The Click: Wata Igarashi
In his own words, the Japanese producer reflects on how the art of repetition kickstarted his acid techno explorations.
Before turning to techno, I had been producing music for TV commercials and playing jazz for many years. By this point, I felt like I could handle myself in the studio, and techno seemed pretty simple and straightforward. This all gave me a false sense of confidence. I quickly found out that making techno was much more challenging than I had anticipated. In fact, the ‘simple’ nature of the music is partly what makes it so difficult.
When I was younger I obsessed over practicing the guitar and would play it every day for years. This process of practice and repetition stuck with me, and I continued it when I started making techno. One day I decided to make one slow acid track per day for a month, always at the same tempo: 110 BPM. After two weeks I reviewed what I had completed. There were a few tracks I really liked, some others were OK, and some were just not good. Overall I wasn’t satisfied with the results, so I started thinking, ‘What am I doing wrong?’
“I quickly found out that making techno was much more challenging than I had anticipated. In fact, the ‘simple’ nature of the music is partly what makes it so difficult”
To answer my question, I analysed the tracks I made and tried to work out what elements distinguished the tracks I thought were the best, what separated them from the rest. This revealed to me what I couldn’t clearly see before: I was developing a sound of my own in there. The tracks I liked tended to share certain things in common. I became more self-aware of the character of the acid bass lines and the way I was using atmospheric sounds. Through this I was able to more clearly understand what I had been doing on an intuitive level, to get a better sense of what was working, what I was trying to do.
I still have so much to discover with making techno, and I know I am still developing as an artist. This early experience was an important step that gave me the confidence to keep going with electronic music. And if people like it, play it and listen to it, then I am happy. And if they don’t, well, I will still keep on going, repeating it over and over…
Wata Igarashi appears at Neopop Festival, Portugal, on 8 August