Last Japan - The thinking man’s producer

Last Japan

Last Japan - Credit: Archant

Last Japan is something of a late bloomer when it comes to dance music. An indie head in his early teens, it wasn’t until the ripe old age of 17, he found his calling.

And my, he’s come a long way since then. Cutting his teeth collaborating with former Roll Deep rapper, Trim and Hyperbdub’s enigmatic Zomby, the 24-year old’s next EP looks to be a naughty one.

A relative newcomer to the scene, I ask him if he’s ever encountered any snobbery from the dance puritans.

“No-one’s really said anything but sometimes I feel new because I got into dance quite late. I think I missed out on a lot of the stuff that some people grew up with and they know all about the ins and outs of everything and sometimes I don’t. But I’m learning.”

Producing raw, grimed up garage with deep techy interwoven drops, his production puts him head and shoulders above his peers. With Italian/Cuban parentage and a taste for classical, he aint posh, but is well-spoken enough for it to register. Playing the trumpet as a child and boasting a degree in music production, I’m curious as to how he fits into the world of grime and what they make of his qualifications.

“They’re are quite accepting of people going to uni. For self-taught, obviously it takes longer as they’re learning it themselves and maybe in some cases they’re a little bit biased and think it’s better.”

You get the feeling he wants his ascent to quicken but he makes it clear that longevity is his aim. But if you think you’ll see Last Japan rocking the decks in decades to come, think again. “As much as I love DJ’ing, I’d still like to be making music but don’t want to be one of those old guys. The club market stays the same so, that age group, it gets to a point where you’re just a bit too old.”

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I quickly jump in with the well-known Carl Cox paradox – the man simply doesn’t age. He considers this, then concedes. “Well, if you’ve got a name for yourself like he has, you’ve got the right to go on for a bit longer”.

Last Japan’s is an all-round clever fella with an earnest approach to learning his craft. Suburban, educated and not afraid to experiment, he represents the new breed of producer. But unlike some, he has the technical skill to pull it off.

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