Underground house music key figure, Japanese DJ Shinsuke Chida (ENE Records) dropped by in Jakarta for a quick stop a few months ago to entertain us for a Pirate Session online radio show (also aired in Tokyo, California, and New York) as well as an intimate gathering at Cafe Mondo and Goods Diner. Sub-Cult got a chance to meet up with Chida at Genus for a brief interview.
It’s been a while since you last play here. . .
I played at Potato Head on NYE2011. It’s been 3 years ago. Time flies.
In your opinion, how did the crowds in Jakarta react to your set last time?
Potato Head is not Potato Head Garage. That place is basically not like a club, more like café and lounge. So, there weren’t many people dancing on the floor. But I really enjoyed performing there. I met some nice DJs and people from the music industries there. They are from Space Rec. and got really good vibe because NYE>NYD. Our party closed before 3am though.
Tell us from the beginning how you first started the underground scene in Japan
Back in ’93 my college mate DJ KENT introduces me to a record company called Avex. They already made a deal with my favorite dance music label in NY, Chicago and London. Ex Strictly Rhythm, eightball, Nervous, Relief, Cajual, Mo’ Wax, Ninja Tune, Dorado, and Filter amongst many others. . So, I started to working at the company as club promoter for these label.
We received so many promo 12”vinyl from these label every week, so my first job at the company was delivering these promo to Japanese DJs. And the company released so many compilation, mix CDs and artist albums like Nuyorican Soul, Joi Cardwell, Ultra Nate. Also promote everything to Radio Station, Music Magazine and I did make mix CDs until 2000. That job was really fun for me. I love all music.
How did you end up collaborating with DJs outside Japan such as Prins Thomas, Ray Mang, Coyote to name a few
I’ve been DJing for over 22 years in Japan and I’ve played with so many international DJs in Tokyo from around 1995, and almost most of the DJs are my favorite artists like Idjut Boys, Prins Thomas, DJ Harvey, Rub ‘n’ Tug and many more. Also, I went overseas quite often from 1995, and I had the opportunity to meet up with many artists in the world. Also, so many international DJs have been coming to Tokyo almost every weekend, so I can collaborate with them easily now.
Can you tell us a bit about ENE Records, how it started
After 2000, I worked for this artist management company and managed Japanese artist called Chari Chari aka Kaoru Inoue. And started my own label called “FOREPLAY!” that is the vinyl only label for Japanese underground artists at the company. I released only 6x 12”s until 2002. But I couldn’t make good business there. I mean, the company was hoping for more big success of the business for me. I could only do underground music for them. So, I left the company and started to work for one of the oldest Japanese independent label called CRUE-L Records as A&R and manager. I learned all of things for real DIY label. After 6years at CRUE-L, I started my own label called Ene.
What music do you listen to during your teenage years?
Pop music that everybody loves such as Michael Jackson, Madonna, Dead or Alive, Pet Shop Boys, Japanese pop, rock music and pretty much every kind of music.
How did you first fall in love with electronic music?
My first favorite electronic music was Pet Shop Boys when I was in Junior High School. I just kept listened to their music every day *laughs*
Who is your biggest influence in music?
So many artists gave me inspiration you know? I can’t name only one. Producers, singers, musicians, DJs, and bands
Do you remember the first record that you own?
I don’t remember which one. . But I bought 12” on Trax, DJs International, De La Soul, Tribe Called Quest, Public Enemy or Heavy D and the World when I started to DJ at the age of 18. This is all in 1991.
I’m sure you’ve heard a few music by Indonesian producers, what did you think of it and what differentiates the music from Indonesian producers and producers from abroad?
I feel some unique atmosphere from artists like Space System, Voyagers Of Icarie, Komodo etc… especially I feel the Asian (ambiance) from the melody. They have really good talents. There are so many amazing talents in Indonesia I think. Tokyo is also Asia, but I think Indonesian music has a stronger unique atmosphere than Japanese dance music.
Any plan to do a remix or collaborate with an Indonesian producer?
I met so many Space Rec. family and I really love their works. So, I’m thinking about some joint collaboration with them, remix 12”s or something sometimes this year. I want to introduce their music and our music overseas like Europe and US.
What is the next big plan for DJ Chida?
I try to keep constant release with many titles on Ene this year. So, please check our Soundcloud page and Facebook. I’m preparing to release next 12” of nick the Record, Felix Dickinson, Coyote, Last Waltz, Ray Mang & Pete Z, Tiago, Bad Passion Project, Lord of the Isles , COS/MES and my own music on Ene. Also, I’ll organize my label showcase in Tokyo, some international DJs Japan tour. Also I’m going on a European tour. And I hope I can come back in Indonesia again soon!
Interview by Vita Aviandhono
Photos by Arifadel Nurez