Speaker Side Chat With Japanese DJ Duo Drunken Kong

Drunken Kong has been bringing the Tronic music scene to a whole new level. Since creating their legendary empire at their Womb residency, they are now ready to expand and tour Europe’s crowd.

The Japanese duo have recently released their 5th EP, Life We Knew, as well as reveal the news on their debut album, The Signs Within, which will be available this month.

Whilst keeping the groove alive, the Japanese DJ duo delivers some punching bass lines rolling subs and deep synths.

Photo via Gem Records

Check out our exclusive interview with Drunken Kong below:

Having a residency in Japan, how has the electronic scene changed since your time there? Have you noticed a difference in styles from the culture there?

We feel that many things are changing in the Tokyo scene.  We are seeing the change in the generation of people who are coming to clubs and parties. There are also many new cool small sized venues which are really fun to go to.  The great thing is that they are open longer hours now, so a lot of people are going there especially for after-hours parties. 

Over the course of the years, techno has been around for a while. What do you think is your duo’s strength that keeps it refreshing for your audience?

We are always trying to do something different.  Since we work as a duo, there are lots of ways and possibilities of working together. We also try to use a lot of new music during our set, so that we can keep them fresh for our listeners.  Especially in Tokyo, since we play there a lot, people remember what we play, so we need to be weary of that and keep it fresh!! 

Working with the beat packs you’ve made, have you ever received any artists sending you their work using those sound packs? Have you recognized it at all while going to any shows?

Yes, there were times when some of our friends sent us tracks they made with our sample pack.  Also on promos and Beatport previews we noticed our samples being used.  It was very cool to see how other producers would use the sample in their own unique way. 

Electronic music has a deep history over the past 4 decades, where do you find your inspiration in electronic music?

Electronic music is full of inspirations. We like to listen to a lot of dub and chill out tracks when we are taking a break from our studio work.  Something different from techno, so that it gives us some fresh ideas.  We also find movie music and soundtracks to be very inspiring. 

Photo via Drunken Kong Facebook

While making a song, is there a routine or pattern you do to make your music or do you construct it by feel?

When we produce our tracks, it’s mostly just playing around in the studio to catch that idea which leads to a track.  In most cases we like to start with making the main drum loop and bass line to get the groove going.  It really depends though, as sometimes during the middle of a track we find a very cool vocal sample or make a very cool synth line, we often redo the track with this as the main element. Whatever works, we go with that!

Live, how often do you improvise? If so, what makes you confident in doing so?

For live sets, we improvise as much as we can.  We try changing our setup and incorporating new elements such as using certain samples and effects. We have a setup we mostly work with but if space allows us, we try to bring more gear.

There are so many new ‘controllers’ that roll out faster than phones – how do you determine what is worth keeping? Is it because you can use it live and at home?

Technology is amazing and so many things are being introduced constantly. We don’t really try to keep up with this. For us, it’s better to have something that you are really comfortable working with and our current controller the Allen & Heath Xone K2 is great!!  We have created our own custom mapping for this too, so we are very happy with it. Even for studio work, we only use certain software. It’s not about the quantity but more how well you can use the tools that you have.

Tracks such as ‘The Signs Within’ and ‘Life We Knew’ radiate a deliciously sinister hook while track such as ‘Secret Garden’ and ‘Perfect Dominance’ hit the audience with something more deep, what style or sounds should fans expect more of from you guys?

We are constantly focusing on evolving and progressing our sound so it’s hard to say a certain style we fit into.  It really depends on the mood we are in when producing a track.  For example, in summer we tend to make something maybe a little more groovy, but in winter, we go a bit harder.  It just depends on the feeling we have at the time.  We like to be flexible in our production so that we don’t boxed off into a certain style or genre.

Listen to ‘Life We Knew’ below:

Listen to Secret Garden below:

Tell us what it was like collaborating with Victor Ruiz and Christian Smith? How did all of that get started and how did those tracks contribute to the album?

It was really a great experience for us to collaborate with Victor and Christian. We have always loved their work and we thought it was a great opportunity to have these tracks as part of the album. The collaboration track with Christian was made while he was in Tokyo. We did a Tronic party at club WOMB, and after this we spent a couple of days in our studio. We had great fun.  There was so much positive energy in the studio that our ideas really came together quickly.

With Victor we worked over emails. We sent each other’s idea using stems.  To be honest, we were very surprised at how smoothly things went. We both shared our ideas and the track came together with a blend of both styles. 

We are so happy with both collaborations, and thank the guys for being part of it with us.

Photo via Drunken Kong Facebook

‘The Signs Within’ releases this month, what do you guys hope to accomplish following that?

We actually haven’t thought that far ahead yet, as we are really focusing on the album and the gigs we have in Europe as part of the album tour. Our goal is to keep working on releases that people would find interesting, so we are working on some cool project ideas at the moment, but those are all to be announced later this year!

One message for all of your fans?

Hey everyone! Thank you for all your supporting our music, we appreciate all the feedback and love you have given us so far. We hope you will enjoy the album as much as we did making it!  Don’t forget to keep an eye on where we are playing, and come down for a dance with us.

Show the Japanese DJ duo some love and keep up to date on their shows on their social handles attached below. Also, find their LP pre-order here.

photo via Drunken Kong Facebook

Follow Drunken Kong:

Related Posts