“When it comes to philanthropy, I tend towards humanitarian issues”

Mark Slee is a San Francisco DJ and producer that will be playing at the Parties4Peace Tokyo party on 17th of September together with long time music partner Atish. 

-Is this your first time in Japan? What is the most exciting thing about your upcoming trip?

-I’ve been to Japan just once before, visiting Tokyo and Kyoto about 5 years ago. This tima around I’m super excited to go beyond being a tourist and visit the Labyrinth festival. For many years now I have consistently heard incredible things about Labyrinth- the setting, the sound, the artists. So I’m very excited to get to see it for myself.

-If you could describe your musical style or taste, what would you say?

-Always hard to put genres and sounds into words-but I like to play music that has a mixture of groove and depth. Nice textures, interesting sounds, hints of melody to pull you in, plus the necessary oomph to keep a dance floor vive going. And a little bit quirky when I can get away with it.

-Parties4Peace is a non-profit that raises funds for important global causes. Why did you decide to join the Parties4Peace event in Tokyo? What are some of the issues today that you care about most and why?

-Good event coupled with a good cause makes it a no-brainer. Personally, when it comes to philanthropy, I tend towards humanitarian issues. There is a great organization in San Francisco called GiveWell (www.givewell.org) that researches these. I tend to follow their recommendations for my own personal giving. A couple of the issues they’ve focused on the past few years are malaria prevention (via de Against Malaria Foundation) and global poverty reduction (via Give Directly).

-Do you know any Japanese artists? If so, what is your impression of the Japanese music scene?

-To be honest, I wish I knew more about the current Japanese music scene, and am excited to get a better taste of it on this visit. Most of the artists I know are a bit older, going back to my roots. For instance, Satoshi Tomiie was one of my favourite DJs around the turn of the millenium and the early 2000s. I was a teenager at the time, just soaking in as much new music as I could. He was also putting out some great material on his label, SAW recordings. More recently, I’ve dug some of the deep groove-based sounds of Japanese producers that have transplanted to London, guys like Jun Akimoto and Ittetsu. A few years back I was really digging some of the deep house that Ryo Murakami was putting out. Though it’s different from what I normally play as a DJ, I also really like some work from Hiroshi Watanabe (aka Kaito). There is an ambient version of this album “Trust Less” that came out on Kompakt some years ago. That has stuck with me, I still find myself working some of that music into a sunset or sunrise when the right moment comes about.

-What do you hope to share with the audience when you play in Japan?

-Great music and a great vibe. As always, excited to play together with Atish.

-We’ll be celebrating Peace One day! What does Peace mean to you?

-Peace to me is a process, not a destination. I don’t believe we ever get to a utopia, but I do believe that things can and do get better. So let’s celebrate the “pursuit” of peace.



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