PARTY @club_Harlem “ROYAL FLUSH” at BX Cafe with @djkenske @djshinobu @DJ_GIN_

Royal Flush at BX Cafe / Harlem

Royal Flush at BX Cafe / Harlem

 

ROYAL FLUSH at BX Cafe / Shibuya, Harlem

My favorite Tuesday night party :)

Main floor of Harlem showcases the totally awesome duo DJ Koya & DJ Kango for the famous “Red Zone” party.  One of the longest (if not longest?) running hip hop parties in Tokyo it gets pretty packed, The Tuesday night hot spot in Shibuya you will always be able to spot celebrity dancers as well as MCs and DJ from the Japanese hip hop scene.

However, for a more chill scene with a bit more of a ‘step to the left, step to the right’ sort of vibe head upstairs to BX Cafe.  A lot of 90s music, more space to move and usually better smoking manners.  One price for entrance gets you into both sections.

 

 

 

A Review of : Osiris DCLXVI – Mix 001 by @MrTikini #NP

From @MrTikini

From @MrTikini

What I’ve been waiting on /// Osiris DCLXVI 

Mix 001 by @MrTikini

Words by @TokyoTwilighter

I’ve been in anticipation of THIS mix by good friend, collaborator of choice and DOPE DJ – MR. Tikini ever since we first met year over half a decade back.

One of the MOST talented people I know, not just because he can spin but because he is one of the FEW non-Japanese residents that has been successful in connecting the Japanese music scene with the outside world.  His attention to the nuances of Japanese culture and his sincere admiration for the dope artists here make for amazing collaborations and sound results.

For me personally I have seen my good friend go through transitions professionally and personally that from my perspective have finally found a creative outlet in this new mix series.  The vibe is raw like a live mix, but smooth and refined in a way that reflects pre-meditation and life experience.

At first I thought the mix was a bit dark, much like a lot of the Japan scene has been of late.  Hard beats and lyrics that reflect a hustler attitude and non-stop grind, but then the transition around minute 14 shows an almost naive hope, a re-birth maybe.   And when I heard the innocent voice of Darren’s adorable mixed son speaking in English it confirmed what I already knew, this mix was about more than an eclectic selection from the ‘real’ music scene, it was a tribute to the collection of experiences in the British-born/Japan-kidnapped/one-half Spexsavers Mr. Tikini’s emotional state as of late.

This is by no means, ‘a pretty mix’, it’s for lovers of the paranormal, those experienced in heartbreak and emotional explosion.  Those of us able to be unbridled in our fury and desperate in our passion.  From around track 10 – Cas Ft Sheg Nasa – Spaced, the British hip hop influenced and slightly grimey London scene makes its presence known.  Check out the video’s visuals below.

In a lot of ways, I found the mix hard to listen to.  It brought up some emotions in me that I didn’t expect, raw feelings about life and the grind I personally have been on that have been a trial to deal with as of late.  For Tikini, I wonder if it was in that mind state that he free flowed in the booth to create this mix.

At the risk of alienating other age groups, the late 20s, early 30s range that me and my close friends are moving through right now involves a lot of transition and traditional lifetime milestones (marriage, kids, promotions, death of family members, etc.) It is also a moment where a lot of us are trying to decide if we can purse a passion as a full-time career and whether our responsibilities and relationships are adding unnecessary weight to our creative process.  It is a time to decide, is now the moment to be ‘selfish’?  Or am I beyond that opportunity because of my life decisions?  Am I prepared to live with the financial, familial and career consequences of my choices?

Perhaps I am reading too much into the mix, but as I listened to the raw sounds that blended into a short soundtrack to a snippet of my life that’s what I got out of it.

Not for the tame of heart, this mix will make you think.  And if it doesn’t, then you may want to check purgatory cuz your soul is lost in between this world and the next.

Photo by Jesse Freeman

Design by Reuben Cape:
Photography by Jesse Freeman:
Engineered by Kazuhiro Namba:

INTERVIEW : @DJMonumental ready to return to ‘the Far East’

The Dynamic Duo – J-Lie & DJ Monumental

Dubbed “the young genius from Brooklyn” the youthful @DJ Monumental is already making moves big enough in NYC to catch the attentions of trendsetters and promoters in the Far East.  Hear him spin and watch the handsome party person mingle with his mostly female fan base and it’s easy to understand why Tokyo taste-maker @NaoDiddy has chosen him as a brand ambassador for his popular Asia-based hip hop inspired Magic Stick apparel street brand.

