Wax Poetics X Susumu Yokota
I've been waiting to post about this for months.
I’m going to keep this week’s newsletter somewhat short and sweet.
Four years ago, I profiled the cult Japanese composer and percussionist Midori Takada for Dazed. In the process of writing about Midori’s story, I befriended her then manager, Ken Hidaka. Over the last decade, Ken has been one of the central figures behind the scenes of the global expansion and reassessment of 70s/80s Japanese Jazz, Post-Punk, Kankyō Ongaku, and perhaps as well, the more experimental side of City Pop, but another of his true loves is the music and memories that were created during Tokyo’s burgeoning 90s/2000s house and techno scenes. This of course, brings me to what I want to talk about today.
Earlier in the year, Ken informed me that 2021 was the seventh year since the passing of the legendary Japanese composer, producer, DJ and visual artist Susumu Yokota. With the seventh year being a significant milestone in Japanese culture, we decided it would be only right to spend the next few months researching and writing up Susumu’s life story. After coming of age with the post-punk generation in the late 70s/early 80s, Susumu became a successful graphic designer and visual artist, before falling in love with acid, house and techno, and eventually modern ambient, while contributing to these genres through a dizzying number of releases, remixes, production credits and the like.
Anyway, we’re already written about him once, and it would be better if you read those words than something I’ve ramblingly typed up before 8 am. The full story, titled After The Cherry Blossoms Fall, is live over on the Wax Poetics website now. You can read it here. With that said, I must be going, but before I leave, I’d just like to extend some special thanks to Ken, Andrew Mason @ Wax Poetics and Susumu Yokota’s friends and colleagues, many of whom spoke with us for this story.
This week’s photos were shot with an ISO 400 B+W film on my Olympus MJU II point and shoot camera, before being developed and scanned by Wellington Photographic Supplies.