Despite a career as a producer spanning just 18 months and doing next to zero press along the way, Yoshinori Hayashi is already held in very high regard. Going about his business quietly, fans of abstract electronics have been won over with evocative, genre-bending excursions on the Brian Not Brian-helmed Going Good imprint and Raw M.T.’s fledgling Jinn Records – the latter coming complete with a remix from Sex Tags co-owner, DJ Sotofett.

Fluid and unpredictable, it seems like the dancefloor is the last place Hayashi has in mind when writing a track. Arriving last month via Ital’s Lovers Rock, the latest 12″ showed yet another side to his sound: the opener presented something more driving and insistent, although you only had to flip it over to be set adrift among some of Hayashi’s more challenging but ultimately rewarding arrangements. On the back of that recent release, we caught up with the Tokyo-based producer for his first proper interview (Japanese speakers can scroll to the bottom for the translated version).

Asylum is out now on Lovers Rock – buy the vinyl here.

Thank you very much for taking the time to answer our questions, we really appreciate it.

I should thank you. I’m pleased to speak in this interview.

First off, can you name anyone that has made a serious impression on you musically, past, present or future?

Composer Mika Nozawa.

Your music borrows heavily from jazz, but do you have a background in the genre beyond these productions?

Everyone gets angry if you say “I have a jazz background!” I think the reason you feel I’m borrowing from jazz in my songs is because there are high tension parts and detuned parts. 

Quite a few of your releases feature live instrumentation. How much of it is sampled?

The proportion varies depending on the song, but I rarely sample the motif exactly. I play a single tone in the sampler and overdub using the keyboard.

Despite it saying 45rpm on The Forgetting Curve EP you released on Jinn Records, some have been debating whether it should be played at 33. Do you have any thoughts when it comes to people listening to music in a way that wasn’t originally intended?

I think you are talking about the Sotofett remix, which can be played at 33rpm, although it’s the listener’s freedom to enjoy shifting. However, this should come after people listen at the original pitch. 

Apparently there was someone trying to sell the Jinn release before it had even been distributed. What are your thoughts on Discogs sharks?

We should focus on the attitude of the composer and the listener. If both are serious about music, there should be no interference. We have to shed light on mindless people who ruin music. 

How did you come into contact with Sotofett and Brian Not Brian?

I heard Brian DJ on the Sex Tags podcast. I thought it was multi-angled, skilful and creative. I thought it was wonderful. So I kept sending demos to his label. The crew from Going Good always communicated with me very politely and pleasantly. Then I played on the same day as Sotofett at Saloon in Tokyo, and that’s how it started. After Giorgio [Raw M.T.] had listened to The End of The Edge EP he emailed me asking if I wanted to make a song with a remix by Sotofett. So we got connected through tunes. 

You played Cosmopolitan Dance on November 25th with the Sex Tags lot. Do you plan your live sets or is more intuitive than that?

In recent years, I’ve accumulated a set of 2-5 songs, and I deploy them to build a long play. Of course sometimes I make some sudden modifications in the flow. I prefer this style because besides the intermittent depth and pleasure of listening to 5 minutes of music, the inflection of the DJ is essential. Therefore, I think its necessary to change the mixing in both cases. 

Do you enjoy playing international gigs? Is it different to playing in Japan?

I’ve only DJ’d in Japan. Next year I’d like the opportunity to play abroad.

The upcoming Lovers Rock release has been described as “an EP of deliciously bent avant-house and free jazz-esque voyages,” but opener ‘Agent Dissolving Device’ sounds like your most functional dance track so far. Is danceability an afterthought when you’re in the studio?

To answer your question I’d like to talk about ‘Agent Dissolving Device’. It’s biggest feature is the light kick. From the DJs point of view, it may be a “hard to use” track. 

The philosophy of house and techno that I prefer possesses that point. Why did I choose a light kick? Why did it become a “hard to use track”? There are many answers, but I think it would be great if some DJs who sensed the answer, like it and play it.  

That means, physical listeners should look to the DJ for danceable songs, then there are songs that are not so focused on the DJ. I think that’s the difference.

Were there any changes to the studio process or set up with the new record in comparison to previous releases?

There is no change in the set. It’s very simple.

The process changes slightly every time. Depending on the starting point of creation. Is it scenery, words or a single sound? After considering these things complexly, I will start making the track.

Is your music influenced by your environment and culture?

Personally, when I was in my twenties, I was surrounded by inspiring adults.

That excellent mix you did for Going Good last year was very eclectic. Can you tell us about any of your favourite record digging spots in Japan?

Thank you. Shops with specific selections, second hand stores, major chains with a wide range of products. It’s best to knit together pieces gained little by little.

Is there anyone in particular you would like to collaborate with?

Artists from the Rephlex label. Also musicians and singers. I want to work with people who physically express music.

Would you recommend any environments for listeners to enjoy your music?

I’d be happy if people could enjoy songs that are not danceable on the dancefloor. Also while getting lost in their neighbourhood.

Anything already lined up for 2017?

Next year there’s the release on Gravity Graffiti. After that there will be releases on and off.

I will also DJ at some clubs in Tokyo.

Thank you so much for your time!

I was able to think about many things in this interview. Thank you.

Special thanks to Joanna Dixon for her translations.

Japanese version:










The Forgetting Curve EPに関して、リスナーによっては30rpmで聴く方が好きな人もいるようです。あなたは作品が意図されていないスピードで楽しまれている事をどう思いますか?


The Forgetting Curve EPがオフィシャルにリリースされる前にdiscogs上で誰かがリークしようとしていたようですがこのような人達をどう思いますか?




Sex TagsPodcastBrianDJを聴いたんだ。多角的。創造性に富んでスキルフル。素晴らしいと思った。

それで彼のレーベルにデモを送り続けたんだ。Going Goodのクルーは毎回毎回とても丁寧に、そして愉快に、僕と向き合ってくれた。

























昨年のGoing Goodのミックスは様々なスタイルの最高な部分が詰まっていてとても素晴らしかったです。あなたが日本でレコード探しをするのにお気に入りの場所があれば教えてもらえますか? 










来年は1月にGravity Graffitiからのリリースが控えているよ。その後も断続的にリリースが続くはず。




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