Sneakerhead, ‘good health’ spokesperson and the most popular DJ under 25 in the New York metropolitan scene right now, the ambitious entrepreneur has received co-signs from colleagues such as Bow Wow’s Tour DJ and long-time friend DJ Jus to government officials like respected New York State Senator Martin.  Already getting booked regularly for gigs overseas in Europe and the West Indies,  DJ Monumental returns to Japan for a second time in 2012 to headline his first Japan DJ Tour.  The “Hometown Hero Japan Tour 12″ kicks off on November 2nd and will include club play, in-stores and fan meet & greets across Japan.

Name: DJ Monumental
Occupation:  Trendsetter
Twitter: @DJMonumental
Website: DJMonumental.com

@TokyoTwilighter How did your first Japan tour come about? 
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@DJMonumental Being that I’m J-Lie‘s (New York movement Slowbucks first artist) official DJ, J got the call for Swag Family Legacy’s “Summer Music Festival” and the rest is now history
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@TokyoTwilighter What was the highlight of your trip?
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@DJMonumental That’s a really hard question. There were so many highlights. It’s a toss up between the  show at Espirit Beach House that turned into a foam party and the after party at Vanity Lounge for the Zepp Tokyo Show. GOOD TIMES!
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@TokyoTwilighter Where did you shop and what did you buy?
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@DJMonumental I didn’t get to do as much damage as I wanted because our schedule was FULL.  I was able to do a little shopping in Harajuku the day before we left.  I got a little carried away at Supreme, Undefeated, Bape and Kinetics.  I was able to find a lot of pieces which were sold out in New York. Good thing I didn’t have much time to shop huh LOL!
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@TokyoTwilighter How was the food, anything you couldn’t eat?
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@DJMonumental Being that I’m a man who L-O-V-E-S food, there wasn’t anything that I wasn’t willing to try! My favorite dish has to be OKONOMIYAKI! (a Japanese omlette) I’ve never had anything like it. Thank you J-Lie and Nati (J-Lie’s Japan road manager) for the introduction.
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@TokyoTwilighter What surprised you the most that went against your expectations of Japan? of Tokyo? 
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@DJMonumental Our driver D-Nice was listening to Chopped and Screwed music, that was probably the last thing I would of expected to hear in Japan.  Come to find out there’s quite a large following of southern Hip-Hop culture in Japan.
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@TokyoTwilighter What Japanese words or customs did you learn?
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@DJMonumental Arigato (thank you), watashi wa nihon ga daisuki (I love Japan) and my favorite HAI! (yeah).
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One half of the #DreamTeam

@TokyoTwilighter You were able to DJ in concert with @JLie and in the club as a headliner, how did the party scene in Tokyo compare to your NYC hometown?

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@DJMonumental Honestly, at times I would forget that we were in Japan.  I felt like I was home until I looked up and everyone had their camera phones out recording us.  Lol.  (DJ Monumental performed at Zepp Tokyo and spun at Shimbashi 300 Bar, Vanity Lounge and on Enoshima beach.)
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@TokyoTwilighter What songs that you spun got the biggest reaction?  
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@DJMonumental SHOTS! SHOTS! SH-SHOTS! Lol LMFAO feat Lil Jon – Shots, worked every time.
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@TokyoTwilighter Anything you didn’t get to do that you aim to get done next time?
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@DJMonumental I would love to visit more Japanese monuments, do some real shopping and take a ride on the train , it’s the  New York in me.
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@TokyoTwilighter When will you be back to Japan?
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@DJMonumental November 1st! for my very own tour.  The Hometown Hero Japan Tour 12
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Hometown Hero Japan Tour 12 Schedule

DJ MONUMENTAL “HOMETOWN HERO JAPAN TOUR” 2012

11/2 (FRI) “CEREAL KILLA” @ Erecktrik Jinja(六本木)
11/3 (SAT) “MANHATTAN RECORDS INSTORE LIVE
                 @ Manhattan Records(渋谷)
11/8 (THU) “MAKE OR TAKE” @ UCess Louge(原宿)
11/9 (FRI) “FLY FRIDAY” @ Bar One(大阪)
11/10 (SAT) “MANHATTAN RECORDS INSTORE LIVE
                  @ Manhattan Records(大阪)
11/11 (SUN) B’S KITCHEN @ Sam & Dave’s(大阪)
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Contact DJ Monumental’s Japan promotion team the #JapanCrew @ILMPJapan for more details.
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Check out Dj Monumental’s favorite Tokyo-based clothing brand Magic Stick here

FILM : Jiro Dreams of Sushi

Sushi and Sustenance 

Passing down the legacy of culture and food

Released in 2011, ‘Jiro dreams of Sushi’ is a sensitive look at family and food as director David Gelb gives the audience a look into the life of the world’s greatest sushi chef.  Jiro is a humble chef who despite have only 10-seats in his subway station located restaurant has earned 3 Michelin stars, the highest honor in food preparation .

