If you have been a regular here for a while then Yozo Kumitake of Koenji`s EAD Records should need very little introduction. Even if you are not a regular here, then you might be aware of the Originals compilation he put together for Claremont 56.
Yozo has been running EAD for 16 years now, and every year he makes an anniversary mix, usually a balance of expensive stuff you`ll never find and inexpensive stuff you never thought of listening to, and we have been lucky enough to host a few of them. Here is the latest.
Yozo & EAD, Arigato gozaimasu. Omedeto gozaimasu!
Where are you based? Koenji, Tokyo, Japan.
Is this your hometown?Yes.
What is your first musical memory?When I was 6 years old my uncle, who was a college student at the time, made a 60 minute cassette tape. It consisted of just one song, Simon & Garfunkel`s “The Boxer“ in a seemingly endless loop.
Do you know if your uncle just liked the song, of if he was making some avant-garde Art statement?I know my uncle liked the song very much!
What was the first record you bought?Alice / Champion and Godeigo / Gandha-ra, both Japanese 7”s.
What was the last record you bought?Musica Electroacustica Española 2. When I DJed with Moroi at Shelter, he played this LP. Amazing time and amazing music.
What inspired you to open EAD?The feeling I got visiting the Loft in NYC.
When did you first visit the Loft?Maybe I first visit the Loft in 1991.
Did you go on your own?Yes. At that time I was going to a club called “Choice” frequently, butsooner or later, that club closed and I heard that the Loft had re-opened.I asked a friend, “How can I get into the Loft?” and my friend said “Say “I`m a friend of Larry Levan.”
How did you learn about David Mancuso and the Loft?My encounter with the Loft’s legendary DJ David Mancuso was such a mind blowing experience that it changed my fixed idea of “Dance music”. I heard strange voices when I listened to the music at the Loft!
“Rhythms on earth exist to convey god’s dearest wish. Let us dance together, feel the rhythm together and turn our voices into energy.”
“We can share the music with everybody on earth because we are earthlings.”
It was the very moment when I felt the roots of music with my body, in my early 20s living in NYC. From this strange experience, I started going to the Loft every Sunday morning at 4:00 AM where the experience turned into a certainty.At the Loft, where all genres are played together, there’s no meaning in putting the grooves into categories! The Loft woke me to the realization that dance music exists in all genres.
Had you been collecting records before visiting the Loft? Yes, before visiting the Loft.
How long have you running EAD?16 years.
How would you describe your EAD`s sound? How has it changed?I would like to always change. I am always looking for music that makes me dance.
Personally I have seen your shop go from being very Loft-influenced to carrying more World music, more Jazz and more Japanese music. One thing that has always been constant is the Reggae. How did your love for Reggae start?I think I heard Bob Marley in the days of high school from my brother.
Do you ever DJ?Sometimes I play at friends` parties
Do you play any musical instrument?I played bass when I was a high school student. In a Heavy Metal copy band. Hahaha. I can’t play now.
Ok, who would be your favourite Heavy Metal band, who were you copying? What would be your favourite Heavy Metal track? What would you have played on the bass?I can remember a few songs.
Quiet Riot / Cum On Feel The Noize
Hanoi Rocks / Up Around The Bend
What are your favourite places to play / hang out in?Shelter in Hachioji.
I have never been, but you have told me that the sound system in amazing. How does it compare to somewhere like Precious Hall in Sapporo?Good sound means something different to different people. Shelter & Precious Hall are different, but both sound good.
What is your favourite place outside of a bar / club / record shop?The Loft NYC, Shelter Hachiouji, Gallery in Tokyo, Coconuts Disk in Ekoda.
Do you see yourself as part of any scene?I’m not at the center of any scene. I want everybody to know. There is so much wonderful music in the world.
Is artwork important to music?Yes.
Can you give me some examples of record covers you like?
Which visual artists do you like?Jean-Michel Basquiat & Keith Haring
What is your favourite book?All of Tetsuo Nagaoka’s books. (Legendary Japanese speaker designer)
What was the last film you saw?Iron Man 1 & 2 in an aeroplane.
What is your favourite piece of music? If that`s too difficult, what`s your current favourite piece of music?I like dance music like this
Can you name 3 records for sunset / sunrise?
Patti Austin / Iko Iko
Gwen Guthrie / Is This Love?
Water Melon Group / Cool Music
Can you name 3 records to start a party?
King Sunny Ade & His African Beats / Bobby
Rão Kyao / Goa