We are very pleased to present you with the interview of two Japanese musicians, Cybermatcha. They are the duo behind the project who created techno-flavored vaporwave music. Their album, entitled Flesh Material, received an overwhelmingly positive response from listeners all around the world and quickly became a fan favorite among many in the vaporwave community. The two behind Cybermatcha are Tomihisa Taue (guitar, bass guitar, drum machine programming) and Hiroshi Taki (turntables). They formed Cybermatcha in 2018 and started creating music together during their university years. This duo has crafted an impressive discography consisting of six original albums over the years. In this interview, they talk about their backgrounds and how Cybermatcha came to be. Furthermore, they discuss the vaporwave scene in Japan and share a few of their favorite albums with us. Last but not least, they tell us their thoughts on sample curation and list some of their all-time favorite songs from within the genre. We hope you will enjoy reading.

A conversation with Cybermatcha ( Tomihisa Taue and Hiroshi Taki )

Q: How did the two of you meet? How long has Cybermatcha been around for? And how did the project get started?

Tomihisa: I had already met Hiroshi once before, but it wasn’t until our time at university that we started really talking. We shared similar interests in music, so naturally we became friends and began making tunes together after school. Our first album came out two years later.

Q: What interested you about making music? And what sort of influence did this have on your career choice (i.e.: the profession you now have)?

Tomihisa: I guess it was mostly just the fun of making music. Not really any strong associations with specific American pop culture or anything. Like most people, I just enjoyed listening to music, so naturally I wanted to start making my own too.

Hiroshi: The same goes for me. I just wanted to make music for fun, and I guess it all kind of evolved from there.

Q: Are there any Japanese musicians or composers that have influenced you? And what about outside of the field of music – are there any specific artists that you really like?

Tomihisa: The idea of sampling was entirely new to me. It felt like listening to music for the first time. There were all these combinations of different styles, and yet they worked.

Hiroshi: I love Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada, Samiyam, Wagon Christ… I could go on forever. If you’re asking about Japanese musicians who were influential to me, then it would have to be the likes of Mr. Sakamoto and Haruomi Hosono.

Q: How would you describe your typical song-making process? Are there any specific techniques or instruments that you like to incorporate in particular?

Tomihisa: I usually start with a sample, play guitar over it, and then add drums after that. I really like it when there’s a strong, pop-like element to the song, and so hip hop and house music has influenced me a lot.

Hiroshi: If we’re talking about “Flesh Material”, then you can hear my love of hip hop in the drums right away – they’re very up front and prominent. But I’d also say that the track has a very subtle vaporwave vibe.

Q: What type of equipment do you use when creating your music?

Tomihisa: Just GarageBand and my PC.

Hiroshi: That’s about it, really. All we need is our laptop!

Q: Is there any difference in the way you approach your music when you’re creating songs for album projects versus when you create songs for mixtapes or compilations?

Tomihisa: I guess we just try to put a lot of effort into everything that we do. Whether it’s an album project or a mix, every song gets the same amount of time and attention.

Hiroshi: Yeah, whether it’s for an album project or a mix, we don’t really consider the idea of “making something that sounds like this” or anything like that. We just try to make whatever sort of tune comes naturally to us at any given time.

Q: Do you have any plans for future albums? And do you have a general theme in mind for future projects?

Tomihisa: We’ll be putting out an album in September. The theme is “Flesh Material,” and it’s going to be super fun! I think a lot of people will get the same sort of feeling from this one that they did with “Metaverse Eros.”

Hiroshi: We want to surprise everyone with this album. With “Flesh Material,” we had already put out an album and so people were able to get a general idea of what to expect. This time, we’re coming in with something totally different. I’m sure they’ll be surprised!

Q: What was the first album you bought?

Tomihisa: Oh wow, that would have to be either “Electric Ladyland” or “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” I can’t really remember which one it was!

Hiroshi: The first albums that I actually looked through and realized that these were the type of things that people actually bought were like the Dream Theater albums, stuff like that. The first album I actually went out and bought was “Sailing the Seas of Cheese” by Primus.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to tell us about yourselves or your music before we wrap up?

Tomihisa: This September, we’re going to be putting out a new album. We’re going to be doing a free tour, and we want everyone who comes out to have a blast!

Hiroshi: We’ll see you guys at the show! Sayonara~

Listen to Cybermatcha on Apple Music
Listen to Cybermatcha on Spotify