February 28th, 2005


Sumo M

Well, today I leave Japan and head back to Berlin. It's been wonderful, and I'd like above all to thank Lehan Ramsay of the Future University, Hakodate for inviting me and making everything go so smoothly while I was in Hokkaido.

Often, pottering about in my sound garden, posing for students as the head listener, being addressed by the technical staff as sensei, I felt like a bit of a fraud. But that's not an unusual feeling. You see, I am a fraud.

It's time I leveled with you. I've been copying almost everything, for quite a while now, from the Japanese. In fact, from one specific artist. He's called Sumo M, he wears an eyepatch and he's huge in Japan. I've got away with copying him so long because nobody in the West knows about him, but in Japan everyone sees me immediately for what I am -- a Sumo M clone.

Imagine my delight to discover Sumo M in person at Tower Records this weekend. He was presenting his new album, Otto Spooky, one floor down from the Susan Ciancolo talk. I hurried down, bought an album, and he was kind enough to sign it for me and pose for this photo. Sumo is actually older than me, but he's had some work done and he looks great, even close up. I was pretty jealous; I looked hard and couldn't see a nick on him. He has great teeth, and smells nice too -- malt whisky, turpentine and old velum. I don't think Sumo speaks English, because he just smiled when I told him that my new album is called Otto Spooky too. But jeez, now I've listened to his Otto Spooky I wish I'd had it to copy when I was recording mine. It's brilliant! Beside his, my Otto Spooky sounds like the crappy dummy mp3s people like Daft Punk upload to the p2p networks to fox the pirates.

Oh, that really is the new Daft Punk album? Okay. Well, my album really is the new Sumo M album. I just ripped the master tapes, reversed the artist name, and put it out in the West. Please don't tell his management, they'll be down on me like a ton of bricks. They'll hire some heavyweight lawyers and push me right out of the ring. They'll put me on the first plane out of the country. Oh, I'm already booked on the first plane out of the country? Better head to the airport then.