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Haruka has been associated with Future Terror for a long time, but in recent years he has stepped out from Nobu’s shadow and firmly established himself as one of Japan’s leading techno DJs. A clever DJ with a strong sense for the dynamics of the dancefloor, Haruka is adept at locking into a groove and keeping the energy going. This is reflected in his mix, which is a strong demonstration of the kind of deeper take on techno that Japanese crowds gravitate towards. It is also a good illustration of why he is one of my favourite DJs here. – [Chris SSG – Curator of EE Japan Special]

In recent years Haruka has established himself at the forefront of Japan’s next generation of techno DJs. Since moving to Tokyo at the age of 26, he has honed his skills as a DJ through becoming a resident DJ and co-organizer of DJ Nobu’s infamous Future Terror parties. He has played throughout Japan, including appearances at most of the major clubs in Tokyo – such as Unit, Contact, Dommune  – as well as at the Fuji Rock and Rural festivals. Haruka has distinguished himself through his versatility as a DJ, with the ability to play carefully crafted opening sets, driving and powerful techno in peaktime slots, as well as afterhours sessions or more experimental explorations. These skills have also been displayed on mixes for the Juno Plus and Clubberia podcast series. In addition to his DJing, Haruka is half of Twin Peaks, an improvisational live act he does with DJ Yazi. Haruka commenced 2016 by playing an extended closing set at Future Terror’s New Year’s Eve party, an important moment in defining his musical trajectory for the year to come.

近年、Harukaは日本の次世代におけるテクノDJの中心的存在として活動を続けている。26歳で東京へ活動の拠点を移して以来、DJ Nobu主催のパーティ、かの「Future Terror」のレジデントDJおよび共同オーガナイザーとして、DJスキルに磨きをかけてきた。彼はUnitやContact Tokyo、Dommuneなど東京のメジャーなクラブをはじめ、日本中でプレイを続けている。また、フジロックやRuralなどのフェスでのプレイも経験。Harukaは、緻密に構成されたオープニングセットからピークタイムのパワフルで躍動感のあるテクノセット、またアフターアワーズや、よりエクスペリメンタルなセットへの探求を続ける多才さで、幅広いパーティで活躍するDJだ。このような彼特有の持ち味は、Juno Plusへ提供したDJミックスやClubberiaのポッドキャストシリーズにも表れている。コンスタントなDJ活動に加え、DJ Yaziとのユニット「Twinpeaks」では、即興的なライブアクトを実践している。2016年のFuture Terrorニューイヤーパーティで披露した長時間のクロージングセットは、彼の音楽的な方向性を象徴するとりわけ重要なセットであり、現在のプレイにも繋がるものである。

Japan has long played a fundamental role in electronic music, from being the home of many of its defining instruments to the early contributions of artists such as YMO, then Fumiya Tanaka, Keni Ishii and DJ Krush, amongst others. In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in the country as another generation of artists has come to the fore, with artists like DJ Nobu, Ena, Ryo Murakami and Goth-Trad gaining international recognition. Electronic Explorations has recently featured mixes previously from Japanese producers such as Wata Igarashi and Katsunori Sawa. But geography and language barriers mean that some of the country’s talent is not seen.

So for this series we wanted to put the spotlight on the next wave of artists in Japan. All are primarily DJs and at different stages of their respective careers, but each has a distinct and interesting take on electronic music. The artists also echo the sounds explored by some of the artists now making their mark. Yukimatsu and Zodiak share connections with Ryo Murakami, Haruki and Yazi are affiliated with Nobu’s Future Terror crew, and Lynne is exploring a sound similar to what Ena is associated with. Stylistically this also means they match with the kind of music that distinguishes the Electronic Explorations series.

An important point to note is that these DJs are all based in Tokyo (Haruka, Lynne and Yazi) and Osaka (Yukimatsu and Zodiak), which means the focus is limited to these two cities, but these are the places with the biggest scenes in the country. There is a logic to the structure of the series: the first two mixes are more on the experimental side and from the Osaka DJs, before we move to Tokyo, with Lynne’s mix – in the Samurai / ASC style – acting as a bridge to the more psychedelic brand of techno Yazi and Haruka delve in to. A final point to note: the mixes were all sourced and compiled with the approach that we previously used for MNML SSGS. The blog is the dead, the mentality is alive and well.

My first connections to techno in Japan were with the Mix-Up series including mixes from Fumiya Tanaka, Takkyu Ishino, Ken Ishii and the seminal ‘Jeff Mills Live at Liquid Room’. In the early 2000s I first visited Japan and experienced clubbing in Tokyo including at the legendary venues Liquid Room, Yellow and Maniac Love. Japan was later an important reference point for the MNML SSGS blog, and since 2010 I have been based in Tokyo. This country has been central to my musical and personal development. I feel fortunate to now be part of a supportive and cooperative scene in Tokyo. Hopefully these mixes can give you a bit more of an insight into techno in Japan, and also allow people to recognize not only the differences but also the points of commonality and overlap with what is happening in other parts of the world. While it is never possible to fully escape context, one of the great things about electronic music is the way it can connect people together. Huge thanks to Rob for proposing this series and providing such an amazing platform. I have the upmost respect for his tireless efforts to push quality and innovative music and am very appreciative of the opportunity he has provided.[Words: Chris SSG]



  1. Friday (金) – Haruka (Tokyo, Japan) - EE Special
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  3. 01 - Iori - A Fall Of Moondust [Field Records]
  4. 02 - Raw C + Phramakustik - Borane [No.]
  5. 03 - Israel Vines - Gatekeepers (instrumental) [Eye Teeth]
  6. 04 - Nobody- Track 02 Drum Less Mix [Pong Musiq]
  7. 05 - Deadbeat - Elder Drum [BLKRTZ]
  8. 06 - Gunnar Haslam - Elaea [L.I.E.S. Records]
  9. 07 - Tom Dicicco - A Prayer for Jupiter [Delsin Records]
  10. 08 - Megalon - Tuning [Plink Plonk Records]
  11. 09 - Dorisburg - Splade [Northern Electronics]
  12. 10 - Marcos Cabral - Protected By Time Delay [Duffer Room Records]
  13. 11 - Random XS - Truant [Shipwrec]
  14. 12 - Kamikaze Space Programme - Thalamic [Osiris Music]
  15. 13 - Steve Moore - Frigia [L.I.E.S. Records]
  16. 14 - Dez Williams - Balancing Act [Shipwrec]