When you talk about a new generation of Japanese icons, you can’t help but think of Licaxxx — a talented producer, a DJ and a mastermind behind Marimekko Kioski’s new soundscape.
Tell us a bit about you. What’s your musical background? How did you become a DJ and producer?
My name is Licaxxx, Tokyo based DJ, music producer, editor, and radio persona. I 've been playing in bands since I was in junior high school as I especially loved British rock music. I started DJing as a hobby and made my DJ debut in 2010. I mainly play techno and house music and produce more ambient sounds that have been used in shows of many international fashion brands.
The name of the Marimekko Kioski winter edition is Mindscapes. What do mindscapes represent to you?
For me, it’s very much connected with feelings and moods that cannot be verbalized, colors that cannot be visualized. It's often tied to memories. When I hear a cool sounding song, it's an unconscious sensation why I think it's cool. For me, music is a communication tool and I always imagine how it will be heard by my audience. I use music to express myself instead of words. So, there is always something unexplainable in it. In that sense, my creativity is a mass of subconsciousness.
Japanese people have a long history in finding beauty in everyday life and a great ability to make mental mindscapes concrete in life. Where do you find beauty in your life?
It is true that the Japanese have a culture of wabi-sabi and other terms expressing quietness and profound things making us feel calm. We don't consciously choose or create them, but their subtlety comes out in many places. In my own life, these ideas are present in the food I eat or the way I’m served at my local store.
I believe these things are so unconscious and inbuilt in me, so it's difficult for me to recognize them, but when I'm DJing I often feel like I have several eyes on the floor, observing and spinning the music inside me. It's a very delicate process.
It seems that the origin of Japanese mindscapes is in rituals when sacred spaces have been defined to perform the rites of purification and meditation. What are your sacred places to calm down?
Bathtub, spa, and in front of Mark Rothko's painting.
What is the most meditative sound for you?
Silence. We think we hear nothing, but in fact we hear a mixture of birds singing, wind blowing and the sounds of other people's lives. When we open our senses, we start noticing things: the air smells different in different seasons, and this moves me. All this makes me happy to be Japanese.