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Publication Date : 08-03-2013
Drum and bass producer Makoto mans the decks at Glow tonight
There's a big treat in store for Bangkok's drum and bass geeks tonight, as the Phatfunk crew is flying in Japan's best-known act, Makoto, for a one-night-only showdown at Glow tonight.
Inspired by LTJ Bukem's "Logical Progression" and Goldie's "Timeless", Makoto began to experiment with his own drum and bass music compositions while in his teens. His unique style received the attention of LTJ Bukem and his Good Looking Records label, and Makoto was later featured on several of LTJ Bukem's mix CDs.
Makoto's first studio album "Human Elements" was released on Good Looking in 2003, "Believe In My Soul" followed in 2007, and his last album "Souled Out" hit the shelves in 2011. He also recorded a live album with frequent touring partner MC Deeizm for the label's "Progression Sessions" series of live mixes.
He spoke to us about his current projects.
Any plans for the next CD soon?
Yes and a few other things, too. I'm releasing the remix album for "Souled Out" in May or June this year on my label Human Elements, featuring remixes from myself, Lenzman, Random Movement and Jabberloop. Also I have two new tracks with Marky, which is coming on his "Innerground" compilation album in April. I'm also working on a few collaborations with A Sides and also a new EP for R&S records sub label Apollo for some 130bpm stuff.
You have a lot of soul, junk and jazz in your music. Are those the sounds you grew up with?
Yes, I love them and I still listen to that kind of music a lot.
What drew you to drum and bass?
When I heard drum and bass back in mid 90's, I felt it was so futuristic.
I'd always loved new music, but drum and bass was something else. It had influences from soul, funk, jazz, techno, house, dub and reggae all mixed up. I think that's why I'm still doing it after so many years. It just has so many different directions.
How would you describe your drum and bass sounds?
Well, I'm heavily influenced by soul and funk, also jazz music, so you can hear these influences mixed in my music a lot. I make all sort of music from drum and bass to house music, so I'm hopeful that one day people will recognise my music when they hear it.
Who is your drum and bass idol and why?
Bukem and Fabio were the reason why I started producing drum and bass and I probably wouldn't exist as Makoto if I hadn't heard them back in mid 90s.
You've worked with Bukem before. What did you learn from him?
I learnt about being a professional DJ. That was a great experience as we live quite far apart and he took me with him on tour when I was 20 years old. I still appreciate that.
You seem to incorporate some vocals in your tracks, too. Who comes up with the lyrics?
Normally singers write lyrics for the songs. I don’t think I would want to write lyrics ever. I wouldn't be very good and I feel my job is just writing tracks and making the sound rather than describing in words how I feel and think.
Who's your dream collaborator?
Maybe Leon Ware, who was producer for Marvin Gaye. I love all his work and he is like 70 years old and still touring and doing live shows.
What you think of the drum and bass in Asia right now, and Thailand in particular?
I think it's quite good. I have a great time playing in Asia and people always seem to enjoy the sounds. I always love playing in Bangkok as there's such a good vibe. There are so many foreigners in the city and the club that the atmosphere is unique. It's so different from Tokyo.
Tell us what new DJ gear and records you've bought recently.
I just acquired a Traktor, and I snapped p Marvin Gaye's "Trouble Man 40th Anniversary Edition".
What's your ideal party?
I would be very happy doing a party in small and dark club, playing just cutting edge music and seeing that people are still having fun.
What's the plan for Bangkok this time?
I'm going to play some soulful and musical feel good stuff. It's been for while since I was last in Bangkok so I'm really looking forward to it!
Makoto performs tonight at Glow, Sukhumvit soi 23 close to MRT Sukhumvit and BTS Asoke in Bangkok.