A Tokyo native, Ken Ishii made his musical debut in 1993 on R and S Records. His debut release, Garden On The Palm, hit No.1 on the NME techno chart, and gained critical acclaim as one of the most innovative and experimental works in contemporary techno. However, it was the release of his first album "Jelly Tones" in 1995 that really brought his name to the attention of a much wider public both in Europe and in his native Japan.
The first single from the album "Extra" came complete with a ground breaking manga style video directed by none other than Kouji Morimoto (director of the world famous Akira ) which won the MTV Dance Music Video Of The Year at the Muzik Awards in the same year. Not content with breaking down the barriers on the video front, Ishii also became one of the first artists working in the "dance arena" to take his music out of the studio and perform live on tour, starting a trend that a number of other successful dance acts were to subsequently follow. In 1998, Ishii was chosen by the International Olympic Committee to produce the main opening and closing theme for the Winter Olympics in Nagano. The theme featured in the broadcast of the Olympic games to over 70 countries around the world.
1999 brought the release of Sleeping Madness the first Ken Ishii album to feature collaborations with other artists. As a result the album featured an eclectic mixture of musical styles and influences with the collaborations being chosen from Ken's wide circle of friends in the musical community. Talvin Singh, Mike Ladd, and DJ Spooky being amongst the contributors. Once again, more barriers were broken down, critics raved, and Ken took the live show out on the road, playing at Fuji Rock, Japan's biggest festival as well as London, Paris, Berlin and Brussels.
And there was to be no let up the following year. In the space of those particular 12 months Ken played live shows at the Reading Festival, Transmusicales in France and many other major European festivals. He also picked up a DJ residency at New York's legendary Twilo not to mention appearing in Japanese Vogue and on the front cover of Newsweek.