Japanese footwork is scorching. But don't take our word for it—just listen to this new compilation from Tokyo label Trekkie Trax. The crew crossed our radars around this time last year, when it teamed up with Helsinki-based imprint Top Billin for a wide-ranging first compilation of club music. The album also doubled as a form of protest against Japan's draconian "no dancing" laws, which were finally lifted at the end of last year.
Volume two—which sees the label partnering again with Top Billin—zeroes in on the sounds of Japanese footwork and trap; the main Trekkie Trax crew is joined by Japanese grime producers like Double Clapperz and Habanero Posse.
Top Billin boss Sami Nenola tells THUMP that Trekkie Trax's latest compilation is a sign of a major shift. In the past year or two, Japan's club scene has gone from import to export-based, as more producers and DJs crossover to this side of the world.
"I remember back in the day, Japan was always the place where DJs went to play, but no Japanese DJs came to the West. Or Japan would play all the club music, hip-hop or house produced here, but nobody in the West really played any Japanese music, with some exceptions like DJ Krush or Ken Ishii," he says. "Crews like Trekkie Trax and Booty Tune want to change that."
The footwork explosion, he continues, has paved the way for Japanese producers like Seimei (one of Trekkie Trax's bosses) and his brother Taimei to connect with US club crews and European labels beyond Top Billin. "We've been working closely with the guys," he says, "Trying to connect as many people as possible—and it's working."
Trekkie Trax Japan Vol. 2 is out May 13 on Top Billin
Follow Michelle Lhooq on Twitter