Toshiyuki Kakuta Interviews
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Toshiyuki Kakuta Interviews
The following interview/artist profile was included in the DDRMAX -DanceDanceRevolution- instruction booklet released in 2002.
- Name: Toshiyuki Kakuta
- Artist Name(s): L.E.D.
- Age: 29 years old
- Time at Konami?: 3 years
- First Konami Project: Beatmania append GOTTA MIX
- Favorite Instrument: There is a synthesizer called VIRUS made by a German manufacturer called Access.
- Favorite Music Style: Overall, I enjoy the dance/techno genre, especially goa and psychedelic trance.
- Favorite Music Producer or Artist: As to my favorite artists, there are so many artists I enjoy but I love artists like Joujouka, Sasha and Asian Dub Foundation.
- Favorite Bemani song you have written: Although I basically love all the tracks I have written, the song The Shining Polaris, which is included in this game is one of my most favorite tracks.
- Favorite Song(s) in DDRMAX and why?: Overblast!!, The Shining Polaris
- What do you think about the success of DDR in North America so far?: I am so happy to know that the video game players in North America love our video games and music.
- How did you first get involved making Bemani music?: Sir Hiroyuki Togo found me and I got involved in the Beatmania project. That was the initial starting point.
- Did you always like Bemani-style music or did you like those dance styles after you started making songs?: I have always enjoyed dance music, especially techno and trance. In my private life, I often go to clubs on the weekends.
- What else do you still want to accomplish as an artist with DDR/Bemani song that you have not so far?: I am hoping that Bemani songs will spread around the world so that all kinds of people will love them.
- Have you ever considered using famous artists or a DJ to make a new remix of one of your songs for a future Bemani game? Who would you like to have remix the song?:: My favorite artists, such as Sasha, Juno Reactor, Tsuyoshi and Junior Vasquez make great remixes and all of their works are so cool. It would be fantastic to work with them on a remixed version of one of my songs.
- Have you ever thought about making dance music for official release (I.E. for DJs and consumer use)?: Absolutely! I would like to dance to the tracks that I have created.
- What kind of hardware and mixing software do you use to compose your songs?: As to the sequencing software, I use Cubase and for recording, I mostly use Pro Tools. As to synthesizers, I use Nova by Novation (which I recently obtained). I also use VIRUS by Access (my favorite) and A50000, a sampler by YAMAHA. 90% of my tracks are created by these three machines.
- What was the most difficult/challenging situation that you have ever experienced working on a Bemani/DDR games?: A day before the recording with a musician, my machine went down for some reason and I had to work all night to fix it. Somehow, I managed to fix it at the last moment, but it really made me anxious and worried that the recording would not go on.
- Can you briefly describe the initial process/steps of how you determine the direction for a new song?: In most cases, I make the decision according to how I feel at that time. There are times whne I get to write a track involving a genre or style which other staff members are not working on.
- When you are making a song, do you ever think about what some of the steps might be like or do you already know from the beginning that this song is going to be designed to be a difficult song for players, etc?: As to Beatmania tracks, I create them while having some thought on the music notes in my mind. As to the step data in DDR, I just let the step creator handle it according to their personal judgement.
- Do you feel limited as an artist because of the game design and mechanics of DDR?: I would say there is pretty much no constraints. if I had to pick something, the length of the song might create some limitation to the music content (i.e. trance music) since it needs to be less than 2 minutes.
- Many Trance/Hard Techno fans really enjoy the songs you have created for the DDR/Bemani series. Have you always enjoyed Trance music growing up or what inspired you to make this type of music?: Yes, I have always been a big fan of dance music ever since I was a student. Since I had so much more free time when I was a student, I went to clubs all the time - even on weekday nights. I also went to rave parties held at resort places. When I create tracks, many things inspire me. Other artists inspire me as well. There are times when the sound generated from a synthesizer inspires me too. However in most cases, I create a track while playing the rhythm in a loop to work out the different phrases.
- Do you have any comments or words to players?: It is my great honor knowing that players in North America are going to experience and enjoy the dance tracks that I created. Thank you.