Artists will never come unprepared to a party. They always bring a toolbox packed with tracks that are truly dance floor destroyers. “What’s in Your Toolbox” features artists’ secret weapons, aka, the tracks they don’t leave out of their USB. In this installment, the enthralling and industrial-rooted artist Hiroko Yamamura shares her 6 choice picks that have played an inspirational role in her work. Due to Hiroko’s rave youth being shaped by Anime, House, Acid, classic Sci-fi, and comic books it’s no wonder that her craft is always focused on being eclectic, yet inclusive.
Performance-wise, you can expect her contributions to take the stage at Chicago’s ARC Music Festival on Labor Day Weekend (Sept. 2-4). As Hiroko has worked alongside like-minded colleagues and collaborators such as Heartthrob, Seth Troxler, DJ Hyperactive, Angel Alanis, Justin Cudmore, and the Submerge, it’s no surprise that her performance at ARC will also include a b2b alongside her fellow work confidant DJ Hyperactive. On September 2nd, she will no doubt bring about a certain homage from every circuit, resistor, patch cord, and process that will bring forth an immersive voice to her tracks — and with this talent, she has definitely earned the clout to be named one of Chicago’s top 10 DJ’s by XLR8R magazine. Tickets For Chicago’s ARC Music Festival are now available.
Listen: DJ Hyperactive “Wide Open” (Len Faki Edit) – Figure
This rework of Chicago’s legend (and mentor) DJ Hyperactive’s classic represents a lot to me. It reintroduced the world to one of techno’s greatest talents, captured the essence of our jacking techno sound, and is just a stormer of a tune. I’ll go out on my shield presenting this as one of the finest techno tracks in existence.
This is one of those tunes that help me see a modern, fun, and fresh take on acid in a new light. Justin’s grasp of blending techno, drama, and attitude really is on display with this tune. It’s an excellent representation of modern American Acid, through a spicey queer lens.
Listen: Drumcell, Chris Liebing, Truncate “DTL” – CLR
A hammer of a tune. This is a recent release from three of the finest producers in music right now. It’s a high-energy warehouse tune, reserved for moments that you need to push your set into a frenzy. All three of these artists’ songs always have a place in every set, and having an opportunity to hear the talents and contributions of all three is a rare treat. This is one of those songs that was made after lockdown that really represents the next steps for techno.
Listen: Heartthrob “Never Wanted One” – Isnisnt
Hearing this song for the first time completely changed the way I thought about music and production. The storied way this song twists around corners and constantly surprises you, all while being self-aware. It’s a song I can’t not share with other people. Every release from ISNISNT is smart and humorous — they make you look at techno in a new light.
A sinister and leering tune from the often introspective sound of Magda alongside Suade. The song has all the simplicities of the minimal techno sound, all while leaning heavily into a synth-laden acid storm. It is the perfect song to turn up the intensity in a set, in a smart and subtle way. I sure wish I could make a track like this.
Listen: Black Asteroid ft. Zola Jesus “Howl” (Black Dub Remix) – Last Gang Records