Key Commands

Satoshi Tomiie

New York, NY, USA Indie Dance / Nu Disco Deep House Tech House +2

There are three sides to Satoshi Tomiie. There is Satoshi Tomiie the dedicated musician, the Japanese man who has studied piano since the age of 14. He toured and played keyboard in the early 1990s for Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto (of Yellow Magic Orchestra fame). Today when he is alone in his New York City apartment, he still enjoys playing piano for his own personal enjoyment. This Satoshi Tomiie is a lifelong student of music, a man who likes to read books on the history of Brazilian sounds and improvisational jazz. He is a man who loves, understands, and has spent years studying much of the world’s music.
There is also Satoshi Tomiie the perfectionist producer. He spent two years designing and building a music studio in his apartment so he could make music all day and night. This is a man who values acoustic excellence so much that he hired a studio designer with 25 years experience to build the room to his exact specifications. The studio is a room within a room, and it sits on rubber feet to ensure as little sound as possible escapes from it. It is his refuge.
This Satoshi Tomiie will spend hours tweaking a single sound in one his productions, even though “most people will not hear the difference”, a man who spends on average, two full weeks of work completing a single club track. You can hear his diligence on his magnificent debut single ‘Tears’, the 1989 house classic that he produced with the ‘Godfather of House’, Frankie Knuckles. With its stunning soulful vocals, memorable bassline, and wonderful piano melody, it is perhaps one of the greatest house tracks ever written.
You can also feel Satoshi’s attention to detail on his seminal 2001 anthem, ‘Love In Traffic’. The track’s dark rich tones, hypnotic understated groove, and unforgettable lyrics were a benchmark for a new developing house scene. The cut was so powerful, so simple, so enticing, that it made him one of the biggest stars in house music today. His painstaking attitude towards music production has also made him an in-demand remixer – over his career, Satoshi Tomiie has remixed some of the biggest recording artists in the world including David Bowie, Photek, Simply Red, and U2.
Then there is Satoshi Tomiie the meticulous DJ. He is known for pushing quality cutting-edge club music. He is a man committed to the art of playing records, a precise club performer, skilled at mixing his music in key, off key, and wherever his mood may take him. This Satoshi Tomiie is an obsessive record collector who believes that there are only two kinds of music: good and bad. His initiation to dance music was through watching DJs like Frankie Knuckles, and the eclectic David Morales who was known for playing anything and everything from hip hop to James Brown, Detroit techno, Roy Ayers, and Chicago house all in one set. That open attitude towards music is a part of Satoshi Tomiie too.
Satoshi Tomiie the DJ is a passionate curator of house music. His label SAW.Recordings, which he set up in 2001 with NYC-based DJ Hector Romero, has become a source for quality club music. The label has released tracks from many up and coming producers who are now established, including Jim Rivers, Guy Gerber, Audiofly, and Luca Bacchetti. Like Satoshi, the philosophy of Saw is about quality underground dance music, not quantity - in its 10 years of existence the label has seen only 77 releases.

In 2011 SAW pushed ahead with singles from Argentina’s Guti, currently signed to Loco Dice’s Desolat label, as well as music from Luca Bear, Mabaan Soul, Toby Tobias and Doomwork. The label also released Satoshi’s first track in over a year – a remix of Guti’s ‘Keep It’, which was praised by DJs and producers across the board including Adam Port, Catz & Dogz, Hernan Cattaneo, and Lee Curtiss. With Satoshi’s studio finally complete, the producer and DJ is working hard on a new EP. He is also currently working on collaborations with Guti and Dani Casarano (label boss of Melisma and currently signed to Cadenza).

So when you meet Satoshi Tomiie, the dedicated musician, the perfectionist producer, the meticulous DJ, you might have to shake his hand not once, or twice, but three times.

(Words: Terry Church)

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