YOUNG RICHARD [height611productions]
What do you do? What is your musical specialty?
MAKE SOUNDS, ORIGINAL SOUND TRACKS, REMIX ARTIST WITH VARIOUS PRODUCERS AND PROGRAMMERS IN NYC, FRANCE & JAPAN...DEEJAY SINCE EARLY LATE 80-90'S AND NOW IN TOKYO.
Do you work alone or in a group? If in a group, who are the others you work with?
My very first track I worked with a label called Waako Records with Keith Kemper as my programmer. It was my first try at production, and the track was too long, too many samples!!!
I asked Hex Hector to play it from a DAT in USA...he did, than said it was way too long!!!
Then I worked with "Peter Fuckin A" (The Late Peter Apostolopolus) we had an act name "Height 611" no relation to 611 records or that label in Philly, nor the shop people. Our Height 611 name was from the UFO incident an alleged UFO crash in USSR, on January 29, 1986.
Don't know why we used it really, but we had to come up with a name fast for Vicious Muzik, and went with that for a while!?
Peter and I worked with programmers Eddie Davis, Syunji Moriwaki, Hiroshi Watanabe, and many artist, vocalist, club talents, etc... I also produced several tracks and remixes with "Two Bottles" Takumi Nihei in New York.
My solo works in Tokyo since 1999 included music producers Naoyuki Honzawa, "DJ Synthesizer" Yoske Kakegawa, Satoru Keelo in Nagoya, DJ Sonic in France. Co-production with the beautiful female vocalist Nobu of "Pretty Militia" was my last experience working as a group. Did some fashion music, runway show music for several years with Maggie James.
I have been working alone the last few years, and I just started to work with 2 Japanese Sisters Miki & Nao Goto also known as "Hanatemari" (koto and flutist) they write/play traditional Japanese style songs. Also been working continuously on and off with a great West Coast guitarist "William White!"
Is there a web address where one can listen, see, or read some of your work?
My Photo works and Music are on this url.
I started music and photography at the same time!
also there are links to myspace and discogs and more on my homepage!
Please list any awards, competitions, or other acknowledgments you would like to mention.
There are too many!
But I have to say when we first started to make songs and got noticed by big names and was asked to remix their songs! This was a great feeling, and seeing plugs in charts, hearing our songs in the big rooms, I saw many records in record stores in Toronto, Paris, and watching a promo music video for Gunze/ BodyWild with my track!
Please list discography in which you have participated.
TNT LUV TRIP
゜waako records-strictly WR 1226 us 1994 (first solo work)
POWER MUSIC cd MUCD-004 1995
90s HOUSE CLASSICS 3CD RELEASE WRCD 2243 ger 2005
゜vicious muzik MUZ103 us 1995 (height 611's first US release!)
LIMITED EDITION BLUE VINLY UK PRESSING & NETWORK IMPORT 12”
BODY SHAKE & OPERAMAN
゜Raw Oxygen Vol.4: Brutal Fairytales oxygen music works OMWR9521 us 1995
゜vicious muzik 12951 us 1995
height 611 product ep
゜white label HT611 us 1995
゜Techno Travel 2 apricot records/cd 5319432 fr 1996 ゜omnisunus fr
゜3 Years Of House Explorations apricot records/cd 74321453982 fr 1997
HAPPY ON E & MELLOW TRIP
゜vicious muzik 12961 us 1996
robot FEATURING ESU JESUS SANADA DANGER MIX
゜vicious muzik 12901 us 1996
゜ omnisunus Techno Travel 2 cd 531-943-2 fr 1996
DELICIOUS DUBS EDGE OF INSANITY MIX
DELICIOUS DEEP & TASTY MIX DELICIOUS MINDFLUX MIX
HARMONY NEED FEATURING SNUKY TATE
゜d-tox comp."nishiazabu electricity" ja
゜front line rec.(discovery comp) ja
゜NITE SYSTEM (HIROSHI WATANABE) Take Back The Underground NM 21016 ja 2003 (lyrics & vocal)
CANTINA BAND-GAZ radio edit
゜princess leia's horny mix
Vicious muzik 12861 US 1995
HANSON & DAVIS
゜free love -height 611's free-bass mix
Vicious muzik 1298-1 US 1996
゜ohh my... -2bottle+6eleven universal mix
Universal records TAIWAN ASIA
゜it's a collision -2bottle+6eleven floor mix
Swoon records/Thrive records US
THE BELOVED SATELLITE
゜height611's kundalini rising mix
East West records/cd EW034T UK 1996
TOWA TEI FEATURING JOI CARDWELL
゜luv connection-girlz nite out mix
Elektra records ED5773 cd 660982 US 1995
SORCEROUS STABBER ORPHEN PLAYSTATION 2
゜x-beat, this is...
