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Besides being an avid Planet Of The Apes enthusiast (his collection of memorabilia is ranked fifth largest in the world), Nigo is a successful clothing designer whose Bathing Ape brand has achieved a cult-like following in his hometown of Tokyo and throughout the rest of the fashion conscious world. During the early '90s Nigo spent time drumming with Japanese punk band Tokyo Sex Pistols, DJing at various underground parties, and maintaining a section of the Japanese magazine Last Orgy 2.

The Bathing Ape clothing label was born in '93 and was immediately picked up by Japan's leading underground culture publication, Tokion. Always featuring a trademark ape, his designs became the choice of cloth for leading tastemakers, including graffiti artist Futura 2000 and Mo' Wax founder James Lavelle. It was on a trip to Tokyo that Lavelle met Nigo at his Bathing Ape flagship store. They immediately hit it off, and Nigo booked Lavelle to spin at one of his notorious Bape-head parties alongside the likes of Cornelius, Takagi-Kan, Money Mark, and Ben Lee.

When Lavelle asked Nigo to produce an album for Mo' Wax, the multitalented designer called in Major Force West frontman and U.N.K.L.E. contributor Masayuki Kudo (aka KUDO), who promptly relocated from London to Tokyo to help run his fledgling studio and co-produce his debut LP. Hence Ape Sounds the studio and the label was born. The ensuing album, Ape Sounds, combines Western influences with an Asian take on hip hop. Nigo acts more like a director than anything else. The artists featured on the album include Melon, Shaun Lee (Wall of Sound), Ben Lee (Grand Royal), Tycoon Tosh (ex-Major Force), Plastics, Mike D, Tony Vegas (Scratch Perverts), Jaddel, and James Lavelle. With a list like that you can't really go wrong, as is confirmed by the featured track, "March Of The General." Its funky beats and breaks, cut-up scratching and transforming, and nimble sampling techniques will have you gagging for more.

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