German Techno producer, remixer, DJ and live act, Ray Kajioka is most known by his tracks “Sparks” and “Thrill”. We got the chance to speak with Ray about his second LP, his music and Berlin. Enjoy the reading!
Hi Ray, how are you? Let’s start with your music. What is your perception of the music you make? Is there a certain filling or sound that guides you?
Hi Milica, nice to meet you! I’m doing fine. I started the new year laid-back, as I had to go to Hamburg the next day. I played live at this New Year’s Day event called “Urknall” (Big Bang) at “Übel & Gefährlich”, which was great; a friendly crew and crowd, nice underground vibe. Kind of refreshing and impressive at the same time. Was really good to be there again. Yeah, things like that and other influences mixed with my own personality give the music that i make. I just do what I do.By the way: Happy new Year!
Your new album was highly expected, so what’s the story about ‘Consistency’? What inspired you to make it?
Well, there was a broad range of inspiration, which I have taken from my own life. You know, experiences I have made and which have been gone along with me in the daily life. Even during the production process. Although each individual track of this album has its own story, they all revolve around the same topic. In short, this album describes more or less myself and how I did it my way so far.
How long had you worked on this album?
I spent approx 12 months on it.
I got the chance to listen ‘Consistency’ before release date, and i really liked a couple of tracks. ‘Minute 53’ is just so uplifting to me and I could imagine hearing ‘Ruderberg’ and ‘The Ratchet’ at the best moment I find myself in the club, so I have to ask could you pick a favorite?
Thank you, that’s nice to hear! 🙂 Yeah I agree, it’s hard to pick a favorite. Even for me, because I do like all of them actually. But I think it’s “Minute 53”, as it’s a very personal one.
This is your second LP. How do you see your sound evolved between these two releases?
I think, the mixdowns are meanwhile better. Soundwise I stayed very much the same, I would say. I mean, I have my favorite gears and sounds with I do identify myself at most. “Consistency” is way more profound and personal compared to my debut album. Further, at this point I have to say, that the label, me and everyone involved put much more effort into this release. Among others, I had more tracks to choose from, where the decision was not easy for me. But now as it’s done I’m very happy with it.
What’s your favorite thing when it comes to producing your own track?
Enjoying the moment while it happens and hits me. And then I do forget time and space and everything around me is unimportant.
‘Consistency’ was released for Kanzleramt, so how did you cooperation with Heiko Laux and this label started?
That’s a long story! But to make it short, Heiko Laux and I met in 2003. Our encounter happened indirectly. At that time I had a collaboration with an artist based in the UK, who already was in contact with few labels and did send tracks of mine to different labels. Amongst others to Kanzleramt. Few months later I received a phone call… “Hi Ray, this is Heiko Laux!”. He approached me regarding the demo tracks which he was digging them and as his words on the phone were “It saved my day!”, which is why he would like to publish it on his label. I would have loved to do that back then. But unfortunately I had just signed to another label. So the tracks were gone. But still, Heiko was interested in releasing stuff of mine on his imprint. Probably because he saw a new Kanzleramt-artist in me, I guess. But also, because of we simply got along very good already.
What is your vision of techno? Is it just something related to dance, the sound itself and philosophy?
It’s a bit of everything. Techno has been with me since my teenage years, in the early 90‘s and has given me a lot as musician and enthusiast. It has this certain energy. It keeps me young and creative.
In other words: Techno is an attitude. A feeling. It’s the expression of an individual soul that can be just simple and/ or complex, as life just is. Techno has always been about imagining the future, living in the here and now and revolutionary. And also, Techno should stay pure, inspiring and groundbreaking, as the world needs to be shaped to a better one. Especially right now.
How much has living in Berlin defined your style and musical taste, regarding the city’s history of electronic music?
Quite a lot! With the move to Berlin I had much more possibilities to unfold myself musically, which doesn’t mean this path was easy to walk. Artists and music in Berlin are thick on the ground. You gotta need to be open for new things and creative all the time if you want to stick out and stay in this world. And if you understand Berlin’s history; what this city has been through already, at the latest until the fall of the wall between east and west, then you start to see how such strong creativity has grown from this.
What are your plans for the future, regarding music?
I just released a new remix I did for DJ T-1000 aka Alan Oldham. Now I’m working on future single releases; among others, on my first EP for the Swedish label Parabel Music.