Born in Heilbronn, Germany in 1973 Kawamura is half German and half Japanese. He relocated to Japan a year later when his family moved to Tokyo. Through studying at a German school he kept a firm link with his birthplace and at 21 he returned to German soil with a sampler in hand to supply the world with his drum heavy sampling technique.
In 1995 he joined the band Be as their DJ and toured with them across Europe for almost five years, opening gigs for Guru’s ‘Jazzmatazz’ project and playing high profile festivals like Rock AM Ring. The exposure from his performances with the band enabled him to work on and provide beats for Jazz trumpeter Till Brönner’s album ‘Blue Eyed Soul’ and Roberto Di Gioia’s ‘Marsmobil’ project.
He originally started out on his solo material with the intention of producing a few short instrumental interludes for his numerous projects but after three years of work in the studio he ended up with around 180 tracks, the longest of which was only four minutes long.
“I’m not a friend of excess lengths, there definitely is music out there that needs eight minutes. But I prefer it, if the same thing can be said in two”. Of course, every track is strong enough to work on its own, from the elegantly choppy choirs in the ‘Intro’ via the dirty beats of ‘Unu’ or ‘Astral’, the jazzy-spherical homage to Pharoah Sanders and Lonnie Liston Smith, all the way to the head noddin’ ‘Timeless Space’ or the slap bass-and flute-sensuality of ‘How Long?’, but it’s the interplay between ideas that gives ‘Translations’ its diversity, elegancy and quality.
“I dislike art that elevates itself above reality”, muses instrumental hip-hop producer Samon Kawamura, “When I make music I try to be honest. There is no other way for me”. Staying true to this ethos, Kawamura’s debut album, ‘Translations’ is graceful yet rough around the edges with the emphasis aimed on the content and atmospheres of the tracks rather than quick, clean production processes. Inspired by instrumental jazz and the budding roots of the genre that are alive and living in the hearts of hip hop aficionados like Madlib and Pete Rock, Kawamura manages to grasp the art of authentic composing and slips graciously into the role of the instinctive storyteller.
Fusing down tempo loops and inducing drums, the album is a journey into the deepest depths of sampling and arranging. As Kawamura exposes his love for dusty drums and chopping samples he manages to make even the most complicated edits sound simple. ‘Translations’ is an album that will travel with you, scoring the neon buzz of cityscapes and rolling hills alike, and these instrumentals are sure to become engrained into your consciousness after repeated spins.
Release Date: 16th July 2007.