by Fled Tokyo, Tune ouT Tokyo @ BANK30
Moscoman has been coming yearly to Japan since 2017 to recharge his creative juices and get re-inspired for his relentless world-wide tour, for his myriad releases of clubby indie rock music, and for the endless artist releases on his very own label Disco Halal.
Tune ouT Tokyo was able to sit down with Moscoman for an in-depth interview at BANK30 in the WATERS Takeshiba Complex, Minato City, Tokyo.
Interview with Moscoman and Fled Tokyo for Tune ouT Tokyo.
日本語記事(DIGLE MAGAZINE掲載)はこちら> https://mag.digle.tokyo/interview/172427
THE MOSCOMAN TOKYO INTERVIEW
Tune ouT Tokyo presents its first live interview with international DJ, label boss, music production machine, the man himself Moscoman.
Thank you for joining us today in Tokyo at BANK30 in the WATERS Takeshiba complex.
Moscoman: Happy to be here thank you.
Moscoman inside BANK30 there is a grand piano converted into a DJ booth.
Have you ever performed on a setup like this?
Not on a piano, but I’m sure some other weird setups I’ve had during my 15 or 20 years of career already.
Last year in September you played on Mayan Warrior on the behemoth art car sound stage at Burning Man.
Can you tell us more about this magical event and what it was like to perform there?
I think whoever hasn’t experienced Burning Man in their life they should for at least one time, especially if they are a fan of electronic music, art and in general nature it’s a very good place to combine all of them.
And I had a blast, I had a beautiful sunrise, the first sunrise on the Mayan Warrior truck in the festival and it was something very memorable for sure.
The world is yet to use the term post-COVID, but things seem to be returning back to normal. Of course many things have changed, if they haven’t ended, and other things have taken new directions.
Over the last 3 years how have you been affected by this and if there are any silver linings?
It’s been for me a very good time to reflect on stuff and to understand what I love more and what I like less than. To find a balance between the artist side and the business side. And thankfully on one day I decided to do some like a demo shows on Twitch and then that helped me to connect to a lot of people which I felt with them, that we were all in the same boat while COVID was happening.
I feel at this point we’re pretty much back to usual business and more, much more than it used to be before. So I’m happy to that we all have the time to figure out exactly our next steps and now we’re going in those steps.
It’s safe to say you’re no longer a stranger to Tokyo and Japan.
From my knowledge you’ve been here nearly every year since 2019 you have spent the end of your winter in Japan.
The rest of the year your travel schedule is heavy, you continue to produce music non-stop, and you run the label Disco Halal promoting an endless list of artists.
Is Japan your island of refuge to recharge your creative juices and be inspired?
Actually 2017. I think that 100% I can say that Japan is the most inspiring place for me for how I think life should be. The way that I like life…the order, the attention to details, the tastes, the flavors, the sense, the sounds of the jazz bars that I go to, all the record bars, all the record shops, in general transportation, everything about Japan makes me super inspired. And yeah I’ll keep coming here until I’ll be able to just stay and not go.
You have been married to Nuphar for over two years now.
Each year since then your career gets busier and busier with your hectic tour schedule, your non-stop music productions/remixes and your label to run.
How do you keep your work-life balance?
Happily we’ve decided to put both of our efforts in the same direction so if I do the music side she will do the creative side of everything from art to the design of all the graphics and in general she’s the biggest inspiration for what I do in my life. And we’ve been together now for around eight years and we live…we have a certain direction of life that we go in and we go like hand-in-hand. So symbiotic and goes together.
You guys travel together a lot?
As much as we can if it’s for extensive time like here in Japan or we’re going for a few weeks to some place so we go together or if it’s a normal gig weekend that I go for a couple of days so usually…unless it’s something special so I travel alone.
I remember Nuphar used to have a photographic exhibition.
Is that going to happen this year?
This year no, but we are laying the grounds for the future stuff it’s been difficult to…especially with COVID times…because the travel wasn’t so busy and the photography and stuff that she does is based on travel like last time so it’s been difficult to create but, now it’s already like I said we’re in the post-COVID situation already so now it’s the time that we’re working on the future. Hopefully in the next few months.
