Soulastic Sunday Interview with Mori Ra

Some weeks ago i did write about Mori Ra who is a Japanese producer and a DJ who has become famous for his edits. He is now back in Japan after a 12 day long US tour on the west coast so thankfully we did get a interview with him.


So tell us something about yourself when did you start DJ-ing & making music and what made you start DJing/ producing music?

I started DJing at the age of 30 when i started a party called “PURMOOON” with friends from the college age in a bar called “Caliente” in Osaka ‘s Misono Building. Nowdays, the PURMOON party has moved to Bar Cauliflower  in Shinsaibashi and is still active today.

One of the reasons for making edits was that after i graduated from college i got a job at a recording studio for TV and radio, where i learned the techniques of music editing and recording.

I have been buying various records since high school and i purchased EPs of edits released by Ron Hardy, DJ Harvey and Idjut Boys influenced me to start to create edits.

If you listen to these records i started to think that i can also do edits. Initially, it teached me the technique of making edits like DJ Ground – “Niagra Pink” which is edited on the 御山△Edit-EP  .

Until i was 30 years old i did play drums in an experimental band for a long time since my college days. The band’s guitarist is Masaki Kubo which is currently still active under the name Former_Airline .

We did hang out at Osaka ‘s underground live venue , Bears. Bears is operated by ex-Boredoms guitarist, Seiichi Yamamoto and he and me are currently doing separate activities, but i am really pleased to vigorously continuing making music activities with each other beyond the age of 40.
Although , nothing has been released yet and we have worked on a remix for a long time this year but i think that it will probably be released so please look forward to it.

You just came back from your US west coast tour, how was it?

The west coast tour has become a wonderful thing and It was the first time for me to go to the west coast. Sam from Forest Jams Records organized and attended me throughout the tour. Also, Curt from Rotating Souls Records’ came from Atlanta so i was very happy.

Santa Cruz’s Peoples Disco, San Francisco’s Phonobar, Los Angeles’ Heat-Wave, The Standard Hotel’s rooftop, were all really wonderful parties and i have made lots of new friends.

How would you describe the scene in Japan compared to rest of the world?

I felt that going to US west coast tours, Europe tours, Australia and South Korea, i saw that there was a difference in closing time for the venues and playing time for the DJs depending on which country you are in and i did notice the differences in regulations by each country.

In Japan, the party will continue until 5 , 6 or 8 in the morning . Although, it is getting harder due to the regulations and the playing time for DJs ranges from 1 hour to 2 hours, but overseas it can be 3 hours , 5 hours, 6 hours DJ-sets.

Also, there is a wide range of the age of the crowd on the parties abroad,ranging from young people to old people on the dance floor. But for the case of Japan, we see very little of that sight when it comes to wide age group that are dancing on the same dance floor. …Hmm, I am jealous about the scene abroad for that point.

You are from Osaka, do you think living in Osaka has influenced your style of music?

To be exact, I am not from Osaka but from Wakayama Prefecture. When i went to university i moved to Osaka.

Osaka has influenced my music style, I have been passing through Osaka’s record shops all the time so i encountered a big variety of music and i think that it have influenced my music.

There is a good record shop in Osaka and there where record shops that are now closed, but there really was a lot of record shops in the past, and i was able to listen and discover good music from the record shop owner who was familiar with the music.

You have made many edits , how would you describe your style?

My edit will usually be completed within a half a day to a day, It is like a diary. I am acquiring skills when working in the studio, so i think the speed of my editing work is very fast, so i will edit a lot.
I am listening to the record in the room and thinking that i want to edit it so it will fit my DJ-set. Then i cut the dubplate and play it in my set.

In your opinion what are the hardest and most challenging part of making edits?

I have never felt that there is hard or the most challenging part in making edits, but the most difficult would the choice of the source of making the edit.

Who / what are our inspirations as a DJ and as an producer?

I get inspiration from various records, but I often get inspiration from music other than the genre which is said to be dance music or club music.

What gear do you use when DJing / Producing music?

Urei 1620 Mixer
Technics SL-1200MK5 2 units
Vestax DCR-1200

Producing music:
Mac OS 9 / Protools 24 MIX
Soundcraft 24 channel 8 bus analog mixer
Roland’s Space Echo 101 and 201
Yamaha analog delay E1010

You just released “Reconstruction For A New Age”-EP on CockRing d’Amore label which sounds cool! ,what is the story behind that EP?

Like everyone else, i have always liked Manuel Göttsching E2-E4  . And as you know, E2-E4 is not a track in the category of dance music.
During this period of time i picked up records from the New Age-style mainly from my record shelf and i did edit so it sounds more like dance music but influenced by the E2E4-EP

Record of New Age has a soft rhythm so i did ad beats from bottom up, sometimes playing at 33 rpm and record at 45 rpm to make the BPM faster, add a variety of sounds and add a variety of ideas to the edit, that’s it.

What EP would you recommend to the readers right now?

I hardly do recommend anything because i do not purchase any new EPs.
However, Charles Earland – Odyssey LP is recommended. I bought it as soon as that record was played at a record shop that i visited in San Francisco during the West coast tour. Although, it may be a famous album, it is funky synth jazz, which can be purchased very cheaply trough Discogs.

So,what are your plans for the future? Any gigs in Europe?

This year there will be a new release from me on Berceuse Heroique and a joint release of Forest Jams Records and Rotating Souls Records 2LP. Both are finished uploading so i think that i will probably be working on the mastering.I think it will be released later this year.

Europe tour is still to be determined and i left the agent. So i need a good organizer or a agent to plan a tour and if you are a good agent or organizer please contact this email.