Where are you currently based and what’s the music scene like there?
I’m currently based in Matsumoto, a town in Nagano, about 200km North West of Tokyo, Japan. The music scene here is small, but but the parties are somewhat similar to what you can find in many other places in Japan. Usually tucked away in a building that is hard to find, with a crew that plays an eclectic selection of whatever is going at that particular party. Many of the people here aren’t exclusive to one genre or crew. Cliques exist, but they are loose, and due to the relatively small size of our city, you often find the same people at various different events, regardless of genre or style. It’s a great little scene we have here.
How did you wind up there and how has it been starting fresh in a new country?
Long story short, I ended up moving here to be closer to my wife’s family. Moving here for me was one of the hardest things i’ve ever had to endure. Culture shock is real, and the language barrier is just the beginning. Loads of little cultural nuances like how to act around certain people, and what to do when. Getting into the music scene here was the same as anywhere in terms of going to events and meeting the right people, but learning Japanese has certainly helped me to network a lot more easily. My Japanese isn’t great, but it’s communicative on a basic level, so it gets me by.
How did you first start playing music and how did you evolve into electronic music?
I guess my journey into music isn’t too dissimilar to the way a lot of people got into it. Started piano when I was 7, then the trumpet when I was 9. I picked up a guitar in my teens, started jamming in a garage with mates and all that. I was in a punk band when i was younger. Our claim to fame was opening for Aussie punk-rock legends “Frenzal Rhomb”. That was a rad gig. Electronic music was always a love of mine though, ever since I heard some breaks back in high school. Artists like Sonic Animation and the Resin Dogs were at the start of my journey, but then i really got into trance after hearing an old Gatecrasher compilation – Global Sound System. A little later, I found progressive house, and that was the gateway too all the kinds of house music (and sometimes techno) that I’m into these days. I started producing sometime around 2004 when a friend of mine introduced me to FL Studio. Of course, I downloaded a cracked version and went from there. I only started taking it seriously around 2011 though, and didn’t release my first single until 2014. You can find it on Spotify if you search “musicbyhux”. I still dig the tunes, but thankfully, I’ve since changed my alias.
The music that I play sits somewhere between minimal house and progressive. My favourite music to play is driving progressive, but the people that I DJ to get right into that 909 High hat drive that comes with minimal house, so I find myself playing a lot of that during my sets, even though I like prog more. As far as my own productions, mostly deep, progressive house, with the exception of my latest tune, but more on that in a bit.
Recently, very little on the gigs front due to a certain pandemic that happens to be kind of a big deal, but also, i recently broke my leg pretty badly, so actually i’ve been laid up at home for the last 6 weeks or so. I’ve been limited to my bed and my living room, so i’ve been playing video games, and doing music related stuff in all my spare time (which happens to be most of my time atm) So yeah, I can’t walk, but i can’t complain too much, because it’s been nice to catch up on some stuff, including rest.
Great question. I know that i’ve been wanting to write a peak time tune for a while, but usually everything I write turns out deep, so this one came as a bit of a surprise to me. My inspiration came from all of my friends, family and supporters who have got me this far in my musical journey, hence the title. There are no such things as self-made people. We all stand on the shoulders of giants, and I really wanted to give something back, which is why anyone can pick up this tune for free from my Bandcamp page.
All of it (bar mastering) was done on my laptop, using software, an Apogee duet, some headphones, and some old Behringers, which i used when the neighbours were out.
For this track, most of it was midi-based using software synths. So no actual recording, and I did all of it from my own home. The whole process happened slowly, over the course of about 8 weeks. In the end, I put about 75 hours into it.
I use Logic pro X, and a whole stack of softsynths. My favourites are Spectrasonics’ Trilian, Uhe’s Hive, and one I discovered recently by Waves, called Codex. Apart from that, a lot of one-shot samples for the drums, claps, hats, percussion etc.
You can listen on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, Google… all the major online streaming platforms, and of course Bandcamp, which I mentioned earlier.
Of course I love to chill with family and/or friends, but apart from that, I really love all things to do with coffee. I was a barista in Australia for about 8 years before I came to Japan, and since I’ve been here, i’ve taken up roasting. It’s a whole new challenge, but i love it, and I’ve been starting to roast some really tasty coffee.
Quivver, Ezequiel Arias, Matan Caspi, Deep Active Sound, Dave Pad, Somersault, Toman, Ben Rau, Dirty Culture…heaps of people!
First on my list is to walk again, second is to make more music. Gig-wise, who knows?! Of course I’d love to get out and about again, but nothing is certain at the moment, so we’ll wait and see.
My favourite food is home-made curry. Can’t beat it. Favourite place to hang out is anywhere with the right people, although there is a whisky bar down town called Kadokko. It’s a very small bar, with room for about 8 people, but it has loads of delicious whisky, and it’s cheap, like the budgie! (10 points if you got that movie reference!)