Hideo Kobayashi

The Japanese dance maestro talks harmonising and his 360° gig...

Interview, DJ: House & techno

What can we expect from you?
I usually play various forms of house – from deep to tech, according to what the crowds want. I’m also playing some of the recent productions that will be on my next album – that’s coming out next year.

You’ve explored a lot of musical styles over the course of your career. Why are you so restless?
I’m still making various styles because I just love to do it. Now I’m trying to make a kind of minimal/tech house sound that’s still organic.

Where do you think dance music is going in the future?
All the four-four dance music has been mixing, harmonising and merging for the last few years and I think it will continue to do so for a while. I’m very into it because I like so many different styles. I also think that the amount of time it takes to give or get new music will drop to nothing, so a truly borderless world is developing.

What’s the strangest DJing experience that you’ve ever had?
I played at an outdoor party in Ukraine last June. The location was an aircraft museum. We were surrounded by all these Migs and huge bombers, and they were all lit up! The party was great but it was a really crazy place to be playing in.

Tell us about the greatest moment in your career so far.
The Tokyo launch party for my album, Zero, last April was unforgettable. The set was two hours of nothing but my tunes, and the floor went super crazy. I really realised that they were happy with my music.

…and the worst?
I was supposed to play in Bali a few years back, and on the day I was going to play a bomb went off. Many DJs and people on the dancefloor were killed. That was a shock.

You’ve lived in both Japan and San Francisco; how different are the two clubbing scenes from each other?
It’s totally different. In San Francisco, clubbing is an ordinary thing; something that’s just a part of everyday life. In Japan, on the other hand, it’s still a special thing to share music with other people in public places. People in Japan still socialise, but not many people go places with music – they go to bars instead. And after I came back to Japan from San Francisco, I was surprised that people would face me while I was dancing. I thought: Am I really this good-looking?

Hideo Kobayashi plays 360°, Oct16, free.

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