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Susumu Makai (born c.1974, Osaka, Japan),[1] better known as Zongamin, is a UK-based Japanese-born musician and producer.


Makai grew up in rural Japan and moved with his family to East Anglia at the age of eleven.[2] He attended Summerhill School where he learned to play bass guitar and went on to play in several bands.[2] He went on to study at the Royal College of Art and began experimenting with sampling and recording, and was signed to his friend Mike Silver's Flesh Records label.[2]

Makai explained his stage name: "When I started I wanted it to sound like a band from another dimension. So I came up with a different word for it."[2]

His self-titled debut album was released in 2003 by XL Recordings, and met with a positive critical response; Allmusic gave it a three-star rating, commenting on the "wealth of ideas" and an "endearing 'anything goes' playfulness" on the album.[3] Pitchfork Media gave it 7.3/10,[4] Gigwise.com also gave the album an enthusiastic review, calling it "a lo-tech electro-fuzz monster".[5]

He has also acted as a remixer for Air,[6] Playgroup, Grafiti, and Seelenluft.[7]

Musical style[edit]

His music has been described as "incorporating left-field disco, funk, hip-hop, and house, along with good old sloppy garage rock and spaghetti Western soundtracks",[3] and "post punk, somewhat cheesy funkdom interspersed with droning catchy dance hooks".[1] Gigwise.com described his debut album as "a schizophrenic shot of spaghetti western mayhem, angular foot-stamping menace, and made-in-the-kitchen-sink funk".[5]



  • Zongamin (2003), XL
  • Flesh Tapes (2004), Flesh


  • "Serious Trouble" (2000), Flesh
  • "Tunnel Music" (2001), Flesh
  • "Spiral" (2002), XL
  • "Serious Trouble" (2003), XL
  • "Italian Fireflies" (2004), Kitsuné
  • "Bongo Song" (2005), Ed Banger


  1. ^ a b Colley, Claire (2003) "Zongamin Zongamin Archived June 29, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.", musicOMH, retrieved 2010-06-25
  2. ^ a b c d Walton, Matt (2003) "Zongamin Archived November 22, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.", BBC, 28 March 2003, retrieved 2010-06-25
  3. ^ a b Kellman, Andy "Zongamin Review", Allmusic, retrieved 2010-06-25
  4. ^ Bryant, Andrew (2003) "Zongamin Zongamin", Pitchfork Media, 28 May 2003, retrieved 2010-06-25
  5. ^ a b Bruzon, Tim (2003) "Zongamin 'Zongamin'[permanent dead link]", Gigwise.com, 24 September 2003, retrieved 2010-06-25
  6. ^ "Air Remixed by Zongamin[permanent dead link]", aversion.com, 12 March 2004, retrieved 2010-06-25
  7. ^ Kellman, Andy "Zongamin Biography", Allmusic, retrieved 2010-06-25