Avex JAPAN AVCD-11831-2
EL-FLOYD JUNK COUTURE MINIMAL DUB + TRIBAL HOUSE
゜oh...see...NY IN FULL FX REMIX & KELLO DUB JA 2009
゜TUBE-IT VIDEO SOUND TRACK
MAGGIE JAMES “INNER TUBING” FOR BODYWILD/GUNZE
YOUNG RICHARD FEATURING HANATEMARI
FOR PROMOTIONAL USE ONLY JAPAN 2011
゜I’M NOT SIMONE CHOULE BY THE OPIATES
HOLLYWOOD CUTS (The remixes) 16 BIT PRINTS
“NEW MOON CAN DANCE” & “NEW MOON RISING” (beat-less mix)
LABEL: DISCO ACTIVISTO RECORDS BERLIN 2012
How did you begin making music? Who introduced you?
I was always around music, I had 2 female friends that were djs and was collecting records when I was young.
My parents had an old record player we used to always play with, I remember them having a 45 of Al Green! I had a toy drum when I was barely walking or talking, and would sit in front of the speaker and pound it with I think a spoon? Early elementary when I would sleep, I had a cassette player under my pillow and would study the structure of songs from the 70's!
I played the b-flat cornet all through Junior High School all the way till I finished High School! I remember having my own band (drummer 3 horns 1 sax player) and playing "Pac Jam" in a talent show. I was in the school band and orchestra. After High School I played a 2 key Mellophone in a Marching band Westchester Brassman Senior Drum & Bugle Corp.
My older brother always wanted to be a deejay, he had a rollerskating crew right about the time break-dancing just came out in the Bronx.
I think he pushed me more than anyone, and was always at my events later when I played the main rooms of Webster Hall and Tunnel. But drugs got the best of him...he's past away. I remember him selling my old trumpets for his needs. Also remember playing with cheap turntables with rubber bands and slowing them down manually and trying to mix new wave and freestyle music!
For a short time I went to a trade school for recording "Center For The Media Arts", remember dropping out too, it was around the same time I started to collect cameras, and deejay at gay weddings, private parties, and other misc events.
What was your musical education?
I think I am self taught...went to a recording school and realized I could have just intern at some studio, or just bought a board and start playing with it!?
I was collecting my camera equipment, and darkroom stuff, same time I was buying a better turntable and mixer! Practice does make sense when you have to play live, but back then I was playing almost 2-3 nights a week regularly.
In Japan I got to learn slowly hands on with my own computer and space, and started to buy parts for recording all myself. I am still learning something new everyday, especially with computers, and vst software. Everytime there is something updated or newly revised?! "it's hard to be in the new?!"
When did you realise that making music could be a way of life for you?
I never thought I could only do one thing ever. In NY you have to always have another source of income to support your dreams and hobbies!
Lucky for me in the begging I had great friends and jobs to keep me interested, and was doing what I love! I was taking pictures of the cool club people in the day, and then the deejay at night at the cool party!
We take for granted our time and peak and sometimes death would put me in such depression for days, weeks, all of my friends were dying slowly, little by little. What they really wanted was to make this song, take that one photo and get it in a magazine. I think later on I felt it my obligation to get it done for them. I will never stop making music and will always feel it my duty to get my kids into it too!
What is your creative process?
When do you have your most lucid moments, in the morning or night?
Anytime I could have an idea! I feel cause I have other work in the day,
at night to come home to my studio and try some ideas...but feel too exhausted.
I believe in the day I am fresh, but it's when you are outside you get inspiration, or hear something that gives you a charge, idea for a song!
"it could be day or night"
Have you ever awoken with a melody created from your dreams?
yes I am writing the song in my dream...but can't get it too sound the same when I start playing in the studio.
I remember my dreams more in detail, then the sounds at times...but lot's of times movies are great inspiration for music!
How do you know when a song is finished or needs no more changes?
I usually get tired of playing with a song after 1-2 weeks! I used to work in a record store "Throb" in NYC, and after hearing the same big hit for the week, you don't want to hear it in a club or anywhere else!!!
You want the next new song, or new track!
With my productions, I can listen now to tracks I have released and still feel it could be changed or have ended another way! I can still find mistakes now! I think if I got the idea down, it all comes down to the efx, and mix-down, that can make it or kill the track?! And lots of times you get deadlines, and you rush to finish a song, it turns out being released months later! And while I'm waiting, I listen to that rushed mix and feel it was never really finished correctly, or I missed a sound or something I wanted to cut.
At times my songs could sound "rough and bad sonically" could be cause I will never be satisfied with just one sound, or genre in my track?
Maybe I am still learning to use my equipment and software, which could make me go in a totally different direction, from when I first started the recording?! Or maybe cause my sentences are running on too long?
