Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Event Review: Sunburn presents Paolo Mojo w/ INTERVIEW

It was exactly five years ago (or was it six?) when I first heard about Paolo Mojo. He'd just got his name out there with a reputation for being one of the hardest working DJs in the circuit. He was starting to get regular sets of gigs around the world and his production work was getting signed to some big labels - the Discotech EP on Honchos Music will always be a mainstay record in my box. Was fortunate to catch him at an extremely intimate venue on Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles back then... the set was one of my heaviest influences as a DJ. More than anything else, it was his ability to gel together such a diverse variety of house music with such ease that really held my interest. It was one of the few nights where the music by itself was what made the night fun.

Five years have passed and Paolo is globetrotting all over the world, more than you can imagine, hell he's in Tokyo this weekend. The Mojo discography has electronica's finest music ranging from the best of Techno, Progressive and Techhouse. His mixed compilation for the legendary Balance series still has people talking, he's got an extremely in-demand record label - Oosh with an equally popular podcast known as the Ooshcast. Looks like the tireless hard work has paid off for Paolo Mojo and I couldn't think of a better DJ more deserving. 

REVIEW - Sunburn (PDM in association w/ Nikhil Chinapa) presents Paolo Mojo@Pebbles, Bangalore: I'd be surprised (in a bad way) if you didn't know Paolo Mojo was touring all over India late last month... get out of your cave! Well after five long years, thanks to the people organizing the Sunburn Festival, I got the opportunity to catch Paolo rocking a dance floor in Bangalore. Held at one of my favourite venues in the city, Pebbles, it was a big night to look forward to. 

In Pic: The Pebbles crowd

Unfortunately, the event being held at an outdoor club backfired with the monsoons hitting the city in torrential fashion. Mind you, this didn't do much in deterring the Bangalore crowd from losing their minds with Paolo Mojo and the rest of the big Indian DJs who played that night. Massive kudos must go to PDM and the rest of the event organizers who did a brilliant job in moving the the party indoors - though the speakers at the back were kaput.

Kicked myself, due to the heavy traffic, I missed Arjun Vagale's (from Jalebee Cartel) set. Friends tell me it was perfect, feel good techhouse with funk filled basslines that stood their ground. Walked into Paolo Mojo just killing it... and totally working the crowd (a bit of sausagefest, but very very up for it). It was a sweaty mess, throbbing and all round mental. The kids were lapping up Paolo. When I saw him in LA, he was relatively shy, pretty focused on his mixer. In Bangalore he was vibing it with the punters, all smiles, hands in the air, clapping and jigging. He's a star, no doubt. 

In Pic: Paolo Mojo

Musically, in all honesty, there were tons of ups but a few downs as well. As usual, you could tell he felt the need to play a few recognizable remixes (Prodigy and 'Sweet Dreams' to name a few) for the Indian crowd - which in my opinion isn't required of a DJ of Paolo's caliber. Having said that, the really special part of his set came during the last half hour. He played a combination of Nathan Fake's 'Outhouse' and an acid infused remix of Donna Summers' 'I Feel Love.' Took me back to the good old days for sure, so maybe you got to respect his decision to take the recognizable route. 

[rantmode/]I do feel the need to comment on something though. Can we all stop making requests when your favourite DJ is playing? Be it his own productions or a tune you heard in one of his sets you downloaded? I can promise you, the tune you want to hear becomes all the more special when your favourite DJ plays it without being told to do so. By making requests we're not getting a DJ's true art of programming. FFS I'm not here to hear your favourite playlist, I'm here to hear Paolo's playlist. No matter who the DJ is, can we please fuck off with the requests and leave it to the DJ to decide what he should play? I mean, that's what being a DJ is all about isn't it?[rantmode/]

In Pic: Nikhil Chinapa, Arjun Vagale  

In Pic: Vachan Chinnappa

Anyways, with Vachan Chinnappa capping off the night with some absolutely mind boggling stripped down Detroit techno, the Sunburn Festival's Bangalore gig turned out to be wicked awesome. The heavy downfall of rain didn't prove to be a downer, like proper troopers we rocked it hard. With a diverse combination of EDM ranging from feel good techhouse to brutal techno courtesy of Arjun Vagale, the one and only Paolo Mojo and the Bacchus Beast Vachan Chinnappa - you can't help but think about how big the actual Sunburn Festival is going to be. More to the point, fingers crossed, we'll have the pleasure of seeing Paolo Mojo work it on the beaches of Goa in December, at the actual festival. Holding tight for the next Sunburn teaser event... :)

Check out pictures from the Sunburn Tour presents PAOLO MOJO album: Click here
Photographs courtesy of Lucky Malhotra,

Paolo was kind enough to take some time to answer a few a questions about his latest tour in India... Enjoy the interview homies. - SG

In an exclusive interview with YHIHF, Paolo Mojo discusses his latest seven city tour in India with the Sunburn organizers, his legendary Balance CD, the story behind the cult track 1983 and much more!

