Dazed Digital

Tokyo / 日本語

WE HERE NOW: Alex Kassian aka Bearight & Kojun Shimoyama

January 24, 2012

Ahead of tomorrow's landmark club event, Satellite Voices chats with the special guests

  • Text by Sophie Jackson

After meeting at Goldsmiths in London, Alex Kassian and Kojun Shimoyama have developed Selective Pressure, a collective which brings together video content, artwork and events from the club scenes of Berlin, London and Tokyo. Aside from that Alex, aka Bearight, has produced records and developed his live show and Kojun, now back in Japan, has been documenting the underground music scene through film. With one half of them now based fulltime in Japan and the other over for a visit, Selected Pressure are supporting Satellite Voices's partner event, WE HERE NOW, which launches tomorrow night in Shibuya.

“On Thursday I am playing live with these guys which is my first live show ever in Japan, it should be good and I am really looking forward to it.” Alex Kassian (aka Bearight)

Satellite Voices: Alex, you’re based in London, but grew up here in Japan right?
Alex: I was born in Kyoto and spent the first six years of my life there, then we moved to Sheffield for five years. At 11, I came back to Japan, where I attended international school in Kobe. After graduating from school aged 18, I moved to the UK.

SV: When did you start DJing and how did Selected Pressure develop?
Alex: A friend, Paul Bangerter (aka Lookleft) got me hooked on DJing dance music with a record by SLG, called the "Quarter Past Eleven EP". The collaborative spirit inspired Kojun and me to set up this organisation called Selective Pressure as a collective organisation combining events, music production and documenting London night life through video.

Kojun: At first it was just a party series, but I started to film inside venues and that got attention amongst clubbers in London and I began to do it fairly regularly.

Alex: Kojun decided to get involved in the Japan Society at the University of London. It was through that organisation that we were able to bring over our heroes like Frivolous, Moodymanc, SLG, and more artists and friends to our own parties and things developed from there.

Kojun: As Selective Pressure we work across Berlin, London and Tokyo now. I am also providing official video content for Clubberia from here in Japan and we will to continue to showcase both Japan and London.

SV: What do you think of the club scene in Tokyo at the moment? 
Kojun: I don't feel like I am really in the music scene in Tokyo. People here are attracted to some extent by big names outside of Japan. When I was in Berlin or in London I felt like I was a part of something. Especially with Secretsundaze parties, each time it was something really special... I don't think that you get that in Tokyo. 

SV: What made you decide to get involved with WE HERE NOW?
Kojun: So Chris Akira and I met at a party, instantly connected over our passion for music and started talking about ideas for a new concept for the contemporary club scene. I don't see any young people going out in the clubs really and felt that maybe in 10 years time the Tokyo scene could be totally wiped out. I also wanted to support the two new residents, Chris and Tomo in any way that I could. Alex was in Tokyo just the right time for the party so I got him involved as well.

SV: What’s coming up for you this year?
Alex: The event on Thursday will be my second live show ever. This year I would really like to do more live shows with my production partner Lookleft and I want to work with some new people. Really make it a productive year and just get things done. I’m also playing at Tomoki Tamura’s Holic parties in London each month. They are about to start a label with Mr. G doing the first release on a 10” vinyl, a bomb of a record!

WE HERE NOW, Seco Bar @

Shibuya 1-11-1 B1F
Shibuya-ku
Japan

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