Radiq on EDM, Film Scores, and His Miami Debut at Foreign Exchange WMC 2013
As the name suggests, it's quite a melting pot of international artists at the Foreign Exchange party. Among other countries, there's Mexico, represented by Balcazar & Sordo, Venezuela by Fur Coat, Spain by El_Txef_A, and Italy by Lula Circus.
But the artist who's scoring the most frequent-flier miles on his way to this party is definitely Radiq (AKA Yoshihiro Hanno), who hails from Tokyo, Japan. And while he might be one of the least hyped names on this lineup, he is decidedly the mad genius of the lot, boasting a uniquely experimental, off-kilter production sound that blends jazz and avant-garde influences with dub techno.
Hanno's singular musical vision has made him an in-demand film scorer. And that's when he's not writing classical compositions for 67-piece orchestras.
Even without the rest of the world-class talent onboard for Foreign Exchange, Radiq's Miami debut is reason enough to attend this party. Show this brilliant newcomer some Miami love with a good turnout on Wednesday. But first, find out what he had to tell Crossfade about his hip-hop roots, out-of-the-box music projects, and new EP.
Crossfade: How did you first get drawn to electronic music? Were you exposed to much of it while growing up in Japan?
Radiq: I had a fever for jazz, soul, and funk music in the early to mid 1980s. Then came the creation of new-school hip-hop, like Jungle Brothers and A Tribe Called Quest, which had a big impact, as those new ideas deviated from musical logic. Toward the end of the '80s, I started making such beats, and playing in the nightclubs in Osaka city.
Your sound blends a lot of different genres and styles. What would you consider your main influences as an artist? Would you say traditional Japanese music plays an influence in your sound as much as the Western ones?
I would say I had many influences from all kinds of music. But I find the minimal groove is a best platform for me to blend my musical interests. Traditional Japanese music wasn't so close to me, but the traditional spirit and mind -- way of thinking -- is still very important for me. That's my roots and blood.
You currently divide your time between Tokyo and Paris, two very different cultural capitals of the world. How are the electronic dance music scenes different in each city? And how does each setting determine your creativity and artistic output?
Yes, for the last 12 years, I've lived in both cities. I can't compare Japan and Europe. But I can say Japanese modern culture is isolated from others in both a good and bad sense. Nowadays, the electronic dance music scene in Paris is so fresh, with so much new, young, and next-generation talent -- much bigger and stronger than the last 10 years. For creating, Paris is comfortable for me at this moment.
Your sound often has heavy layers of instrumentation. What is your creative process typically like in the studio? Do you use session musicians? Or is it strictly just sampling?
I use many different production processes. I have my 7-piece band called Radiq Septet in Tokyo, with drums, percussion, bass, guitar, sax, trumpet -- and I play keyboards. We often have recording sessions in my studio when I stay in Tokyo. Playing with real instruments is an exciting way to keep things fresh.
You've had a big sideline in film scoring and other projects outside of dance music. What can you tell us about them?
Well, I've been working in film scoring since 1998 with some remarkable Asian directors. They opened doors as a composer, and brought me and my music to many international film festivals like Cannes, Venice, etc. I'm hoping I can have opportunities to work with U.S. films in the future! My scores are generally like contemporary classical music. I composed and played my first orchestra piece called "Wake" in Switzerland in 2007. It was a great moment to see that 67-piece orchestra play my piece, as you can imagine.
What can we expect from your new double EP dropping in 2013?
The EP is called Eastern Hemisphere, and it is going to be released on a new Casablanca-based label, Cosmo Records. I had a few recording sessions in Casablanca in 2012 with a great female singer named Khansa Batma and some traditional Arabic instrument players. The sound is basically electronic dance music, but with a rich musical element, like mellow wine. Also, we made a music video for the lead track called "Waiting For My Man" which will be released in May.
What else do you have in store for fans in 2013? Any projects or releases we can look forward to?
I have plans to release EPs on my own op.disc label and some other labels. Me and Fumiya Tanaka already started making tracks for our Dartriix project. On the side, I have some film projects and one modern dance project at Göteborg Opera House in Sweden.
So what can Miami expect during your performance at the Foreign Exchange party?
My performance is simply electronic dance music. But you can feel the blood of a musical history. Enjoy!
Foreign Exchange. Presented by Sub-Motus. Wednesday, March 20. The Station, 62 NE 14th St., Miami. The party starts at 10 p.m. and goes until 5 a.m. Tickets cost $25 plus fees via residentadvisor.com. Call 305-215-3453 or visit facebook.com/thestationmiami.