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Soichi Terada

Frequently seen dressed in a Hawaiian shirt and sporting a huge, glowing grin, veteran DJ/producer Soichi Terada is one of electronic music's most charming individuals. The Tokyo-born artist is equally known for his early-'90s deep house tracks and his numerous video game soundtracks (most notably the Ape Escape series), but he's also ventured into other styles such as jungle and downtempo. He was introduced to a new generation of house fans when the compilation Sounds from the Far East was released in 2015, and Asakusa Light, his first house album since the mid-'90s, appeared in 2022. Terada's musical career stretches back to the late '80s, when he was a member of rock band Tax Flee, who released a self-titled album on Polydor in 1987. After graduating from the University of Electro-Communications in 1989, Terada started a label called Far East Recording in order to release his electronic music when no other labels expressed interest. His bright, joyous house tracks, often co-produced by Shinichiro Yokota, gained a following among DJs, particularly when New York City garage house pioneer Larry Levan remixed Terada's single "Sun Shower." Several of Terada and Yokota's singles, including a take on Cheryl Lynn's disco classic "Got to Be Real," were collected on the full-length CD Far East Recording in 1992. Urban Rhythm Solutions, a more experimental album with DJ Keizo, also appeared that year. Far East Recording 2 followed in 1993, with Smoky arriving in 1994. Terada became enamored by jungle/drum'n'bass during the mid-'90s, and his take on the genre was just as spirited and unique as his house tracks. 1996's Sumo Jungle was his only proper full-length devoted to the style, but he would continue to incorporate fast breakbeats in his subsequent works. In 1998, he began composing video game soundtracks, including the Ape Escape series and Fantavision. After remixing several songs by Japanese min-yō/enka singer Akiko Kanazawa, the two formed a duo called Omodaka which blended Japanese folk and pop styles with chiptunes. The project released numerous albums and EPs on Far East Recording. During the mid-2010s, there was a resurgence of interest for Terada's early-'90s house tracks, and many listeners were exposed to his work for the first time when Rush Hour released Sounds from the Far East, a label retrospective compiled by Hunee. (One of the most popular tracks on the release, "Do It Again," was actually produced by Yokota, but originally issued on a split album by the two producers.) Terada began DJing and performing live across the globe, in addition to releasing new house tracks. Using the same synthesizers and drum machines he used during the '90s, Terada recorded the house full-length Asakusa Light, which was released by Rush Hour in 2022.
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