Exclusive: Makoto Interview

With only one week to go before the big Summer Warehouse Massive featuring Makoto, we’ve got an exclusive interview with the man himself. Read on to learn more about his approach to making music, favorite albums, beginnings, and more.

Tell us a bit about yourself…

I’m Makoto, a Drum & Bass / Bass DJ and producer from Tokyo, Japan.

My 1st worldwide release was 14 years ago, so I have been doing this for quite long time now 🙂

I love making, playing and listening to anything musical, soulful and jazzy stuff.

My hobby is taking photos. To me making music and taking photos are very similar or I would say quite the same.

But I don’t go too deep on photos as much as i do on music, as I know I wouldn’t stop going into details…

(Check out Makoto’s photos here)

When and why did you decide to become a producer/DJ? Tell us about your early days…

I always wanted to be a producer, or should I say composer, since i was 16-17 years old, rather than DJ.

Luckliy my parents bought me a synthesizer around that time, so I was playing and trying to make tunes with it (nothing serious though).

Then, when i heard acid jazz around the early 90’s, I thought I wanted to be a DJ as well, so that was start.

What is the dnb scene like over there in Japan? How does it compare to Europe?

The dnb scene in Japan has been always staying the same for a long time. It’s never been massive, but never been so small.

But lately I can feel it’s getting better again compared to a few years back, which is good. I get a lot of opportunites to do DJ sets for the non-dnb crowd in Japan. It didn’t work at all before, but seems like it’s working better now.

I used to feel Japanese scene is much different from Europe, but now It’s getting quite similar People are just enjoying music and dancing.

What is your most memorable moment on tour? Craziest thing that has happened on the road?

The most memorable was my first ever USA tour in 2001 with Bukem. I couldn’t speak any English at the time, so I just had to follow him and guess what everyone was saying.

The craziest thing, hmmmm. Had lots of trouble on tour, but they were okay, I’m still here. Luckily I never had experience the feeling of real danger.

You’ve worked with a lot of talented artists. Please say a few words about your experiences/share some thoughts about the following:

DJ Marky – Saw so much passion and love for the music and what an entertainer is.

LTJ Bukem – Learnt what real DJ is and to be a professional DJ.

Deeizm – Great to work with an MC for a long time as we can follow each other and make our sets different from others.

The studio is a sacred place to many artists. How much time do you spend in yours? What kind of equipment is in there?

I can spend forever in there if I want to, as there is no answer for music.

But I think good music is not about how much time you spend time in the studio – it’s all about the ideas.

But maybe there is quality in proportion with how much time you spent.

So i always try to balance ideas and quality.

I still use lots of hardware like fender rhodes, an old roland synth, etc. They give me more inspiration that using just software.

How do you go about constructing your tracks? Is there a process that you usually follow? Which software do you use?

I used to sit down in front of computer for hours to put my idea down as I quite didn’t know what I was going to do.

But recently I started to know what I’m going to do in advance.

So whenever I have time, I just go to the computer and make the tracks from my ideas that I already have in my head.

I use Apple’s Logic, and have been using for over 10 years.

What are your top 5 songs you’ve made, and why?

Take My Soul Baby – First ever track I could make what I wanted to make in my head.

Tower Of Love feat. Paul Randolph – This track is just I was trying to make for a long time and I have done it!

Golden Girl with MC Conrad – This is probably my biggest track ever, but I didn’t plan it out, it just happened.

You’re Divine feat. Lori Fine – First track ever I worked with a vocalist, it was an amazing experience.

Different Rhythm – I always wanted to release a 12″ with something different from what I usually do, so this was bit different, much slower bpm and I think this 12″ opened up a different way for me a little bit.

Top 5 drum & bass albums of all time?

Goldie – Timeless

Adam F – Colors

Roni Size – Reprazent

4hero – Two Pages

LTJ Bukem presents Logical Progression Level 1

Top 5 non-dnb albums of all time?

Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On

Micheal Jackson – Thriller

Stevie Wonder – Innervisions

Innerzone Orchestra – Programmed

Jazzanova – Of All The Sings

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

I have no idea, lol.

The music industry has changed so much in the last 10 years. So for the next 10years, I have no idea what it will be and what I will be…

Hope I’m still doing music which I love!

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