Hypnotic techno bliss from Japan.

Over the last decade, Haruka—a Tokyo-based DJ-producer—has emerged as a leading figure in Japan’s dance music community. He initially made a name for himself as a resident and co-curator of DJ Nobu‘s infamous Future Terror parties, but since then he has played at major clubs in Tokyo—including Womb, VENT, and Dommune—and globally. These experiences have instilled in him a great versatility as a DJ, able to play carefully crafted opening sets, driving and powerful techno in peak-time slots, as well as after-hours sessions or more experimental explorations. When he’s not touring as a DJ, Haruka is working on his own studio productions or on Protection, an imprint launched in 2019 which, like his DJing, explores the more psychedelic strains of techno. For this week’s XLR8R podcast, Haruka has delivered a mix filled with exclusives from the label, some released and others upcoming. He recorded it in December when he opened for Jane Fitz, “keeping the tension in the room just right,” he says, and what you can expect is 85 minutes hypnotic techno bliss.

01. What have you been up to recently?
I’m on tour for four weeks. This weekend I play at Passaguero, Mexico City on Friday and at Nowadays, New York, on Saturday. Then I’m flying to Portugal next week.

02. What have you been listening to?
I listen to all kinds of music, except when preparing my DJ sets. Lately I’ve become a big fan of pop music. I was repeating XG, NewJeans, and Erika de Casier, who produces NewJeans.

03. What is it that you enjoy about electronic music?
There are infinite variations of it around the world, and you can participate in electronic music culture in any way that suits you, not just as a DJ-producer.

04. Where and when did you record this mix?
This is the set I played for Mutek Tokyo which was held at Womb in Shibuya, in December 2023.

05. How did you go about choosing the tracks you’ve included?
As this is the warm-up set I played before Jane Fitz, the dancefloor was filled with the audience as soon as the venue opened. I carefully selected the tracks to keep the tension on the floor just right, keeping in mind the flow of the event.

06. How does it compare to what we might otherwise hear you play out live?
Recently, I have been performing more often during peak times and closing times. I used to play warm-up sets like this mix. I liked that role and also learned a lot about track selection from there. I was glad to be able to play in that time slot for the first time in a while. I would like to thank Mutek Tokyo for giving me this wonderful opportunity and Pioneer DJ for supporting me with the equipment.

07. What’s next on your horizon?
I’ve included some upcoming tracks from my Protection label in this mix, and I’m preparing for their release this year. A lot of tours are scheduled, and I should be able to announce new endeavours soon.

Tracklisting

01. Mathias Kaden “Liberate Drums” (Vril Remix) (Rekids)
02. Laura BCR “Afterhour” (Konstrukt)
03. Gotshell “Espectros” (Analog Solutions)
04. Polygonia “Hamadryas” Amphinome (ara)
05. Gigi FM “Manas” (PST) (Bambelabel)
06. Ike Release “Timeslip 1” (Protection)
07. MadderModes “Mammet” (Unreleased)
08. Shjva “Warm” (Mana Abundance)
09. Exos “Spællt” (X/OZ)
10. Ike Release “Timeslip 14” (Protection)
11. Paradise 3001 “Jungle Drugstore Tool” (Bless You)
12. Reel By Real “Karma” (Don Williams’ Night Transmission Remix) (Mojuba Records)
13. Tauceti “Hainan Cham” (Non Series)
14. Broken English Club “Coma” (Death & Leisure)
15. Antigone “The Mechanics” (Zadig Unreleased Remix) (Construct Re-Form Records)
16. Patrik Skoog “Frontiers” (Parabel)
17. J. F. Burma “Good Servant Bad Master” (Bunker New York)
18. Ike Release “Timeslip 13” (Protection)





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