Born in Tokyo in 1989, Junki Inoue is one of the youngest of the new crop of ‘digger’ DJs, who are gradually making their names through sharing their personal interpretations of the history of electronic dance music.
A dedicated collector of vinyl for many years, Junki is comfortable playing sets at any time of the night and in any location: warm up, peak, closing, after-hours; warehouse or open air. Inoue’s sound stands out for its natural combination of Japanese and European traditions: precise and spare but warm and welcoming; deep and hypnotic for the mind, but always with energy and drive for the body. Inoue caught the music bug young and was a keen collector and DJ of various styles of rock as a teenager.
However, his induction to underground electronic music came at scene-legends (and now Berlin ex-pats) Yuki Masda and Yone Ko’s Cabaret nights at Unit, Tokyo. There he was introduced to some of the genuine masters of stylish, understated and elegant techno and house DJing: Fumiya Tanaka, Daniel Bell, Jan Krueger and Zip. All remain key influences to this day. Inspired by this approach, at the age of 20 Inoue established his own party, Heike at Tokyo clubbing institution Womb. A desire to fully experience different cultures brought Junki to London in 2012.
There, Inoue met the Toi Toi Musik crew, with whom a mutual understanding and respect was rapidly developed. He has been resident DJ at the party for the past two years. London has proven itself to be Inoue's spiritual and cultural home, with the city providing more freedom to express himself as an individual than can easily be found in Japan. Rave came alive to Junki in London, where he witnessed a new wave of DJing forming firsthand: artists like Nicolas Lutz, Andrew James Gustav and Gwenan showed that the elegant grooves that had caught Inoue’s attention back in Tokyo could be created from a broader musical palette, with fewer formal rules.
Junki is now well on his way to establishing his name alongside his inspirations, with regular gigs alongside these DJs. The past year has seen him play sets in major cities and at major clubs across the world: CONCRETE in Paris, Phonoteque in Montevideo (where he was selected to open the 2017 season), regular spots in Zurich, gigs throughout Italy (Milan, Pescara, Rome). Much more is sure to lie ahead for this positive and unassuming talent.
Post-pandemic sees Junki create his label called SAISEI with releases from acclaimed and highly respected Japanese artists. More info via interview below.