There are few artists who can lay claim to having been picked up by not one but two major forces who have shaped the dance music industry but Japan's Satoshi Tomiie is one such artist.
First it was House God, Frankie Knuckles who invited Satoshi to join the Def Mix production team in New York back in the late eighties early nineties. Then, in the year 2000, it was another of dance music's most religious figures, John Digweed, largely regarded as the founder of the progressive house church, who used several of Satoshi's productions and collaborations on his Global Underground Los Angeles release; Satoshi Tomiie's "Love In Traffic" remixed by John Creamer and Stephane K one of the definitive tunes of that album and indeed, the year 2000 .
It was only a matter of time then before Satoshi along with Hector Romero would set up his own label in the form of Saw Recordings, whose early releases like Bi-Path's 'Paranoize', Madam's 'Penetration' and Satoshi's solo effort 'Virus' were in many ways responsible for spawning a new subgenre that would eventually evolve to become tribal progressive house. It's fair to say, however, that very few labels ever managed to balance the dark and sinister undertones and energetic house rhythms to the same great effect as was accomplished on those pioneering early releases on Saw.
Having just notched up its 40th release Saw Recordings continues to offer diverse and exciting music with releases in the past twelve months from artists like Bush II Bush, Mardel, Chab, Nathan Fake, Matthias Heilbron, Blue Haze, Tantamanna and Niki B & Christian E.F.F.E. And not forgetting Satoshi's own latest mix compilation "ES" which you can read all about in our latest Music Reviews and the forthcoming follow-up "ES-B".
This Saturday sees Satoshi Tomiie take centre stage at the Def Mix residency in Ibiza along with label cohort Hector Romero. We looked into Satoshi's electronic soul to find out how his Def Mix days have influenced Saw Recordings, what he thinks are some of the key releases to date on Saw and what makes Pacha in Ibiza one of the most talked about clubs in the world.
What does the name Def Mix mean to you both musically and as an organization within the dance music industry, both past and present?
Def Mix is the group of individual DJs/producers who have been delivering and playing quality dance music. Both House Music icons Morales and Knuckles have had a major musical influence on the industry for more than a decade. Their countless numbers of remixes contributed the golden age of house music in the early 90’s. Now their residency at Pacha is a proof that Def Mix is still standing strong as ever.
How has your involvement with Def Mix over the years influenced your vision and the sound of Saw Recordings?
Being a part of the crew made me realize what is important. Providing good music is the bottom line, you have to maintain the quality of it; you can’t compromise and it shouldn't be negotiable. The quality of music always comes first. Then everything else just follows.
With the ever changing sound of house music, how do you see Saw Recordings developing in the future?
Though the styles and faces of House Music are changing everyday, we will simply keep our musical policy the same. That is, “introducing quality music regardless of its style”. The result in the future will happen regardless, good or bad, but we have a strong belief in what we are doing.
Tell us what you think are four definitive Saw Recordings releases and why.
1. Bi-Path “Paranoize” (SAW001)
It was the first baby of the label; a collaboration between myself and Stephane K.(He is my plug-ins teacher!). We thought it was a great tune to start Saw with. We also had a really lucky start, thanks to Digweed who picked it up along with Madam (SAW002) for his GU Los Angeles. This helped the Saw name on the streets, big time.
2. Nathan Fake “Watlington Street EP” (SAW032)
This release is very representative of Saw's musical policy. He is a real talent and his music is genre-less, Just quality dance music. I loved that he named one tune “Bored of House”. I was jumping out of my chair when I first heard this EP.
3. Chab “Dubs, Edits and Whisky-Coke” (Album)
We are simply so proud of this album, not only because its our first artist album but because of the quality of it. Quite Simply we were shocked when we first heard it. It features our first release by Chab “My Memory” and “Closer To Me”. Expect more singles to come from this album.
4. Satoshi Tomiie “ES” and “ES-B"
My first mix compilations on Saw and the first one in 3 years. This is a milestone for myself. Releasing albums of my own was one of the reasons I set up Saw.
What kind of set can we expect to hear from you at your Saw Recordings/Def Mix gigs at Pacha in Ibiza? Will you be doing anything different from your normal set?
I hope I can deliver a quality kind of set at Pacha! No, I won’t be doing a different set; I will just feel it out, try to create a great atmosphere with the crowd.
What is one song you will definitely make sure you have in your record box when you play in Ibiza?
I don’t have one I am afraid.
Pacha Ibiza is one of the most talked about clubs on the island and within the worldwide club scene. What do you think is special about playing there?
It sure does have a magnetic power to attract the crowds. And the combination of the crowd, the venue and music is really like some kind of magic. The line up of “music providers” is amazing 7 days a week throughout the season. It's simply the best in the world, you can’t ask for any better. Really!
Besides Pacha, where else do you enjoy playing? Why?
Café Mambo. I love playing there. As a matter of the fact I am playing a set different from my “normal” set there. Love it!
What do you enjoy the most about going to Ibiza?
Meeting people, enjoying the food and playing some tunes at clubs!
Where do you usually go to escape the party scene in Ibiza? Or is it just one non-stop party for you between arriving and leaving?
I visit some of the beaches occasionally. I usually have another destination to go to after the gig on the island so most of the time I drive straight to Ibiza Airport.
Satoshi Tomiie will play the Def Mix party at Pacha in Ibiza on June 18, July 2 and 16, August 27, September 3 and 17 and October 1.