404Audio: How does the drum & bass scene in Japan compare to other places such as the UK, America, or other parts of Europe?
Makoto: It's hardly anything like the UK or other places, but the scene in Japan is growing. I look forward to being able to play a lot of tunes from Japanese producers in my sets one day, but there are only a few drum & bass producers in Japan currently. Along with myself, there are only three or four other DJs who play dubplates or original tracks. Therefore, all the other DJs play tracks which are already released and end up sounding similar. In terms of size, the drum & bass scene has become smaller than it was five years ago, but I feel its rebirth - There's a lot of young DJs playing and I really look forward to seeing how it goes in the future.

404Audio: What sort of events take place in Japan (regular weekly events, monthly events, one-offs, etc)? Are there big festivals with drum & bass, or is it only heard in nightclubs?
Makoto: We have two big drum & bass events each month and they always feature UK drum & bass artists, there are also a lot of weekly nights featuring resident Japanese DJs. My friend has done a festival thing this year for the first time, it was small but went really well, hopefully we can do it again next year.

404Audio: How many people come out to drum & bass events:
Makoto: If a big UK artist comes here the turnout is usually around 600-700 people, at least for the main club in Tokyo.

404Audio: What cities have the most vibrant scene? What are the crowds generally like in Japan?
Makoto: It's Tokyo for sure. I think the Japanese crowd is a bit more quiet than other countries' crowds, but it's still all good.

404Audio: How does drum & bass compare in terms of popularity to other styles of music such as trance, house, hip-hop, rock, etc? Does drum & bass get exposure on the radio, on television, etc?
Makoto: Drum & bass in Japan is still very underground, but I hear drum & bass on television quite a lot, so I think we just need to promote and make popular drum & bass tunes here so people will get exposed to the music...

404Audio: What are your favorite Japanese drum & bass artists and record labels?
Makoto: My favorite artists are my brother Akira, DX, and Yoneda; unfortunately, we don't have any drum & bass labels in Japan at the moment.

404Audio: Who are your favorite non drum & bass Japanese artists?
Makoto: Jazztronik, Tokyo Jazz Massive, Satoshi Tomie, and many more.

404Audio: What tunes do you have coming out? Will they be on Good Looking or do you have plans to work with other labels in the future? What about non drum & bass music such as downtempo or house, do you have any other material scheduled for release? Any plans for another Makoto album?
Makoto: I have recently done a new album for Good Looking, so hopefully it will come out soon. At the same time I'm going to start my own label called HumanElements as well, hopefully it will get started early next year. I've also done some remixes for other labels, such as Duron's "Stand Up" for Bingo, Marky & XRS's "Moments of Lust" for Innerground, Kabuki & Cleveland Watkiss' "Speed of Sound", and Alaska's "Aerosoul" for Vibez. There are a few more things as well.

404Audio: Any plans to feature your work commercially in Japan?
Makoto: Probably, I'm going to produce some artists and make some music for upcoming Playstation2 games.

404Audio: Which producers and MCs do you plan on working with in the future? Any collaborations with other Japanese artists planned?
Makoto: I always work with Deeizm MC. I have been working with her for about three years now. We have progressed a lot since then and we have many tracks which we made together and are ready to go. Also, I've done tracks with DJ Marky, Kabuki, and Greg Packer. I also look forward to working with Cleveland Watkiss, XRS, and Danny Wheeler again.

404Audio: Who are some of your favorite non drum & bass artists?
Makoto: There are so many, but I love legendary musicians such as Marvin Gaye, Leroy Hutson, Stevie Wonder, and Herbie Hancock. Also, I love Jazzanova, Recloose, and Carl Creig.

404Audio: Where do you see your sound progressing in the future?
Makoto: I really don't know actually, I'm always trying to do new things, so the time will tell me where I should go.

404Audio: What is your current studio setup (hardware, software)?
Makoto: I'm just using Logic 7, Powercore, UAD-1 and Spendor speakers for monitors.

404Audio: What's your favorite peice of hardware or software at the moment?
Makoto: Hardware, Fender Rhodes. Software, Logic 7 and Kontakt 2.

404Audio: What elements of your studio do you consider crucial to achieve the unique Makoto sound?
Makoto: I think it's my real Fender Rhodes and all my samples from 70's music.

404Audio: What have you been listening to lately on the tour while traveling?
Makoto: Herbie Hancock "Possibilities" and Stevie Wonder "A Time 2 Love".

404Audio: What about new books you've read and films you've watched?
Makoto: I've been watching quite a lot of films, I've been renting DVDs every week. Star Wars Episode III was wicked.

404Audio: What has been your favorite gig in the US? What's your favorite city in America
Makoto: Chicago in 2003 was the best show ever for me, but all cities in America are always good. I particular like Boston as well as the West coast.

404Audio: Who is your favorite American drum & bass artist?
Makoto: Juju.

404Audio: Who are your favorite non drum & bass American artists?
Makoto: There are too many, but all the 70's artists who inspire me come from America.

404Audio: What do you think about American drum & bass in general?
Makoto: I think it's good and there are many good producers, but honestly I think it could be bigger because you have the number one music market in the world!

Makoto's Top 5 Tunes - November 2005
DJ Marky & Makoto - Love Again (white)
Dave Angel - Rotation (Marky & XRS remix) (V Recordings)
Kabuki - Beyond Words (Liquid V)
Makoto & Deeizm - Deeper Than Sublime (white)
Logistics - Inhale (Hospital)

Makoto's Top 5 Producers
DJ Marky & XRS
Craggz & Parallel Forces
Marcus Intalex