We spoke recently with Japanese based duo Drunken Kong to see what they have been up to recently, what they have upcoming on their own productions, what the vibe is like playing at the Tokyo superclub, what their favourite piece of hardware is to use in the studio plus more…
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Where did you find your first love for techno music?
We first fell in love with techno in the mid 90`s when there was a big boom in the popularity of electronic music. We went to the 1st Fuji Rock festival and saw Aphex Twin play. This was our first experience of electronic music and it was amazing, so since then we have been hooked.
You hold a residency at WOMB, Tokyo… Describe what it’s like playing in this amazing venue and how is it different to similar venues across Tokyo.
WOMB is a very special place, as it’s the only underground club in Japan which holds a long history. The DJ booth in the main room is really special. It’s difficult to explain, but it has a special feeling or energy that really you can’t experience in any other club in Tokyo.
Currently, WOMB is the biggest venue in Tokyo for a club, with its 3 floors all each with a very different mood/atmosphere. Each club in Tokyo has a different concept, so it’s really had to find similar aspects however the majority of them do all have really good sound systems and professionally setup DJ Booths.
What can we expect to hear from you two in the next coming months with your own productions?
At the moment, we were fully focused on our album and European tour schedule, so we don’t have any planned releases for the next couple of months, however, we have an exciting collaboration project, which will be coming out towards the autumn. But that’s all we can say for now.
When in the studio, what’s your favourite piece of hardware to use with your productions and why would you pick this over a virtual plugin…
Our favourite hardware is our Manley Variable Mu Compressor. It really fattens and warms up any type of sound. We are always excited when we get to play around it in the studio, and its results are also different every time, so it keeps things interesting.
The character is very different from what you get from software plugins. It’s the whole process of the sound going through cables, then out once into the electronics of this compressor rather than all the information being digitally processed.
What artists are currently inspiring you with the tracks you are producing?
Every artist is inspiring for us! So we simply can’t choose just one. Everyone has their own style, and that’s something we appreciate, as variation is important as a producer and a listener.
What was it like working with a true techno legend Christian Smith on your recent track ‘Shiki’…… do you have good synergy in the studio?
It was an absolute honour for us to be in the studio with Christian Smith. To be honest, we were a bit nervous at the beginning but it didn’t take us much time to feel relaxed which ended up in us having a lot of fun in the studio. The synergy was great so we look forward to working on more collaboration tracks with him in the future.
When writing new EP’s, how much time do you allow yourself for completion?
It really depends for us, but we usually take 2-3 days to fully finish a track. When things go very well, there were times when we have finished a whole EP in a week. But often, we do make changes after testing a track during a gig.
Drunken Kong… Any hidden stories behind you two calling yourselves this?
Our name came from using our initials, D & K. We came up with this name when completed our first track. We had no intention on releasing music initially, so we just came up with the name for fun, but we soon realized we needed something a little different when we had secured our first EP on Tronic, so Drunken Kong was born.
A lot of DJs have moved over to live performances rather than DJ performances. Is this something you two have ever considered full time?
Our sets are usually in between a DJ performance and live set, so we are kind of doing a live every time. We are actually shifting to more DJ sets now since there are so many functions on the Pioneer mixer and the laptop.
Finally, tell us why we should listen to your album? And if you could choose one essential track from the LP, what would it be and why?
We feel our album should be interesting since there are lots of tracks, each with a different concept from another. We also have two collaboration tracks with Christian Smith and Victor Ruiz which we are proud of since it’s our debut collaborations with both artists.
It’s very hard to pick a single track since we feel each one has a concept, but we think “Secret Garden” is interesting since it sounds very unique and different from all our other tracks. Hope you will like it! 😉June 22, 2017