In Chorareii’s ‘DJ ID’ series, both established and emerging DJs from the Japanese clubbing & raving universe share some information about themselves, for us to know the vision behind the bangers.
Chorareii: First of all, introduce yourself!
I’m Daiki Ikeda aka Kamikaze (@djkamikazesan) and I’m 26 years old. I’m from Okayama prefecture, but I live in Tokyo.
What kind of music do you play when you DJ?
Basically, I play gabber. At some parties, I also play drum’n’bass and hard techno.
How did you find out about gabber music and why do you love it so much?
Around 2014 or 2015, I held in my hands a record from the well-established Dutch gabber label Mokum (@mokumrecords) at a record collector’s house. It was my first time to touch a record or listen to gabber, I was shocked! The song I heard that day, called “Guyver” by Tellurian, made me immerse myself in gabber. I started buying gabber records and listening to them like crazy!
Looking at the gabber heads who like European gabber, I became more and more fond of living with a gabber attitude. I felt that I was also a gabber when I learned from the Italian gabber that “a gabber wakes up in the morning, drinks coffee, polishes the night and goes to bed.” I’m the only one walking around Tokyo with a gabber-style buzz cut, wearing an Australian jacket!
In what venues do you often DJ?
I’m DJing in various places in Tokyo, such as Cube in Roppongi, Heavysick ZERO in Nakano, Dimension or Club Asia in Shibuya, etc. During the COVID period, I streamed live sessions from Cube and Varit in Roppongi and recorded at the 7th floor Club in Shibuya.
How did you start DJing?
I didn’t know anything about DJs or clubs at all, but I had a strange curiosity. At first, I got a PCDJ machine, but I didn’t know how to connect it to a computer, sync, or applications! When I used a CDJ and turntables, I immediately got into it, so my career as an analog DJ started right away.
You are also producing your own music, tell me about it!
I basically make gabber and early hardcore. I release my own songs and collaborative songs with M-Project from the Dutch gabber labels Mokum (@mokumrecords) and Gabberhead (@gabberheadrecords_official). This year, I have also released an album, “Mindfuck”, through my own label called Agitator Recordings, which I launched to release my songs as I like.
How did you choose your DJ name, what do you want to express with it?
I took the name from the online game I used to play when I was in elementary school! It’s a Japanese name, but it’s easy for foreigners to remember. I hope to transmit Japanese vibes when I have the opportunity to DJ in Europe. However, there are a lot of artists with the same name on Spotify and I’m in trouble lately!
What do you feel when you DJ and what do you want the audience to feel?
I try to make the dance floor in front of me enjoy as if it was the Netherlands in the 90s!
What do you think makes you different as a DJ or how do you try to make a difference?
The vibes and the passion? I’m a DJ, but I also try to dance more than anyone else on the dance floor! As for my DJ style, I make quick connections because I’m the kind of person who always has thoughts popping in my head. I suddenly come up with the next song I want to play while I’m DJing. For some parties, I try to create a groove by interweaving old and new styles using two CDJs and two turntables.
You are a pro hakken dancer. How did you learn? It seems difficult!
Hakken moves are tricky, so it’s difficult to master. When I was working at an arcade a long time ago, I used to hide from the people to practice, moving my legs all the time! At home, I play gabber music and dance even when I’m cooking!
Tell me about the hardcore parties you organize!
Although they are suspended because of COVID, I used to hold a party called Ga66a6oom in Roppongi and Nakano, and a party called Mindfuck in Shibuya. They were 100% old-school hardcore parties, so not only gabber was played, but also derivative genres such as early terror and early french core.
I invited DJ Chucky, Tatsujin Bomb from Hammer Bros, tcmz or Die, all of them legendary DJs who have been active since the ’90s in Japan. When the coronavirus situation is settling, I want to hold them again.
Is there a particular track that you would like to play in all your sessions?
“Guyver” from Tellurian and “Back Up The Groove” from Irmak.
You usually DJ with vinyl records. Is it easy to find gabber and hardcore records in Japan?
It’s difficult! Several stores have some, but it’s rare to go to a record store, spend hours searching, and find new ones. It would be great to be able to search for hours!
At what party, place, festival, rave, venue… would you love to play as a DJ?
Legendary DJs such as Ruffneck, overseas raves, and large gabber festivals are inspiring to me. I would like to DJ at a European club or festival. I dream of DJing at Thunderdome someday.
How was the experience of visiting Rotterdam?
I went to the Netherlands twice and visited Rotterdam both times. When I first went in 2019, Rotterdam Terror Corps’ DJ Distortion showed me around. I was invited to participate in a hakken dance tournament and I won! I haven’t stayed in Rotterdam for a long time, but it’s a place I want to visit many times.
After years of being a true gabber, how would you define the gabber spirit?
Gabber as a music genre conveys a rebellious spirit, but gabbers share a unique love and behave as a family. Gabber style it’s not influenced by trends or fashion.
What is the role of the DJ in our generation?
Raves are popular right now, so DJs should bring people from various scenes together and have them dance happily. I hope that DJs can make the club culture more universal, more recognized as a culture.