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Deadchannel9000, BeatMaker/Producer from Tokyo Japan.

December 15,2023

We talked with Deadchannel9000, a beat maker who has released an EP on Anarkick Beat Records run by 3Pointz, who appeared in the previous interview, and has just released a new album “Under The Silence” with ScabBeatz (at the time of this writing). We asked him about his past works, his musical style, and what we can expect to hear on his new album.

Mental Position – First of all, could you briefly introduce yourself and tell us the origin of the name Deadchannel9000?

Deadchannel9000 – Thank you very much for this interview. I am Deadchannel9000, a beat maker from Kushiro City, Hokkaido, Japan, currently living in Chofu, Tokyo. The name “Deadchannel” comes from the preface of the novel “Neuromancer,” which I read repeatedly, and “9000” comes from HAL9000 from “2001: A Space Odyssey,” but the name itself has no deep meaning.

MP – When did you start making music? From what I have checked of your past releases, “Lost Loops from Dead Channel – EP” from 2020 seems to be the oldest work you have released. Did you start making music in earnest around the late 2010s?

Deadchannel9000 – I first started producing music in about 1997, when I was in college. I got into HipHop when I was in middle school and started DJing, but I also became interested in beat making, so I bought MPC2000. I still remember the first time I made a beat by sampling Quincy Jones’ Summer in the City (from The Pharcyde – Passin’ Me By) as is. But after a couple of years, I got away from making music for a while, and I was so busy with work and raising my kids that I forgot that I was making music for a long time.

After that, I was able to spend more time at home due to the pandemic, and my children were no longer in need of my help, so I pulled out my MPC from the closet and started making music again. And the piece I made right away was “Lost Loops from Dead Channel – EP”. Also, the fact that individuals could now release their music through streaming services, which was unthinkable in the 1990s, was a big motivator for me to resume production.

MP – After listening to all of your releases, it seems that most of your music is strongly influenced by 90’s HipHop and Boom Bap of today.

Deadchannel9000 – Studies have shown that many people continue to listen to music similar to what they used to listen to when they were young, and I think I am exactly the same way. 90s underground HipHop influenced me so much that I still seek out the smoky, rough, fat beats of that era. My influences are endless, but I would say early DJ Krush and DJ Shadow, Damu The Fudgemunk, LA beat makers like Dibiase, Bugseed, Illsugi, Budamunk, and a few others that aren’t pure HipHop beatmakers, Canooooopy’s approach to production was a big influence on me when I started making music again.

MP – I found the vibe and style of the tracks to be very consistent throughout all of your releases. The selection of material varies from album to album, and each track has a great deal of attention to detail, with iconic HipHop material expertly crafted to suit their own tastes. Basically, I think sampling will be the main focus, but how do you go about finding material? Do you dig records or even use sample packs?

Deadchannel9000 – Thank you. It’s so happy to hear that. Although I am particular about producing only samples, I am not particular about the material itself. There was a time when I used to think, “Just sample from a record”, but now I think it’s okay to sample from anything as long as the beat is cool. So, of course I dig records, but I also sample everything from YouTube, movies to games. I do not use sample packs unless there is a special reason. Other than that, I’m always conscious of making drums that are thick and tight.

MP – Please tell me about the production environment. The photos on Instagram show the MPC2000, SP-303, and SP-404, but since the AKAI logo is included in the jacket design, is the MPC2000 the main equipment?

Deadchannel9000 – Basically, I put everything together on the MPC2000, then import the drums and overtones into Logic for each sequence, and mix them with EQ and plug-ins. After that, I sampled the 2 mixes using MPC2000 and passed them through dbx compression, SP-303, SP-404SX, and SP-404MKII effects. I especially like the texture of the SX compression and 303 VINYL SIM, and I always use either effect. Finally, we return them to Logic for a final mix and mastering. However, I now use Serato Sample for chopping samples. Doing the same work on the MPC2000 would take a tremendous amount of time, so I prioritize efficiency here. By the way, I am still using the MPC2000 that I bought when I was in university. There is no damage other than the faded LCD screen. I would like to get the SP1200 and AKAI S950 someday.

MP – Compared to your large number of works, the only collaborations with rappers are Au Soul, which was featured in your recent works “In My Mood” and “Notepad”, but are you planning to collaborate more with rappers and vocals in the future?

Deadchannel9000 – I’d like to make songs with a lot of cool rappers, both domestic and overseas, but I don’t have many opportunities. I’m currently working on a project called “Tha Smuggler Beat Company” with two rappers, so I hope to release songs from this project soon.

MP – “Consequence – EP” was released by Anarkick Beat, run by 3Pointz, who I interviewed on this site. As 3Pointz himself said, he is always looking for beat makers from all over the world. Did you decide to release an EP because of the offer?

Deadchannel9000 – I received an offer from him for this work. I hadn’t really checked out his label’s work until I heard about it, but when I found out that the label also released Bugseed and Pigeondust, I immediately said, “I’d love to do!” (laughter). At first, we were talking about releasing it as a single, but they liked some of my beats we sent him, so we decided to release them as an EP.

