We sat down with the Ghent based Oli and Gilles from Asa Moto, who are dropping their second release on the already infamous DEEWEE label May 21. The duo is wildly loved for their unique and quirky sound that makes it hard to sit still to. Tune in to 101.FM (see what we did there?) as we have a chat with the guys while we release Athina - taken from their forthcoming EP - on the world wide web.
Hi guys! What’s going on? How are you both doing?
"We’re good! Enjoying life in Ghent…"
How dit you end up producing together?
Oli: "I got to know Gilles through his brother, Guillaume, who used to DJ as Le Petit Belge. At some point, we decided to hang out and make some music. So I brought along my SH-101 and I think we jammed until 6 in the morning. From there on, we just kept meeting up, until I moved to Ghent and we built our first little studio in Gentbrugge."
Where did you get the inspiration for the name Asa Moto?
Gilles: "We made a track called 'Moto Asa Moto' which comes from and old Congolese expression that means “a human being is a human being”. We liked the sound of it, so chopped off a 'moto' and just went for it. It’s funny how, even though it comes from an African expression, people think that we’re Japanese DJs due to the name."
How would you describe your sound?
Oli: "That’s a very though question! Let's say, electronic music trying to sound acoustic… or something like that?"
By now, everybody besides the folks who have been living under a rock know you are releasing heavy hitters on DEEWEE. How did you guys end up on the label run by the most eligible duo in electronic music?
Oli: "I’ve known the brothers for a long time. I was a frequent visitor at DEEWEE, and they knew Gilles and I were making music. They asked us to stop by and show them our latest demos, so we did. Two months later DEEWEE 011 was released!"
You guys have been tagging along with Soulwax on their latest tour, how was that experience?
Gilles: "It was amazing! We had a lot of fun doing support with Bolis Pupul. Charlotte Adigery, Emmanuelle & Future Sound Of Antwerp also came along to some of the gigs, so it became a real DEEWEE family affair. One of my highlights of this tour was definitely the afterparty in Manchester. We played right after 2manydjs, which isn’t always the easiest thing to do because they tend to destroy the dancefloor. But the crowd was totally up for another round, and we had a great time playing some of the heavier tracks we usually don’t get to play!"
We have the honors of premiering ‘Athina’, one of the tracks of your forthcoming EP on DEEWEE. Do tell us more!
Oli: "We made the first version more than a year ago. This demo was a bit more dance floor orientated, without the extended melodic outro and with a Turkish vocal sample. We couldn’t get that cleared, so had to look for a last minute solution. Because we wanted the vocals to sound somewhat 'southern', we asked a Greek colleague of my sister to record some random sentences in her iPhone microphone. Once we loaded it into Protools, everything pretty much fell into place by itself. This track is definitely a trip! And compared to the other ones on the EP, something we made to listen to rather than to play in our sets."
Do you see Asa Moto perform live somewhere in the near future?
Gilles: "Most certainly! We really don’t want it to be just the two of us with a laptop and some synths, but rather take along some other musicians and do it in a live band setting. We’ve been playing with this idea for a very long time now, and I hope we can start working on it in soon."
As the festival season is coming up, what festival do you consider a must see/do?
Oli: "I’ll be visiting Montreux Jazz Festival and Best Kept Secret this summer. Heard some great things about these festivals, so I can’t wait to go there and find out myself. But my must see for this season is Kraftwerk’s 3D show in Antwerp later this month. Seeing my childhood heroes perform three days in a row! How cool is that??"