From Beatmania to Beyond, Yamato, This Star Blazer is Making Waves

Yamato’s outstanding skills with a Pioneer CDJ deck are an incredible sight to behold.

To see Yamato’s latest videos, please visit the official YouTube channel.

Meet Yamato, an impossibly highly skilled DJ and producer from Japan who has redefined the boundaries of CDJ mixing. Over the course of his career, Yamato has been blessed by the late DJ Avicii, and, more recently, contributed tracks for Konami’s ‘beatmania’ games. Yamato’s latest track, ‘Blaze’, has been featured in a campaign to attract visitors to the city of Nagoya.

Just two years after his DJ debut, this DJ took first place in the ‘burn WORLD DJ CONTEST 2013 JAPAN’ competition, which was sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company. Soon after, during the ‘burn STUDIOS RESIDENCY’ global contest held in Ibiza, Spain, he was selected by superstar DJ Avicii to co-star at the ‘burn YARD in Budapest’ festival in Hungary, becoming the first Japanese artist to perform with Avicii. Since then, Yamato has been a fixture at clubs and large festivals in Japan and around the world.

Yamato’s outstanding skills with a Pioneer CDJ deck are an incredible sight to behold. The video ‘CDJ-2000NXS2 & DJM-900NXS2 Performance’, which stars Yamato and was produced by Pioneer DJ Global to promote its 2017 model deck, has racked up 13 million views on YouTube. Watching Yamato perform on four CDJ decks and manipulating a wide array of controls and effects at lightning speed, you’ll be astonished by his deft abilities – before you know it, you’ll have lost yourself in the beat, and the 4-minute video will be over, ready for you to cue it up again.

Yamato – ‘CDJ-2000NXS2 & DJM-900NXS2 Performance’

Yamato’s own YouTube channel includes a selection of evocative themed DJ performances. His ‘SPRING’ video is set in the courtyard of a temple with cherry blossoms in gorgeous full bloom, while ‘AUTUMN’ is shot in a beautiful bamboo grove. His ‘BLACK’ and ‘WHITE’ videos are not only set against a backdrop of their title color, but with Yamato DJing on matching black or white CDJ decks as well. These videos have attracted fans from all around the world, and when revered Japanese musician Takanori Nishikawa discovered Yamato’s videos online, he invited him to become Nishikawa’s DJ at live performances.

In February 2021, Yamato was asked by Pioneer DJ to create a series of videos with tips and tutorials on how to improve your DJ technique, using Pioneer’s most advanced CDJ model, the CDJ-3000. The series, titled ‘Yamato – CDJ-3000 DJ Tips’, is published weekly on Yamato’s YouTube channel, running every Friday for 10 weeks from February 12 through April 16 2021.

But Yamato’s talents extend beyond performing as a DJ.

In March 2021, his song ‘Blaze’ was used in a promotional tourism video aimed at attracting visitors to the city of Nagoya. The track incorporates the sound of the taishogoto, a traditional instrument that is sometimes call the ‘Nagoya harp’, into a high-tempo dance tune, fusing the tradition of yesterday with the sound of tomorrow.

Since 2019, Yamato’s tracks ‘Level One’ and ‘Level 2’ have been featured in Konami’s arcade game ‘beatmania IIDX’. ‘Level 2’ was so popular that it ranked in the trending chart on Twitter in Japan – yet another glimpse of the many talents of this unique electronic musician.

‘Blaze’, ‘Level One’ and ‘Level 2’ have not yet been released to download or stream, but please check out Yamato’s YouTube channel to experience his unmatched DJ skills in action! It’s hard to say when the pandemic will ease, but new fans who live in Japan can see his return to clubs and festivals, where ever the dance music scene will take him around the world. 

Author: Ed Sum

I'm a freelance videographer and entertainment journalist (Absolute Underground Magazine, Two Hungry Blokes, and Otaku no Culture) with a wide range of interests. From archaeology to popular culture to paranormal studies, there's no stone unturned. Digging for the past and embracing "The Future" is my mantra.

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