So please tell me how these four gathered in the first place.
E-JIMAGoing back, it was an email in November of 2013. At the time, Yusaku (DJ, artist, booker/manager of foreign and domestic artists, writer etc. He used to reside in Bristol at one point, familiar with artists surrounding Livity Sound) used to live in Bristol, helping the local agent. That’s when the topic of "Kahn & Neek wants to go to Japan/ we want to have them perform in Japan" came up. Then the story vaguely went to DX san, who was organizing Soi at Module in Shibuya. We kind of figured that if we were all interested in Kahn & Neek, we should get together once and talk about what we could do. But the schedule kept pending, so it was the end of 2014 when we finally had a discussion about actually organizing an event.
1TAFrom a different route, I was saying to have Kahn & Neek and Gorgon Sound over also. E-JIMA san and I had a little talk at Zero too and that’s when I started to get involved. ‘Find Jah Way’ was definitely one of the triggers to have them here.
E-JIMAAt first, some conditions didn’t meet but then suddenly everything started to roll. At first, we were like "the existing event don’t fit the color" and such.
1TAYes, and we kind of thought that perhaps things might work out if we did it ourselves.
E-JIMASo let’s do it together, so to speak.
1TAI think E-JIMA san and I met through Mix in Aoyama, and we all were acquainted separately but not together. At the time, it was the four of us, plus Yusaku.
Osam Green Giant（Osam）Yusaku came into the story when we wanted to have Dubkasm as well as Kahn & Neek.
DxThat’s actually been around for about ten years. Some people were saying "don’t you want them to be the guests for Soi?" and such. Since Yusaku started to become like a manager figure in Bristol, some sort of connection between artists of Bristol and Tokyo was born, you know, like Livity. But at the same time, I kind of thought Soi didn’t really fit sound wise as well as a front event to represent Tokyo.
Taking a look at the scene, the dubstep emerged in the 2000s and that generation and the sound interacting with new roots sound system culture, like Dubkasm and Gorgon Sound started to take action around in 2010. It seems to me that there was an inevitable link even from a universal perspective, reggae-oriented culture and jungle and dubstep which are rave culture oriented. Of course, I understand that there is a gene of reggae in UK dance culture.
E-JIMAIn that sense, I recall Strictly Dancing Mood (SDM) held at eleven. They had a similar vibe, playing reggae and dancehall as well as stepper and jungle. They also had a mixture of dubstep and it wasn’t who was playing what, but it was more like their sound in aggregate lead to what we do today.
1TADX san and I became friends at SDM in the first place.
DxI think SDM gave us a foundation of bass sound unity. You know, like let’s do it together kind of thing.
E-JIMAThe movement they had literally stepped over the wall of other existing parties.
Being influenced by that, having the philosophy of the 2010s and the theme called Bristol possibly led to creating a new party.
DxAnother thing is that SDM and Outlook Festival started and the word bass music began to be recognized globally. Similar events started in Japan around the same time too.
E-JIMA The actual music is segmentalized, like juke and dubstep but as a whole genre, it expanded. Distributors and record shops started to use the category "bass music" as a whole. Before, we didn’t call it in such a term. There might have be a slight overlap, and some people may have called that the sound system culture but I felt a freedom of genre crossover which I find interesting.
So, the four became acquainted through local onsite backgrounds; do you have a council system when making decisions?
1TAWe gather here (a local favorite, Izakaya Shukuba,) talk and brainstorm over drinks. We also stop by at ZERO to shop and chitchat with E-JIMA san.
E-JIMARight, there have been many ideas that came up when we were just talking about random things.
The existence of ZERO is kind of like having a community, which produces culture: sort of like a salon.
1TAZERO definitely is a big part of everything.
Considering ZERO as a shop, there are times when other people stop by to shop besides you four and that way the shop could be used for a place to exchange information and opinions.
DxYeah, from something serious to "did you hear he broke up" kind of gossips. (laughs)
1TAAt one end, it’s great that bass music became popular but it got kind of saturated. With these four, we wanted show something more concentrated in a party.
