Anchorsong – Q&A

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Anchorsong is a Japanese musician with a very unique sound, original approach to music and an awe-inspiring live performer. He creates instrumental music drawing inspiration from a broad range of genre’s resulting in a sound exclusive to him. Using a sampler (MPC), keyboard, and writing arrangements for live string’s his sets are hugely varied, interesting and something special to be witnessed first hand. After witnessing the full power of his live performance for myself I was lucky enough to say hello and ask a few questions.

Your music is very undefinable, it doesn’t have the sound of a particular genre which is great because you’re not confined to one sound and what you do is very original, is this something you have aimed to achieve? Has this made it difficult to get bookings?

- I don’t feel I belong to particular genre or scene indeed, but I don’t intend to be that way. I simply create something I want to listen to, and it always turns out to be bit odd. It may be easier to get booked if I’m a DJ, but it’s not something I’m good at or interested.

Do you feel you have been heavily influenced by other artists? Do you try to show these influences in your music at all?

I do get inspired by somebody else’s music, but it doesn’t necessarily affect my own music. I have a vague image of “perfect music” in my head, and that’s something only I can make probably. I’ve never been able to realize it yet, but I’m getting closer day by day.

The sampler (MPC) is your main instrument when performing, is this how you produce your tracks too?

Yes it is. MPC is the centerpiece of my bedroom studio, and I produce all the music with it. I do the recording and mixing with DTM, but I enjoy toying with hardware better.

Do you use samples from tracks or packs to build your tunes or do you record your own samples? Are there any key tools you use when producing? (Particular processing, synths, keyboards)

- I used to be against it, but now I do use samples. It’s a good way to add an organic touch on machine-made music. I record and edit almost everything within the MPC since its filter is the best one among others I have.

(This track introduced me to Anchorsong)

Do you improvise at all when performing live or is it all set to a score?

- I improvise just a little when I perform, less than 10% I’d say. I’d rather re-create something I carefully planned in advance rather than playing spontaneously.

Watching you perform with a string section was incredible. Was your music written with this live show in mind or is this something that has developed?

Strings are one of my favorite instruments. Quite a few of my tracks feature them, but I use them in a subtle way in many cases for the recording. I like performing with string players with more dynamic arrangement, and it’s definitely more fun than playing on my own.

All of your music I have heard has been instrumental. Have you ever worked or considered working with a vocalist or an MC? (If yes) is there anyone in particular you have in mind?

I’ve made some remixes of vocal tracks but have never had vocalist on my music. Although I want to keep this project strictly instrumental, I’ve been thinking about starting other project and working with vocalists. I don’t have any concrete idea at this stage, but I’d like to make something quiet, subtle, even folky.

What’s next for you? Do you have any collaborations planned? Any new music on the way?

I’ve just finished new LP, and it’ll be released later this year. I’m working on my new live set for the release tour of the record.


Anchorsong is performing at the Village Underground on the 8th of May alongside the likes of Shitego, Slugabed & Djrum

Head to the Soundcrash site HERE to get tickets

IMG_2514(Anchorsong Live at Oslo with a string quartet)
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