Tokyo's edgy elite Sci-Fi Linked up with Tai-Chung !! -Interview with Mars89


Being a DJ, producer, web designer, illustrator and an amateur model, Mars89’s multi identities are sort of difficult to be briefly categorised. His visual and audio inspirations are mostly triggered by surrealism and sci-fi genres. In summer 2016 he released a cassette tape & zine bundle named East End Chaos. A year after, Bristol-based experimental dub label Bokeh Versions released Mars89’s “Lucid Dream”, an 8-track EP with massive layers of occult undercurrents tightly knitted up with his lucid dreaming experiences highly reviewed by Resident Advisor, Boomkat, and Discogs.

As a loyal follower of Gpom/Dub/Dancehall/Jungle/Tribal/Drill/Ambient/Grime/Experimental, Mars89 has been on stage with prestigious DJ Lag, Nigga Fox, Endgame, Goth Trad, O.B.F Soundsystem, Asusu of Livity Sound, NTS’s Akito, V.I.V.E.K., Ishan Sound, Marfox and Elysia Crampton. Mars89’s livestream at Waiting Room during his first visit to Taipei enlightens his vision to Pan-Chinese culture. Beginning of this year, Mars89 played with Beijing-based label Do Hits's party in Forestlimit thrown by the fashion label SCV. He’s recently been selected by Tokyo’s leading underground club WWW for the exchange programme with Club ALL , renowned for former Shelter, and will soon head to Shanghai to start his debut Asia tour in May.

Graduated from the top-rated Bunka Fashion College, Mars89 chooses to tag himself along with fashion industry by sound design instead of pattern cutting. He was the music producer for the key visual of Amazon Fashion Week Tokyo 2017A/W and exclusively created cinematic soundtrack for the Ready-To-Wear brand Growing Pains’s runway at Amazon Fashion Week Tokyo 2018S/S.

In support of Ashtart Al-Hurra, Mars89 quickly stated to end up his residency on London’s Radar Radio along with most of other worldwide hosts, and currently focuses on his monthly show on Bristol’s Noods Radio.

This is my second time to interview Mars89. Since our first one is very quirky, I should do some serious shits this time then.


Ash: As you might already know, our underground club scene is relevantly small compared to Japan and majorly happens in Taipei. Cave is probably the first venue which is keen on shaping a regional club scene in Taichung in recently years. How about the underground scene your hometown Kobe? Is there any iconic underground club there?

Mars89: I’m not sure about Kobe. Last time i went for party in Kobe was about 10 years ago while I was a student haha. There are a lot of live houses instead. I always went to Osaka for clubbing during my time as a student. I know there are some good underground Dj/musicians and venues around Osaka but there is none in Kobe tho.

Ash: From your music selections, it’s obvious that you are very into significantly regional /primitively exotic sounds on the top of heavy bass line, such as Durban house, Bristolian bass, London Grime, or even Jersey Club to middle eastern instruments. Which area’s music genre is on your recent search history?


Mars89: I’m listening Baile Funk, Batida, 3ball and Dembow recently. Now I’m trying to install Japanese rhythm and sound to my body again.


Ash: Recommend us some new electronic tracks made by Japanese producers with regional elements embedded. Or Name some promising producers you can think of. And Why do u like them?

Mars89: I’m listening Baile Funk, Batida, 3ball and Dembow recently. Now I’m trying to install Japanese rhythm and sound to my body again.


Ash: Understanding music/musicians from all over the world and diverse cultural backgrounds can be an influential inspiration especially for DJs, producers, and audience due to each genre was initially an exit for a small group of people to release their the ecstasy/sadness/anger. The aspects of human equality and welcoming acceptance are what makes subculture beautiful. Undoubtedly Radar Radio’s abusive practices in exploiting women, coloured people, and LGBTQ community greatly disappointed the insiders. As a resident DJ of Radar, you are also one of the walkouts who made a quick decisions against this triple discrimination. What do think about this whole scandal?


Mars89: I refuse to support people who don’t want to support minorities. I think underground/street/subculture can be shelters for many different minorities that make this scene beautiful and vibrant. Racist, sexist, homophobia or whatever biases are our enemy. Enemy of the human beings!


Ash: This time you will be playing in an abandoned temple instead of a club, pretty much like the idea of warehouse squatting. I assume it should be quite different from your past gigs. What do you expect from this experience? And Also what do you expect to play in Cave, a new venue in a non-capital city?


Mars89: I think abandoned temple will fit to my sound’s texture perfectly! I don’t make tracklist before DJing so I’m not sure what to precisely expect. But I think my DJ will be more aggressive in the temple, and that will be more experimental in Cave. Maybe haha. At least I believe I’ll get good inspirations from these two venues, audience, and other DJs for sure.


Ash: Last, what do you expect ( apart from music) for this Taiwan trip?


Mars89: Apart from music… It’s very difficult for me haha. Night markets and spicy local food!! See you soon!










—About Ash—

Ash Lin is a Taipei-based-frequently-Tokyo-bound freelancing photographer and music event planner. Greatly influenced from rave and underground culture during her 4-year stay in London, her relocation back to Taipei never means to exclude herself from this tiny yet vibrant scene. Currently She does photography and visual materials for Beijing-based music label Do Hits and also a core member of SCV Clothing. As a person holding triple identities: partly insider in electronic music scene, photo taker, and full-time raver, her audio experience and musical friends’ stories drive her to visually archive what she’s been told and listened.

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