MP – You released “Fragments – EP” on UK’s Legacy Echo label and have participated in three other compilations. How did you come across this label?

Deadchannel9000 – I had originally been listening to the label’s music, and the beat makers I had checked on Instagram were releasing music form the label, so I thought “This is a really cool label”. One day, when I posted a beat on Instagram, the label owner, Chilla Ninja, asked me, “Would you like to participate in the next label compilation with this song?” and the release was decided. Other tracks were also liked, so we decided to release an EP first.

Thankfully, I have participated in all compilations since this work. “Legacy Echo Vol.2” was a vinyl release, so one of my old dreams came true and I was pretty happy.

He (Chila Ninja) is a very nice guy, and I really admire his attitude towards running the label. Thanks to him, I was able to release my beats to the world and connect with beat makers from all over the world. Like 3Pointz offer, I am very grateful for the opportunity.

MP – The current music scene is a mix of so many different elements that it’s difficult to talk about it in terms of genres, but personally, I think that Trap, Drill, and songs strongly influenced by electronic music thought as “HipHop” are no longer HipHop, but a different kind of music. I think Deadchannel9000’s tracks are centered around the sounds of the 90’s when HipHop was at its most mature. Are you mentally conscious of the “HipHop” of that era?

Deadchannel9000 – As I mentioned earlier, I’m most influenced by 90’s HipHop, so I don’t know if it’s consciously or unconsciously, but I think that mentality is definitely there. However, I think that the question of “what is HipHop” depends on the musical aspect and the cultural historical aspect, so I think there is no point in thinking about it. If a person thinks it’s HipHop, then I think that’s HipHop for the person. I listen to Trap, and also love House and Techno. Although it’s not HipHop as a genre, I definitely feel that the standards for what I consider cool are filtered through my own HipHop filter, so I think that’s what it is.

MP – Please tell us about the newly released “Under The Silence”. ScabBeatz’s work, which he collaborated on as a split album, has Boom Bap elements and atmosphere, but overall I thought it had a strong Lo-fi or Lo-fi HipHop impression. The songs included in the album filtered by a strong lo-fi taste, and Deadchannel9000’s beats have a sense of unity with ScabBeatz’s tracks. Was there anything you were conscious of when making this work?

Deadchannel9000 – I’m not particularly conscious about the sound. I’m embarrassed to say that I learned about ScabBeatz through the work he recently released from C3LAB. The sound may have a Lo-fi feel, but I was impressed by its full of HipHop method, including the choice of sample. With all due respect, I made an offer at this time. ScabBeatz’s tracks are very dope, so all I was thinking was “I have to make the best beats I can “. After I requested the production, he immediately sent me 5 songs, and I thought “Wow, it’s so fast” (laughter). We finished all works in about 2 weeks.

MP – Since the rise of subscription services and the spread of easy-to-use music production tools, the length of songs in all genres has become shorter, with lo-fi beat songs in particular being in the 1-minute range. Deadchannel9000’s past works include several tracks that are around 3 minutes long, but do you keep in mind the current trends when creating tracks, also in this album?

Deadchannel9000 – It’s true that I’ve been conscious of shorter songs lately. Basically, it’s instrumental and loop-based music, so if the same loop continues for too long, you can get tired of it. So I’ve come to think that it’s better to keep it short and tight. Even though it’s a skit, there are some tracks that are so cool that you want to listen to them over and over again. It feels like eating moderately…

With so much music out there, the length of my track may reflect how well it can be listened to in a limited amount of time without getting boring. These days, the culture of song-based playlists is at its peak, but as Prince said in his Grammy Awards speech, “Do you remember what ALBUM is?” This is important as “a work of an artist”, and I would like to place importance on it.

MP – You have just released a new work, but are there any works you are currently working on? Also, if there are any beat makers you would like to collaborate with or artists you would like to feature, whether famous or unknown, please let us know.

Deadchannel9000 – Thankfully, we have received offers from several overseas labels. There are some beat makers that we are talking about working on a project with, so we plan to gradually give shape to them from 2024. As for personal projects, I would also like to create songs with the aforementioned Tha Smuggler Beat Company and Au Soul. I also have a project called “GONIN” that I formed with talented beat makers among my friends, and we are aiming to release an album in April 2024.
It’s usually difficult to adjust production time due to work commitments, but I plan to continue mass-producing beats so that I don’t have any setbacks. Also, I would like to collaborate with Bugseed in some way someday!

MP – Please give a message for readers of this site and fans of lo-fi music.

Deadchannel9000 – Thank you very much to everyone who read the interview and listened to my work. Having everyone know about me and my music is what motivates me to create music. Also, at my age, I never imagined that I would be able to make new friends who share the same feelings through music, so I am filled with a lot of fun right now.
You may experience failures, regrets, sad events, or situations that are out of your control, but if you continue to do what you love, life will be enjoyable!
We will continue to release new works, so if you are interested, please give them a listen!