Yoshi Horikawa – Bubbles
Yoshi Horikawa – Wandering
Yoshi Horikawa – Dropping
Yosi Horikawa is a Japanese producer whose sound truly deserves the adjective original. Born in Osaka, Yosi first started making using at age 12 after discovering KRS ONE’s ‘Return of the Boom Bap’album. It wasn’t the music which inspired him however rather the cover where the Blastmaster can be seen shouting in his headphones. This vision inspired Yosi to record his own music in his bedroom using his voice and various other found and made sounds – tapping on the side of his bed soon became a kick drum. Overdubbing across two tape decks, Yosi started on his own musical journey in a style that continues to define him today.
Relocating to Tokyo at 18, Yosi studied architecture at university. While some may think this to be an unusual path for someone who displayed such musical ingenuity at a young age, it was his fascination with sound which led him to the subject and in turn to his current occupation within architectural acoustics. The music Yosi makes draws deeply from these early experiments by bringing unusual found sounds into his compositions, sounds which often form the core of his songs and give them a truly unique organic quality. Whether it be birds chirping in the forest, the everyday sounds of a city or even the noises your kitchen utensils
can make, everything is a potential sound source to Yosi.
2009 saw him join the French label Eklektik Records where he released his first EP, Touch. The release received widespread support in France and abroad. This in turn lead to a request by Jay Scarlett – of Beat Dimensions fame – to include Yosi on his Maverick Sessions EP series for Jay’s Ubeat label. The track – Cook From South found on Maverick Sessions EP2 – showcased Yosi’s incredible talent for turning found sounds into killer dancefloor grooves by using common kitchen sounds as the backbone for the rhythm and melodies.
That same year, 2010, Yosi was invited to join the film festival ‘Off Courts’ in Trouville, France, where he recorded a video for his song Skipping and further bonded with French producer Fulgeance who he’d first met in Tokyo earlier in the year. This friendship further blossomed over the following year with Fulgeance inviting Yosi to contribute to his curated Mixette series helping to spread knowledge of Yosi’s incredible talent outside of Japan. It was through Fulgeance and Jay Scarlett that Laurent Fintoni – music journalist and curator at Rhythm Incursions – discovered Yosi’s music inviting him to contribute to his own podcast series and supporting his music via radio and writings in the second half of the year. 2011 proved a defining year for the Japanese producer. Following the terrible events of March 11, during which an earthquake and tsunami devastated the northern coast of Japan, Yosi was invited to contribute a track to the Nihon Kizuna compilation which raised money for the Japanese Red Cross. The track – Passion – has since become one of Yosi’s best known productions regularly receiving praise and interest from those who hear it in his live sets.
Following this Yosi was invited to the 2011 edition of the Red Bull Music Academy in Madrid where he collaborated with the likes of Dorian Concept, Anenon and Jesse Boykins III as well as receiving further praise for his truly unique productions from the likes of BBC Radio 1’s Benji B. Shortly before entering RBMA in November of that year his remix for Fulgeance’s debut album, To All Of You, was released on Melting Pot Music.
Moving forward Yosi is busy working on his debut album as well as contributions to compilations, remixes and work with Japanese and European artists including kidkanevil, Nadsroic and more. With the stamp of approval that comes to most RBMA graduates Yosi Horikawa is ready for the world to finally take notice of his incredible talent, though he would never admit to such a thing being first and foremost one of the most humble artists you’re ever likely to meet.
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Biography by Laurent Fintoni