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!
Kyle: I’m Kyle Mikasa (@die_lit666), I’m 21 years old. I was born in Kobe and I still live in Kobe!
What kind of music do you play when you DJ?
When I first started DJing, I was crazy about overseas hip-hop, soI was mainly a trap DJ. After that, I became interested in various types of music. Now I’m a DJ who mixes various genres with a focus on hardcore techno and deep house.
In what venues do you often DJ?
Since I live in Kobe, I often DJ in my town. The places I often play music are Varit and Otohatoba, and I’m also usually at Nagomi Bar as a customer.
How do you feel about the scene in Kobe?
It’s not completely free for us because people from generations above mine have been dominating the scene for a long time. Also, unlike Kyoto and Tokyo, I have the feeling that not many people come to the club because they purely enjoy music …
What do you feel when you’re DJing? And what do you want the audience to feel?
The moment I’m DJing, it feels like my head is empty. It’s difficult to put into words, but I think that happens because I’m purely enjoying it.
The feelings when you are DJing have also a lot to do with the reaction you receive from the people listening to you. I want the audience who listen to enjoy various genres of music.
People who like hip-hop often come to parties where I DJ, but they don’t seem very interested in other genres; they dance when hip-hop songs are playing, but lean against the wall playing with their iPhones when other music sounds.
It’s a shame not to appreciate the quality of a good song even though it’s a song you don’t like. I want to be a DJ that conveys the quality of the songs I play. I want to continue improving my skills for that purpose.
Now that we talk about hip-hop, you are the back DJ of rapper Lil Beamz. How did this connection happen?
I knew him even before he started music. I used to be a customer at the shop where he worked (Beams!). At that time, I didn’t expect to perform with him at all, it still feels strange!
Please tell us about your video project, “Hardware Kobe”!
Hardware Kobe is the name of the YouTube channel I run! I have videos with some cool DJs, so please check it out!
What do you think makes you different as a DJ? How do you try to make a difference?
Since there are usually many songs I want to play, I think the time spent per song is shorter than other DJs. I have an impatient personality! [Laughs]
Also, this is not unique to me, but I don’t keep my set in one genre. I collect my favorite sounds from various sources and assemble a set.
Although your DJ name is Kyle, you upload music to SoundCloud under the name YTG. Is this a separate project?
YTG was originally a DJ crew I had with some friends, but various problems happened and now it’s only me. It’s sad … Originally, four people made a mix once a month and uploaded it.
Right now I’m using YTG as my name when uploading songs to SoundCloud. By the way, YTG is an acronym for Yatagarasu. It is not an acronym for Young Thug Gang! [Laughs]
What musicians, DJs, artists, places … inspire you as a DJ?
I love the Casual Gabberz crew from Paris, I always check what they do. They are a group of artists who make songs in a genre called frapcore, which is my favorite among hardcore.
Regarding Japanese DJs, I found Jackson Kaki’s session shocking and unforgettable when I first saw him. I definitely want to see him again!!
I’ve seen references to Playboi Carti everywhere on your social media profiles, so I guess he’s also a great inspiration for you, am I right?
He’s my favorite rapper, not only because of his songs but also because of his looks. He’s a Sid Vicious-like rapper, with a powerful flow and a punkish style. His fashion is always cool and I respect his flexibility to keep updating himself.
Actually, you are very interested in fashion in a punk vampire-like way. Especially, the first session you played in Osaka, it felt like a vampire party! Are you a vampire DJ?
That’s a good question! I’ve loved fashion and subcultures such as Vamp and Goth since I was little. I think that is reflected in my fashion and my DJ style. And yes, I’m a vampire. Keep away or you’ll be eaten up in an instant!! 🧛🏼♀️
Is there a particular track that you would like to play in all your sessions if you could?
“Evil Grimace” by 3 Litres.
One party where you DJed that you’ll never forget.
I went to this party as part of the audience, not as a DJ. There have been other memorable and fun parties, but I have to say the Pure2000 rave!
At what party, place, festival, rave, venue… would you love to play as a DJ?
I would love to DJ at Kato Massacre! I think it’s really amazing to mantain a party with that quality for more than 300 editions. I respect that.
What is the role of the DJ in our generation?
Now that we have music on streaming, it seems that you can find songs easier than in the past. However, the reality is that the songs are automatically selected by algorithms and only the songs you will like are recommended to you, so you are not finding them yourself.
I feel that many people only listen to songs that they like. That is the biggest problem about the whole Internet; it looks free but is actually bound by systems such as algorithms.
As anarchists or libertarians, we DJs should break those barriers and create opportunities for listeners to come into contact with new genres of music.
(㇏( •̀ ᵥᵥ •́ )ノ)