Passive/Aggressive

食品まつり a.k.a. Foodman – Discovering a world for your own originality (interview)

English March 25 2017 20161006_231108

Interview by Simon Christensen. Translation by Anna Vicario. Originally printed in ZINE 6 in 2016.

Japanese artist Takahide Higuchi is known under the alias Foodman as an adventurous traveler in electronic music. His art plays on other musical styles of the world, but is based in the Japanese juke movement, the eclectic gaming world and culture of his native Yokohama.

Originally inspired by bass-heavy dance music and an avant-garde angle on footwork, he has later mixed his approach up in a collage art that is based on samples, intertextuality and naive melodies to create a personal dream world. This is more evident than ever on his latest release, “Ez Minzoku” – his most ambitious and arguably most diverse and weirdest effort yet.

Since his first international release in 2012 through the American cassette label Orange Milk, Takahide Higuchi has published a lot of music through Digitalis and Noumenal Loom, as well as numerous compilations of which you can find the highlights on his Soundcloud.

Hi Foodman! In international media your name is mentioned in relation to juke/footwork in Japan, but I think your music is a collage of a lot of styles. Do you consider it dance music and footwork, or how do you see your own work?

footworkの分かりやすいフォーマットよりもfootworkを作るときの”感覚”に一番影響をうけました。それはDUBやPUNKがただの1ジャンルから”考え方”や”思考”のようなものになっていったことに 似ています。私もFootworkはジャンルというより、”考えかた”であると思っています。私はfootworkのその精神に影響をうけて、逆にジャンルの縛りから自分を解き放つような曲作りをいつも考えています。

What influenced me the most is the feeling of making footwork, more than its format, that is so easy to understand. It’s similar to how dub and punk music became a way of thinking and at the same time was the thought of one single genre. I also think of footwork as a way of thinking more than as a genre. The way I think of it is that I take the influence of footwork’s soul, but then I always try to create songs that free themselves from the limitations of the genre.

How did your music change for earlier things like “Fan Fan” from the album “Are Kore” to “Ez Minzoku”?

Fun funはまだfootworkの原型がありますが、Ez Minzokuのテーマとして、古代の音楽のようなイメージがあります、もっと自分のプリミティブな部分にアクセスして、まさに古代の記憶と繋がるようなイメージで制作しました。

“Fan Fan” still follows the footwork model, but “Ez Minzoku” has an image of ancient music. I created it by accessing my most primitive self and relating it to the memory of ancient times.

How is a normal day in the life of Foodman? 

仕事は先月仕事を辞めて、現在フリーランスでライブ活動や広告音楽を制作したりしています。全然軌道にのっておらず、まだまだ大変な状況ですが笑 ですので、今は基本的に家で仕事をしています。基本あまり人の多いのほうに出かけることはありません。時間があると近所の銭湯によくいってリラックスしています笑

I quit my job last month and at the moment I’m working freelance doing live concerts and making music for advertisements. It’s not going smoothly yet but although things are quite hard, I take it well. I’m mainly working from home. I don’t usually go to places with a lot of people. If I have time, I like to go to the neighbourhood’s public baths to relax ☺

Electronic Music worldwide seems to be exploding genre boundaries and being in a state of flux between the dance floor and “art music” – how do you see that?

現在のエレクトロニックミュージックのシーンは本当にエキサイティングだとおもいます。しかしインターネットは諸刃の剣で、似たような音楽も非常に増えているとかんじています。情報を閉ざすことも独自に進化するためのヒントなのかもしれません

I think the current electronic music scene is very exciting. However, the internet is a double-edged sword and I feel the amount of very similar music is increasing at tremendous speed. Maybe the trick is to shut down all the information in order to create original work.

How and why do you challenge the boundaries, the geography of current electronic music, with your music?

現在の電子音楽は進化や融合をどんどんしていってるとおもいますし、そのスピードも速いです。私は逆にもっと自分のルーツや子供のころに聴いていたものに興味があります、そこに自分のオリジナリティや表現すべき世界があると考えています。

The current electronic music is increasingly evolving and undergoing fusions, and that happens very fast. I, on the contrary, am more interested in my own roots and in the things I listened to as a child. I believe there is a world for expressing your own originality.

How do you see the future of Electronic music?

それぞれの国の個性を生かしたエレクトロニックミュージックがどんどん出てくると思います。

I think (hope) there will appear more and more electronic music that portrays the individuality of each country.

Info: Foodman played Phono Festival in October 2016 (photo) and will return to Denmark to play Tape in Aarhus on April 21 (RSVP) and an additional gig in Copenhagen tba. The next Passive/Aggressive magazine is underway.