An authentic turnback, Dos Monos pursue meaninglessness -Part.2-

ーーGoing back to talk about advertising, I thought you were under the Ableton Live (Germany) agreement, so how did that work?

TaiTan: They’re a big company so to not get in trouble, I contacted them about our desire to do this project. So, I contacted the Japanese side who cleared it with head office. I said it would be good for Botsubomb Arc, who we have close ties with, and we could put it up here and there, but due to the pandemic, it couldn’t be posted overseas. Because head office gave permission, there would be no problem, even if we did the same thing all over the world.

Botsu: I haven’t been to see it. Zo Zhit, have you?

Zo Zhit: I’ve not seen it yet.

Taitan: But many people told me about it.

ーーHow many people are doing remixes?

Zo Zhit: About seven or eight people.

TaiTan: A mysterious person gave it to you.

Zo Zhit: I thought it was just a cinephile. They usually only tweet about movies when suddenly they made a remix of Dos Monos. I was like “What the hell?”

ーーYou intended to create a sense of incongruity by placing a computer screen in a graffiti-ridden area, considered to be the center of club music?

Zo Zhit: That’s right. I don’t have any money, but I wanted to do something to promote the album. So when we had a group meeting, TaiTan immediately came up with the idea putting up one of Zo Zhit’s PC screen, and I was only going to do a visual, but I added a remix later.
Actually, I like to remix other songs, but my ego and pride as a creator didn’t want people to remix my stuff. However, I thought it would be interesting to only give incomplete information so the original song couldn’t be completely imitated. Then cheap rip-off wouldn’t be a thing. It would be interesting to see who would do it and enjoy the differences instead of asking for an official remix.

ーーI see. It was interesting. It’s just the DAW screen as a piece of art, or a tableau inventory. It’s interesting to see it all over the city. Are you going to put that remix together? You think of it as a game, don’t you?

Zo Zhit: The tune is completely different but has the same BPM. It would be interesting to put a rap over the original song.  

The aim is to find the true meaning of meaninglessness

Track 3of Dos Siki,”Estrus”.

ーーOn another topic, I’d like to ask you to give a simple description of the driving force behind you. I think a lot of rappers use words such as jealousy, complexity, hatred, desire to get rich, and so on. I was wondering if there is a particular claim or agitation with Dos Monos. As mentioned earlier, I personally thought there is a desire to do experimental things to reform the structure, and to do this, I wonder if there is a conscious iBotsuat it must be pop, not the strange music that Zo Zhit mentioned. I’d like to ask you what you are aiming for, and why the three of you making music.

Zo Zhit: I didn’t study, so the only driving force was how I didn’t study (laughs). After studying you have to work, right? It’s about how to avoid doing what you deserve. That’s all I can say. My father kept telling me, “If you want to do what you like, do what you have to do,” but what do you have to do? I don’t think there’s anything that we have to do in this world. It’s no exaggeration to say that we work just to prove that there’s nothing we have to do.
If you say that, everyone will agree and end it. But I don’t know who that would be. Somewhere in my heart, I’m tied to something, and I think it’s relaxing, but that’s not the case. I want to find out pointlessness in the true sense of the word. At first glance, it’s meaningful and interesting at a certain meta level, but ultimately actions reveal that it’s meaningless.

ーーI see. It’s not just about music, it’s about art in general.

Zo Zhit: Deleuze said that art doesn’t contain any information, and I agree. It could be a Duchamp or anything, but I’ve come to the conclusion that art is only a game. However, it doesn’t mainly spread as a thought, no matter how long has passed. Philosophers and artists who love meaninglessness only love it. In a museum, you’ll be taught that art is something like that, but once in a while, only expressions with a certain popular strength will reach the masses. Nirvana is so meaningless, right? From people who live life to the full to those who worry about how they are perceived, there is a feeling that everyone makes it meaningless together.  Dos Monos music is pretty pop, yeah?

ーーThat’s right.

Zo Zhit: But we’re not trying to do that. When I look back on my music history, it’s quite strange. That’s probably because other people are internalizing themselves, and although they don’t show it, they are constantly thinking about how people see them. In other words, I’m beginning to think I enjoy what people think is pleasant. The body and the mind are said to be separate, and my experimental spirit expresses itself when I’m composing, but the sound input to the DAW and output from the speaker is unexpectedly crazy. I feel like that’s what Dos Monos is.

ーーPerhaps many listeners describe you as weird or odd, but I think you’ve got it together. The word “strange” is used because thinking in terms of hip-hop, you seem to come from a different system.

Zo Zhit: To some extent, I think our music is easy to listen to. As I said before, music is better than thought. I think I babies quite like it.