You recently did a five-city tour in India – that’s pretty much every big city in this country. What was your perception of the crowds and the scene in general? What was your favourite Indian city?
They were all good in different ways. I did two additional gigs as well so I saw seven cities to play at. The enthusiasm of the people shines through, I would suggest India is one of the healthiest growing scenes in the world at the moment, for electronic music.

Judging by your experience with the organizers of the Sunburn Festival – how much of a success do you think this annual event is? Has the deal been brokered for your India comeback in Goa this December?
Well, I have no idea how the festival is because I've never been to it, but if my tour was anything to go by I'm sure it's going to be a huge success. I have no idea if I will be asked to play this year or not, but I would love to do it.

Who have inspired you inside and outside of music and why?
Everything inspires me or has the potential to. Books, films, documentaries, your environment, the people who you spend time with. I think this feeds into music just as much as music itself.

It seems the sheer numbers in which mixed compilations use to be released have slowed down a great deal over the years, can you comment on this?
Well it's slowed down because ten years ago a mix cd was still a desirable thing. Nowadays people don't need to buy music in its physical format and you can make your own DJ mixes very easily.

You’ve done a mix for the legendary Balance series – can you tell us what it was like working with this label?  
Working with Tom Pandzic and Balance was a hugely rewarding experience. They are great people.

You’ve always been an extremely popular DJ, but I think when Eric Prydz remixed your tune 1983, you really propelled and achieved real global status. I remember hearing it on Nic Fanciulli’s Mixmag mix very early and suddenly two years later it became cult on the dance floor. Tell us the story behind this track...
I decided to write a song at my house, that reflected a lot of the early 80s vibe that was happening at the time. It was Spring, 2004. That demo tune sat around for a year before Eric heard it and put it on his own Mixmag CD and subsequently signed it to Pryda. It took him an age to remix it and I remember being annoyed with him because he hadn’t done it in time for me to include on my Balance CD haha. Anyway he took my elements and made something classic I think. A proper epic record. I'm just glad people still enjoy it.

If there’s any DJ who knows the ups and downs of a DJ lifestyle it’s you (a couple years back, while Paolo was globetrotting on gigs, he came down with a very serious stomach infection and without exaggerating it was a near death experience for him). What are the pros and cons of being a world class DJ?
The same as anybody else really that involves travel and commitments to do things! It's really not that different or special. I guess the only thing is that because it's nightlife you're exposed to a different set of circumstances than a politician or a tennis player. That can make getting on flights difficult sometimes.

Is there any advice you would give to the budding DJs/Producers/Promoters here in India?
Just keep following the things that inspire you.

You are stuck on a deserted island with a life supply of batteries and a boom box, list out five life changing must-have albums you’d like to have with you?
This would change tomorrow, but today would be;
  1. Massive Attack - Protection
  2. The Stone Roses - The Stone Roses
  3. The Human League - Love and Dancing
  4. LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver
  5. Blur – Think Tank

Follow Paolo Mojo on Twitter: Click here
Join Paolo Mojo's Facebook Fan Page: Click here
Check out pictures from the Sunburn Tour presents PAOLO MOJO album: Click here


  1. Fantastic review and interview Sailen..I am really happy about what you wrote about people requesting djs to play their fav tunes. Absolutely no harm in asking, but,it must not become a regular habit every time.

    See you on sat at B52.Cheers :)

  2. Thanks a ton Rithesh... always fun interviewing and reviewing a legend. :D
    As for requests, haha, never been a fan of this (it's usually bhaattars with bhaattar requests), unless the DJ himself asks for them.

  3. PDM Lösung steht für Produktdatenmarketing Lösung. Dies ist in der Regel eine technische,
    prozessuale und wirtschaftliche Umsetzung zur Durchführung des Produktdatenmarketings.

  4. Sunburn is always fun. Best way to escape from all the worries in Life. :D

  5. Hats off to you for writing such a big informative article. Hope you have enjoyed in music festival..


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