E-JIMAIn a sense, people who know get this matching of us four but others may be like "wait, what? Why?" We wanted to make BS0 incognito, but that didn’t last long. (laughs)
1TAYes, it began like that. You know, like we weren’t doing it to promote our names.
It began strictly based on music, it seems like. How you tried to introduce the guests to the public including the background as hosts. That to me, is very media like. Talking about based on music, Eastaudio’s sound system has a major presence?
1TABS0 carries the sound system culture as its base. See, we can’t do anything on our own. We would carry the speakers together; we would break them up after the party and carry them out together. The culture embraces teamwork you see, so they have a massive existence.
E-JIMAAlso, we like the location and the atmosphere of Star Lounge, our usual venue. We like how the guests could re-enter and do whatever, and its size too. It’s quite ideal in Tokyo. We don’t need to do it every month, it’s not like that. We want to give it a special event vibe, with a DIY feel to it.
1TAStar Lounge is more live music oriented, rather than a night club so people don’t come unless we promote the events. We also want to introduce upcoming artists and make a place for the generation to socialize. There are bunch of young DJs who are into bass music and we want to support them, and it’s important that we shouldn’t horn in too much.
DxThat show well in the timetable too. Like us four would usually open and close most of the time.
E-JIMABy no means, we don’t want to give the impression of "look what we’re doing."
So, in the beginning, you were trying to introduce the yet to known Bristol acts and that the main stem of BS0 but for the past couple of years, it seems like there is change of the phase. You know, doing a radio program and doing events at Contact, which are more locally focused.
1TAOh man, those things just kind of happened. (laughs) We are a crew that make "wouldn’t it be great if…" into reality. (laughs)
DxOne of these days, we may have to change the event title then. (laughs)
Hahaha. So, these are some of the aspects to choose that stars, including BS0xtra?
E-JIMAWe are totally dependent on Osam when it comes to BS0xtra. As someone who suggested the idea first, I wanted an event that I could listen to dubstep on a regular basis. Osam and I were talking about using a different venue, but Contact gave us an offer and Osam is the main person to be in charge of the party.
(To Osam) When I check your Instagram, I noticed that you are constantly going to different parties. Is this how you pick up and get inspiration for next acts?
OsamThat, and we got requested to welcome our regular members as well. E-JIMA san said the word "dubstep," but BS0xtra has numerous essences. When it started, we were contacted by agents when artists would be touring in Japan, and we would have them join the event. Things like that happened often.
1TADX san and I are basically the dancers for BS0xtra.
DxYep, just to have a drink or two… I am waiting for a gig offer these days though. (laughs) But you know, I love BS0xtra held at Contact. It has this salon feel to it, like everyone is everyone’s company.
OsamThe story of doing BS0xtra at Contact initially started when we wanted to have Rob (Smith) san there.
I See. So now that I know that Osam san has a distinctive role in BS0xtra, do you all have different roles within BS0? For example, E-JIMA san would be in charge of web promotion and such.
E-JIMAYes. I also blog and am in the "otaku" department.
1TA I do the negotiation with foreign agents and a lot of bookkeeping. Everybody is busy, so I keep everyone’s schedule, keeping them on track and time. DX san is just great the way he is. We appreciate that he is simply just there.
No, really, he would be a legendary jungle DJ if he were in a foreign country.
E-JIMAHe keeps us mentally stable.
1TAAnd Osam san takes notes without saying anything.
DxThe day after a drunk night, those notes really matter.
E-JIMAThis was brought up earlier but he party hops and does a lot of promoting.
How did the radio begin? I’m sure it started as a part of event promotion.
1TANo, it simply started because DX san wanted to do a radio.
DxYep, that’s correct.
E-JIMABut you know, these ideas came up over drinks but every time, the timing was always right. I was saying I wanted to do a radio too, you know. Like a talk show introducing new releases.
It’s a simple delivery, a bit different from posting a mix on SoundCloud.
E-JIMAI like how raw and live it is. So, we were really considerate of the day and time to air. We thought about when people would go home when would be a good time before turning in and finally, we ended up airing at 10:30PM.
OsamTaking a bath and chilling afterwards… might put you to sleep. (laughs)
DxIf you have a drink or two, oooof. (laughs)