Where Is Tetsu Inoue?

I agonized whether to publish this post or not. The only reason I haven’t already is because I highly value individual privacy, and if someone does not want to be contacted then that wish should be respected. But this has gone on long enough and my wonder has turned into concern. And I’m not the only one concerned.

Where Is Tetsu Inoue?

His last official album, Inland, came out in 2007. It is now over five years later and there has never been such a long gap between his releases. Previously, the gap was usually only a year or two. Emails to his address have gone unanswered, snail-mail to 2350 Broadway was unsuccessful (although curiously not ‘returned to sender’), and I’ve even heard from label owners this last year wishing to contact him to resolve pending business issues, as they were also unsuccessful in contacting him. I have heard from some of his collaborators who have worked with him on and off for twenty years who are also unable to reach him. At this point, two possibilities come to mind:

(1) He’s being reclusive
(2) He’s dead

Is he fed up with music industry shenanigans? Was he ‘back home’ in Japan when the tsunami hit? Did he simply want some distance between himself and the public (and his fans)? Since I have been managing his official homepage for the last decade or so, I would occasionally receive holiday cards, the random CDR showcasing new output, or a random email or note every few months. But all that has come to a complete standstill and what is left is a legacy of outstanding music from the last 20 years and a deafening silence from the man himself. Tetsu, if you’re out there, give our radar a ping!

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~ by phonaut on June 21, 2012.

46 Responses to “Where Is Tetsu Inoue?”

  1. I came across this searching for any information leading to Tetsu’s whereabouts. If he’s gone, which I seriously hope is not the case, it would be a super loss to the electronic music community. :/

  2. Of course, we all hope he’s being reclusive. I suspect that’s it because if he died surely someone, somewhere would know, right? Is there a finalized list of the tsunami missing that’s been checked?

  3. this is terrible.

    • I did a Google search of tsunami victims and his name did not come up. The list is only about 1/3 of the 20,000 victims. I hope he was not in the 12,000 not on the list.

  4. I also feel worried. I hope he’s all right.

  5. I’ve been searching the internet for new news about Mr. Inoue every few months for the last four or five years. He seems to have completely disappeared, which is really a shame. If he ran into financial or medical difficulties I hope things turn out well for him.

    Inland is the best ambient album I’ve personally heard, surpassing Eno’s On Land and some great Steve Roach discs as well. It attracted far too little notice and I only remember seeing one review at the time which tried to paint it as 90’s nostalgia when it was nothing of the sort. The previous album, Yolo, was almost as good. Maybe the lack of attention that these albums had compared to the earlier and less interesting Ambient Otaku led to some feelings of frustration for Mr. Inoue. At any rate if he is alive to read this–thanks for the great music and best wishes.

  6. Mr. Inoue is my favorite musical artist of all time. Like everyone else here, I’ve been googling for years with no luck. It’s especially frustrating because, if money were an issue, there are so many new funding options these days (for example: Kickstarter). I do hope Mr. Inoue is healthy and in good spirits.

    Has anyone tried talking to any of the labels he’s released with? I’m assuming there are royalty checks that get sent somewhere. Of course, if the man wants to be left alone, I respect that and do not think anyone should harass an individual who has brought so much beauty into the world.

    • Tetsu is one on all time favourites also, the subtle tones he manages to make is just amazing. Zenith is actually one of my favourite fax albums. If anyone finds out where he is please post back. Id like to hear some new stuff from him.

  7. Oops, I first read this post a few months ago and did not remember that it discussed label representatives also searching for Mr. Inoue. I apologize that my previous comment was uninformed.

  8. I’ve talked to a number of friends and collaborators of his here in NYC and no one has been able to get a hold of him for years now. He still has an active email account but never replies back.

    It’s rumored that he has moved back to Japan and might be helping his family with their business (his family owns a few restaurants). Also, his father was getting very old so Tetsu may be helping to take care of him as well.

    Hopefully everything is alright with him and his family and some day he will return to making music! I can’t wait for that day to come!

  9. Add this reply to the list of people of whom Tetsu music as brought an incredible amount of happiness. He’s definitely one of my favorite artists. I listen to this music all the time. And to the list of people whose wondering what he’s been up to and wish him all the best with whatever he’s doing.

  10. Inoue is a genius, Inland has been on heavy rotation in my house for years now. Best wishes to Mr Inoue.

  11. Greets from a fan of Tetsu’s early works and his collaborations with Namlook and others . I am an American and live in Kyushu which is where Tetsu is from . Assuming his family still live here and that he is with or near them , he would not have been affected by the tsunami as we are in western Japan far , far , far away from Fukushima .

    • Hello,
      My name is Chris Farstad.
      I make music as 555

      I am planning on coming to Japan in 2015 to make a documentary about Japanese electronic music for the U.S./Japan Friendship Commission and to collaborate with Japanese electronic musicians. I am also trying to set up a Fukushima benefit concert with Japanese electronic musicians using some of the $20,000 award to do so.

      If you are a fan of Tetsu Inoue, you might be interested in this project.
      I am working with two Japanese record labels, Wonderyou and White Paddy Mountain (Chihei Hatakayama’s label) to assemble a network of Japanese electronic musicians, both professional and amateur.

      If you know of anyone who may be interested in this project, please let me know!

      Stay tuned, and please contact me with your actual email for further information when it becomes available.

