Goth Trad – Bio
A unique producer with a unique style, Goth-Trad (of Rebel Familia) has emerged from the Japanese electronic scene in the last few years as one of the most arresting artists from his generation. Freely playing samplers, keyboards and even self-made instruments, ‘The Sound Originator’ Goth-Trad creates remarkable dance music with an abstract approach.
To date Goth-Trad has appeared live alongside such international and domestic artists as The Bug (Ninja Tune/Rephlex), Doc Scott (31 Recs), Digital Mystikz (DMZ), Kode 9 (Hyperdub), DEEP MEDi Crew (UK), DJ Ink (Renegade Hardware), DJ Craze, The Mars Volta, Mixologists, Limewax, DJ Krush, Ragga Twins, Mad Professor, Iration Steppas, Arto Lindsay, Toshinori Kondo, Mike Ladd, Fingathing (Ninja Tune), Buck 65, Skream (Tempa), DJ Zinc (Bingo / True Playaz), Bong Ra, Noiz Creator, DJ Baku, Boom Bip (Anticon), X&Trick, Com.A and more.
Goth Trad Interview: New Epoch
Goth Trad (aka Takeaki Maruyama) has taken the underground bass scene by storm since joining forces with Deep Medi back in 2007. We managed to have a chat with the man himself fresh off his North American tour and discussed some of his opinions on social media, vinyl vs. digital formats and also his latest album entitled New Epoch which was released earlier this year on Mala’s Deep Medi imprint.
Bassmusic.me: Thank your for taking the time to speak with us during your busy tour schedule. Is this your first time visiting North America? How have you enjoyed the tour so far?
Goth Trad: This is not first time but this is the first big tour. I really enjoyed playing my style of dubstep here, I’m feeling many people are into deep & heavy bass stuff.
Bassmusic.me: Your productions have been described as deep, dark and emotional. How do you capture this vibe?
Goth Trad: I don’t like just deep & dark stuff. Putting emotions with some melody, phrases and bass lines makes vibes, meanings and messages. It is most important to me.
Bassmusic.me: Being a producer first and a DJ later, at what point did you feel it was important to begin playing your tracks for an audience?
Goth Trad: At first I played all my music in live performance. I began to DJ after as it was a simple way to let people in on my music style. As a DJ, I’m playing many original tracks of mine which makes an exclusive moment during my set.
Bassmusic.me: You have mentioned in your early days of production, you did not use drum machines or loops. Do you still cut most of your samples from vinyl records?
Goth Trad: I haven’t cut samples from vinyl recently. I produce only with a computer now. I used to use analogue equipment, but there are so many choices of plug-ins and software now.
Bassmusic.me: How do you feel about the debate of vinyl versus digital?
Goth Trad: I think both have different merits.
About the sound side, I grew up with analogue materials like vinyl and tapes, and produced with analogue equipment. So my ear must be fit to the warm vinyl sound. The progression of technology is going to be all digital. My productions and equipment are also digital based now. It helps our creativity too. Recently, most of digital/CD music are created for laptop, iphone or etc, and are trying to make the sound louder (maybe the mastering). Unfortunately, it causes the sound to loose dynamics, but the other side, we can make warm and deep sounds even if it is digital. It really depends on the creators.
About the product side, digital materials make an easier way to access music for people all over the world. But digital data is just data, many people copy and download illegally so music value is going down, but vinyl still keeps value. I’m really happy when I take my vinyl every time. It is proper stuff what we can touch and see.
Now many young people are just checking music through online. When I was a teenager, I always went to record shops to look for and listen to new music. There were chances to touch different genres and I looked at the artwork and got information through shop person, too. I believe those experiences built up my background.
Bassmusic.me: How popular is “bass music” in your home base of Shibuya Japan? What styles of music does your club night “Back to Chill” showcase?
Goth Trad: Bass music is getting popular in Japan because the keyword is in fashion here (maybe its all over the world). Everyone wants to use the keyword if it is any electronic music.
I started Back To Chill night in 2006. There were not any dubstep nights in Japan. At the moment, I was going to sign with some UK dubstep label, so I wanted to develop the music and the culture here. At BTC, I’m pushing local DJ/Producers basically and pushing progressive and proper bass music.
Bassmusic.me: It has been said that before your signing to Deep Medi, your music had been highly rated and talked about websites like dubstepforum.com and MySpace.com, do you think social media is still important?
Goth Trad: Especially for me, I’m living in Japan, far away from UK underground scene, it was difficult to get in touch with the people there. Social media helps to connect the people all over the world so it was very important for me at that moment. Now the situation has been changed very much, we have to think how we use it.
Bassmusic.me: What artists have you been listening to recently?
Goth Trad: Porter Rocks, Jo Hisaishi, Ryuichi Sakamato.
Bassmusic.me: Do you have any other hobbies aside from music production?
Goth Trad: Watching movies.
Bassmusic.me: What can we expect from Goth Trad after the Deep Medi release of your album New Epoch?
Goth Trad: I left some direction on New Epoch. I’m focusing on a part of it now, maybe it is a continuation of the New Epoch album. I just want to write good emotional music in the future.
Goth Trad – New Epoch
Label: Deep Medi Musik
Release/Catalogue Number: MEDILP007
Release Date: Jan 18, 2012
Purchase at junodownload: Goth Trad – New Epoch