Just out with their debut album ‘Powder’, we were eager to speak to new-on-the-scene duo from Japan, SNOWK, and it ended up being about a lot of snow, snow and snow! The rising DJ and production pair have had numerous releases with trendy and kitschy label Kitsuné and have thrown themselves into collaborations with the likes of Lee Wilson, Shigge and Røse, and the label selected ‘This Is Good ft. Miraa May’ for Kitsuné Musique’s Best Tracks 2019 and also included it in last year’s 2020 selection, along with ‘Not Yours’.
Their city pop-nu-disco crossover sound is refreshingly vibrant, with just enough of that warm-fuzzy oozing through feeling we all need right now. The pair both come from the snowy parts of Japan and it’s a given that their namesake has a sentimental attachment to respective their white-clad cities — so we’ve invited them to get cosy and personal about their love for snow, while you snuggle up to their debut album ‘Powder’.
Kagajo Fuminori: I live in Hokkaido, and you can do it anywhere when there is snow. It feels great to ride around in the forest while surrounded by snow. In the resort areas, there are a number of places where you can go snowmobiling or riding a snowmobile with a banana boat or tube.
Kamakura, ICE Bar
Kagajo Fuminori: When I was in elementary school, I used to make a kamakura by digging a hole in the snow. And as I grew up, I would make a big building out of snow and ice, and we would eat and drink in it.
Up until last year, we did this regularly at a resort called Kiroro, not far from Sapporo. I used to DJ at the ICE BAR there every week during the season. It's cold, so people drink a lot of alcohol and dance a lot. It was a fantastic space made of ice, and everyone from overseas loved it. Unfortunately, this year's event was cancelled die to COVID-19.
Yutaka Takanami: It snows a lot in my hometown of Niigata in Japan. I have had several sleds in my house since I was a kid, and I used to go up snowy hills and slide from there. Now that I think about it, I think I liked it better than skiing because the moment I was on it was like a snow car.
This picture is the stairs next to my elementary school in Niigata, and when it snows in winter, you can slide like this.
Come to think of it, I used to go to and from elementary school on skis!
Making a snowman
Yutaka Takanami: I don't make snowmen anymore, but when I was a kid, I used to love doing it! The picture is from when I was a kid, and my grandma made a snowman with me every day. In Japan, there is a famous manga about monsters called 'Gegege no Kitaro', and I liked making snow sculptures of monsters!
Sai no Kami
Yutaka Takanami: It is a traditional New Year's event in Japan's snow country that has been handed down for over 1000 years. We pray for good harvest, good fishing, good health and prosperity from our descendants.
My parents always took me to this event because it's held every year near my house. It was beautiful and fun to see the flames dancing on the snow.