Following the internationally celebrated release of their debut album The Signs Within in 2017, burgeoning Japanese techno duo Drunken Kong now kick off a brand new decade in emphatic fashion, as they announce the release of their eagerly-anticipated sophomore long player, Where We Start. Out now via Christian Smith’s esteemed Tronic Music imprint, Where We Start marks the second full-length opus from the Tokyo-based outfit, whose impressive catalogue of unique techno productions have also been homed by the likes of Terminal M, Octopus Recordings, Stil Vor Talent and Session Womb to name a few.We sat down with partners Dee and Kyoko to find out more…
Hey guys, thanks very much for taking the time to sit down with us here at DMC World. How are you both?
Thank you so much for having us today. We are doing well. Hope you are doing well too!
Where in the world are you answering this interview from?
Right now we are in Tokyo!
Please can you introduce yourselves to our DMC World readers?
Hi, my name is Dee and with my partner Kyoko, we are working on a project named DRUNKEN KONG. We have been releasing music from labels such as Tronic, Terminal M, Octopus Recordings and Stil Vor Talent. We have also been playing and touring around the globe.
How would you best describe your sound?
We would say our sound is uplifting, melodic and also groovy. We really focus on the groove when producing.
Who or what were your biggest musical inspirations growing up?
Growing up in Japan, definitely game
music was a big influence on us. The old
Nintendo game music was so cool and new when we were growing up. This definitely had a strong impact in us
being into electronic music from a young age.
You’re gearing up to release you sophomore album Where We Start on Christian Smith’s imprint Tronic Music. Can you tell us a about the project?
Where We Start is an album we started working in late 2018. My partner and my wife, Kyoko gave birth to our daughter and this was when the idea hit between us that we should create an album. Being a parent was something new to both of us and this new feeling was something that we wanted to capture through music.
How did the introduction to Christian and Tronic come about?
We met Christian at a club named WOMB here in Tokyo. I was always a big fan of Christian and Tronic so it was an amazing opportunity for us to meet him. From there we kept in touch and I sent him our music a few weeks later which became our first EP from Tronic.
When did you start writing the album?
We started writing this album towards the end of 2018.
Do you each have separate roles when it comes to producing music together?
Usually i play around in the studio to come up with loops. I sit down for few hours and just make different loop patterns and then we both sit in the studio and go over each one. We pick the best one that fit our mood and direction at that time and then we start laying out the track. Mixdown is similar process to the creation, I make the first draft and then Kyoko joins and we make further adjustments from there.
Talk to us about your studio set up…
I am currently using a old iMac to run Logic Pro 9. I am always thinking of upgrading to Logic Pro X but I feel so comfortable with 9. I also use few hardwares synths such as Korg King Korg, Roland Juno 106 and Moog Sub 37. These are units that I always use in my productions. I like to use loops too. Mainly percussion and fx loops. Whatever sounds good and inspires us, we use it. For mixing down, we mainly use UAD plugins and also we have some hardware compressors and preamps that we run certain sounds through to give a different texture.
You mentioned that the album was inspired heavily by becoming parents. Can you elaborate on how this had an effect on the creative process?
Becoming a parent was something that changed a lot on how we worked. We had to change our workflow, where we started to work more in the morning and I mean early morning like 6 am, 7 am. When our daughter woke up, we would wake up with her and this was the start of our creative process. We used to sit down in the studio together but now it became more like taking turns. One would be in the studio, the other with our daughter. To be honest, I think this has had a good effect on us, where our ideas were quite different to what we had when we used to be in the studio late night. It took a bit of time to change our work style but now we are very happy with it.
Was there a difference in the approach between this album and your previous LP The Signs Within?
For our second album, we wanted to express more of what we felt directly to the music. It was something that just came to us so we feel this album we were able to capture emotional moods of different moments.
Do you have any plans to tour the album in 2020?
Yes we are working on some tours. More details coming soon!
Thanks so much for taking the time and best of luck for the rest of the year!
Thank you so much once again for having us today DMCWORLD!!
Drunken Kong’s second full-length album ‘Where We Start’ is out now via Tronic Music. Stream / download here.