      Chris Farstad

  12. Yet, another huge fan longing to know (for years now) what’s become of Tetsu.

    I can’t adequately describe (at least here) what his music has meant to me.

    Where ever he is, I hope he’s happy. But I do hope we hear from him again.

  13. I too am a huge fan and came across this looking for new word or releases. In 2009 I played “Inland” as an example of a great newer direction for Ambient at an electronic workshop in Steve Roach’s studio. All present seemed impressed, including Steve. I hope he is not finished with his music.

  14. Fan from Sweden here. Is it possible for us to start an investigation somehow?

    • If he is in Japan , where I am , short of hiring a private investigator I see no other way of finding him .

  15. that sounds like a great idea. but oh wait, those are expensive right?

    • I wasn’t suggesting we hire a private dick , just saying that there really is no other way to locate him if he is in Japan .

  16. Is this him? https://www.facebook.com/inoue.tetsu.50

    • I don’t think it’s him. His name is relatively common to begin with in Japan, but when you look at this Tetsu Inoue’s friends, they mostly don’t look like who his friends would be despite there being a few musicians pictured.

  17. Earthling Tetsu’s fan here. I just hope he’s ok, his music is extremely inspiring to me. This is quite mysterious

  18. It has been a year since I last posted . Haven’t been able to garner a clue as to where he is and I have researched in Japanese . I’m determined to find him assuming he is still on planet earth . 

  19. What the heck? I thought he was just on hiatus.. now nobody can find him? At least I can find comfort in others just like me who are wondering the same thing. This is sad. Come back Mr Inoue. Please?

    • No one has heard anything for a long time and even though we tend to think the worst as that’s human nature, we really have no idea.

      • According to Japanese Wiki , in 2009 ( 2 years after his last release Inland ) he was residing in the USA and not in Japan . Whether or not he is still there is anybody’s guess .

      • Inland’s perfection makes this all the more alarming, his disappearance at the height of his powers. I hope he is found safe and sound.

      • I think I solved the mystery . Tetsu is short for the name Tetsunosuke . I did a Zabasearch for a Tetsunosuke Inoue and found this !!! Background Check on Tetsunosuke Inoue

        Tetsunosuke Inoue More Info on Tetsunosuke Inoue Check for Email Address Google
        2350 Broadway
        New York, NY 10024 (212) 724-2987

      • Wow, after all these years he still lives at that address? If true, that’s great. I can go up there at some point and check.

      • It’s an apartment building ( 300 + apts. ) on the upper West side …

      • Yes, I know, it’s where he recorded 2350 Broadway. I think it was his last known address but I’m not sure anyone actually checked to see if he still lives there. I go up there sometimes so I could ask the doorman, if there is one.

      • At least we have a possible lead . I should have become a detective lol ! Awaiting positive news . Cheers -

  20. Has anyone tried calling that phone number?

  21. There’s another address and in Zabasearch as well. With a different phone number too.

    Tetsunosuke Inoue
    36 Overlook Dr
    Lanesville, NY 12450 (845) 688-7908

  22. Catskills ? Weekend / summer retreat ?

  23. $4 bedrooms …2 baths …207,000 value …can’t buy a modest apartment in the Tokyo suburbs for that …http://www.homes.com/property/36-overlook-dr-lanesville-ny-12450/id-400019585338/

  24. Why doesn’t somebody in the USA call the phone numbers ?

  25. One of my posts got stuck in awaiting moderation I think because I posted website links so I will repost this third address from one of the background check sites which says this is another known address for Tetsu:

    700 Olima
    Sausalito, CA 94965

    This address is linked to Tetsunosuke Inoue and the 2350 Broadway address in the background check site.

    Is this possibly an address where Tetsu lived before moving to NY? It sold in March 2008 to a new owner. Isn’t that right around the time Tetsu essentially disappeared? It’s a $1,200,000 home!

  26. No doubt Tetsu’s family are wealthy . I say that knowing Japan as well as I do after having lived here for almost 29 years . No poor kid can embark on a life of being an ambient musician without financial backing from family . How much could he have made from CDs ? Not enough to afford a house in Sausalito and an apt. on the upper west side of NYC that’s for sure .

  27. wow, i have been so out of the ambient scene… I just found out from this site that Peter Namlook died 2 years ago… My world has literally been shaken… i mean, I am in shock and may shed tears. And now Tetsu is likely missing? Is there some sort of conspiracy going on here?? Both Inoue and Namlook have influenced me perhaps more that any other musician has. This is all just too much to take.

  28. I love all of Inoue album and anxiously wait for any word on his whereabouts. I just wanted to post so I can be counted among all of you. I am curious to know just how many Inoue fan are out there. If there any kind of collaborative effort to find him please feel free to contact me for any assistance from my part.

  29. hi, all. tetsu was a friend of mine in the bay area and then in new york city. i haven’t been in touch with him for several years; my impression is that he returned to japan for family reasons. the sausalito address is the home of some friends of tetsu’s; he house-sat for them during the summer for a number of years. the upstate address is probably near where he recorded in woodstock toward the end of his time in the states. that’s all i know: i’d love to get back in touch with him, but my guess is he doesn’t want to be found.

  30. Been looking for a Tetsu update for years. Just another fan here.

  31. Tetsu Inoue is one of my all time inspirations. Zenith is my favourite Fax album. Is there a facebook page we can dedicate to him at all ? Hi Phonaut this is dan we haven’t spoken in years. I would like to keep updated. Hopefully we can get him to make more lovely music.

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