EVENT: DJ K.O. will spin along with DJ Suspense at Nation, Sat Aug 11. Also on the bill are IQU (DJ K.O.'s band) and Lo Phat Hi Fi.
What's the weirdest gig you've played? "When I did an opener DJ gig for Jim O'Rourke and Nobukazu Takemura in L.A., a lot of people came up and talked to me after the set. They were saying how they loved my music, had all of my records, blah blah.... Then I realized that they actually thought that I was Takemura, and had no idea who I really was. Takemura has been known as DJ Takemura, so it made sense. After telling them I was not him, people felt bad and asked about me. After telling them about IQU, actually a few of them ended up buying IQU CDs I had for sale, which was nice. I figured I should play more gigs with famous Japanese DJs."
Did IQU come first, or did your DJing? "DJ. My first gig was 1988 in Tokyo. Back then I played what you call "Brit Pop" these days. It was a good time for it. All the Manchester stuff and also the Creation sound, etc. I loved that stuff. Then I started a rare funk/jazz night in Olympia, Washington in 1994, which eventually evolved into downtempo, then into drum 'n' bass as all this new exciting music started becoming available. Doing drum 'n' bass night in '95, '96 in Olympia was pretty rough--150 people on Tuesday night for soul/funk dropped to 20. I am still amazed the club owner let me keep the night. That was around when I started experimenting with the idea of IQU with some other people."
Do you have regular DJ gigs? "I do one Monday a month at Nation for Broken Beats, the breakdancing night. It's a whole a lot of fun. It's a different kind of gig, for I am more concerned with the dancers than the flow of the whole set. There are very momentary dynamics that go on. I also do Sex Machine irregularly at the Baltic Room. It's all about "solid gold soul & funk"! Since I am more involved in a band-scene here, I do more gigs with live bands, which is a very different deal than playing in clubs or at raves. You got these kids who would listen to you and watch you rather than dance. It's in a way easier for me to construct a set. Depending on the bands, it gives me a more clear idea of who the audience would be."