August 2024

Ten Inches

DJ NozakiDJ NozakiDJ NozakiDJ NozakiDJ NozakiDJ NozakiText: Michael Kucyk

Since my first introduction in 2007, my conciousness has been drip-fed and stimulated by the inspirational mixtapes of Japanese underground music luminary Nozaki.

Only known in a small circle due to geographical circumstances and language barriers, those lucky enough to be exposed to the same output have shared the same eye opening experiences. Each of his eclectic sets stand alone, traversing territory as wide as rare private press Chicago house, little-known funky Italo records sourced by hand from the motherland, disco psych-rock and ’90s Star Track r’n’b instrumentals. But don’t be falsely assured – just when you think you get it, Nozaki’s next instalment will take things on an interesting twist. Expect the unexpected. Only expect to embrace it.

A fascinating personality, Nozaki became fluent in Italian and English and traveled abroad regularly to collect records, befriending ’80s cult figures such as Daniele Baldelli and Sangy. For years he dealt choice picks from his house but has since retired from record pushing to start label 10 Inches of Pleasure and explore his own top-level productions, remixes and edits. This month Nozaki will make his first visit to Australia, playing parties in Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney. Finally, every one will have the opportunity to enjoy and collectively experience one of Tokyo’s finest secrets! 

Michael Kucyk: You learnt to speak fluent Italian in order to travel there and become more knowledgeable about Italo (disco). What does Italy have to offer?

DJ Nozaki: Italia, land of bootlegs… un cafe, due to due, tre nitalia, quattro chiacchiere… Italian life as same as Miracolo Milano!

MK: How did you come in contact with Daniele Baldelli?

DJN: Amici degli amici (friends of friends) style. Mortar records passed me his contact. Although, at the time I was there he was at university learning agriculture.

MK: Was music also your motivation to learn English?

DJN: Just O.J.T. (on-the-job training) style. So Japanese-English milanese alla Cacciatora.

MK: Many of my favourite DJs are from Japan – yourself, Kenji Takami, Wataru, Forces of Nature, Chee Shimizu, etcetera – each very individual and unique. What is it about Japanese culture that breeds such innovative DJs?

DJN: I don’t know directly what is the Japanese culture. I think that the perception of proper culture [is] by outsiders. Insiders try to the best each other, merely.

I know Takimi-san, Wataru-san, Kitazawa-san,Kent-san, Shimizu-san from long time ago. Definitely, they are solid-state survivor. I guess our roots is rootsless-ness. La zingara cultura!

MK: You are musical director of Dorothy Parker, a venue in Tokyo. What is the vibe there?

DJN: Not director – just contract under the resident. The place is space. It is a DJ bar in Nishi-Azabu. I DJ every week from last September. Not a loud system – JBL 4331 – pure audio style. LED device by Yama-Chang and graphic by DJ 1Drink (Keita Ishiguro). A place called RGB (Red, Green, Blue) inferno.

MK: What has been your most memorable night in Tokyo?

DJN: Every night is unforgettable. Latest funny one is that drunken sexy bartender came up to DJ booth and said, “I would like to take sex now!” I just stacking Yoshiyuki Oosawa – sosite boku ha tohouni kureru –approximate meaning is, “And I have no way…” – actually, I had no way…

MK: The club name is a reference to Prince’s Ballad of Dorothy Parker. You also made The Purple Mix, a rhythmic collage of Prince commons, live bootlegs, edits, interview discs and b-sides. Why is Prince such an inspiration?

DJN: You know his music well. I like his music very much. So his music is our other language.

MK: Last year you launched the label 10” Inches of Pleasure. Why is 10” your preferred format?

DJN: 10″ is better than 12″ for Japanese size. Dieci’n’polici!

MK: The first release was Mick ‘Macho Brother’ featuring a Nozaki remix on the flip. It was supported by many DJs including Thomas Bullock, Tim Sweeney and Forces of Nature yet not many people know anything about Mick. Who is Mick?

DJN: Mick is Mick. My man medalist.

MK: Do you have any other releases/projects scheduled?

DJN: Pepe California – Yureru (DJ Nozaki’s Pure Pleasure Control Mix Pt. 1 & 2) (IOIOP/PPC 10″)

Boot Shine Girl EP (Moonlegs 12″)

Marbeya Sound – Sancho (DJ Nozaki’s Mi Manca La Mancha Mix) (Mad On the Moon 12″)

DJ Nozaki – You Shuggie You Done Mix CD (Oh! You Done Records CD)

DJ Nozaki – Tropical Winter Vol.2 Mix CD (-)

MK: You are a giant amongst Japanese men (187cm). Are you looking forward to going shoe shopping in Australia?

DJN: My sister gave me the mission of salvage original UGG Boots.

MK: What do you look forward to most about Australia?

DJN: Reversal vortex.

MK: What vibe are you planning to bring to your Australian parties?

DJN: Moovin’!kickin’!! groovin’!!!keep music strong!!!!

MK: Can you please recommend any Japanese films for Australian’s to see?

DJN: Meshi, directed by Mikio Naruse. Every one of his continuities are beautiful sequences without verbal. He directed films under not only talky but also silent. Also actress is my perpetual girlfriend Setsuko Hara and team Naruse (Masao Tamai, Satoru Tyuuko, Sanezumi Fujimoto and Ichizou Kobayashi) ripest period production!


Do As the Cornbeefers Do (PAMMIX009, 2005)
La Esserezza (NEDSIX909, 2009)
HOT10TOT10TROT10 VOL.1 (Noise In My Head, 2010)

Next story: First Show – Kaliman Rawlins