- Found this interview from a Google search,I don't remember seeing it
before,I don't know when it was done.......
Conversation with Eye Yamataka
by Hans Ulrich Obrist
EYE Ive been so influenced by Panasonic. Its the most impressiv=
music I heard last year. They make up dance music with such a digital
tone and signal sound - for example using the sound of a refrigerator
and answering machine. It resembles a sound like this with beat.
HUO Do you feel part of a more international music scene or of a
Japanese techno scene?
EYE I have so many friends that are Japanese techno musicians, but I
dont pay attention to the border or whether or not this in Japanese
HUO Is there a big scene here?
EYE Yes, yes. Everybody plays music.
HUO Do you also know about the Berlin techno scene?
EYE My friends went for the Love parade.
HUO What about the independent, non-commercial scene in Japan?
EYE There as so many interesting people. For example, my friends, the
group called Logus Gallery, they do live performances in the car.
They take carnoise inside the car. They drive with the audience,
usually for one hour. Sometimes, they do long distance drives from
Tokyo to Osaka. Getting on the large-size speakers, they take in the
noise of the wind By appointment by telephone, they take in an
audience of maximum two persons who can sit in the backseat of the
car. So, if youd like to make a reservation, you can do that. So,
they make up a certain kind of music from the noises, connecting lots
of pick-up mics with the engine and such things, then through bit
mixers and with effectors, delays, distorsions so that the audience
can feel the very techno beat!
HUO It souds very noisy.
EYE It is very organic, very organic, and feels very comfortable. We
feel like were listening to a loud throbbing of the car, which
becomes like techno sounds for using effectors. And, when we are
coming along on the highway, we suddenly shift a tension, get to
high, something like Highway star of Deep Purple. Then, after a=
hour drive, all of a sudden they switch off the speakers and they
dontt answer if I talk to them, saying like it was good or Also=
suddenly, they open the car window so that we happen to hear the
other music the sounds of the car which is driving on the other side
of the street. First enormous noise the car, and then stop, then
ordinary sound of the car-driving from the open window. As we have
been listening to such a big whirring, such difference in the sound
makes us very comfortable.
HUO How do you make a living?
EYE I am playing at clubs or Live spots or making CDs like this.
HUO Did you study Art? or do you come from music, or ?
EYE Ive been playing much more experimental works like Noise music,
HUO When did you start music?
EYE I started while I was in school, from the age of sixteen.
HUO Is your Techno political?
EYE No, no. I dont include any political element, probably.
HUO How do you feel towards mainstream Techno?
EYE Ken Ishii is very popular here as main stream. Techno musicians
are equal to each other, all friends. Frankly speaking, for me, his
music is not very interesting. Do you know about Merzbow. Its super=
this technoband or technoise, techno+noise, making a omnibus (?) CD
with Panasonic and such. Actually Merzbow is by one person, who comes
from art, graduated from art school. His live performance is
fantastic! His sounds are something like Niagara Falls.
HUO Where can we get his records? and video?
EYE So many of his CDs have been released, even in Germany. Videos
too, through the visuals are not very interesting, but the sound, his
sound is, how can I explain it
HUO Something like Panasonic?
EYE The sound of Panasonic is much more static, I think. His (Masami
Akitas) sound may be so sensuous like Niagara Falls. In any case,
very noisy! Also, there is another called Incapacitants, by two guys.
They are Trans, not Trans-techno. They use a very strange original
machine, which is like that used by Iron man 28 (Hero of a popu=
Japanese Manga), and make extremely violent sound. Its
extraordinary, they get into shamanic. Through they look like shamen
in their performance, theyre actually the elite of a big company;
they have a certain position.
HUO Do they belong to the Company? Are they employees? Does the
company pay money for their music?
EYE One works for the Sumitono Bank, the leading bank in Japan, as an
executive. In America, you can find businessmen in high positions
with tattoos. This guy, the leader, is very small and the other one
is really big, like you. Once they start playing, they are in the
shamanic state. Its so great and I feel like Im being released.=
They have their own label and at the same time they release many CDs
on other labels.
HUO Do you yourself have your own label, or do you work with other
EYE I work with Warner brothers.
HUO Is there a good record store in Tokyo?
EYE Los apson near Shinjuku Station. If you go there, you can f=
such records as I mentioned before.
HUO You use lots of basically minimalist elements from (maybe)
traditional Japanese contexts.
EYE We have a unique situation in Japan or in Japanese society that
an incredible number of people are playng Noise music. Merzbow and
Incapacitants are at the head of the list. Abroad, such Noise is not
considered music. I mean, not too well recognized. Only in Japan.
Such noise makes music because Japanese society has the specific
problem, so that we may try to make a balance with a balance with
this. Noise music.
HUO When did it start? Is it a recent phenomenon?
EYE It started more than ten years ago and the very first one was
HUO What is the role of Punk in Japan?
EYE There were lots of Punks in Japan, then the techno movement came
to us, liking together with them. These two groups (Merzbow and
Incapacitants) have been playing since then.
HUO Has Japanese techno anything to do with Japanese traditional
EYE Yes, yes. Gagaku (Japanese traditional music) is fantastic! I
think this could be techno, which makes me really happy. It is the
best chill-out music! We dont get a beat at all from this Gagaku
music. However, this should be our traditional drug music using a
sort of Japanese magic reference to something like the emperor system
as a tradition, I guess. That is, they have been playing this music
at Court since a long time ago. In Gagaku concerts, the musicians
play with inspiring smoke of the grasses. We burn the hemp at the
Court ceremony, which means to purify the people who attend to sacred
ceremony. Then, the musicians inhale the smoke like this (fanning by
hands). Other wise, they cannot make that sort of strange beat in the
ordinaries. Those sounds like Weeee in come from the weeds
(grasses). In Japan, we have kept on such specific ceremonies using
the grasses. However, when we lost the war to America, we tried to
occult this technique of Japanese specific magic, so it would not be
known by the other countries. This is a story and Im not sure if
its true or not. Personally, I believe it. Anyway, we have a
specific culture, specific magic, to burn the hemp for purity at the
Court Ceremony. Also, Shinto Priests still use this in their
ceremonies. And, Gagaku have been following this long and mysterious
tradition. This should really special music its a little bit
dangerous. I think its quite similar to the work of Panasonic.
HUO You seem in a bit of a hurry; are you very busy at the moment?
EYE Yes, very busy at the moment.
HUO There is one more question which I would like to ask you Im=
interested in knowing more about your visual works, what you do in
the music and how it works with painting; how this relation
functions. Maybe also it is relation in making prior thing like that.
EYE Whenever I look at a painting, I hear the sound from it, wich I
can use for composing On looking at Ohtakes painting, I head
naturally enormous sounds. For me, I dont draw a distinction between =
music and painting.
Eye Yamataka, born 1964 in Kobe, vocalist of Boredoms.Logus Gallery:
Yasuhiko Hamaji and Yoshihiro Nakase, starting this performance on
driving Citroën from January 1994.Merzbow: Masami Akita. At live
performance, he plays with the other two.Incapacitants: Toshiharu
Mikawa and Fumio Kozakai, started as solo unit by T. Mikawa in 1981,
then with F. Kozakai since 1990. Mikawa works at the Sumitomo Bank
and Kozakai works in the local government.Gagaku: Authentic
traditional music, originated in 7th century Japan, and was played
for the court, shrines and temples during special ceremonies.