Profile: Hifana

Mon 05.02.2007

KEIZOmachine! and Juicy are a unique, genre-bending duo from Tokyo. They hooked up to form Hifana back in 1998 and have been pushing the freshest sights + sounds ever since.

Whether they’re in the studio or performing live, these fun-loving rhythm masters embrace a captivating range of influences, often fusing traditional Japanese influences with hip-hop and break-beats.Hifana have produced two acclaimed albums, Fresh Push Breakin’ in 2003 and Channel H (a CD+DVD) in 2005. And through working with Space Shower TV, they have released a DVD called Zamurai TV, featuring various Japanese artists, such as DJ Kentaro, Gagle and DJ Kiyo. Hifana also head up their own label called Nampooh, and in 2006 presented a compilation titled Nampooh Cable via Sony/Columbia.Hifana have proven to be a powerful draw, with their innovative live shows causing a sensation around the globe, from SonarSound (Tokyo) and Sonar (Barcelona) to the New York–Tokyo Music Festival 2006 in Central Park. They deliver killer sets that combine art, animation – and organic, non-programmed music. Boasting cut up beats, incredible percussion, and scratched up DVD footage, their live gigs are just that – live, spontaneous, real-time adventures. Visually, Juicy is behind many of the illustrations and cartoons that accompany Hifana’s music, and the duo also work with VJ Gec, (on moving images) and Maharo (on artwork). Highlights of Hifana’s cultish video craft include their award-winning Wamono, see above (from Channel H) and Fatbros (from Fresh Push Breakin’), and these were made in collaboration with the music label W+K Tokyo Lab. Hifana channel their audio-visual talents using a DJM-909 battle mixer, a DJM-800 mixer, and DVJ (DVD/CD) decks, which they actually helped to develop through working with Pioneer in Japan. Now add their other performance essentials: turntables, timbales, an Akai MPC sampler, a Korg effector, Roland HandSonic, microphone, and projection screen (for visuals), and you get an idea of the kind of rig that Hifana use during their live shows. “With the technology that’s now available, it’s getting easier all the time to perform AV shows and, of course, it’s always a lot of fun for everyone!” Juicy Words LL