Finally, autumn is here in Tokyo and Atsu’s long muted-green jacket I’m guessing was seeing the first action of the season. When I saw it hanging casually off the laid-back shoulders of ball-capped Astu, along with a graphic Tote bag that I wished I had gotten a better look at, I thought to myself, “There’s a photograph…”

I had popped into HMV Shibuya’s gallery space, “Bankrobber LABO” named for the fact that the space was once a bank, and the back upstairs room where the gallery is was the bank’s vault. They’ve re-purposed it as an experimental space, curated by CUBISMO GRAFICO’s Gakuji ”CHABE” Matsuda “aiming to be an information center for art and culture” thus “breaking the framework of a typical record specialty store” … Hence the conceptualized “Bankrobber LABO” (Hey, “Why not?” is what I say, right?”) As I was walking into see the “Autumn Moon Viewing” exhibit, titled “TSUKIMI for the moon worshipers”, a cool collection lunar depictions by photographers, painters, and illustrators who love the moon, Atsu was walking out. After I took in the beautiful work, then thumbed quickly through the Reggae 7 inches (with no budget to spare), it was time to be on my way. As I walked outside I could see Atsu halfway up the slope to Parco, so I decided to chase him up the hill, which I did, and only caught up to him as he was hopping into the rooftop elevator, which is where I approached him. (Note to self: Never accost people in an elevator 2 blocked from the record store. It seems stalkerish.)

But Atsu was a good sport, and even though he had another gig to get to, he generously gave me a few minutes of his time to make some photos, talk about his records and about his various DJ events, including a long-running residency at The Room for his event called GOW. He also regularly DJs sets at Tangle and a few other places and spins all genres of music. On this day, the records I photographed him with were mostly house and techno, and some we bought as gifts for friends. One discovery among his records that I was really happy to make was United Future Organization. It was in my heavy rotation for 2 days. Thanks for that Astu! Hope to see you at your next set!

Azymuth – Supafat Re-Rubs
Label: Far Out Recordings – FARO 025
Format: Vinyl, 12″, 45 RPM
Country: UK
Released: Jul 1998
Genre: Electronic
Style: House, Deep House

Rei Harakami – November EP
Label: Sublime Records (3) – SBLEP029
Format: Vinyl, 12″, 33 ⅓ RPM, EP
Country: Japan
Released: Nov 23, 1998
Genre: Electronic
Style: Techno

Innerzone Orchestra – Bug In The Bassbin
Label: Mo Wax – MW049X
Format: Vinyl, 12″, 33 ⅓ RPM, 45 RPM
Country: UK
Released: 1996
Genre: Electronic
Style: Techno, Future Jazz, Drum n Bass

United Future Organization – Bon Voyage
Label: Brownswood Records – PHJR-10003/4
Format: 2 x Vinyl, LP
Country: Japan
Released: 1999
Genre: Electronic, Jazz
Style: Acid Jazz, Contemporary Jazz, Experimental

United Future Organization – 3rd Perspective
Label: Brownswood Records – 534 487-1, Talkin’ Loud – 534 487-1
Format: 2 x Vinyl, LP, Album, Vinyl, 12″
Country: UK
Released: 1996
Genre: Electronic
Style: Acid Jazz, Downtempo, Future Jazz

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