I came across Hiroto having some solitary sidewalk respite on a quiet Shibuya back alley off the beaten path. He was sipping a cold beer admiring a couple of records he had just scored. He seemed mostly unphased by my noisy motorcycle and my non-native Japanese as he stood up and was nothing but smiles, quickly agreeing to a chat and a photo. 

Hiroto told me he’s s student on the stressful path to becoming a lawyer (the Japanese Bar exam is notoriously hard and nearly all would-be attorneys famously fail it many repeated times before passing) and that he was breaking away from his exhaustive studies, taking some relief at the record store, where he bought some Deep and Minimal House. This really speaks to me, a record shop as a kind of momentary but therapeutic escape from reality. I’m suddenly reminded of the quote from Cameron Crowe’s seminal classic, Almost Famous, when the protagonist, William Miller, a young rock-fan-turned-reporter (based on Crowe himself), is consoled in a rough moment by his crush, Ms. Penny Lane, when she says, “Never take it seriously, if ya never take it seriously, ya never get hurt, ya never get hurt, ya always have fun, and if you ever get lonely, just go to the record store and visit your friends.” When you love music as much as any of the people photographed on Tokyo Record Style, you know that being in a record store, enveloped completely by music is like a warm blanket, a big bear hug, or just being with your friend, definitely a kind of relief. 

Despite having just met him, Hiroto and I chatted like friends for quite a while and talked about what clubs are still around from my clubbing days where I definitely had many-a-Minimal-Techno-nights. Yellow and Ageha are long gone, but Air and Womb are still going strong. My notes from our chat mention “Seohi” as a club Hitoro recommended. I was left scratching my head after a search turned up nothing. Then I found it …Selfie!! @selfieclubvie.

Great to meet you, Hiroto! I listened to those records and they took me back in time. Good luck on your law studies and eventual exam. I hope music helps you along the way!   

 …speaking of way, more Tokyo Record Style on the way! 

Simba – Box Room Perspective EP
Label: Quintessentials – quintessentials 69
Format: Vinyl, 12″, EP
Country: Germany
Released: Feb 2020
Genre: Electronic
Style: Deep House, House

Vid – Toolbox
Label: Pleasure Zone – 07, Pleasure Zone – plz007
Format: Vinyl, 12″, 33 ⅓ RPM, Promo
Country: Germany
Released: Jul 2013
Genre: Electronic
Style: Minimal Techno, Techno

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