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Seiko Ito

Novelist — Tokyo

Name
Seiko Ito

What do you do?
Novelist.

Where are you from?
Tokyo.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
BECK at Nippon Budokan, in April 2007. They had a puppet show set behind the band and it moved in time to the music. It was fantastic to watch an analogue technique mixed with virtual reality and their performance.

Which subcultures have influenced you?
Dub music. It came from Jamaica and via London, then finally arrived in Japan. I heard Dub for the first time in my teens. The live Dub that MUTE BEAT played shocked me. It was the first time a low-pitched sound vibrated my body, instead of just my ears. That was 35 years ago, but I love it so much I joined a band called ‘Dubforce' in 2016.

Of all the venues you’ve played, which is your favourite?
Shibuya NUTS where I played with Zeebra and Kan Takagi, in 2009. I did a rap gig, after a long absence, and the feeling in front of people who didn’t know me was great. It was an unforgettable moment with my best friend DUB MASTER X DJing with me.

If you could work with anyone in history, who would it be?
It would be great to write a book with Dostoevsky. A book is a thing you normally write on your own, so writing a book together with someone else would be extremely difficult but that’s one of the reasons I would like to write a book with him.

If you could spend an hour with anyone from history, who would it be?
Marcel Duchamp. I’ve heard that he spent most of his time playing chess, so I would like to play with him. I’m not that good at chess and I think I’d easily lose, but I want to see how he would approach it and feel his vibes.

Who is your greatest unsung hero or heroine in music?
I would say myself when I was young. Many people helped me to become what I am now, so I would like to know how I would make myself famous without outside help. Or did I really have that ability in me anyway? As a kind of experiment.

How did you select the tracks for this playlist?
I chose songs that I can listen at home, with relaxed and sweet mood. There are a lot of new songs, but all of them are songs that you wouldn’t get bored listening to and songs that never hurt anyone. Joe Sample’s 'In All My Wildest Dreams' is in the list but I also recommend you listen to a version from the album 'Rainbow Seeker' too.

What was the first track you played on repeat?
I think it’s one of the first songs by Stevie Wonder. I listened to his album so many times. And a few years after that, the album 'Songs In The Key Of Life' came out. I listened to that album so many times, probably more than anybody in Japan.

What is the song that defines your teens?
'TSOP (The Sound Of Philadelphia)' by MFSB. I recently realised that I tend to like artists from Philadelphia. Not just soul but Rock musicians too.

One record you would keep forever?
Haruomi Hosono’s 'Hosono House'. I like Japanese songs and Hosono’s mid-tempo and less-hardcore music and his warm voice will always touch my heart.

What song lyrics have inspired you?
Sade’s 'Love Is Stronger Than Pride'. The words are really simple, but also are strong enough to move my heart as she sings.

What is the best song to turn up loud?
That would be my own rap songs! I still can’t trust microphones so I always sing loud.

What song do you like that people wouldn’t expect you to like?
Olivier Newton-John’s 'Have You Never Been Mellow'.

Are there any new bands you are listening to now?
A three-piece band called The Bassons. They are only a bassist, a drummer and a vocalist but the sound they make is great and you soon get hooked. I would describe their style as funk with dub - in a minimal aesthetic style.

Name
Seiko Ito

What do you do?
Novelist.

Where are you from?
Tokyo.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
BECK at Nippon Budokan, in April 2007. They had a puppet show set behind the band and it moved in time to the music. It was fantastic to watch an analogue technique mixed with virtual reality and their performance.

Which subcultures have influenced you?
Dub music. It came from Jamaica and via London, then finally arrived in Japan. I heard Dub for the first time in my teens. The live Dub that MUTE BEAT played shocked me. It was the first time a low-pitched sound vibrated my body, instead of just my ears. That was 35 years ago, but I love it so much I joined a band called ‘Dubforce' in 2016.

Of all the venues you’ve played, which is your favourite?
Shibuya NUTS where I played with Zeebra and Kan Takagi, in 2009. I did a rap gig, after a long absence, and the feeling in front of people who didn’t know me was great. It was an unforgettable moment with my best friend DUB MASTER X DJing with me.

If you could work with anyone in history, who would it be?
It would be great to write a book with Dostoevsky. A book is a thing you normally write on your own, so writing a book together with someone else would be extremely difficult but that’s one of the reasons I would like to write a book with him.

If you could spend an hour with anyone from history, who would it be?
Marcel Duchamp. I’ve heard that he spent most of his time playing chess, so I would like to play with him. I’m not that good at chess and I think I’d easily lose, but I want to see how he would approach it and feel his vibes.

Who is your greatest unsung hero or heroine in music?
I would say myself when I was young. Many people helped me to become what I am now, so I would like to know how I would make myself famous without outside help. Or did I really have that ability in me anyway? As a kind of experiment.

How did you select the tracks for this playlist?
I chose songs that I can listen at home, with relaxed and sweet mood. There are a lot of new songs, but all of them are songs that you wouldn’t get bored listening to and songs that never hurt anyone. Joe Sample’s 'In All My Wildest Dreams' is in the list but I also recommend you listen to a version from the album 'Rainbow Seeker' too.

What was the first track you played on repeat?
I think it’s one of the first songs by Stevie Wonder. I listened to his album so many times. And a few years after that, the album 'Songs In The Key Of Life' came out. I listened to that album so many times, probably more than anybody in Japan.

What is the song that defines your teens?
'TSOP (The Sound Of Philadelphia)' by MFSB. I recently realised that I tend to like artists from Philadelphia. Not just soul but Rock musicians too.

One record you would keep forever?
Haruomi Hosono’s 'Hosono House'. I like Japanese songs and Hosono’s mid-tempo and less-hardcore music and his warm voice will always touch my heart.

What song lyrics have inspired you?
Sade’s 'Love Is Stronger Than Pride'. The words are really simple, but also are strong enough to move my heart as she sings.

What is the best song to turn up loud?
That would be my own rap songs! I still can’t trust microphones so I always sing loud.

What song do you like that people wouldn’t expect you to like?
Olivier Newton-John’s 'Have You Never Been Mellow'.

Are there any new bands you are listening to now?
A three-piece band called The Bassons. They are only a bassist, a drummer and a vocalist but the sound they make is great and you soon get hooked. I would describe their style as funk with dub - in a minimal aesthetic style.