As a young Chen Mosco growing up, who and what were your pivotal musical influences in terms of people, music or places, perhaps Goa, that resonate in your life to this day?
I’m not so young anymore, it’s been…I’ve had many many influences on me. I think as a kid the most influential, like most people, was Michael Jackson and from the pop side, and all the rhythm and blues and this kind of vibe to Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin and Nirvana and all the grunge scene and so it was always a mix of these two, a very kind of like rhythmic life, but at the same time guitars and more grunge and more just head music, so it’s I think that was the majority of the inspirations.
With the time in the past 5-6 years I’m more into jazz and listening to more classical music. So slowly I’m just developing the sound of myself more and more in the way that I think about creating music and in general what I listen to.
Do you have any Japanese artists that you listen to?
I listen to a lot of the classics, but like Aliessio, Hosono and all the classics Y.M.O. The Y.M.O. crew of course I love everything individually whatever they do because they are also this kind of mix all of it together from 80’s music to classical music to soundtracks, video games they do pretty much, not that I am comparing myself, but I feel very similar to this kind of music that you need to create…whatever you can create.
So this is the direction that also I think about. But then how many, I’m very bad with names, but many like Takehiro Honda. Many many old school Japanese jazz Ryu Fukui, I don’t know how say it, but very classic Japanese jazz musicians.
I think you mentioned Susumu Yokota in your Resident Advisor Mix in 2017?
Probably, yeah. Too much (influences).
Andrew Weatherall, like yourself, was a guest of the Huit Etoiles DJ crew at Vent pre-COVID.
He sadly passed months after that event. The Guv’nor’s memory still resonates here in Tokyo as it does around the world.
Do you have any memories of Andrew Weatherall you can share with us?
I have many. With Andrew actually I got the notice that he died the moment we landed from Tokyo. We had to fly because COVID started so we had to we had to leave and the moment we landed and I (opened my phone and) connected again to the phone and I saw and I started to cry because usually I already get off flight mode when we land so the moment that we have some wifi connection. So I just burst into tears when we landed and for many many reasons from leaving Japan and a foresight of what’s going to be in the world for the next few years.
I had the chance to play with him a few times, Love From Outerspace, him and Sean and I played many times with Sean also, otherwise than that one time I had an amazing encounter with him in Bristol, no it was Leeds train station just literally we’re both walking one direction and him (asking each other) “What are you doing here?” I was just DJing and I was just visiting a friend. Okay let’s keep in touch. Here gave me the email, this was a few years back, and then I sent him all the music. He just wrote me back “This is the best music I’ve heard in the past few years”. I was like okay I don’t need to do much anymore.
Yeah I don’t know, (A.W. was a) big influence, big big hole in my inspiration and my creativity is a big hole. The fact that his passing is a big hole not only for me, for many people just feel like there’s nobody to, at this point, to look up to and nobody that you want to impress in what you do. But you know you got to keep doing the stuff and hopefully to come to a point that will have any effect, even the 10% effect of what he had on us, that we will have on the future generation of artists.
In September of last year you did the event Stranger Than: Dubfire b2b Moscoman party at Superior Ingredients in Brooklyn, New York.
The first Dubfire Moscoman back-to-back seems to be at Brunch-In the City Barcelona at Park De La Bederrida.
How did you and Ali get together to form this beautiful union that bridges over cultures?
I think we even did one before in March, not in March, in December already in Miami and it happened from we were in touch a few months before, even a couple of years before, just exchanging like messages, random messages on WhatsApp, and then the show that I mentioned at the beginning, the Twitch show that I had the demos or the A&R Sessions I used to call it. So I invited him to come be a part of the show. And then we just formed a nice relationship with each other and one day I just offered “Hey do you want to play together?” and he’s like sure and since then we’ve been playing this.
The one in Madrid was 5,000-6,000 people, it was in Barcelona, it was insane. Really one of the best gigs I think I had in my life with him because I love our connection and the music we play together because we are so different we find the middle so it’s super nice.
Same for New York…New York was a whole night event and we went to an amazing pizza before, we even got another pizza we put in the back in the backstage, every time someone felt like okay I’m a little tired I got to go freshen up, you know because if you play 5-6 hours, okay go get another slice of pizza. It was fun. Fun times.