Maybe it's not time yet? When we made our early Vicious Muzik tracks they were crossing over to other classifications and genres, so many labels were just looking for a house song, no trance like sounds, or no breaks, etc...
France was very open minded in that sense! When we made "Pretty Militia" songs, Japan was just slowly getting into electro? Could not sell it then.
I totally respect all those people who listen to their hearts and don't give in too the mainstream!
But working on your own, I think you will never feel your tracks are finished or complete.
How did you discover your creative territory? How would you describe it?
I am still trying to find my "click" or clit till this day! I don't think I can be satisfied with what I create cause I am always trying to discover a new sound.
I feel now a-bit at ease somewhat with my koto and flute collaborations from "Hanatemari" along with my own distortion and noise, to feel it almost kind of a branded sound?!
But not like it's anything that's never been done before!? I think its hard too hold your own "territory" or sound. Cause music is just recycled anyway...
What part of your job is your least favourite?
looking for more work...paying for the equipment, waiting for the rendering time, and waiting for an answer. Also waiting for a part. Wow that's five!?
I must be too picky?! But these things slow me down...
How often do you practice?
I am trying to do something everyday!
Deejay, I would say not enough as I wish! Playing records gets boring cause they are not new, or the needles are old. So I replaced them, so the mixer burned out, I found the same one and then try to find time mixing.
You usually go on a shopping spree when you get a booking.
I have been buying alot of internet music so I have to burn them to CD, then I bought CDJ players, that's fun cause the efx, and pitch range is wider!
I don't dig playing from a pc cause of the looks and just it's too easy,
or it always seems programmed? The djs put the songs in folders set-up already track by track or on a usb? what's the fun? Remember carrying the records, dusting them off, the cue?
My trumpet, well I inherited one again, and well try once every few months to just get a tone out of the rusted noisy fingered keys, but besides the leaks, it's just too much noise. I really enjoy recording my friends play live instruments and our Gibson guitar!
I love playing with my virtual keyboards and always looking for some new sound, or creative beat to throw off my live musicians.
How do you feel right before going out on stage?
I have not felt nervous in years...I think if it's a big event maybe I feel butterflies in my stomach. Deejaying is so natural and easy for me, and the sounds and tempos are not so hard to match, I really enjoy playing real time!
When I was making Pretty Militia music, I was always so worried about the vocal efx I was totally into my mix for the audience. I hope to have live performances this year with our Koto - Flutist - Guitarist! Maybe then I will be nervous cause we are mixing electronic sounds with real traditional Asian instruments! And besides the mic levels it will be a whole new sound for the public, and I am curious to know what the reaction will be like?!
Which musicians or groups have been inspiring to your career?
BJORK, DEAD CAN DANCE, PRINCE, THE MOODY BLUES, ENO, FRONT 242, PETER GABRIEL, THE CLASH, SMITH & MIGHTY, APEX TWIN, WARP RECORDS, LEILA, REFLEX LABEL, ART OF NOISE, KRAFTWERK, JOHN FOX, MY BRIGHTEST DIAMOND, M.I.A., YMA SUMAC, ALEX EMPIRE, 4AD LABEL, TRENTEMøLLER, TOM TOM CLUB, BAUHAUUS, JEFF MILLS, WILLIE COLóN, BASIC CHANNEL, STEVE REICH.
List three songs that are key to your life.
Maurice Ravel - Bolero
The Moody Blues - Nights in White Satin
Steve Reich - Any Song
What should be done to stop piracy?
there is no way?
What type of music do you detest?
sometimes rock or heavy metal, at times country...but I can find some beauty somewhere in these kinds of music, just can't listen to these sounds for too long.
What time did you get up this morning?
6:ish but I left my bed at 9:00
How do you sell yourself? What has been your experience with record companies and representatives?
I can't...we are always to new for whoever?
What other things have you done to make a living?
always photography...in the past I was a gym instructor, visual merchandising (window trimmer), antique dealer, carpenter, and now teacher.
Have you ever played on the street or in the subway? How much did you collect each day?
never...only in Marching band we roamed parades, fairs, and tournaments.
Who would you play with, without a doubt?
BJORK, STING, PRINCE, MADONNA, ELVIS, STEVE REICH.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the business?
Have a second job to fall back on, or help support your love...
I think starting off with cheap equipment is good to break yourself in, and learn, but then eventually you will have to buy a high end or professional piece of equipment?
I think just buy a better/ real brand first?!
You will notice the difference later on, or save money.
Don't think it's easy to get your first break, but don' t give up, or get discouraged...
Believe it or not, everyone played the little room, or backroom at one time in their life!
and last "sex does not get you record deals!" not everyone had to sleep their way to the top!