The film is a visual orgasm for the senses as shots of mouthwatering sushi and vinegared rice keeping coming frame after frame in a series of gourmet food porn that leave viewers hot and hungry by completion.

But the story is less about food and more about a life’s journey in the pursuit of daily perfection by the main character, Jiro, an 85-year-old father and chef who has been declared a national treasure by the government of Japan for protecting traditional food culture.

To appreciate the nuances of the documentary’s subtle themes it is important to understand the real goals of traditional hobbies and sports popular in Japan such as karate, calligraphy and tea ceremony to name a few.  These activities are not short term competitive endeavors for fame and glory but rather lifetime pursuits of development and maturity.  Talent is of course a factor in becoming ‘good’ at your sport or trade, but the more important lesson is that consistence and persistence will lead its student onto an honorable path of long-term self-improvement.

However for me personally the most POWERFUL part of the tale was the dynamic father-son relationship between a man who has been recognized for his priceless ability and a son who may never live up to his father’s immeasurable legacy.  For every daughter or son following in the footsteps of greatness and legend there is the constant psychological struggle of never knowing if they’ve become their own person or simply a weak imitation of potent DNA.   To explore the biological need for fatherly love and the social desire for individual professional recognition, the film does an excellent job of exploring the complicated nature of the relationship without forcing an opinion on its viewer.

For more on the film check out the website here

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#NP “Wordy” TOWA TEI with BAKUBAKU DOKIN

This video is EXTRA trippy.

Elita Design Award 2012 / Panasonic by Akihisa Hirata “Photosynthesis”

#np Crystal Kay ☆ Delicious na Kinyoubi

@TokyoTwilighter makes her video debut!

Enjoy a ‘Where’s Waldo’ of trying to find Mariko

I was SO excited when I saw this high-quality version of the Japanese songstress Crystal Kay’s latest music video, not only because it is a great song and she’s an amazing lady, BUT because I AM IN THE VIDEO.  Yes, I know that I often lecture that ALL CAPS are unnecessary but in this moment I find them 100% appropriate.

Now, I realized that since the scenes and sequences move quite quickly that it may be hard for anyone, even my mom, to pick me out of the enthusiastic bowling party crowd at first.  However, I am in over 20 shots, and once you find me, it’s like I just keep jumping out of nowhere throughout the video… look!  Mariko!  And again!  And again!

I am rocking the awesome Marc Jacobs glasses, blue shirt and thick yellow and black necklace I was lent to via Ms. @GyeNyame :)

Oh and Crystal looks pretty amazing in the video as well :)

 

 

Tune into web radio program @JapanVB

 

 

JVB – Japan Visionary Broadcasting

Your weekend has now officially begun.

A refreshing option to going out, enjoy good music and great DJs at home or in the office to get your weekend started.  You can tune in free to Japan Visionary Broadcasting via live web streaming.  Spinning a variety of good music, the DJs positive vibes and great energy transmit from their ‘secret’ studio location through to your PC, iPad or smart phone no matter what time zone you may be in.

Check it out :)

http://thejvb.co/

 

 

[EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW] Talking with Japanese hip hop group Gagle of Jazzy Sport

 

@TokyoTwilighter EXCLUSIVE Interview with Gagle

Getting a behind the scenes look at music making brilliance

Last year I was blessed to have the opportunity to interview Japanese hip hop group Gagle.  We talked music, influences, family and appealing to the overseas audience.

Made up of brothers, MC Hunger, producer DJ Mitsu the Beats and long-time friend DJ Mu-r, the group has been together since 1996 making great music as part of independent label Jazzy Sport’s impressive catalog of Japanese artists.

Having been together since birth for the brothers and as a group since ’96, my first question was ‘Do you ever fight?’  To which the laid back trio was quick to reply, ‘Nope!’  Although younger brother Hunger did admit to being terrorized by older brother Mitsu as a child, sometimes when sleeping Mitsu would pour milk over his sibling to wake him up!

The onomatopoeic group name ‘Gagle’ comes from the word meaning a harsh or cacophonous sound which in the hip hop group’s earlier day’s accurately described their sound, especially Hunger’s distinct vocals, although they said over the years the music has chilled out quite a bit.

Beatmaker DJ Mitsu the Beats has gained international acclaim, with many of his videos on youtube gaining plus 100,000 hits and positive comments from fans even outside of Japan.  Mitsu’s music preferences tend towards old records, especially the 70s with his birth year being his favorite time period to sample from.

If you haven’t had a chance to hear the group’s music yet, make sure to check out their music on iTunes and YouTube.

Thanks to Magik.jp it was all capture on film and put together with some amazing show footage.

Finally MC Hunger was kind enough to do a short freestyle for me and add my name!

B.D. “NINJA TUNE” feat. KGE THE SHADOWMEN, MIKRIS

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