Paradox Music

INTERVIEW #007 – Takaaki Itoh

black and white cover of paradox techno interview with TAKAAKI ITOH


En parallèle de son podcast bien introspectif, on a essayé d’en savoir un peu plus sur Takaaki Itoh. Dans cette interview, le boss de Wols nous parle de la scène japonaise, ses influences et ses projets…

  • Hi Takaaki, can you introduce yourself?

I’m dj and producer from japan.


  • What is your musical background on both electronics and non electronics ?

I used to listen and play italo and house then came into techno.


  • What’s your story with djing ? Where you a fast learner or did you need more time to get familiar with it ?

Jeff mills brought techno to japan in old 90’s. I was completely shocked that he handled music like material. I have found out that this is what I wanted to do !

  • Can you tell us about your production setup ? Are you more into digital or analog ?

I use both now. I think it’s the best way for producing.

  • You founded your own label Wols in 2002, does this idea come from a need of more freedom to release your music ?

The concept is very simple. In the beginning, I have released a lot of records for other labels. But i thought having own label is important to get your own musical identity.

Wols vinyl picture
  • Did you ever think of releasing other artists music on Wols ?

I’m considering that point. I have asked some producers to do a remix but haven’t asked for an original track yet.


  • You have two other aliases, Yarda and Still Blue, can you tell us few words about these two ? Are they ephemeral projects or are you planning to use them again in the future ?

Yarda is a project dedicated for home listening. On the other hand, Still blue is a Tech-house project, but it’s not mine actually, I was only involved in the sound engineering. Those two aliases were more like a hobby for me. Now I’m definitely focused on techno like before.

  • One of your last release was on Developer’s Modularz. How did you collaborate with that imprint ?

Developer has some old vinyls of me. He contacted me to have a track on his label.

  • Who are the Japanese techno artists that you respect the most ?

Fumiya Tanaka and Ken Ishii. Those two introduced so many techno from all over the world.

  • Many of the big techno names think that the Japanese crowd have the craziest vibe on a dancefloor, do you share this statement ?

Japanese people knows music very well. There are many maniacs who analyses how techno tracks are built in details.


  • What are the underground techno clubs that you would advise to visit in Japan at the moment?

« Unit » and « Air » in Tokyo are hosting loads of very interesting parties. 

Andy Stott Japan Tour poster in 2015
  • One of the most important item on my « things to do » list is attending to the Labyrinth festival in Japan, have ever been there ?

Yeah I’ve already been there. It’s one of the best outdoor festivals. Nothing is special there but everything is simple and perfect.


  • In which foreign country you experienced your best connexion with the crowd ?

Berghain in Berlin was the best. I could play whatever tracks I wanted. In my opinion, European people dance more happily compared to Japanese people.


  • What are your connexions with the french Techno scene ?

I know Zadig, Antigone and the guys from Dement3d label. You have really good techno producers and labels.

  • What can we expect from you in the near future ?

I hope I could play in France.

  • What are the labels that drew your attention lately ?

Some Swedish labels are really interesting : Northern electronics and Hypnus.

  • What’s your favorite non electronics artist or track ?

The silence in the mountain is the best music.


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