Interview with Daisuke Tanabe

interview by Kit

Everyone knows that the Japanese have the best record collections and are enormous supporters of all types of underground music. Tell us about the culture you were surrounded by when you first started making tracks. Are certain scenes more important to young producers or are they mostly irrelevant?

Not sure to be honest, as I always get inspired by nature and people more than by music. I started making music through playing computer games and building sand castles in the park.

Classic drum breaks are making their way back to electronic music but you’ve been using them for years. What are your thoughts on the current vogue for breakbeats?

Don’t know much about the breakbeat scenes to be honest. I’m using them because these drum breaks are a kind of signature sound for electronic music.

the unofficial bonus track of the new Daisuke Tanabe album "Floating Underwater"

As a listener and musician, what did you learn from Gilles Peterson and your time in London? What are some of your best memories from that time?

He is playing everything that he loves, and that’s the biggest and best thing someone can do. His taste is outstanding I think.

I had so many first experiences with music in London: listening to my music on air, cutting EPs, doing remixes. It was all good fun and all happened first in London.


My only limitation is myself: not having all the skills to do all the things I want to do live.

Many producers struggle with live performance but you seem very comfortable on stage. What are your thoughts about the limitations of live electronic music and how do you address them in your own sets?

I’m also struggling with live sets! I always want to find new interesting ways to perform live. I think there are not many limitations for performing electronic music live nowadays. You can improvise, play some notes as real instruments do, etc.. My only limitation is myself: not having all the skills to do all those things I want to do live. I’m just trying to combine what I can do, and find the best combination in it for my performance.

You’ve come full circle with RBMA, first as a participant and this year as a presenter. How has your involvement with the academy informed your music making? What has the evolution been?

To be a part of RBMA was – and still is – good for me, for sure. I met so many great artists through the Academy and learnt lots of things for producing my own music.


I&#39m sorry, but I don&#39t follow trends. I don&#39t read newspapers and don&#39t have TV. But when I am in Tokyo, I always see some crazy things.


If you could choose one word that describes your inspiration what would it be?


Everyone in the States is secretly fascinated with Japan. Any new trends happening over there us Westerners should be aware of? What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen in Tokyo this year so far?

Hmm… I’m sorry, but I don’t follow trends. I don’t read newspapers and don’t have TV. But when I am in Tokyo (I live in Chiba, close to Tokyo) I always see some crazy things. The craziest thing I saw this year in Tokyo was a guy wearing radish for an outfit.

KRTS remix of "Sunny Tunnel" from the new Daisuke Tanabe album.

Buy “Floating Underwater”