Sweet Robots Against the Machine is an alter ego of Towa Tei. Towa Tei is a Japanese-born DJ of Korean descent. He moved to New York City in the late 1980s to be an art student, but soon dropped out as he became involved in the New York City club scene. He first gained recognition for his production work on the Jungle Brothers’ 1989 LP Done by the Forces of Nature.
In 1990, Tei shot to fame as a member of the downtown New York club trio Deee-Lite. The group scored an international hit with “Groove Is In the Heart.” In 1991, Towa Tei and Super DJ Dmitri collaborated with Japanese musician Ryuichi Sakamoto on the song “Rap the World.”
After two albums, 1990’s World Clique and 1992’s Infinity Within, Towa Tei left Deee-Lite to begin working on solo projects; his debut album, Future Listening!, a montage of bossa nova, jazz, and electronic dance music, appeared in 1995. His second album was 1998’s Sound Museum. On it, he collaborated with Kylie Minogue on the track “GBI: German Bold Italic,” which reached number 20 in Japan and number 63 in the UK. Bebel Gilberto also did vocals for the album. This was followed by the album Last Century Modern in 1999.
In 2005, Towa Tei returned to the scene with a new album titled Flash and a new single with Minogue, “Sometime Samurai”, which reached number six in Japan. Tei’s collaborations and connections with many other artists prove the strength of his influence and artistry in Japan and elsewhere.
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