Official Photos & Bio

Ken Ishii

Artist / Music Producer / Techno DJ


Ken Ishii debuted on the legendary Belgian techno label R&S Records in 1993. That year he shot to Number One on the UK's NME magazine techno chart, which catapulted him to worldwide recognition. In 1995, his critically acclaimed first album "JELLY TONES" (R&S/Sony Japan) was released. He followed that a year later with further recognition when the video for the single "EXTRA" (directed by Koji Morimoto, animator of the worldwide hit cartoon "AKIRA") won MTV's "Dance Video of the Year".

Since then, Ken has been regarded internationally as a top pioneer of Japanese techno and world-class act rocking crowds around the globe with his barnstorming electronic sound. In 1998, he produced the official theme song for the winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan which was played in more than 140 countries around the world. In 2000, Ken made the cover of Newsweek magazine for a major interview, hailing him as the symbol of Japan's dynamic new culture, which was seen as some achievement for a dance/electronic music artist.

When his techno is not stripping the paint from walls, Ken also produces music for films, such as the theme song and soundtrack for the monster Japanese hit "Whiteout" in 2000, for which he was nominated for a Japan Academy Film Prize. His reach even extends to video games. Rez, the game Ken contributed his exclusive tracks to, has become a cult hit. In 2005, he had the honour of being asked to organise the music and design an exclusive 12.2 surround sound system for the Seto-Nippon Pavilion, for the Japanese Government, at World Expo in Aichi.

Ken still spends half his time criss-crossing Europe, Asia, North/South America DJing gigs in front of thousands at some of the world's most iconic venues. In 2004, he won the Best Techno DJ at "Dance Music Awards" in Ibiza, underlining his enduring popularity and his status as one of the world's hottest DJs. Ken is a regular on the mega dance festival circuit, such as Monegros (Spain), WIRE (Japan) and many, many more.

As a prolific producer, Ken set up his own label, 70 Drums, in 2002, starting with the album "FUTURE IN LIGHT". This was followed four years later by the "SUNRISER" record in 2006, which again demonstrated his futuristic vision and deep love of his musical roots -- namely early Detroit techno. This led to a double remix album entitled "DAYBREAK REPRISE – SUNRISER REMIXED" in 2008.

In 2012, Ken was interviewed for a Reuters entertainment article ( as a true, old-school artist getting better and becoming more relevant with each passing year after 19 in the music business. In February of that year, Ken started a brand new project, Ken Ishii Presents Metropolitan Harmonic Formulas, and released its sublime debut album, 'MUSIC FOR DAYDREAMS.' It features collaborations with various artists across different styles/genres and has been highly praised worldwide for its sophisticated sound in a dramatic turn from his trademark techno.

Among Ken's 2017 highlights were a performance during the Nintendo SWITCH Presentation World Premiere, for which he produced the official music, and the workaholic's first appearance at the world’s biggest dance festival Tomorrowland.

In 2019, he released an original Ken Ishii album, 'MÖBIUS STRIP,' for the first time in 13 years. It boasts collaborations with Jeff Mills, Dosem among other notable artists. Then in 2020, Ken has his hands full with various music productions -- arguably topped by being asked to produce the official theme track to celebrate the 40th anniversary of PAC-MAN, one of the most iconic video games ever made.

Over the recent years, Ken has been expanding his territories again - composing a full soundtrack for Netflix’s anime series, “Yakitori: Soldiers of Misfortune” (2023) and producing original music for a highly acclaimed VR game “C-Smash VRS” (2023-2024 / PlayStation VR2 / MetaQuest), along with starting series of a ‘noh & techno’ collaboration performance, TECHNOH LAB., with Manjiro Tatsumi, a noh actor and a Holder of Important Intangible Cultural Heritage of Japan.

Some people might know that Ken’s another passion is craft beer. He finally made his dream come true - he now co-brews series of his own craft beer, “KIKK-IPA”, with RISE & WIN Brewing Co. based in Tokushima Pref. in Japan. Having brewed 5 different types of IPAs so far, Ken is more than happy that two of them won silver prizes on an international beer competition, INTERNATIONAL BEER CUP 2022 and 2023.

Now back in techno, Ken is more enthusiastic making music than ever. EPs on various labels and his own Bandcamp exclusive releases, collaborations with Cristian Varela, Co-Fusion, Hiroyuki Arakawa and Dosem, and countless remixes have been made within the last couple of years. Being busy with touring again after the pandemic as well, he plays in Japan and Asia, Europe and North America on a weekly basis.

He is currently working on a collaboration album with a jazz musician, looking at a release later in 2024.


'93年、ベルギーの R&S Records からデビュー。イギリス音楽紙 NME のテクノチャートでNo.1を獲得、’96年には『Jelly Tones』からのシングル「Extra」のビデオクリップ(映画「AKIRA」の作画監督/森本晃司監督作品)が、MTVヨーロッパの Dance Video of The Year を受賞。

'98年、長野オリンピック・インターナショナル版公式テーマを作曲し、世界70カ国以上でオンエア。2000年アメリカのニュース週刊誌 Newsweek で表紙を飾る。


'04年、スペイン・イビサ島で開催の DJ AWARDS で Best Techno DJ を受賞し、名実共に世界一を獲得。’05年には「愛・地球博」で政府が主催する瀬戸日本館の音楽プロデュース及び12.2サラウンドシステム開発を担当。

'17年には NINTENDO SWITCH Presentation に出演。全世界配信され、数百万人の人達がそのDJプレイを目の当たりにした。更にはベルギーで行われている世界最大の音楽フェスティバル Tomorrowland にも出演を果たす。

'19年には13年振りとなるオリジナル・アルバム『Möbius Strip /メビウス・ストリップ』をリリース、そして'20年、世界的名ゲーム PAC-MAN の生誕40周年世界キャンペーンの公式テーマ「JOIN THE PAC」を制作。