Netflix’s live-action adaptation of “Cowboy Bebop” starring John Cho was released on Friday and to celebrate the occasion, DJ Steve Aoki dropped a remix of the show’s classic theme “Tank!”
Reinterpretation: Aoki put his own spin on Japanese composer Yoko Kanno’s original composition with Latin-infused big band jazz music and his signature EDM sound.
- The 43-year-old DJ, who is a fan of the original anime series, told NextShark he felt pressure to make music that would make people get up and dance.
- “It’s difficult to go for something so important and integral in anime culture, but I love that pressure,” Aoki said. “I was taking certain elements from the record that are signature to Yoko Kanno and ‘Tank!’ but ‘Aokifying it’ and turning it into something that I know on the drop I’m going to get people moving, grooving, dancing and having a good time.”
- Aoki sampled a beloved line from the opening theme to kick off the track: “It’s all about that sample ‘Let’s jam!’ I played that in the studio so many times and I used it as my inspiration to start into the actual melody of the drop. When I got that melody down, I started working on the sound and I knew from that moment that the track was going to get done pretty quickly.”
Aoki and Cho: The duo sat down to further discuss Aoki’s process of remixing the original “Tank!” opening song.
- “When I heard you were part of it, it was like, this was the perfect pairing,” Aoki told Cho. “I grew up with ‘Cowboy Bebop.’ And I knew about the song ‘Tank.’ It was such an iconic part of the IP…When I heard about the live-action, I thought, ‘This needed to be in live-action. And can John do the hair though.’ Because if you can do the hair, then we got it!”
- Cho emphasized that having an Asian composer like Kanno take on Western genres and “go ‘let me take that and do my thing’” is monumental.
- “Yes. It is different. But it’s its own way,” Aoki said of Kanno’s work. “It’s jazz and it’s rich, and it’s got so many dynamic elements. But you can’t make that unless you’re in a completely different environment and headspace.”