Recently we’ve had the pleasure to host Masafumi Take from Japan on our weekly podcast. Masafumi is one of the founders of the boundary-pushing label Katharsis Recordings, based in Tokyo. We now also have the pleasure to share an interview which we have conducted with the Japanese artist.

1. Hi Masafumi, thank you for taking the time for this interview and preparing a podcast for us. How are you?

Hi I’m fine!

2. What made you inspired to become a DJ / producer yourself? Was it a performance you witnessed at a younger age by a certain artist?

I always liked techno but there were no techno raves in my home town Kochi. So when I was 21 years old I decided to start djing and promoting events.
My main influences were witnessing performances by voices from the lake, Donato Dozzy and DJ Nobu.

3. You have started Katharsis Recordings recently with Kannabi, another Japanese techno artist. What made you want to start a label?

We both enjoyed DJing and we were doing small events at a club called Click. We wanted to expand and do bigger events and when I approached him about launching a label he was in the same mind so it was decided instantly.

4. How do you feel about the Japanese techno scene nowadays and its development in recent years? Are more and more people going out to discover quality techno?

Unfortunately, unlike Europe, the following in Japan is declining.
For example a party that used pull 400 people these days only pulls 200-300 people. I feel that in order to continue throwing good parties it is essential to create a strong community in the scene.

5. It seems that in Japan the nightlife has less freedom to flourish than in Europe. (For example clubs being raided due to licensing
issues) Do you agree with this and could you share us what you think is the reason is for this?

Naturally I am against the laws restricting club licenses and prohibiting dancing. However, the laws are not the main problem, as these laws have been updated recently.
There are many highly skilled DJs in japan but most normal people do not know what techno music is or ever get the chance to come into contact with it.
I think Japan is generally spiralling into depression due to the years of neglect by the government to solve issues such as an aging population and long term economic depression.

6. What has been your favourite gig in your DJ career so far? And why?

The gig I played in Brno, Czech Republic last year. The sound system and crowd were great. To have such a vibe playing in Europe was an emotional experience. You can listen to the recording on Scopavik’s podcast.

7. In an interview with Timeout magazine DJ Nobu claimed that theseniority system in Japan prevents a lot of young talent to play atmain stages of bigger clubs. How do you view this and do you feel you have been limited by this system?

Yes that’s true. As I said earlier young people don’t go clubbing and there are not many young promoters and club stuff so it can’t be helped that the promoters are making conservative parties for older generation. However, there are less older DJs recently so it’s changing. I’m not very young in comparison to overseas’s DJs although I’m said to be young in japan. I would like to increase opportunities to hook up DJs and artists in the younger generation from now on.

8. What can people expect from you in the near future, in terms of gigs and releases?

I have a vinyl release of V.A. with some techno producers coming up. Other than that, I have lots of demos I’m planning to send to overseas labels. When it comes to my gigs, I’m having an European tour from Aug 23rd. If there’s a promoter out there interested in booking me, please contact me.

9. Tell us a bit about the mix you recently have prepared for us

I played around with my mix from my gig on new years eve at future terror produced by DJ Nobu. It expresses the new groove, the beauty and madness created by overlapping tracks. I used Asian’s tracks like DJ Nobu and Lemna, Xanexx. Hope you take time to enjoy it.

Masafumi will be making his second DJ-tour in Europe at the end of the summer, if you are interested in booking him, these are his available dates:

  • 23.08.Fri TBA, Prague
  • 24.08.Sat – Available
  • 30.08.Fri – Available
  • 31.08.Sat – Available