DJ Mugen - Matt Duncan - at PURE in Osaka

in the DJ booth at PURE in Osaka

My name is Matt, and I’m just a guy who likes music and wants to share some good tunes, some great websites, and info about technology for listening to tunes and doing mixing and DJing. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to spin tunes throughout the Kansai region of Japan for about 4 years. “Mugen” is Japanese for “infinite.” It’s also the name of a fun character in Samurai Champloo. My friends gave me the nickname because I’m good at what folks in Osaka call “kuidaore” – eating til you fall down – because my appetite (and my belly) is “infinite.” What follows is the 3rd person more narrative version, with more details:

“DJ Mugen” is the handle of Matthew E. Duncan. From 2008 to 2011, Mugen was active about once a month spinning dance music for WhyNot Japan!? party planners at their international parties. Yebisubashi in OsakaUsually these parties were in Osaka at PURE, in Soemon-cho, near the famous Yebisubachi Bridge, also known as “Nampa-bashi” or “Pick-up Bridge” for the prevalence of Host Bar and Hostess Bar employees working to lure customers (and new employee recruits). Nampabashi is famous for the neon signs that line the region of Dotombori crossed by the bridge – the giant GLICO Man and other distinctive signage.

Matt Duncan - vocalist for Charlotte's Webb - on campus 3rd concert at BGSUBorn and raised in Ohio, in the the USA, Matt attended Bowling Green State University from 1990-1993. During this time, he was vocalist for the band Charlotte’s Webb. Charlotte’s Webb started off rough and punk, and gradually grew into a hardcore/speedmetal band with distinctive time signatures and multiple vocalists. Around this same time, Nick D. (Matt’s roommate) worked as a DJ at WBGU “The Shark” and eventually became the program director; Nick’s wide and eclectic collection of punk and alternative vinyl and new music opened a new world for Matt. Matt at EIR's first show - Howard's Club H, Bowling Green, OhioCo-vocalist in Charlotte’s Webb Andrew F. also introduced him to Coil, Diamanda Galas, GWAR, and other extreme bands, while neighbor and lifelong friend Gordon M. added Einsturzende Neubauten and others to the mix. But at this time, it was Spipasucci (Charlotte’s Webb bass player) whose massive collection of CDs exposed Matt to the widest variety of music he’d yet to encounter. Spip and Matt went on to form industrial band E.I.R with Tim from Near the Parenthesis and Damion from Riastrad. Spip, Tim, and Damion later formed Haga with Terri L. in Cleveland.

After college was over, 5 years in North Carolina (hanging with Burnin’ Vernon Piston the Lyrical Aardvark and Doc Octane), 7 years in DeKalb, Illinois (chillin’ with the likes of HammerFist and catching shows at Otto’s), Matt headed to Japan to teach high school English for 5 years. DJ Luke offered him a chance to DJ together at a WhyNot party, which opened the door for the following 4 years of sets throughout Osaka and in Kyoto, Nara, and Kobe. Being a JET also offered opportunities to DJ for big inter-prefectural events hosted by AJET (thanks Kat K.!) in Nara and Osaka. One of the best experiences from this time was the chance to DJ at Kyoto’s Club Butterfly with cool DJs like eloveu. The opportunity to play tunes at clubs like PURE, Calle8, Vano, Balabushka, Neverland, S2, and Butterfly also offered great chances to meet cool people and make lots of great friends from Japan and all across the world.

With the Tokyo guys at Butterfly

Spinning the 5-hour set at Vano for the AJET Valentine's Masquerade


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