Hospital Records have admitted a legend to their wards today as longstanding Japanese soul man Makoto confirms he’s joined the label exclusively. And it starts with Speed Of Life, one of the 24 exclusive tracks on Hospital’s remarkable anniversary 70-track We Are 21 opus.
Makoto’s legacy isn’t far behind Hospital’s as 2017 marks his 19th year of releases. Having established himself on Bukem’s Good Looking and Looking Good during the late 90s to mid 2000s, Makoto’s gone on to establish his own label Human Elements, released a stunning array of funk and soul across all tempos and flavours and, more recently, some 24ct gold collaborations with Marky and A Sides.
It’s been a while since we’ve heard any solo material, though. Makoto doesn’t just admit this himself… He goes as far as saying he even wondered if he had the majestic touch anymore. Mercifully he does, Speed Of Light is proof and there’s plenty more to come.
Here’s how we got here…
Makoto on Hospital… How did this come about?
After I’d written the Aquarian Dreams album with A Sides in 2015 I started working a lot on my solo stuff. When I’d finished about 15 tunes, I sent them to my booking agent to see if they were good enough to send out to labels. As I haven’t really been sending out music or releasing my stuff on other labels for a while, only releasing on my own label, I wasn’t very confident with it. Luckily, he actually passed them to Hospital. They were interested and asked me if I was available to be signed. I was like ‘Yes!’ Thanks to Chris for this, those tunes would have still been sitting on my computer until now otherwise.
It starts with Speed Of Light… It’s got those majestic tones of yours but there’s a sharp twist of rave beneath it all. What’s the story behind the track?
I was listening to someone’s house/techno mix and heard a tune that had Reese bass and breakbeat with 4×4 kicks, which sounded pretty much jungle/D&B but 4×4. That’s what gave me the inspiration for this tune. It’s funny because the person who made the tune on the mix probably got inspired from jungle/D&B. I really try to keep that house/techno feel in D&B so maybe that’s why it has a rave feel, as that’s how Jungle/D&B was formed? By speeding things up.
Recently I’ve got a lot of inspiration from deep house and techno tracks like this. I’ve even turned unreleased house and techno tunes that I’ve made a few years back into new D&B tunes. I enjoyed doing that, as sometimes I don’t get those ideas if I just start with 174BPM.
Yeah you’ve released a lot of house and funk before, will we still expect to hear that range on Hospital?
I always love doing other stuff but I’m not sure if I’m doing that on Hospital just for now. At the moment I’m very much focusing on D&B and I love it more than ever. I’m also really enjoying how D&B can bring in other genres’ elements all at once.
Obviously an album. We’ve been waiting for the right moment to announce that I’ve signed to Hospital but I actually started working with them after last summer. When you are doing the same thing for a long time sometimes you get lost and don’t want to accept someone else’s opinions but I think I am on the right path now and I feel like I’m moving forward with Hospital’s amazing team.
When’s the album dropping?
Hopefully later this year. I’ve already been working on it over the last few months. Writing an album is a long path and a lot of hard work, but I’m really enjoying it and excited about it. I would say more than half is done at the moment.
Give us your three all time favourite Hospital tunes…
Just three? There are many classic but these are always on my DJ playlists, though. I can play anywhere and anytime and they still go off. I’m proud that I can put my remix on the list too!
Logistics – Together
High Contrast – Racing Green
London Elektricity – Rewind (Makoto Remix)