TEN TRACKS THAT INSPIRED SATOSHI TOMIIE | DJMag.com Skip to main content

TEN TRACKS THAT INSPIRED SATOSHI TOMIIE

Take 10...

It's been 15 years since Japanese New Yorker Satoshi Tomiie released his first album, 'Full Lick', which included evocative prog anthem 'Love In Traffic'. But Satoshi's history stretches way back before that, to when he produced the seminal house track 'Tears' with the late, great Frankie Knuckles in 1989.

'Tears' saw Satoshi move to New York from Japan, where he was taken under the wing of David Morales and absorbed into the Def Mix crew. Along with the likes of Deep Dish and Danny Tenaglia, he helped popularise the more progressive house sound in the US in the late '90s that Sasha and Digweed also spearheaded, and has remained prominent on the global scene ever since.
Satoshi's new album 'New Day' is more filmic and acidic yet less dancefloor than its predecessor, although he says his musical philosophy and approach remain the same.
“Technology allows a lot to be done on the road, in the air on planes, on trains, in hotel rooms and so on, which was impossible in the real world back then,” he says.

“For instance, using audio files on computers [in 2000] was not as flexible as today. Using hardware was mandatory when I was producing the last album. Now we have the luxury of choice regarding musical instruments, between virtual or physical, or even better, the combination of both.”

Flowingly splendidly from one track to the next, 'New Day' is futurist tonal music at its most cinematic. Satoshi will be touring the world in support of the album in the next few months... 

01. MILES DAVIS 'Sketches of Spain'
“I can’t start without talking about Miles Davis. He is one of the reasons I am doing what I do now. There are millions of albums of his and I really love his attitude to the music. He refused to repeat the things he had already done, and always moved onto the next new thing.

He never looked back... really inspiring. Miles is great on this album, of course. But with Gil Evans on orchestration... Wow-o-wow.”

02. WEATHER REPORT 'Weather Report'
“I was in a jazz mood. They were the band I saw playing live in concert for the first time. Amazing players in this group... Joe Zawinul on keys; he knocked me out at the first listen — synth synth synth! It has an amazing texture of tones and the sound, I appreciate it now even more, analogue synth always sounds fresh!

He is one of the reasons I stopped playing keys and started playing records. Thank you for being such an amazing player.”

03. MFSB 'Mysteries of the World'
“I ‘discovered’ it after my relocation to New York in the early '90s. Super-mysterious intros with synth drone, bells and strings. Harp leads into an impressive riff of electric bass with tight drum groove... mmm, tasty! This was penned by my idol, Dexter Wansel. His synth and key work on this is simply amazing. It remains still one of the most influential tracks ever.”

04. MR FINGERS 'Can You Feel It'
“Everybody knows this track, it's simply a classic. This was a life-changing tune for a lot of people. My first impression of this was that it was one of the most emotional pieces of music with the most minimal elements. Wow.”

05. PHUTURE 'Acid Tracks'
“I am being honest here, I didn’t get it at first! Ha ha ha! I was like, 'WTF?' Twelve minutes of the same synth loop? But the real revolutionary things tend to get this kind of reaction at first, I believe. Needless to say, it’s a classic. One of the most influential tracks of all-time for me, and for a lot of people. Super-minimal set-up, TB-303, and a few drum machines. Less is more!”

06. MAYDAY 'It Is What It Is'
“One of my biggest early influences. I tried so hard to recreate the sounds on this record with what I had in my small set-up, but I couldn’t — ha ha! But it was good practice, and I made ‘Tears’ after!”

07. STEVE REICH 'Octet/Music For A Large Ensemble/Violin Phase'
“Talking about ‘minimal’, way before they talked about minimal in the electronic music world, some people already did it, decades ago. And 1980 is not his early work. Repetitive loops make a song! I remember I was quite impressed by the idea. For sure, it’s still musically influential for me.”

08. RAZE 'Break 4 Love'
“This was another revolutionary track at the time. The snare! Nobody used this kind of high-pitched snare-drum before on a house track. Wow. Genius. Everybody copied the drum of this.”

09. TIKKLE 'Outer Limits (The Cosmic Mix)'
“Definitely one of my early house influences. Simple but awesome instrumentation. Emotional.”

10. LIL LOUIS 'How I Feel'
“Classic. Two synths (could be one?) and a drum machine. You just can’t get simpler than this. Genius. Less is more, again. And sometimes even more impactful.”

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