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Mo' Horizons - Jazz On The Harbour

Author: Huwston
Friday, 8 February 2008
Mo’ Horizons are the original jazzy Germans. Along with their Berlin counterparts Jazzanova, they put Deutchland on the map in the late ’90s for having a depth of understanding of all things rhythmic outside of just a cheeky cha-cha sample or dusty programmed hi-hat. 3D’s Huwston talks with Ralf Droesemeyer.

The German love affair with Jazz is nothing new, with the MPS label being the pantheon of what it is to be a European admirer of the genre, however Mo’Ho have always enjoyed success around the world for their particularly Latin-fused take on Jazz.

“It was planned that we were coming as just two DJs,” Droesemeyer says of their upcoming Oz tour, “but at the moment it’s looking as though it is just me coming because my partner Foh (Mark ‘Foh’ Wetzler) has heavy health problems.”

Agreeing that a hectic schedule with a lot of flights makes this difficult if not impossible, he and the promoters are working on other elements to bring to the show, such as Timbales, and Droesemeyer is no stranger to session musicians, a live band or even a sound system vibe.

“We are a DJ project but some years ago we put together a live band because there were so many requests for that,” he says in reference to the dizzy heights the duo enjoyed after the follow up to their debut Come Touch The Sun reached. “We were touring for one and a half years and it was becoming boring – we were always playing the same thing, playing from the same programme and not really growing. Because we’re coming from the freestyle direction we love to be really free in what we can play every night. Since a few years we are making a sound system with a musician and singer so we’re playing freestyle and they are improvising on top of that.”

When pressed on whether or not Droesemeyer prefers to shine on the decks for the whole two or three hours himself, he is definite in his answer that he prefers mixing it up with a buddy.

“If there is a point where you don’t know what to do, then the other person is there, you know-” he says. “But the money situation is going really down these days. Last year I was playing most of the gigs on my own and it’s a pity ’cause we do like to play together.”

However not bitter, Ralf remains positive about the changes.

“For the DJ scene it’s a good thing because for a lot of years the DJ was overpaid,” he suggests. “What I’m seeing at the moment is the live music is becoming more important, live musicians deserve to get a better payment and that’s a really good thing.”

WHO: Mo’Horizons
WHAT: Play Turntables On The Harbour, Sydney Harbour
WHEN: Saturday 23 February
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