DRUNKEN KONG is the moniker of D.Singh. Born to an Indian father and a Japanese mother, he studied in an audio engineering school in Los Angeles where he was primarily focused on making up-tempo music and then he started his DJ career when he moved back to Japan in 2008. Since then he had been playing at various parties in Tokyo and other parts of Japan. His music has gained a lot of support from international top artists and DJs such as Adam Beyer, Christian Smith, Monika Kruse, Pan-Pot, Umek, Boris, 2000 and One, Uto Karem, Karotte, Filterheadz, Dosem, Stephan Hinz, Wehbba Wally Lopez, and Deadmau5 just to name a few. He has been constantly active in the Tokyo techno scene, playing regularly at major Tokyo clubs such as WOMB, Ageha, Unit, Vent and Sankeys TYO. He has also started his own resident party “INTENTION” at WOMB, inviting artists such as Christian Smith, Uto Karem, Nathan Barato, Arjun Vagale and Jewel Kid to Tokyo while also expanding his musical influence to other regions of Asia.
While constantly loving and being inspired by the music, Drunken Kong continues to expand his possibilities while maintaining his quality work. With his powerful DJ styles and charisma, he has achieved to constantly amuse the audience and keep the dance floor going while expanding his ideas and skills to the next level. We sit down with him to talk about the Asian Techno scene at length
1) Hey there! how are you doing? It’s great to have you with us.
Hello I am doing great. Thanks for having me today.
2) Okay, first things first, why the name Drunken Kong? How did the idea come about ?
Well originally I started this project with my wife Kyoko around 8 years back. We took our initials D & K and decided to make a name using this. At that time we had no intention to be releasing or touring, we were just making music for fun.
3) Having emerged from the Japanese techno scene and travelled the world, what would you say are some of the key differences in the Asian Techno Scene and that of say Europe?
Well I think Asia has a lot of potential but still is limited on the artists that come and play. This I find is the major difference between Europe and Asia. Techno is just so wide in terms of different styles there compared to here, so I feel that Asia is missing out on a lot of things. I feel there should also be more Asia tours for Asian artist, and that we all work together in building the scene overall. I would love to see more DJs from different parts of Asia playing here in Japan and to see more Japanese DJs playing in other parts of Asia. This would be really awesome!
4) What is your take on Business Techno? Is there such a thing and why do you think the term got coined?
I am not sure what exactly Business Techno is but definitely social media has a changed the way people see DJs and artists. Sometimes this throws people off from the music and focus more on the way the artist or DJ looks or acts. Focusing on the music is the most important part I feel.
5) We were at Epizode Festival in Vietnam and they had a very heavy presence from the South East Asian techno scene. Who would you say are some of the best artists from this side of the world who are making a global impact?
I feel DJ Nobu is making a serious impact on the global scene. Ken Ishii has always made global impact from a long time back and I really respect him for this. He has a lot of fans around the world which is amazing! Recently Risa Taniguchi has also been recognised world wide after her release on Suara. Arjun Vagale has always represented the Indian Techno scene which is amazing and I was very happy to see Indian artist dotdat win the Beatport competition and working now with Pan Pot and Second State.
6) Could you tell us more about your current studio setup? What kind of hardware and software do you use?
I use a mix of hardware and software. I am very behind the software part, still running Logic 9 on my old iMac, which I seriously should update!! I mainly use my hardware synths such as my Juno 106, Moog Sub37 and King Korg. for mix downs, I use a lot of UAD plugins along with some of my external hardware compressors such as the Rupert Neve Master Buss Processor and my Manley Variable Mu, which I absolutely love!!
7) You must be having a set pattern of working on a track in the studio. Could you give us a run-down of how your production process works?
Well, I dont have a set pattern when working on a track. Whatever I feel like I do or whatever comes to my mind, I do this. I usually like to start with the groove but sometimes I start on a synth line or melody. I just play around until I have something I like. I like to let my ideas wander around in the beginning. I play around for a day or two in the studio and just make many loops. Then I give it some time and listen to each one over and decide which one fits my concept at the moment. Then finally I start building a track around this.
8) What is the one key element that has drawn you in the world of Techno?
The key element for me was the freedom of musical expression. Since the main thing in techno is usually not vocals, this to me gave so much possibility of doing things. Sometimes a melody can be the main element of a track or for me a single snare can be the main thing. The way music can be made and expressed I found so interesting!
9) Over the years you have released your music on multiple labels. Which have been some of your favourite labels to release on? Have you thought about starting your own record label?
Its very hard to pick a favourite label since I really enjoy working with all labels. Tronic has been my main label. I really love the different style of music coming from Tronic. this lets me also experiment and do things that are away from whats popular at the moment.
As for my own label, I have no plans yet, but definitely this is something I would like to do in the future!!