Kantocast 003 - Ko Shin Moon - Transcription: Early Electronic Approaches Of Oriental Sounds
Cosmopolitanism, omnisightseeing and transcendence are the creeds of Ko Shin Moon. A French formation born in Paris from the artistic fusion between Axel Moon and Niko Shin, adepts of ethno-musical and eclectic musical experiments. Ko Shin Moon seeks to push genre boundaries further by blending traditional and pop repertoire, and instruments from different parts of the world and electronic analog sounds.
Ko Shin Moon joined us for our third podcast and here's some transaction between Kanto and Axel of Ko Shin Moon!
Kanto: How did your musical journey start?
Axel: I started making music at about age 15, with a guitar. I was listening mainly Rock, Psychedelic, Garage... After sometime, I developed an interest in traditional music, mainly Indian. I studied Ethnomusicology at University, then I went to India to study Sitar for about 4 years. When I came back I got more and more into central Asian and Middle Eastern music, firstly Afghan then Turkish, Greek and North African. I also slowly discovered 80’s and 90’s pop music from those areas, in which they use drum machine and synth. From this point on I got into old-school electronic music, synthesizers and early electronic fusion music, which is actually the main topic of this mixtape.
Kanto: How long have you been playing with Ko Shin Moon?
Axel: It’s a bit more than a year now. But we have known each other and been jamming together for about 10 years. We nourished ourselves with discoveries. Nico has a great ear, he can reproduce easily whatever he listens to. It takes more time for me, as I need to practice and listen a lot, but I also search for more music so I give him to discover many new things, new ideas, we complete each other in that sense.
Kanto: France is undoubtedly a cosmopolite society, how did that influence your music?
Axel: Big cities in France are cosmopolite but not all of France. I live in one of the most cosmopolite city in France, Aubervilliers, in Paris suburban area, my neighbors are Arab, Kabyles, Turkish, Indian, Bangladeshi, Chinese, Malian, Senegalese... In most of the cafes, shops, restaurants you go you’re in constant contact with all these different kinds of music. Also in Paris you can still find music shops from different communities. Lots of production for Algerian, Moroccan, Malian, Ivory Coast, Congo are based in Paris, even though now it's mainly in digital manner, you still find cassette, vinyl and CDs which were produced in France for the diaspora or brought in France by these different communities. Our music is naturally based on cosmopolitism because it is our environment, also our temperament as musicians brought us to always discover different ways of making music. I guess in the past musicians from France got strongly influenced by Anglo Saxon music, Afro American (jazz, blues, rock, reggae, funk, soul...) I think that many are now influenced by other areas of the world, other genres.
Kanto: What would you like say about your podcast?
Axel: This podcast reflects our interest in some early electronic musicians that got into « oriental » sounds, colors, vibes some with a certain knowledge, some with a more « naîve » approach, or following a certain fashion but they are all very interesting in their own way of approaching it. They were basically doing what we're trying to do now, except that nowadays we have way more mediums to listen to and to find new music than they ever had.
Kanto: Do you think music is a tool that can help people bridge their differences and enjoy a common vibe? Why and how?
Axel: I don't really know, I guess music goes further than language and musicians can generally communicate easily and bring this instant fusion to the listeners. But it also needs a bit of time to learn how to appreciate certain forms of music as you’d need time to learn a new language. I guess certain types of music are transnational and transcultural as Coca Cola or Red Bull are, because of marketing and « easy listening ». Is it a good thing? It eleminates differences and make us kind of look the same, it surely brings people together but under a superficial concept. I personally think that it's a better thing to learn and try to understand differences, appreciate different senses of esthetics and pleasures, to respect them in their beauty, in their variety, it make us richer and more open as human beings.
Interview by, Emin Kahveci