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Chizawa Q: “I will be happy if you feel the vibrations that touch your soul”

Originally released on R&S Records in 2006, Chizawa Q revives his ‘Asia’ release with the surfacing of a new remix, the ‘Asia 4 (Lost Q Mix)’. The Japanese producer, who has enjoyed a modest string of releases for F-Communications and Deka Traxxx, fires out an epically irresistible remix. With its roots in the Detroit school of techno, it’s easy to hear the influences of such legends as Underground Resistance and Rolando, and the melodic style of jazzy techno established by artists like R&S Records’ Dave Angel, Vince Watson, and Steve Rachmand, but the ‘Lost Asia’ EP is no pastiche. Emotive and musical, delivered with the purity and spirit often lacking in modern techno, Chizawa Q’s music is a reminder that authentic sounds always rise to the top in the end.

To celebrate the drop of his ‘Lost Asia’ EP, EG caught up with Chizawa Q to learn more about the release, how the musical landscape has changed over the past decade, and more.

EG: Hi Chizawa! Welcome to EG. It’s a pleasure to have you here with us. Where are you based right now? How have you been?

Chizawa Q: Thanks for the invite. I was born in Yokohama, Japan, a bay city next to Tokyo. It has the largest Chinatown in Japan. And now I’m living on the opposite side of a suburban city, which is also facing Tokyo Bay, and that is where I do my music production. I seem to have a strange connection to the bay area.

EG: So, what has your summer been like? Any favorite highlights?

Chizawa Q: This summer I spent a lot of time producing music. I didn’t produce music under my own name for a while, but the release on R&S was an opportunity for me to get back in touch with my own music. It was a good stimulus for me, and I was having a lot of fun, just like when I first started.

I also enjoyed spending time with my family during the summer holiday. I had a very exciting experience at a modern art museum run by Team LAB, a cutting-edge digital art company in Japan.

EG: Congratulations on reviving the release of ‘Asia’ via R&S Records! You must be very excited to share this one. What has the initial reception for this new package been like?

Chizawa Q: I received a lot of good feedback from DJs all over the world. I was a bit anxious that it might have been too old-school, but I’m glad that they liked them!

EG: It’s been almost 16 years since the original release of ‘Asia’. What drove you to revisit this particular release?

Chizawa Q: This EP mainly contains another mix that was not included before, which I had forgotten that I had mixed myself. I was sorting through the masters when I got the offer from R&S, and I stumbled upon this unreleased mix on my old HD. It was like the last piece of the puzzle fell into place. I guess it was all destined for this mix to be released.

“I’m having a lot of fun with production right now, so I’m hoping to release as many new tracks as possible”

EG: What can your fans expect to find on the ‘Asia 4 (Lost Q Mix)’?

Chizawa Q: I think it will bring back the nostalgic feeling that we have all almost forgotten. It’s not about trends, it’s not about logic, it’s not about age or race. I will be happy if you feel the vibrations that touch your soul.

EG: How has the electronic music landscape evolved since the original release of ‘Asia’ back in 2006? Do you think, production-wise, the music has gotten better? Or worse?

Chizawa Q: The music scene in Tokyo, where I live, has seen the market shrink over the years, and the monetization gap has widened. In the overground, the range of musicality was disappearing rapidly. However, underground electronic music has evolved on its own, mainly through the internet. And I think Japan’s unique sensibility is also gaining attention from around the world. Production is evolving in many ways. The range of musical expression is expanding, but it is becoming more difficult to create and find music with purity.

 

EG: Inspiration…is it necessary, or overrated? Do you have any particular routine to “get in the zone” when in the studio?

Chizawa Q: I think that “inspiration” is very important. When a few inspirations get mixed and enhanced, I start making tracks like a glass of water overflowing.

EG: How do you keep entertained when on tour? Have you come across any good movies, books, or albums lately? Is there anything creating a serious buzz right now in Japan?

Chizawa Q: I have always loved movies. I don’t see them in movie theaters much anymore, but when I have free time, I watch them on Netflix and so on. I like to watch my favorites over and over again. In particular, films by Alex Garland, Tarsem Singh, Darren Aronofsky, Mamoru Oshii, Ridley Scott, Michael Mann, Martin Scorsese, Adam McKay, Denis Villeneuve, Christopher Nolan, and Neill Blomkamp are always my favorites.

As for Japanese productions, ‘The Naked Director’, a film about the life of a legendary porn director, has recently become a big hit. Japanese dramas are usually tightly restricted by many rules or have small budgets, but this film was very avant-garde and interesting because of the freedom of expression and the scale of the production, which only Netflix could provide.

“Underground electronic music has evolved on its own, mainly through the internet”

EG: What does a regular Monday in the life of Chizawa Q look like? And a Friday?

Chizawa Q: Monday is the day to reset my mind and collect information. I used to drink a lot on Fridays, but I’m trying to cut back now. I have recently come to realize that life without alcohol is pretty good!

EG: By the way, what are your thoughts on the current state of the scene? What would you like to see more and less of?

Chizawa Q: I hope that after the Covid-19 disaster, the overly fragmented scene will be reset and a new, active movement will emerge from all over the world. And dance music, which can connect the world without borders, will create great excitement throughout the world.

EG: What’s next for Chizawa Q? What particular milestones are you looking forwards to now?

Chizawa Q: I’m having a lot of fun with production right now, so I’m hoping to release as many new tracks as possible. Also, I just did a remix of a big techno classic, so I’m really looking forward to that being released.

EG: Thank you so much for your time, Chizawa! We wish you all the best for the future.

Chizawa Q: Domo Arigato!

Chizawa Q’s ‘Lost Asia’ EP is out now via R&S. Purchase your copy here.

Follow Chizawa Q: Instagram | Soundcloud | Spotify

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