[Exclusive Interview] DRUNKEN KONG Discuss Sophomore Long Player on Tronic and Plans for 2020

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Following the internationally celebrated release of their debut album The Signs Within in 2017, burgeoning Japanese techno duo Drunken Kong looks to kick off a brand new decade in emphatic fashion, as they gear up for the forthcoming release of their eagerly-anticipated sophomore long-player, Where We Start.

Due for worldwide release on February 10 via Christian Smith’s esteemed Tronic Music imprint, Where We Start marks the second full-length opus from the Tokyo-based outfit, whose impressive catalogue of unique techno productions have also been homed by the likes of Terminal M, Octopus Recordings, Stil Vor Talent and Session Womb to name a few.

We sat down with them to find out more…

Hi guys, welcome to We Own The Nite NYC! Thanks for taking time out of your schedule to talk to us. How are you?

Hello, thank you very much for having us!!  We are doing great! Hope you are too!  

For those of our readers that may not know you, please can you introduce yourselves quickly?

My name is Dee and with my partner Kyoko, we are working on a project named DRUNKEN KONG.  We are from Tokyo, Japan and we have been releasing music from labels such as Tronic, Terminal M, Octopus Recordings and Stil Vor Talent. 

Congratulations on the forthcoming release of your second studio album, ‘Where We Start’. Can you tell us a bit about the creative process behind that release and why you gave it that name?

Thank you very much. We are very excited about our new album. Well, the title ‘Where We Start’ came from the idea that we are at a new starting point in our life.  We had our first child a year and a half back and this was really a big change in our lifestyle. We felt this was a new stage in our lives and we wanted to capture different emotions and experiences we went through and express this through music.  

What are some of the biggest inspirations behind this body of work?

Definitely our daughter was the biggest inspiration. 

Would you say it’s significantly different from your debut album? And if so, why?

Yes I feel this album is a lot different from our debut album.  We feel this album is more musical than the previous one.  There are a lot more melodic elements in this album. It was something we were feeling when creating this album.  

Do you plan to tour the album internationally this year?

Yes, we are currently working on some tours.  

Why did you decide to release ‘Where We Start’ on Tronic Music?

Tronic has always been our home label and we felt that it all made sense to do our album on Tronic.  I really like the style and direction Tronic is going and I feel I am seeing my tracks evolve in the same direction to the label.  

Have you known Christian Smith for a long time? And how did you meet in the first place?

We met Christian at a club named WOMB in Tokyo.  I was always a big fan of Christian Smith and Tronic so I was very excited to meet him. We chatted for a bit and from then on we kept in touch and I sent him some of our music a few weeks later and that eventually became our first release on Tronic!

What is the electronic music scene like in your hometown? Any producers that we should be keeping our eyes on?

Electronic music scene has always been a thing here.  There are so many parties every weekend and also on weekdays.  You can find parties here at all sorts of places. In the summer, we have many outdoor parties in the mountains which is a lot of fun!  

Risa Taniguchi is a producer that everyone should keep an eye on.  Her productions are so unique and original.  Be sure to check her music out!

You’re clearly very accomplished both in the studio and behind the decks. Do you prefer one or the other? If so, why? 

We like to do both. I guess it just depends on the feeling. 

I do spend a lot of time in the studio though.  I just like making music, even if it doesn’t become a track.  I just love playing around with loops and synthesizers.  So much fun!

What are 5 records that haven’t left your box recently?

DRUNKEN KONG – Viper

Christian Smith – Hallucinate

DRUNKEN KONG – Neo

Balthazar & JackRock – Nymph

DRUNKEN KONG & Teenage Mutants – Tokyo

Besides the new album, what can we expect from Drunken Kong as we enter 2020? Any goals for the new decade that you can share with us?

We are currently working on more new materials for 2020 and 2021.  We are also very excited to have a collaboration EP with Misstress Barbara coming up in March!  A big one!

As for the new decade, our goal is to be able to play at many parties possible around the globe.  I really enjoy traveling and meeting new people and of course, playing at new places so this is definitely our goal. Also, we hope to be able to inspire as many people as we can. We would definitely love to see more young producers from Japan!  

Any final words for our We Own The Nite readers?

We are very excited about our new album ‘Where We Start’ coming out on Feb 10.  We really hope that you will like it.  Be sure to have a listen!!  

DRUKEN KONG – Where We Start will be released on February 10 via Tronic Music. Pre-Order here

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