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28.05.2016 | Words by: Mathys Rennela.

Wakon Yôsai. This japanese expression which literally means « Japanese spirit and Western techniques » was coined at the end of the 19th century to inspire a modernization of the country, which intended to adapt the technical knowledge of Western countries to the needs of the Japanese people. To some extent, one can argue that those technological transfers have established a long tradition of cultural appropriation which can still be felt to this day in the work of the japanese electronic music producers of the past two decades. Therefore, with Wata Igarashi’s coming behind the decks of De School, it made sense to curate for you a short playlist of iconic japanese house and techno tracks.

Der Geist in der Muschel (We can do it! Records)
Part of Job Jobse’s glorious and very rhythmic set for the opening of De School, « Der Geist in der Muschel » is an invitation for an ecstatic dance. It heavily samples Ghost In The Shell’s opening song, a cult anime which recounts the adventures of a cyborg cop who struggles to find a meaning to her existence.

Kuniyuki Takahashi - Roots Remembered 
Mostly known in Europe for his collaboration with Henrik Schwarz on the track « Once again », Kuniyuki Takahashi (a.k.a. Koss) is an accomplished Japanese producer whose syncretism between jazz and techno is instantly recognizable.

Dir en Grey - Macabre (Tears of Scorpion Mix) 
Standard-bearers of Visual Kei, a movement which cristallized the Japanese reception of glam rock and heavy metal, Dir en Grey greeted their fans in 2001 with a remix album which featured an eclectic mix of techno tracks. Originally a quite archetypal (but masterfully crafted) progressive rock track, the title-song of the group’s second album Macabre was turned into a techno ballad which heavily features acoustic and electric guitar riffs.

This list would not be complete without a track of Shinichi Osawa. The nationally acclaimed producer is known for his peculiar electro house which he spreads all around Tokyo, attracting in the process European producers like Para One, Erol Alkan, Dimitri from Paris and Boston Bun.
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