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Selections: Mogwaa

In this series, we invite DJs, producers and label heads to dig into their digital crates and share the contents of their collections. This week, Seoul’s Mogwaa spotlights stripped back house bangers and ambient classical gems

A quick peruse through Seoul-based DJ, producer and multi-instrumentalist Mogwaa’s Bandcamp profile reveals a lot about his relationship with music. Since 2017, the prolific artist has established himself as something of an electronic all-rounder, releasing everything from breezy Balearic house and Music From Memory-style ambient to buoyant house and techno and blissed-out jungle, all with a keen sense of melody and a taste for dreamy moods.

It’s a vibe he conjured on his 2022 EP, ‘From Above’, for Peggy Gou’s Gudu Records, which wove percussive elements of classic electro through its neon-hued house palette for a suite of gorgeous dancefloor pumpers. He returned to the label recently with a track on the ‘Gudu & Friends Vol. 2’ compilation, joining the likes of Alinka, Gina Breeze, Matisa, Nyra and Minju with a slice of festival-ready synth magic. 

This month, he’s linked up with fellow Seoul producer Jesse You for a split EP on their own Wall’s & Pals label, dishing up two cuts each of acid-dipped club material. Mogwaa’s a spectacular DJ to boot, with sets that shoot straight for the dancefloor with a timeless sense of groove, dynamic range and energy. 

In his contribution to the Selections series, we see each side of Mogwaa’s tastes as he spotlights stripped back house bangers and ambient classical gems. 

‘Matraca’ [A Breaking Concept]

“It was so random that I found this on Bandcamp but I’ve been playing this track at almost every gig I've played recently. Organ bass from the beginning makes you expect something obvious but as the track builds, totally unexpected elements keep popping up.”

Hannah Holland with Joy Joseph
‘She’s Giving Cray’ [Super Rhythm Trax]

“Huge jam from Super Rhythm Trax. This track just accelerates from the beginning to the end and never stops. Such a flawless track to maintain the dancefloor!”

‘Electric Tools Vol.1’ [Outdom]

“I really love productions with fewer instruments/channels used on the track these days, and this compilation is full of those. All I hear is classic drum machines and vintage synths. Sometimes music loses all aesthetic when you overpush the sound to make it sound modern but this one’s just right.”

‘Control The Code’ [Wolves The Drift]

“Simple elements, but full of groove! Every element comes and goes so smoothly that I cannot even notice if it was here or there.”

‘Throw Me To The Lions’ [Shva Muzik]

“This is not a new release but it’s a track that I recently discovered and play often on the dancefloor. The drums and basslines are so straight without any swing but somehow it feels so funky and groovy.”

Route 4
‘After The Silence’ [Rotation Records]

“Such an ambivalent track this one is. When you listen to the bassline, it’s deep, a bit dark and repetitive, but when you listen to the top parts, there are lush pads and funky leadlines full of stories that colour the whole track. It sounds like a weird combination but it goes so well on this track.”

Trax Unit
‘Eterno’ [Gyration Station]

“This track just drives and stretches from the scratch to the limit. I cannot get more excited when the 16 beat hi-hat comes in.”

El Keamo
‘El Keamo’ [Self-Released]

“I lived in Peru during my early 20s and the music there was mostly about cumbia or reggaeton and salsa. And then I started to listen to more electronic music and less band music. After a decade, Benedek introduced me to El Keamo’s music and I was so impressed. This is such a great interpretation of cumbia in the aspect of electronic music. That classic cumbia guiro pattern just slaps!”

Voision Xi
‘ 小小⻦ Birdling’ [Self-Released]

“One of my favourites from my morning walk playlist. Tiny little details you can hardly notice on every layer expand the whole soundscape of the track wide open when it all comes together.”

Kenichiro Isoda
‘マジエルのまどろみ - Majel's Slumber’ [Think! Records]

“This one’s a re-recording from Kenichro Isoda’s album from the ‘90s. Such a tranquil and beautifully arranged track this one is. It feels so calm and peaceful when I hear clarinet melodies floating on mallet patterns on this track. I listened to his album, ‘Oscillation Circuit’, a lot last year and it was such a joy listening to it. I definitely can say that this is another joy of the year.”