Ken Ishii debuted on a legendary Belgian techno label, R & S Records, in 1993. In that year he straight won No.1 on the UK’s NME magazine’s techno chart, which led him to worldwide recognition. In 1995, the highly praised album ‘Jelly Tones’ (R & S / Sony Japan) was released. In the following year, the video for the single ‘Extra’ from this album (directed by Koji Morimoto, the animator of the worldwide hit cartoon, ‘Akira’) won MTV’s ‘Dance Video of the Year’.
Since then, Ken has been regarded internationally as one of the Japanese pioneers who can create world class electronic sounds. In 1998, he produced the official theme song for the winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan and it was played in more than 70 countries around the world. Then in 2000, Ken was interviewed and was on the cover of Newsweek magazine, featured as a symbol of the Japanese new culture. This was acclaimed as a great undertaking by a dance/electronic music artist.
He also produces music for films, such as doing the theme song and soundtrack for the monster hit Japanese film ‘Whiteout’ in 2000, which led him to be nominated in Japanese Academy Awards. He expands his boundary to games as well. Rez, the game Ken contributed his exclusive tracks to, became a cult hit. In 2005, he reached a major achievement in being in charge of the music and designing an exclusive 12.2 surround sound system for the Seto-Nihon Pavilion, enforced by the Japanese Government, at World Expo in Aichi, Japan.
These days, Ken spends 2/3 of his time on travelling in Europe, Asia, North/South America DJ’ing and working as a true international artist/DJ. In 2004, he was awarded the Best Techno DJ at ‘Dance Music Awards’ in Ibiza, proving himself to be one of the world’s most talented DJ’s in the scene as well. He often plays at mega dance festivals, such as Monegros (Spain), WIRE (Japan) and more. His unique blend always drives crowd into frenzy.
Ken set up his own label, 70 Drums, in 2002 starting off with an album ‘Future In Light.’ His latest album is ‘SUNRISER’ in 2006 and he again shows in it his futuristic vision and his deep love in his musical root, early Detroit techno.
In 2009, cerebrating the 15th anniversary since his record debut in Japan, he made himself busy with KI15 projects – starting off with a mix album, ‘WARRIOR ON THE DECKS – PLAY, PAUSE AND PLAY 2’ on Sublime Records, and then the best album such as ‘KI15 – The Best of’, ‘KI15 – The Works + The Unreleased & Unexpected,’ and ‘KI15 – The Episodes.’
In 2010, a double remix album of ‘SUNRISER,’ titled ‘Daybreak Reprise – SUNRISER Remixed,’ has just been released worldwide. Also he just made his contribution to a media art festival, Cyber Arts Japan, held at Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, in order to prove his stance on art.
Furthermore, Tokyo Midtown Galleria, a trendy fashion & restaurant complex in Roppongi, Tokyo, appointed Ken to produce their in-house music programs for 2010 and 2011 and he successfully created the atmosphere with his unique blend of jazz, classical and electronic music.
In 2012, Ken was featured in Reuters’ entertainment article (http://reut.rs/ADS7VA) as a true artist who is standing stronger than ever in the music business today after his debut 15 years ago. Also in February this year, Ken started a brand new project, Ken Ishii Presents Metropolitan Harmonic Formulas, and released a debut album ‘MUSIC FOR DAYDREAMS’
It includes collaborations with various artists from different styles/genres and also covers some house music classics. This album has been praised highly worldwide for its sophisticated sound and diversity beyond techno.