entertainment music

East London Bands You Need to Hear

Last Japan (aka Marco Giuliani) is a transplant to East London, but he's a musician whose style is firmly rooted in its post-industrial landscapes

By Alex McFadyen

What brought you to East London?
Obviously nostalgia for grime, and that genre being heavily influenced by area, but the thing that really drew me was the party scene. At the time I was going to a lot of warehouse raves, so that was a major factor.

What about the place do you think fosters creativity?
Something that has changed a lot is that parts of East London were undeveloped and quite raw. The whole of East London had warehouses and factories; when you think of what was around the Olympic Park – it’s completely different now. The dystopian element breeds creativity in some ways.

What were you listening to as a teenager?
I was heavily into Skream, Benga, Toasty – that whole dubstep sound.

Was studying music at uni useful?
Massively – the technical side of how to structure a song and mix it down. If it’s not gonna sound good on the radio then it won’t get played.

Can you tell me about the influence of sci-fi on your sound?
The main influence is Hans Zimmer. When I saw Interstellar, that made me think it could work really well with grime. It was the tones in the music he makes, especially when it’s related to space. I started experimenting and did a few demos – the AJ Tracey tune ‘Ascend’ came out of that. I feel like from doing the AJ Tracey tune I developed my own sound palette.

Explain the concept behind your latest release, LUNA
In my head it’s a journey, influenced by space. On ‘Tether’ you’re embarking, you don’t know what’s going to happen, and then the last track feels like you’re coming home.

What inspires you to start making a track?
A specific mood. I’ve got definite visual cues, I remember looking out from my window and it was a really foggy cold day, you could just about see Canary Wharf in the distance, and writing a track to that. I think that was ‘Squad’.

Is releasing on vinyl important to you?
For me, vinyl is a collector’s item. I love releasing stuff on vinyl. Digital’s great because it gets out to people quickly, but it’s lacking a design element to it.

What are you working on at the moment?
A collaboration with a Finnish producer called Inner, which is out soon.

Listen to Last Japan here


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