The Tokyo DJ ramps up the tempo.
Lil Mofo is a hard-working DJ, playing up to three or four gigs a week in her home city, Tokyo. She travels around the Japanese capital's rich network of venues, just as content playing reggae in a backstreet bar as she is banging out techno in a large nightclub. (She recorded this podcast in Grassroots, one of the city's best-loved small venues.) It was at one of these gigs that she caught the attention of The Trilogy Tapes founder Will Bankhead, who heard her playing dancehall records and commissioned a TTT mixtape, which came out earlier this year. Like many of her peers in Tokyo, she juggles her gigs with a day job—she says it's her aim as a DJ to help overworked people "feel better in this super-stressed society."
Lil Mofo returned to Japan about 12 months back after a couple of years in London, where she held a regular NTS Radio slot, Only The Lonely, that showcased her tastes in everything from reggae and dancehall to techno, ambient and drum & bass. On her RA podcast, she pushes the tempo past the 140 BPM mark, bringing together gnarly electronics, jungle, hardcore, electro, techno and trance.
What have you been up to recently?
Day job and DJing.
How and where was the mix recorded?
Recorded live at Q's Bar Grassroots, our local spot and where I grew up. I used an Alpha music mixer made for Grassroots, 2 SL-1200MK5G, Edirol and Audacity.
Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
Image of a night out. Anxiety, expectation, trouble and fun. Every tune is my favourite.
You keep up a busy DJ schedule in Tokyo. How would you describe the health of the scene right now?
Nearly dying. Everybody's desperate, most of all talented young people dreaming to get out of here. What I can do is just do what I can do (DJ) to mix up the people to feel better in this super-stressed society.
What are your favourite places to play in Tokyo?
I love playing at small bars, reggae soundsystems, techno clubs and warehouses—it's all fun and I've been doing it in parallel for long time. No place is always fresh and banging these days, sadly, but if you're keen I'm sure you can bump into something nice!
What are you up to next?
Excited to start a show on LYL Radio from this month. Also I'm going out to play in Shanghai, NYC and Taipei this year so really looking forward to it!