Mixmaster Morris was and is one of the leading lights in the world of chill out music. He's responsible for some truly groundbreaking releases back in the day and keeps busy DJ'ing around the world and dominating the charts at Mixcloud in multiple genres. Morris truly lives and breathes music, and it is a pleasure to check in with him for ten questions...
1/ Being a “chillout” dj now is far removed from how things were in the early 90’s - can you tell us about the chill rooms you did at Lost and Megatripolis and give a sense of then vs now ?
In the 90s i popularised the idea of the chillout room as an essential part of any rave party. Lost was a Detroit-techno based event, with giants like Derrick May, Carl Craig, Jeff Mills, so I featured Detroit ambient tracks heavily but also other sounds of abstract electronica. Megatripolis was more psychedelically inspired, so I went deep into 60s and 70s music, Krautrock and early electronica....
In the early days there was a complete sense of freedom, that you could play almost anything that wasn't pounding techno
2/ You included Terrence McKenna in your track Mountain High [Live] - did you work together on that tune ? What inspired you to work with his words and message ?
I was introduced to Terrence by Colin Angus, he did vocals on the Shamen’s last hit and even appeared on TOTP with them. Later on i did the music at a few of his shows, and i recorded some of his lectures from the desk while doing it. He was one of the most charismatic speakers i have ever seen, able to ramble for hours on any subject and still manage to draw all the threads together at the end
3/ Your first few albums Flying High and Global Chillage were notably psychedelic and made a huge impact. I remember hearing them and being amazed, and they certainly got lots of play at parties in Montreal where I was living at the time. Nowadays a trip through the Beatport chill chart just brings up mostly commercial rubbish - nowadays how important to you is depth, space and psychedelia ?
There is still an audience for deep, spacey music, just look at the figures on Mixcloud where I now have 34000 followers
4/ What music have you been working on recently ? anything coming up for release ?
I am doing a new album with Youth at the moment, and recently did a track with Chris Coco and another one with Japanese star Coppe.
I have a new single out in Japan, on the Psymatics label
5/ Gaudi’s been asking people this one and it is interesting to hear the answers - What is music to you ?
Music is organised sounds, but it can be so much more....
6/ A quick check of your mixcloud page shows that as a dj you are incredibly versatile - which is how it should be. Is there one particular style or sound that you like playing best ? or put another way, what kind of set do you enjoy the most - rammed club, chill by the beach or… ?
I cant understand people who only play one microgenre, its like eating nothing but one vegetable all your life. I like to do a long long set where I can dip into lots of genres
7/ You play in Japan often and seem to enjoy and dive into the culture - tell us 10 must do things for any of us who might visit...
If you go to Japan you have to...
1 Visit Kyoto where the old stuff remains
2 Go to a hot spring Ryokan
3 Visit Hokkaido for the best seafood especially giant crabs scallops salmon...
4 Laugh at teenage fashions in Takeshitadori
5 Visit the old capital and the Giant Buddha at Kamakura
6 Drink the finest sake, shochu, awamori, umeshu
7 Have a picnic under the cherry blossoms
8 Try japanese herbal medicine - kanpo
9 Go to tropical Okinawa and eat Goya Champuru, Soki Soba, Rafute...
10 Wander round Akihabara, mecca of the nerds
8/ What gives you inspiration ?
Knowing that at any moment you might hear a piece of music that could change your life forever
9/ What was your favourite location to perform at this last year ?
So many good parties last year, i particularly enjoyed Glastonbury fest and Ozora in Hungary .....
And Bali which i visited for the 1st time...
10/ What country in the world would you most like to visit ?
I still haven't played in Brazil or China
And I want to go to Vietnam, Laos, New Zealand, Mongolia, Egypt...