I heard he likes to eat…
Good people. Yeah.
In Tokyo, pre-COVID, he’d show up at a little bar called Aoyama Tent where I ran into him a bunch of times.
He’s a really interesting guy and really fun to be with and a really positive, super positive person in this scene.
Without question you have a mastery over music production and the ability to produce dance floor hits like waves around the globe.
You also have the ability to work with countless artists in collaborative projects.
What collaborations and releases in 2023 can you tell us about?
Happily I’m going to release my next EP at the end of April, which is going to be on Disco Halal, it’s going to be on vinyl, it’s going to be a full EP. I released one last year in September, or I don’t remember at this point, so this is going to be cool.
And then I’m working on the next album, the next full LP which will be hopefully by the end of the year and it’s going to be, I can’t share anymore, share yet the collaborations, but it’s going to be like the last album which I collaborated a lot of cool new indie artists and it shows, you know, in between the more pop side, not indie dance, but like the indie rock and the indie music that I like to create.
So it’s…hopefully it will be by the end of this year it will be out also.
In Japan, from the deep pool of producers from Soichi Terada to Satoshi Tomiie, who would you like to do a dream collaboration with and why?
I think Satoshi was the very big inspiration back-in-the-day. I think we also spoke a few times for him to remix something of mine, I remember that I sent him. And Soichi I met him a few times and he’s just a ball of fun and good energy and always fun to be around.
I’m open, I’m open for everything. I don’t know, I wish I knew more about and I’m trying to dig more about the new, what’s going to happen next, the new generation and hopefully there will be more kids that will be into doing this kind of music, like good dance music.
You released on I’m A Cliche, Moshi Moshi Records, Crosstown Rebels, Eskimo Recordings, ESP Institute and of course your own label Disco Halal.
Last month in January you released the EP Adventura on Crosstown Rebels. The A1 track Adventura is a caramel cosmic chugger with lovely twists.
What unreleased tracks are you thinking about playing this month at your gigs in Tokyo?
I think many from the whole EP that I mentioned is going to be the very quirky, clubby, Moscoman vibes so I’ll play that for sure. But usually I always say in interviews and in general to whoever asks, not that many people ask, that I don’t play my own music too much when I DJ, I prefer to play music that other people do because first and foremost when I go DJ, I’m a DJ, and it’s all about selecting the right tunes and not all the time my tunes are the tunes that they fit. But also I can find a couple that will fit in the set and I will use them.
You have two gigs in Japan, so one of them being Vent…?
Can you tell us about them?
I’m doing Circus this Friday in Osaka, then Saturday at Vent with Mustache X and K.E.G. in their party…Brian Ray, their party they haven’t done in a few years and they’re so super happy to do it when I told them, if they want to do something together and they’re like yeah let’s do it, let’s bring it back and do something cool together.
And then I’m going to Yebisu Ya Pro in Okayama which is I think one of the most, I don’t know, Okayama in general I think if you haven’t been there it’s a super super cool city, the origins of jeans in Japan, people are super nice, the clubs are not packed like Tokyo, but everyone is kind of music head and they are super into what you do. So it’s going to be an exciting gig as well.
Well Moscoman, thank you kindly for taking time today. Enjoy the rest of your stay and your gigs in Japan. Fled Tokyo signing off from BANK30 for Tune ouT Tokyo.
INTERVIEWER: Fled Tokyo, Tune ouT Tokyo
LOCATION: BANK30, Takeshiba WATERS Complex, Minato City, Tokyo
EVENT: MOSCOMAN @ Circus, Osaka > March 10th, 2023
EVENT: BRIAN WAY @ Vent, Tokyo > March 11th, 2023
EVENT: MOSCOMAN @ Yabisuya Pro, Okayama > March 17th, 2023
EVENT: MOSCOMAN @ Red Bar, Tokyo > March 25th, 2023
Tune ouT Tokyo thanks Moscoman, Hagihara-san and Akiyama-san from BANK30, and Kousuke from the BRIAN RAY party and Vent, Tokyo.
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