A Tokyo native and London resident for several years now, Junki Inoue has been collecting and playing vinyl records since he was 16 years old. Part of the Toi Toi Musik squad and Cartulis crew, in 2021, Junki reinforced his dedication to music by launching his own record label- SAISEI, which has just issued its third release, a reissue of the widely respected Japanese producer Suzukiski and his 1993 Thought LP. For the first time, all 12 tracks will be available on vinyl, with the majority of them exclusively re-edited particularly for vinyl extended play.
Having observed Junki’s diverse sets and knowing his perception of music culture, we were curious to see how he would respond to our Music Through Pictures. We won’t give anything away, but there are nine tunes below that you should absolutely add to your playlist…
I.R.M. – Arc Chamber
Junki: Fold club in London where I regularly play for my residency – Cartulis Music. One of the few clubs that strongly encourages me to play more serious techno bangers like this. This is probably one of the earliest Japanese trance records I own, which was released in 1992. This would be a perfect peak time tune to play there.
Kino-Moderno – Into The Future
Junki: This track instantly came to my mind when I saw this image. This is the one from the Japanese legendary duo Kino-Moderno formed in 1986 that I reissued on vinyl for my label’s first release – SAISEI. A spacy and futuristic electro-techno gem was originally recorded in 1989. It still sounds so fresh today, and I believe this will always sound timeless. I felt a sense of odd connection to the fact that this early Japanese acid house track got reissued in the UK where it has its roots by a Japanese who happened to be born the same year as the music.
Brian Bristol – Ear Candy (FYI Chris Demerara Remix)
Junki: This little dude with a big eye in this image reminded me of the artwork of this UK based label – Mysticisms. The original version of this track was released on a US house label in 1996, but I really like this new remix they’ve added to their reissue came out in 2018. This smooth breakbeaty deep house gem always brings a magical moment to the dance floor.
Junki: The Lion and Lamb is everyone’s favourite local boozer in London, and it has been my dearest home since its beginning. I love playing at the pub because it allows me to pack more softer (but groovy) music that I don’t get to play so often. The tune I picked here is from the 2nd release of SAISEI. Originally recorded in the mid-’90s by a prolific Japanese artist Takuya Sugimoto better known as his Web alias. I love its deep and warm vibes with a bit of trippy feeling that gives a certain charm atmosphere. A mega classy 6 tracker – COLOGNe / Deep Talk EP is now available at your favourite record stores.
Junki: This strange Belgian new beat techno from 1988 is the perfect tune to describe the situation of this image – Attack of the (Acid) alien invaders. It took me years to really appreciate this track, but I came to like it more and more and am up for this now – Trippy af 👽 I imagine that some people would get panicked and try to escape from the dance floor literally like these people in this image if you drop this in the wrong place at the wrong time…But hey, no risk no fun eh?
Kino-Moderno / Acid Water
Junki: Again, this is from the same EP by the legends – Kino-Moderno. This was the first thing that came into mind when I saw this twisted, trippy and psychedelic image. As you can guess from the track name, its all tripped out and sounds very flooded indeed. I call it (Japanese) Acid 😃🇯🇵
Z@P – Tracid
Junki: Arguably the most successful and recognisable release on Cartulis label that needs no introduction – It’s safe to say this is a future classic of our generation. For those of you who are already a fan of this tune, I’d highly recommend you check out the second release of Cartulis sub-label – ALT records that are about to drop soon. You’ll find the track by Z@P that bears a close resemblance to Tracid. After-hours tip!
Takkyu Ishino – Aoi Neon
Junki: Tokyo’s neon lights are on 24/7, and it’s something to see if you get a chance to visit Japan – the city that never sleeps. This hidden Tech-House bomb by a Japanese veteran producer & DJ Takkyu Ishino fits this image perfectly – Aoi Neon which translates to Japanese to mean Blue Neon Lights.
Suzukiski – Thought
Junki: This is the title track and the closing track of Suzukiski’s Thought album, the latest release on SAISEI due in November. I’m honored to reissue this masterpiece on vinyl for the first time after almost 30 years of its existence. I love the moment when I listen to some of his softer music like this with my headphones on, especially after an intense clubbing night. As Masaaki Hara described in the liner notes for this reissue – An introspective moment that takes you into your own inner world. The image of this empty train matches perfectly with this state of mind. I don’t exactly know what this is, but it has something that makes you feel ok to feel alone, and it did help me. I think this is one of the beauties of Japanese electronic music I adore and probably the reason why I was so drawn to their music more than ever during these strange pandemic times.
Words by: Monika Zander