Japan local Risa Taniguchi has become one of her countries most promising techno creators. Besides heading up her own Blink label, she has put music out on Lyase Recordings and will soon drop her Ambush EP on Clash Lion, the imprint of Daniel Watts, TERR and Shall Ocin.
We sat down with Taniguchi to discuss her forthcoming EP, as well as what she has planned for the future and how she approaches a radio show in contrast to playing in a club.
Hey Risa! It’s great to have a chance to chat, how are things with you?
Thank you for inviting me to chat! I am very well thanks! Currently I am in Japan, and it’s almost the start of the summer season. I have just started to learn how to get more active and work out, taking care of myself this year and aim to keep my body and mind in good condition!
June 1st will see you release your Ambush EP on Clash Lion, tell us how the tracks came together in the studio and how they ended up on Clash Lion?
When the label launched with their first release from Maetrik, that was when I discovered what a cool label has been launched. I always play Shall Ocin and Maceo Plex’s works in my sets, so when I noticed one of the head honcho’s of the label was Shall, I reached out by email, so to send over some demos. At the time the label was brand new, and they told me they didn’t have any real long-term plans on the releases yet, as they didn’t know if they would survive the first one. I think Daniel told me I was one of the first people to submit some demos after the Maetrik release came out and they liked my tracks, but I had sent a few and it took them a while to just choose 3 from the bunch! I really appreciate and respect their open-minded concept and approach, and I couldn’t ever have imagined releasing after an artist like ANNA.
The first 2 songs ‘Ambush’ and ‘Execution’ were created around the same time. I remember I made its drum part (the bouncy tom and the harsh clap) first, listened to it during my DJ sets and then added some more bass to it. ‘Monica’ was born when I was building some drum part randomly and thought “I wanna see what it’s like when I add my vocals”….so that track was finished without any real planning in advance, and was all just as I got in the flow.
And what else are you working on in the studio, got any releases in the works you can tell us about?
At the moment, this is my main release and I am working in the studio on some new productions, but they have not yet been signed. Let’s see what happens after Clash Lion.
Your tracks have seen support on radio and social media from massive names like Amelie Lens, Daniel Avery and Boxia, it must be a huge boost of confidence?
Yeah, I really appreciate their support and I do respect their attitude when it comes to hooking up new talents in spite of their hectic lives and tour schedules. Especially for Boxia, we’ve been in touch for a while now and he’s been supporting my music and career thus far. I’d love to be able to give that all back to him as soon as possible in some way!
And you also tour as well as host radio shows, do you approach a gig with an audience differently to a radio show in a studio?
When I play at a radio show, I try to imagine what type of situation the listeners are in, which is hard, as you cannot see them or know what they are doing. So therefore, I usually don’t play as hard as I perhaps would in a club. You think you would not have a vibe when doing a show, as you do not have the audience, but I find its actually really fun and you get into the groove on your own.
Growing up in Tokyo and DJing most often in Japan, what were the biggest differences you noticed when you played in Europe and America?
As you know, dance music was originally rooted in the EU and US, and I can definitely say that the number of people who listen and enjoy dance music in Japan is considerably smaller. I feel the proportion of people who dance without any hesitation is always higher in Europe, we are a reserved nation and it’s a different culture, but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable. Clubs here are really on the go right now, so many amazing venues bringing world renowned artists every month, it’s quite special. The music is the same, but the club vibe different, but that’s maybe what people love when they come here.
Your imprint, Blink Music, what plans do you have for it in the future?
Ahhh you have done some research, Blink Music was made for me to have a place where I can share all my songs with everyone. No matter what genre, style or vibe it falls into. Currently I have no specific plan with it, but hopefully for the longer term future plans, I can turn it into something more and invite friends to release on the label.
And lastly, before we go, what’s the difference between Risa Taniguchi and DJ RS?
I have been DJ’ing and producing as DJ RS for about 10 years and when this release was confirmed, I really saw this as an opportunity to make a crossover as a producer for my career. This release is my debut full EP on any foreign label, which is internationally recognised, so I made the choice to change my alias to my real name, so fans can learn the real Risa.
Risa Taniguchi’s Ambush EP will drop on Clash Lion on June 1st. You can pre-order here.