Worldwide mixtapes: From Texas to Tokyo, four producers share the records most personal to them






Gonno’s been travelling a lot recently, and while not explicitly of his home town, this selection of records reflects his recent mood, combining newly discovered ambient music with J-Pop records and the odd album that reminds him of growing up in Japan.

ariel kalma

Ariel Kalma
An Evolutionary Music
(reissue: RVNG Intl., 2014)

Listen / Buy

It’s especially for one of my kind of moods and I’m listening to it a lot at the moment. It’s a bit hard to explain how it sounds (I wish my English was better), but I would like to describe it as minimal (not for dance kind of things), exotic and beautiful. Re-issued by Rvng Intl.


enjoy the silence

Various Artists
Enjoy The Silence
(Mule Musiq, 2014)

Listen / Buy

Such a nice ambient compilation from Japan’s Mule Musiq, especially Hauschka’s ‘Wind’ and Terre Thaemlitz’s ‘Nobody’s in this Classroom’ fit my mood recently also.




Tatsuro Yamashita
(Moon records, 1983)

Listen / Buy

My all-time favorite since I was a child. Probably almost everyone who is a music fan in Japan can’t deny how great his music is and incidentally it was the first record that I ever bought.



face to face

Jasper Van’t Hof
Face To Face
(Intuition, 1995)

Listen / Buy

Somehow, I felt an element of trance from him playing piano when I listened to the song ‘Zaire’ in this album for the first time. Although his ‘Pili Pili’ is my favourite too.




James Holden
The Inheritors
(Border Community, 2013)

Listen / Buy

Since this album has been released last year and until now I’ve been forever listening to it. Respect.






Terry Riley
Les Yeux Fermés, Lifespan
(Elision Fields, 2007)

Listen / Buy

Now I’m sitting and writing this sentence in a room in Berlin and I missed his performance in Japan last week, gutted.




Jon Hassell
Aka / Darbari / Java – Magic Realism
(Editions EG, 1983)

Listen / Buy

I should have to bring him on next to Riley. He probably needs no explanation.






(Headz, 2006)


The brilliant ambient masterpiece from Japanese producer Inner Science. Portral is his alter ego. All of Portral’s songs are made of only old scratchy vinyl in diverse ways and I can’t believe he made such beautiful music in this manner. The recent album Fill that has been released this year is worth a check and of course Inner Science’s recent works as well.


John Beltran
(Text, 2014)

Listen / Buy

The great recent release from Four Tet’s Text Records. I love both the original and the remix.





Karen Kirishima
Disco Kirishima
(Eastworld, 1990)


Before leaving Tokyo I secretly played at a J-pop party for fun and then the other DJ played this. I didn’t know such an album existed in Japan in 1991. The album includes a funny cover of Crystal Water’s ‘Gypsy Woman’.