ーーHow about you, TaiTan and Botsu?  

Botsu: I’m just doing it because it’s fun.

Zo Zhit: Yeah, I agree. If it’s not fun, you wouldn’t want to do it.

Botsu: But I didn’t think about what Zo Zhit said earlier, but I agree. My father said the same thing. I’ve always thought that’s all there is to it. But I don’t know if that’s my driving force. I just do it because music is fun. I wonder if there is an ideology behind that. I think we’re doing it just because it’s fun, like punks.

TaiTan: It’s a story you hear a lot, but there are people who say they made music themselves because there wasn’t anything they wanted to listen to. We’re doing a similar thing. The beats I enjoy are those that Zo Zhit makes. I don’t think it’s good if it comes the main thing. So I think it’s nearly equal to Botsu. Speaking more from an original experience, I like things that are born as a counter point, namely, for a long-time expression is born as a reaction to society. I think our music is inevitable in terms of taste, so I’ll be doing this for a long time.

Botsu: I’m doing it because the process is more fun than what I was born with, which is a similar idea.

Zo Zhit: TaiTan is a consequentialist.

Botsu : And that makes sense.

Zo Zhit: It’s not about what makes sense, it’s about finding something worthwhile to get results on what you want to do.

TaiTan: It’s difficult, isn’t it? It’s natural as long as you are doing music in search of a pleasure to live by, but we need a connection between us and our colleagues through the pleasure of calmly listening to people, to raise production costs, and to prepare for an interview. Presently, it falls to me to play that role, but I don’t mind because it’s working to build Dos Monos.

Awareness and pride in doing hip-hop better than anyone else

Track 4 of Dos Siki, Mammoth vs. Dos Monos.

Zo Zhit it: It seems impure to sell the music you like and do underground. But, I think it’s more interesting to try and connect it there. That’s why it’s interesting to sample hip-hop music that connects things unintended by the original composer. It may be impure from a certain point of view, but I can’t see there being many people who say our music is impure. There probably is someone like that, but I say to get busy and make the music they want through jazz.

ーー I initially wouldn’t forgive you (laughs).

Dos Monos: Hahahaha!

Zo Zhit: A casual music lover, might think that.

—Using Pharaoh Sanders’ trumpet in Fable Now is too bold, and I think that could anger the listener (laughs).

Dos Monos: Hahaha.

ーーBut I think that impurity is the real thrill of sampling, and I think the momentum and integrity in doing things no one else does is what defines you. You want to turn your backs and escape from being tied down to a mood or rules. Once you understand Dos Monos to some extent, you’ll see their stance is light and vivid.

Botsu: I think I can listen to Dos Monos objectively, but I do more hip-hop, in the true sense of the word, than other people. There are authentic things but going back to people like Africa Bambaataa is nasty.

Zo Zhit: It’s nothing like hip-hop. Kraftwerk rapping over it! What about that is hip-hop? (laughs). It’ll be like that for generations!

Botsu: It’s like new-wave.

Zo Zhit: The Last Poets are the same.

Botsu: That’s right. It’s just rapping freely over the rhythm.

Zo Zhit: It’s bad taste.

Botsu: Is it? You don’t think that’s good?

Zo Zhit: I have bad taste, but it feels good. 

Botsu: That’s what you mean.

Zo Zhit: It’s like a Class B gourmet. French chefs get angry, but they say it’s is delicious.

Botsu: Yeah, I don’t know if the first people thought that much. Well, I think I’m doing real hip-hop, so there’s something confusing about it. I want the high-ups to listen to us, but they don’t.

Zo Zhit: The big problem, is that what we think is authentic actually isn’t. I don’t think it looks that great (laughs). We’re working to make it known.

It’s too much of a bother (laughs).

Botsu: I mean, you’ve never revealed your true purpose before, have you, Zo Zhit?

Zo Zhit: It’s my real purpose. It’s not easy to express in words.

ーーIs it alright to write about this?  

Zo Zhit: It’s okay. I’ll think about my next true purpose.

Dos Monos
3 men hip-hop crew from Tokyo. Zo Zhit is the core, brains and main beat maker, and formed the group with high school class mates, TaiTan and Botsu in 2015. He appeared at SUMMER SONIC before his debut, and later signed with Deathbomb Arc (JPEG Mafia and others), a Hip-hop label from LA. After performing overseas, they released their first album “Dos City” in March 2019, and their second album “Dos Siki” in July 2020 (it’s the size of an ep, but they talk about it as if it were an album).



Born in Fukushima Prefecture. He is an editor and writer. He is making techno and ambient music as his life's work. Please feel free to contact him by email. ( His favorite painter is Cezanne. His favorite YouTuber is Turiyokadeshou