronic and also gathering ideas for our album. We have been spending more time recently in our studio.
3) Your releases on Christian Smith’s Tronic certainly caught our attention this year. What’s it been like to work with one of techno’s finest guardians and how did you end up signing your music to Tronic?
We first met Christian in Tokyo. He was playing for a party at club named WOMB and this is where we met. We introduced ourselves and then we had a very nice chat. From there a few weeks later, we sent him some material we just finished and we were very fortunate that he liked the tracks which lead to signing with Tronic!!
Christian is a great person. We are very happy to be working with him. He is very friendly, and we feel he is very good at bringing potential out of producers. It is really great for us to have someone that can give us honest feedback and advice of our work.
4) How would you describe your style, what is it that makes Drunken Kong unique?
We focus on making something with unique groove. We are constantly thinking of how to further develop our sound and to make something new. We try to make our tracks different from others, which we feel lead to originality.
5) Guy-Girl duo’s are perhaps not as common in the world of dance music as you would expect, what kind of advantages do you think that brings for Drunken Kong?
Well, we really felt that guy-girl duo is great in catching attention and we have both guy and girl perspective mixed into our music, which leads to creating something different.
When we first started our project, this combination really helped us to get gigs and for people to remember us when we played. To be honest, it was very tough for us when we started off, hehehehehe But now, we share the same goals and musical direction, so we are able to spend alot of time together in the studio.
6) We met at this year’s ADE, why is it important for you guys to travel such a long distance to be there?
It was really great meeting you at ADE
This type of long distance travel is definitely important for us. Since Japan is not so close to Europe, we feel its a must to travel long distance. We dont have much opportunity here in Japan to be involved in the European scene, so its great for us to get to play and to share our sound to many people. A very different energy and feeling from the Japanese crowd, so this really opens our perspective while playing.
In addition, although we meet a lot of people through the internet (facebook etc.), meeting people face to face creates a much stronger bond, so for this reason too, its important for us.
7) Are there similar events in Japan, how is the scene there developing?
Yes, Japan is gradually growing. This year, for the first time we had TDME (Tokyo Dance Music Event). This is the Tokyo version of ADE. We were very pleased that Tokyo held this type of event for dance music. This is a great step and also, more and more underground parties are happening, so we are very happy to see this
8) What are the new Asian dance music hubs you see developing in the near future?
Definitely Japan and also we feel China is really coming up. We play every year in China, with a great promoter and every time we really see a lot of talented producers and DJs. Recently I have been seeing more and more international acts going on China Tour too.
9) Finally, 2016 has been a bad year for the loss of musical influencers – Prince, Bowie and now Leonard Cohen. Who do you think are the present day artists who will be seen in similar light in 30 years’ time? If any…
Thats a difficult question since there are many musical influencers I think for us Aphex Twin, Radiohead, Simon Posford and Ryuichi Sakamoto. Their music is always very inspiring for us.