INTERVIEW | Carpainter

The city streets of Tokyo feel a lot like the internet, cultures collide in unexpected ways and reassemble into new formations that seem both futuristic and alien. The music of Carpainter is thoroughly Japanese AND of the internet in its willingness to abandon all rules and dissect music genres for parts to make something fresh, previously unheard, and exciting. Carpainter’s music has appeared on the Finnish label Top Billin, UK garage lifer outpost L2S, the prolific and influential Japanese netlabel Maltine, and his own label TREKKIE TRAX whose reach is expanding globally. On July 22nd, Carpainter’s Geofront EP will be released by Nightwave‘s excellent Heka Trax label. The music is a blur of neon lit melodies set to swung out UKG riddims and sly nods to Dance Mania‘s turn of the century Detroit battle beats; it’s an EP in perpetual forward motion. Ahead of Carpainter’s appearance at U Street Music Hall on July 2nd, we got a chance to chat with the artist.

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Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. You are playing June 30th (at Output) and July 2nd (at U Street Music Hall). Have you played in America before or will this be your first time?

This is my first gig ever in America. I’m looking forward to it.

Your music and the music on TREKKIE TRAX has influences from many Western music styles: UK garage, dubstep, and juke. When did you become interested in these styles? How do people react to this music in Tokyo?

I learned [about] bass music by the internet before I started DJing. After that, I started TREKKIE TRAX with some label mates who I met online. We all used to be into dubstep a lot initially.

I think that Bass Music is played a lot at club in Japan. Those people involved in the scene interact [with] each other online and IRL.

You mention that the TREKKIE TRAX crew were initially into dubstep. Which artists were you influenced by?

Skream, Benga, Rusko, and more UK/US dubstep producers.

I like “Hack The Club” by DUCKY very much! Will TREKKIE TRAX be working with more producers from America in the future?

Thanks. I like that track too. Yes, we would love to release more US producer’s singles or EPs, and we have actual plans too!

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Catch Carpainter open for Anamanaguchi at U Street Music Hall on July 2nd.