Warmth at the centre: Mogwaa’s genre agnosticism will ignite your curiosity

today13/07/2023 24

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What is it about Seoul that gives you inspiration? How do you think the city differs from everywhere else/what is unique about the dance music scene?

There are so many layers in Seoul. I have lived in Seoul for most of my life, at the same site since I was a baby. And there are still new things I discover when I take a walk in the neighbourhood. I can’t say if it inspires me musically, but it definitely inspires me emotionally.

Can you tell us something about the music in Seoul that no one else knows?

I’m researching and archiving this music called ‘짝(Jjak)’. It’s the music played at the cabaret, which is a club for seniors in Korea. It’s deeply connected to their dance, which has pretty obvious form and actually this style/term has started from the dance. So “짝(Jjak)’ is Korean expression for the clap sound and both music and dance gives accent on 2-4 Clap beat. This music may sound cheesy for some people, but the musicians are using almost the same or similar instruments that are used in electronic music production but with a different approach. These artists started their career in the ’70s or ’80s and they’re still in the business. But the whole scene is getting old, also the pioneers have begun to retire. So at some point, I felt obliged to archive and record this scene otherwise it might just fade away.

Can you tell us about one of your favourite parties you’ve played at?

Maybe I’ll pick two. One was when my label WALLS AND PALS invited Mr.Ho to play in Seoul. I still can feel the energy from that day. Everyone who participated on that day still remembers the day as one of the best days they played. And the other was also in Seoul, when Peggy played as a secret guest. It’s really hard to see Peggy playing at a club, especially in Seoul. And people really rush when she’s playing at the club. Both parties were held at one of my favourite clubs in Seoul, Modeci.

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How would you like audiences to listen to your music? What would you like them to take away once they’ve listened?

I want audiences to listen to my music to find out who Mogwaa is. So I want them to take away the genre/style of the music once they’ve listened to certain album or track from me. There are so many inspirations forming who I am and I’m always on the journey to interpreting them with my own musical language. And I feel like I’m still on the sketching stage. Hopefully one day I wish I could show the final drawings for the audience.

What is coming up next for you?

I’m planning to do an overnight event with me doing everything. Covering whole club hours by myself. Could be DJing for two hours, play live for two hours and another DJ set for three hours, but still figuring it out. We always talk about if there are new fun things when I hang out with friends, and suddenly I came up with this idea. So I’m just talking out to push myself and make it happen. But seriously, this might happen in few months, just looking at the date now. And also me and Jesse You’s label WALLS AND PALS and Thai label More Rice are working on the split release which will be out around September. Another thing is I’m working on my own imprint to release my personal works. First one would be the music I made without a midi or computer. Me playing guitar, bass, synth and wurlitzer, plus rhythm boxes such as Roland CR8000 and Maestro Rhythm King, recorded and mixed directly on 4-track cassette recorder.

Can you tell us about this mix?

It’s all about the groove and funkiness when I DJ, and I also love to play music from my friends. So for this mix, I played tunes that I want to hear on the floor and vibe. Breaks, electro beats, syncopated rhythms and swing, plus friends. That’s what you can hear from this mix.

Megan Townsend is Mixmag’s Deputy Editor, follow her on Twitter

Neo Image ‘??’
Orlando Detroit Connection ‘Detroit After Hours’
Mr.Ho ‘Angel Number 909’
DJ Icey ‘Not A Test’ (DJ Icey’s Cold Groove Mix)
Rakim Under ‘Blind’
DJ Swagger x Luz1e ‘Back 2 Earth’
Simo of Y2K92 ‘Cofrica’
Luca Lozano ‘Summer Of Love’ (DJ Steve Remix)
Rd But & Gyn ‘Body 2 Body’
Om Unit x TM404 ‘Motorway Acid’
Knopha ‘??’
Scott Grooves ‘Coco Brown’
J.D. Hall ‘Into You’ (Johnathan Morning Mix)

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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