Reported by Tara / Submitted 02-05-17 21:54
Japanese psy trance artist Cylon first started out playing guitar in soul and funk bands before he fell in love with the energy of psychedelic trance and started his life-long mission to get some groove into the genre. He’s coming home to the next edition of Tribal Village – A Psychedelic Adventure on Saturday 13th May at The Steelyard for the worldwide launch of KEEWL – his new collaboration with Tribal Village main man Jay OM – as well as to play a live set of his incredible Cylon tunes.
With the excitement for Tribal Village starting to build, we caught up with Takeo-san to talk about his music, festivals, Japanese food and ummm toilet paper!
Hi Takeo, thanks for taking time out of your hectic schedule to answer some questions for your fans before you head back to London to play at Tribal Village on 13th May. First, for those readers who don’t know you, please tell us a bit about your background and how you first got into making music.
Hello there! Okay, I will tell you guys all my experiences and thoughts from now.
Did you have music lessons growing up or was it something you slowly became interested in over time and started teaching yourself?
I’ve never taken any music lessons for making psy trance music… So I’ve been seeking the way of making psychedelic music and learning and practicing by myself to create the amazing visions. However, it’s a useful experience that I was composing many kinds of music in the band as a guitarist.
You played the guitar for many years in heavy metal and rock bands. Can you remember when you first fell in love with psy trance and finally made that move to the dark side?
First of all, I don’t wanna think that the psy trance scene is placed in the dark side… Hahaha. I always feel lots of love and light as positive vibes from our scene.
Actually, I also performed as a guitarist for many years in a few soul/funk bands. Funk music is still one of the best types of dance music for me now. But I’m Asian, I cannot become the kind of Afro-American I respect even if I wish it! So, I realized I need to seek a musical platform which is a common style for all the humanity on our mother earth.
And then, I finally met and fell in love with this kind of dance music called psychedelic trance! It also seemed like there needed to be some more groovy sounds put into this kind of psychedelic music. So, I made a decision that I’ll be with this scene till I die.
Our scene always gives me a peaceful mind and lovely atmosphere like a hippie community in the ’70s… That’s the great point for me.
What have been your main musical inspirations over the years? And now?
It comes from any styles of past music which the great musicians created, then I unleash the music as my style into the world of the psy trance scene now.
You’ve also released tracks under the names of K-Wave and Naminji. When did the project Cylon first get born?
K-Wave was a collaboration unit between me and DJ Keisuke from Matsuri Tokyo. ‘Naminji’ is just my nickname that I’ve been called since I was a junior high-school student. So, the humanoid CYLON needed to be born in 2011 for spreading out my DNA around the world.
How has your sound changed and evolved since you first started making music?
When I started to create my own music, it was just fun only for me. And then, I gradually came to wanting to see your smiling faces that are dancing during my live performances. My sound has been changing since to an organic taste after I realized what is the real psychedelic music. All the psychedelic experiences will keep giving us the next level of awareness like the flow of a river evolving through our lives. Do you know what I mean? Hahaha…
Please describe the Cylon sound in five words.
It’s so easy to describe them for my music… ‘Psychedelic’, ‘Dance’, ‘Groovy’, ‘Fractal’ and ‘Life’.
What have been your key musical highlights so far? And what goals do you still have for the future?
There were three precious moments as my keys of musical highlights… At the beginning of my funk band called You Say’s, the start of the project as CYLON and starting to play outside Japan.
I don’t know which is the final goal, because the goals you think are probably just the checkpoints I think. Psychedelic means my life, my life melts into the psychedelic vortex…
What sort of set up do you have in the studio? Do you have a favourite piece of studio kit or plug in at the moment?
It’s top secret!! Hehehe… My favourite piece of studio kit is my Dynaudio BM12 Mk3s as they are the best monitor speakers for my studio. Checking your sound via good monitors is the most important thing for designing the beautiful visions.
How is the psy trance scene looking in Japan at the moment?
I feel that has become more peaceful and comfortable for me… However, it needs more domestic artists who have high quality sound and lovely hearts.
When I lived in Japan many years ago the electronic music scene was mainly centred around Tokyo and Osaka. If I was to come over for a holiday now, what events and festivals should I check out?
Everyone should check out Sunshine Festival hosted by the Sunshine Family. It’s the best open air festival in Japan… If you have any plan to come here in September, it’s gonna be killer!!
The summer festival scene is about to hit the northern hemisphere; which festival are you looking forward to the most this summer?
It’s a bit hard to focus on just one festival… But if I had to choose, I’m pretty stoked to play at Ozora Festival for the first time. Because many Grasshopper Records mates have been playing there for a few years.
What are the three things you would never go to a festival without?
There’s no specific stuff I want… But I’m so happy to go to a festival with toilet paper, bottles of water and cigarettes. I especially need lots of toilet paper at a festival! Hahaha!
You’re signed to Grasshopper Records. Do you have any new productions in the pipeline you can share with us yet?
I’ve been working very hard on my project as CYLON in the past few months. But nothing is left in my hand. I don’t have any fresh tracks in the studio now. So, you can visit my SoundCloud page for checking my latest tracks and live sets!
If you were going to have a dinner party at your house, what traditional Japanese food would you prefer to cook?
I’m really glad that you asked me this question!! Hehehe… I would love to cook my Japanese-style curry with a few kinds of soup stock, spices, herbs and many kinds of other stuff. It’s not an absolutely traditional style, but that curry is a totally typical Japanese food. It has very nice and amazing taste. So, you should try to eat it I cook in the near future!!
You’ve recently started a wicked new project, KEEWL, with Free-Spirit Record’s main man Jay OM, which you’re launching at Tribal Village on 13th May. How did this collaboration come about and what do you have planned for your world-wide debut?
Yes, I’ve started a new project KEEWL with my dear soul brother Jay OM. Actually, we’ve been feeling the same vibration with each other since we first met, so it was very nice to harmonize the two different streams. We are making some innovative tracks that make the real psychedelic visions recently. But I don’t want to reveal too much, just come and join us to check out our world-wide debut at Tribal Village on 13th May!
You’re also playing a Cylon solo set at Tribal Village; what treats do you have in store for your fans?
I’ve been preparing lots of groovy sounds for this event. So, my latest tracks will be dropped to you guys on the dance floor. Anyone can come and feel the cylonum at Tribal Village, if you want it!!
Finally, what else do you have on the agenda for the rest of 2017?
I will humbly keep unleashing my DNA on all the beautiful people around the mother earth!!!
Many thanks for your time Takeo! Looking forward to seeing you at Tribal Village on 13th May!
You are most welcome! See you all on the dance floor!!!!!