JUN KAMODA

From esteemed Japanese producer, Jun Kamoda comes an irreverent new release, ‘THE DISTORTED HAUNTED BALLROOM EP’. It comprises three deeply twisted and wickedly delicious tracks, each resplendent with elements of frenzied percussion, far-flung Balearia, and warehouse rave. Already synonymous with house oddities, ‘BODY AND SOUL’, ‘(((BYE)))’ and ‘DOPEY FORESTS’ will reinforce Jun’s reputation as a master of his craft.

 

Rich with discordant samples and pounding basslines, the ‘THE DISTORTED HAUNTED BALLROOM EP’ is deeply evocative of a nightmare circus and the carnivalesque. Jun presents the EP as the threshold to a new, ethereal and eccentric world, saying “my new EP is the ticket to go to your own distorted haunted ballroom. If you listen to that EP, you can imagine what story you could create there.” In many ways, the EP seems like a nod towards his previous video-game soundtrack productions – infectious, immaculately produced, and entirely and utterly eccentric.

Raucous opening track ‘BODY AND SOUL’ comprises numerous seemingly antithetical elements to bludgeon the listener into a reverie, fusing vibrant erratic trumpets with industrial sounds. The result is a highly exciting glimpse into Jun’s dream world, which draws on both the supernatural and the ethereal, and technological innovation. Jun explains “I’m glad when my music awakens someone’s imagination! Technically, I was inspired by the Elektron Machinedrum sound. I had an image of a colourful neon-lit ghost [that] had been flying around a deep and dark room when [I made the] rhythm with the Machinedrum, and then illustrated the scene using Ableton Live.”
 

Inevitably, when Jun creates music, he draws from his experiences of having worked across a wide range of artistic disciplines. He is deeply ingrained in his local scene, lending his hand to an extensive range of different creative processes over the past 15 years. An esteemed polymath, he has produced art under his Illreme moniker, as a member of a hip-hop trio (Baleine 3000), as a cartoon illustrator (Usca), and even voiced an animated puppet. Jun clearly utilises these past lives to inform his music; “I used to work as an illustrator and novelist, and as a Master of Ceremonies on a music channel, and was a voice actor for a puppet. Every work has a method, a theory and a particular rhythm... When I make my music, sometimes the method within those other works (theory or rhythm) influences my music in a new way.”

 

2016 saw Jun garner global attention for his seminal offering, ‘The Clay EP’, on revered New York label, Mister Saturday Night. Jun combined work on the EP with his other creative endeavours, and believes his explorations into multiple disciplines may have rubbed off on one another; “when I made my track ‘The Clay’, I also worked as a voice actor for a puppet. I think the process of talking rhythm as the puppet affected ‘The Clay’.” ‘THE DISTORTED HAUNTED BALLROOM’ sees Jun return to the BLACK ACRE imprint for the first time since his funk-infused offering ‘Blind Disco’. 

 

Rejecting genre constraints, BLACK ACRE champion those pushing boundaries, working with the likes of Romare, Clap! Clap!, and more across recent years. As a home for the eccentric and the experimental, Jun fits perfectly into BLACK ACRE, who this year celebrate a decade in the business.  Now associated with Berlin’s Dirt Crew Recordings, Mall Grab’s Steel City Dance Discs and the aforementioned Black Acre, Jun is evidently comfortable among the dance floor elite with his playful, yet experimental grooves.

Under whatever guise, Jun always brings a sense of fun and playfulness to his work. As a fiercely independent individual, brimming with innovative concepts and ideas, working in collaboration with other artists could be seen as a challenge, but not to Jun. He sheds some light onto how his work always manages to stay fresh, saying “I always tend to use two studio rooms, one which is a private room as a solo musician and another as a playground for collaboration with artists. This cartoon explains why I need two rooms. I really enjoy [pacing] between the two rooms.”

Ever the innovator, this cartoon perfectly encapsulates the spirit of an artist clearly having fun. Evidence that Jun Kamoda is at the peak of his powers.
 

WORDS: JAMES LANGLEY