Residents at Tokyo’s legendary Womb, Drunken Kong has notched up a string of quality releases on labels including Tronic, Terminal M, and Octopus over the years, reinforcing themselves as one of Japan’s most treasured techno acts.
Drunken Kong have a distinct sound signature, as dreamy melodic and vocal elements rub shoulders with the pair’s trademark groove-orientated rhythms to create hypnotic techno outings that span the breadth of the genre, from heads-down rollers to peak-time pleasure.
Their maiden outing on Drumcode is an inspiring four-track work ‘I Want To See’ that lays down this sonic manifesto, with each track built around different vocal samples used to skillful effect.
EG caught up with Drunken Kong to learn more about the drop of ‘I Want To See’, their future endeavors, and more.
EG: Hi guys! Welcome to EG. It’s a pleasure to have you here with us. How have you been? Where are you guys right now?
Drunken Kong: Thank you so much for having us. We are doing well and we are currently in Tokyo, Japan.
EG: First of all, congratulations on the incoming release of your Drumcode debut with ‘I Want To See!’ What has the initial reception for these tracks been like?
Drunken Kong: Thank you so much. We are very happy about our upcoming release on Drumcode. We have been getting great feedback on the tracks and we feel all 4 tracks came out great! We’re super happy with everything!
EG: What can your fans expect to find on ‘I Want To See’? Is there a notion or concept interconnecting all four cuts?
Drunken Kong: We feel that it’s a different side of our music compared to many of the recent releases we have done. We have focused the track more on groove and using vocal parts that stand out.
EG: What can you tell us about the process for this EP? Did you always have Drumcode in mind throughout?
Drunken Kong: Drumcode has always been a label we truly respected and it is like a dream come true for us. We have always wanted to release an EP from this inspiring label. The process for this EP basically started off with us coming across some vocal samples which we found very interesting. At that moment, we already had an image of the kind of tracks we wanted to make.
“Drumcode has always been a label we truly respected and it is like a dream come true for us. We have always wanted to release an EP from this inspiring label”
EG: Of course, you guys are residents of Tokyo’s legendary Womb. How did this connection come about? From your perspective, what are the benefits of a club having resident DJs? Why do you think this has been somewhat lost over the past decade?
Drunken Kong: With Womb, things just started naturally. At the time, there weren’t many Japanese artists that produced groovy tracks with tribal elements, which we did, so this was definitely an advantage for us to stand out at that time. Of course, luck also had a part. We didn’t know anything about the industry and Womb really helped us develop as artists.
Being residents is great, but things are different now. People these days want to see different artists so having a long-term residency is more challenging than before. The benefit of being a resident is that you can really build your community and have a close connection with the audience.
EG: Speaking about Tokyo…What’s the electronic dance music scene like when compared to the Western world? What is that relationship like?
Drunken Kong: We feel the Japanese scene is growing, especially now after the Covid. Japan is also getting a great number of tourists daily, so this is definitely helping the scene take off. We feel the scene in Asia will keep growing. Things will be very different in a few years. It’s definitely an exciting time being here.
EG: How do you keep entertained when not in the studio? Have you checked out any good movies, series, books, or albums you’d recommend?
Drunken Kong: We usually go out and meet friends for dinner or drinks. In Tokyo, things are open 24 hours, so it’s very easy to go out and have sushi at 3 am, (laughter)! It’s amazing.
Going out is probably the thing we do since we spend many hours in the studio working on music, so it’s always refreshing to go out and enjoy some time off.
EG: Can you share something about yourself with us that only a few people know about?
Drunken Kong: We love parties. Often you would find us on the dance floor enjoying music with the crowd!
“We feel the scene in Asia will keep growing. Things will be very different in a few years. It’s definitely an exciting time being here”
EG: What’s next for Drunken Kong? What particular milestones are you looking forwards to this 2023? Where can your fans catch you next?
Drunken Kong: We hope to keep playing in as many countries as possible and also to expand more in Asia. We will be touring in Europe in July and August, then in South America and the USA in September, so we are very excited about this. Be sure to check our social media pages for updates on tour schedules!
EG: Thank you so much for your time, guys! We wish you all the best for the future.
Drunken Kong: Thanks for having us!
Drunken Kong’s new ‘I Want To See’ EP is out now via Drumcode. Purchase your copy here.