Secret Thirteen Mix 091 - Sugai Ken


The author of the mix is Ken Sugai (b. 1980), a Japanese contemporary electronic music artist, composer and DJ based in Kanagawa, Japan. Sugai started his musical career in the middle 1990s as a DJ at the local hip-hop group called “Title-B”. Also, he was working at “Bar Orbit” and playing at various parties until 2005. In 2010 Sugai performed his composition live at Onsen Ongaku and it was a turning point in his career. Afterwards Sugai successfully appeared at festivals all across Japan such as Ginza GL, Tent, Ringo Ongakusai, Tobiu Camp, Shaonsai, Oneness Camp, Camp Off-Tone and others. His pieces smoothly combines traditional Japanese music with newest sound technologies. It feels that Sugai's lighly experimental music visually paints invisible unearthly tones, emotive moods and unseen landscapes in each listener subconsciousness. Sugai often collaborates with musicians Tadaomi Shibuya and Fabian Monheim. Also, he is closely related with an experimental Japanese Freed Records label which in 2010 has released his first solo album “時子音 -To Ki Shi Ne-”. Sugai Ken's second album including remixes by Sculpture and Sabi will be released later this year (2013).

“Secret Thirteen Mix 091” is a sparkling and continuous audio journey through Eastern traditions, heartiness and kaleidoscopic soundscapes. The deliberate mix connects 16 exciting records most of which are composed by Japanese musicians such as Stomu Yamash'ta, Rovo, Shin Takai and others. It also hides some unreleased music by the upcoming Japanese artists such as Kazuya Matsumoto, Sasada Tatsuro, The Circle Machines and a few gems by Sugai Ken himself. The selection is based on the melodic ambiance and a vivid palette of accurately polished sounds that are gently weaved with some finest field recordings that Sugai Ken recorded in his daily surroundings. The mix contains touches of minimalism, free improvisation and avantgarde. The thoughtful and gradual mixing allows to fully immerse into a tranquil ocean of encoded patterns of mostly live recorded and generated aerial atmospheres. This mix invites every sophisticated listener to rediscover Japanese music and to embrace its beauty, stability and intelligence.

“Secret Thirteen Mix 091” is like a continuous and subtle Jiro Yoshihara's abstract painting “To Martha’s Memory” that illustrates the unity of the world. It is a reminiscent of “satori”, the enlightenment of Zen. The Zen buddhist monks paint figures constantly as they believe that you can know everything about a person just by looking at their drawing of a shape. This Yoshihara's painting as well as Sugai's conceptual mix show how deeply they are connected with their inner being and to the world around them. Sugai Ken in his mix explores existentialism and also wants to express “the impermanence of worldly things” that is highly reflected in the Japanese culture. It seems that Sugai's sensitive compiling manner and mixing technique completely capture that majestic feeling. The final touch to this mix is added by the words of Sugai Ken himself “We all are born and we will be dead someday. Everything in this world is fleeting.”

Show Playlist
1. Sound Track For Milan Collection - Shin Takai [Freed Records, 2004]
2. Oropendola Bird - Jim Metzner [Cd Baby, 1994]
3. Water Music: Part V - Tod Dockstader [Starkland, 1992] [originally recorded in 1963] 4. Anamorphoses I - Isabel Soveral [Tomlab, 2004] [originally recorded in 1994] 5. Surfspin - Stomu Yamash'ta [Universal, 2005] [originally recorded in 1976] 6. Seer - Rovo [Warner Indies Network, 2001]
7. Kabool - Dasman [Magic Book Records, 2007]
8. SE
9. Kinshi - Sugai Ken [Unreleased]
10. Untitled - Kazuya Matsumoto [Unreleased]
11. Frog Nocturne #2: Yellow Toad And Treefrogs - Douglas Quin [Earthear, 2001]
12. Sample03 - The Circle Machines [Unreleased]
13. SE
14. Test Patch_08 - Sasada Tatsuro [Unreleased]
15. Little sister - Orang [Virgin, 1994]
16. Toundra / Duottar - Torgeir Vassvik [Idut, 2006]

More about Sugai Ken: Website - Facebook

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An interdisciplinary journal, offering eclectic mixes and smart interviews with original artists and label owners as well as contemporary art reviews.

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