Draco – Live at Samarat 2008

It gives me great pleasure to present as the last guest mix this month an exclusive live set from one of the most fascinating bands I saw when I lived in Japan, Draco. They aren’t your usual band, a combination of traditional instruments and electronic musicians but with a little twist, as with most Japanese things.

I discovered them at the Kaikoo Meets Revolution party (organised by our friends from Pop Group) in Yokohama in April 08 where they were one of the headlining acts in the afternoon. I was already familiar with the electronic half of the band (Numb and Saidrum) and so was really curious to see what this new project was about. The show left me speechless, one of the most fascinating and engrossing experiences during my time there, and since then too. Below is a low quality video of some of that show, to give you a little taste.

Draco are composed of electronic producers Numb and Saidrum, sitar player Kenji Inoue and tabla player Masaki Yoshimi. The former are best known for their work in the techno and house scenes, pioneering albums for the Revirth label and live shows based around the Korg ZERO8 mixer which they helped to R&D, while Kenji is a renowned Japanese sitar player who studied his instrument in India and combines traditional sitar playing with a style that resembles how the Japanese shamisen is played, and Masaki is one of Japan’s best tabla players who also studied in India. Together the four formed Draco following a session organised for a DVD documentary in 2007, Boycott Rhythm Machine II Versus. This led to them recording an album, ‘Zero’, which they released in 08 and is unfortunately rather hard to get a hold of outside the country. Following this they continued to perform live at festivals and venues around the country also incorporating visuals into the mix for a truly unforgettable experience. For those interested, Draco means the star that shines magnificently in the northern heaven sky.

I’d been wanting to try and get them on the show for some time now and once more thanks to the wonders of Twitter, I managed to get in contact with Numb and with a little help from our good friend Tatsuki they agreed to send us some Draco live recordings to use for a guest mix. We settled on the live at Samarat, also from 2008, which is a perfect example of the impact their live can make, at least without being there in person.

Massive thanks go out to Tatsuki and Numb for their help and to Draco for letting us air this live show. For more on them check their myspaces: Draco and Numb & Saidrum.

Download Draco live at Samarat 2008 (right click and save as)

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