She’s just dropped her three track acid-flavoured techno EP ‘Rockim’ on Kneaded Pains and has recorded for Clash Lion, Suara Music, Second State Audio and Redrum Music. We asked Risa Taniguchi to show us around her studio.
Ableton Push 2
Whenever I get asked ‘what is your essential piece of gear?’, I always answer that it’s definitely Ableton Push. Recently I’ve been using Live’s built-in instruments more than hardware, so Push is always where everything starts in my productions. It’s very intuitive, and just with jamming around instruments by tapping its pads randomly, cool sequences are always generated naturally.Almost all the sequences that make up the main leads of my songs are made with Push.
People are always surprised when I say this one was the first piece of hardware that I bought for my production. Around the time when I starting to get serious about producing my own songs, Roland had just announced the release of JD-Xi. Until then I was just using software instruments in Live, but this one was the first time I created music more physically. I usually use this mainly for pads. For example the one in my ‘Psycho’ released on Redrum came from the JD-Xi.
The Drumbrute is often described as a ‘Beast’, with its fat analogue kick and percussion. Recently I mostly programme my drum parts in Live, but when I feel like I need more ‘interesting’ aspects in my drums, I jam with the Drumbrute until I get a happy accident. Once I get one, I simply record the sequence as an audio file into Live, and process with a bunch of effects. You can hear this in the hi-hat sequencing in my ‘Rockim’ track released on Kneaded Pains.
KRK ROKIT 5
I’m living in Tokyo, where, in terms of sound, we always have to pay great attention to our neighbours all the time, as almost all the apartment in here are built very close to each other in such a small space. So always use these monitors in my private studio though I rarely switch it on unless it’s day time. However, I’m always dreaming of having a space where I can play sound as loudly as I want, and when I can obtain that space, I’ll definitely consider buying new ones! I like these speakers too though.
Novation Bass Station 2
The original version of Novation‘s Bass Station was released back in 90s and is also known as the second piece of hardware Novation made. Around when I was looking for a fat, nice-sounding analogue bass synthesizer, this one had been used by a lot of my favourite artists such as Nick Hook, and I felt its interface was very easy-to-use. I also really liked the way its filter cutoff adds changes to the sound drastically. I decided to buy it and used it in a lot of my early songs under my old alias. I usually use the arpeggiator to create an evolving bassline and record as audio so I can process it with a bunch of effects in Live – for instance, I often make it filthy with amp and overdrive effects, as well as saturating it.
The artwork of my very first EP on an overseas label (Clash Lion)
This is a piece of artwork from my ‘Ambush’ EP released on Clash Lion, owned by Daniel Watts, Terr, and Shall Ocin. This is one of my most favourite artworks of mine; apparently, it’s inspired by a Samurai which isn’t in the picture, hiding himself behind the tree with a sword to ambush his enemy. I really like the label’s aesthetics in terms of everything, not just the music. And actually, there were a few other artwork options I could choose from, all of which I liked very much. To celebrate my first overseas EP, I asked them to send me an original image of the artwork and I printed it myself, as well as prepared the frame to hang on the wall nicely so that I wouldn’t forget the feeling of joy I had at that moment.
Risa Taniguchi’s ‘Rockim’ is available on Kneaded Pains.
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