[한국어 인터뷰 읽기]
Could you briefly introduce yourselves?
N.O.S.(aka Nitrous Oxide Systems) Founding members: Frankie $, KAZUHO, Kenchan, k_yam. N.O.S. burst onto the Tokyo house scene in March 2018 on a turbocharged trajectory to somewhere new. N.O.S. comprises 4 members: producer/DJs: Frankie $, KAZUHO and K_yam and visual director Kenchan. Although based in Tokyo, N.O.S. outlook is borderless, looking to tie together various strands of future music throughout and beyond Japan. N.O.S. is not just tracks and a clothing line; N.O.S. is also a platform and a party that will continue to hold the torch for the true underground ravier side of the house scene that emerged around 2013 across Europe, America, and Australia.
So far N.O.S. has brought Denis Sulta, Randomer, DJ Seinfeld, Baltra, Shall Not Fade Crew, D. Tiffany, Asquith, Fede Lng, Deejay Astral, DJ Bowlcut, Miley Serious and Seoul Community Radio Crew to Japan and its members have been supporting a variety of other events and international artists across Tokyo's dancefloors.
Inside the rich underground dance music scene in Japan with such a long history, it's very impressive to see fresh movements from relatively new crews like you guys. People can see your names in local line ups often, and we've seen your parties going big with international bookings as well. Recently N.O.S. did several shows in Contra Seoul and Pistil under the title of their brand name too. It seems like you guys are setting up a new paradigm in the scene now, do you feel the change as well?
N.O.S. has been active for just over a year but I think we have managed to achieve more than we originally imagined in this short time span. Including domestic and international shows we have organized around 8 parties. We don't feel there is that much meaning in simply booking overseas artists and running parties though, so we were sure to make progress on the label and have put out four releases from core members.
With organizing parties, we put a lot of thought into the lineups, the tour arrangement, one-off t-shirt collaborations and the artwork and visuals on the day. I think people appreciate that we make an effort to cover all these angles and we have managed to develop our brand gradually with each party and release.
In terms of playing Korea, we feel that the growing Korean club scene is very important for us and for this part of the world. It has been a great honour and massively inspirational for us to work with a large number of Korean DJs, especially those around the Contra and Pistil scenes, including DJ Bowlcut, Shins, C'est Qui, JNS, Airbear, Jesse You, Seohyun, and Kino Kino. We feel these DJs have an abundance of originality and share a similar musical vision, and it has been energizing to see them in action firsthand. Through the relationships and friendships we have developed playing and organizing in Korea we were able to be a part of wildly successful 'Rave Age 2 Tokyo' party organized by The Internatiiional, as well as collaborating with Seoul Community Radio to live stream one of our events from Circus. We want to continue such collaborations and continue pushing the envelope in both Seoul and Tokyo.
Could you explain more about the musical background being shared in each crew? Also what kind of inspirations do you get from each other & other artists?
We listen to pretty much everything and are digging for new music day in day out. I think we have a wide variety of influences, but all of us feel an affinity towards and have a lot of respect for UK dance culture and everything that has stemmed from the lineage of hardcore jungle and rave music. Our actual output in terms of a label tends towards the more personal and has less of a dancefloor emphasis. In fact, a lot of the tracks have been written after something happened in the producers' personal life, rather than as an effort to make something that will work in the club.
Is there a specific goal or belief that each crew has been following consistently since the beginning?
From the start we wanted to make sure that whatever we did went beyond the simple concept of organizing a party - we all produce and have an interest in clothing as well so we thought that with a slight DIY vibe we would be able to make something interesting. I think we have been largely successful and have had a good reception on our releases, both in terms of music and clothing. I think we've been able to use these elements to effectively push what we are doing to a wider audience. Reaching this wider audience is our biggest objective. We don't want to limit ourselves just to Tokyo when thinking about our movements from here on in.
N.O.S. played in the last 'Rave Age 2 Tokyo' night in Shibuya WWWb hosted by The Internatiiional along with Dj Nozaki, Licaxxx, CYK, Shins, and Airbear. Especially the set that N.O.S. and CYK played was presented more as a rival match between each other. How was the night?
The night had really special energy - The Internatiiional T-shirts have been doing the rounds in Tokyo for a while now so I think there was a certain level of hype surrounding the event, and the lineup was super on point. The vibes on the day were fantastic with a great turnout and everyone smashed their sets. I don't think we payed too much attention to the 'versus' element as we're all really good friends and just ended up having fun - although it was exciting to see CYK play a much ravier set than normal, with Nari pulling out some jungle tunes towards the end. I think Moriura-san and The Internatiiional team did a fantastic job here and I definitely think there needs to be another round.
Let's move on to the mix now. Could you explain about the selections, did you have a certain concept or musical standard arranging the mix?
Frankie $: In English we have the phrase 'raving mad' - so I tried to select both tunes that fit the classic stricter early 90s definition of 'rave' or hardcore jungle music, but also some tracks from other genres (electro, techno) that feel like they are encouraging dancers to lose control. I went for a strict all-vinyl single-take mix (complete with imperfections) as I felt that 'rave' implies a certain level of roughness and rawness. I also made sure to intersperse old tracks with new tracks to show how old tropes have been recontextualized by new generations and also as a nod to the originators.
Where can we see N.O.S. in the near future? Any upcoming events?
We have largely been throwing parties at Vent and Circus. Coming into our second year we are planning to reduce the number of events in Tokyo to work more deeply on the label and clothing and also to free up some resources to push our residency at Contra.
* On 29th June, N.O.S. is having a Party at Contra. Please see further details below.
Lastly, can you tell us other interesting Japanese producers or crew names that you guys want to recommend for the people who are following N.O.S.?
We're great friends with CYK and have massive respect for them as artists and promoters - their bookings are always on point and parties are always jumping. We also have to recommend Licaxxx; a great friend of ours but also a fantastic DJ. She has been making moves both at home and abroad and is a serious selector with a deep knowledge of dance music and the ability to mix effortlessly between analog and digital. Another fantastic DJ is Pocho in the House - a highly talented old-school house DJ who recently tore up Pistil with C'est qui, as well as the Akashic crew who have been organizing a wild outdoor party called Gorilla Fire at a new location each year. The b2b duo of Kai Yamashita and Tatsu and their party Yellow Card is just one more interesting party organized by friends of a similar age in Tokyo - there really is a lot going on.
In terms of production, we would recommend RGL. He has released on the label Breaker Breaker - which has put out tracks from artists such as Ross From Friends - and is well known for his warm and delicate analog production. His synthwork is world class.
N.O.S. presents Seoul-Tokyo Exchange Party #01 w/ Kino Kino(FEMME/KOR), Seohyun(Contra/KOR)
2019. 6. 29(Sat) 23:00 - Late @ Contra Seoul
Entrance: 10,000KRW(Before 1am) / 20,000KRW(After 1am)
Photos provided by N.O.S.
Translation by Closet Yi
Dave Charlesworth – The Energizer (1991)
Unknown – Unknown (2012)
Unknown – Unknown (1991)
Dawl – Bad Trip (2019)
Mr Serious – Nightmare (2017)
Locked Club & RLGN – Osaka Madness (2018)
Almaty – Gennaro (2018)
Unknown – Unknown (2000)
Locked Club – Svoboda (2018)
Vladimir Dubyshkin – I Decided To Fly (2018)
Tony Morales – 2 Much Booty In Tha Pants (2019)
Unknown – Unknown (1997)
Unknown – Unknown (1995)
Tranceman 2000 – Bloodrave (2019)