Berlin’s Buttons party resident DJ Akirahawks first built his following as a resident of Homopatik with his idiosyncratic take on the house music format – a funky, cosmic journey that has led him to be a fixture of Berlin’s party scene for the past decade. With regular appearances at Cocktail d’Amore, Lab.oratory, Panorama Bar, and Wilde Renate. Akirahawks has also branched out into producing music and earlier this year he released a remix on Spencer Parker’s Work Them Records. With fellow Buttons resident Shingo Suwa, they’ve launched the collaborative project House Mannequin for limited releases that in his own words are ‘drenched in raw energy with nods to deep soulful disco’.
Akirahawks, you’ve been a Berlin resident for quite some time, can you tell us how you first came to the city and what inspired you to start living there?
Japan is a very rigid place. Berlin inspired my move with its relaxed yet creative atmosphere.
Can you tell us about the Buttons party and what we can expect from you guys at Berlin Berlin on July 7th at Egg LDN?
Many of the Buttons crew came out of the Homopatik party, which we did for seven years. If you can imagine it, Buttons has developed an even more inclusive vibe. Expect us to bring our fun “anything goes” attitude.
How has the current gay scene influenced your sound?
The open and accepting energy of a gay crowd – socially, musically, is unrivalled.
You also worked on the charity gig Refuge. Is it important for you to get involved in projects like this?
There are many great charity efforts in Berlin connected with nightlife. The Refuge night at Griessmuehle was fantastic and it raised money for many local groups, like Bündnis Neukölln, which is an alliance that works to oppose discrimination of people based on their ethnic origin, gender, religion, or sexual identity, which is very important work. Every July at Buttons we host a charity mud fight which is coming up soon and last year we raised €1000 for the Russian LGBT Network to help those being discriminated against in Chechnya.
You and fellow Buttons resident Shingo Suwa release records as House Mannequin. Can you tell us about these releases and what’s the thinking behind your label?
Shingo and I started the label in 2009 so we could create our own distinct house sound, which mixes a rawness with a little deep soulfulness. We are fortunate that this project has caught the attention of people like Theo Parrish, Eric Duncan, and DJ Harvey. Our 10th EP is coming out towards the end of the year, and we will be playing the Buttons stage at Whole Festival.
You recently remixed ‘Riff Shapes’ from Spencer Parker’s ‘Different Shapes & Sizes EP’ how would you describe your sounds?
No matter the language used to describe, the only thing I care about is if I can dance to it or not!
Which specific record inspired you to take up DJ-ing and do you still play it?
I still play Where is My Man (1982) by Eartha Kitt and Special Agent Man (2004) by Gaznevada-I got that record in this mysterious box I found.
Current favourite artists.
My all-time favourite is Daniel Wang.
Here’s Akirahawk’s #itchysilk mix.
Akirahawks makes his debut with Buttons/BLN at Berlin: The Birthday & Pride Special featuring DJ Holographic and Jacob Meehan on Saturday July 7th, 2018 at Egg LDN.
All info at EGG LONDON