DJ Munoz
London Calling turns five
By: Jeff W. Richards | Jun 7, 2012 | Issue: 950 | No Comments | 2,076 views

Photo by Mark Oxley

It’s a dirty, mixed up business being DJ Mike Munoz. A Mexican descendent from LA now living in Japan—immersed in the UK club sound with ’80s rock-and-pop roots—he’s a poster child for cross-cultural music. His London Calling club night regularly heats up Tokyo dancefloors, including at La Fabrique, Warehouse 702, Ageha and Trump Room. It’s renowned for putting forward-thinking international and local underground DJs center stage—including the likes of the Bugged Out crew, Monika Kruse, Zombie Nation and Layo & Bushwacka. We caught up with Munoz at Kita Aoyama Salon.

London Calling has been happening in Tokyo for five years now. What keeps it fresh?

I hope we’ve maintained some freshness about our sound and style. What I can say is that every London Calling event is always out of the ordinary. I guess there is something to be said about being different, but whether it keeps it fresh… I really hope so!
How would you sum up the London Calling philosophy? DIY!

When LC started you were known as “The Disco Infiltrator” but now you prefer “DJ Munoz.” What’s up with that?

I felt I had infiltrated enough and decided to get back to being truly who I am… DJ Munoz.

How has your DJ style changed over the last five years?

I don’t think my style has changed, but the music I play has. My style is still me, but the music that got me noticed in the beginning just doesn’t appeal to me anymore. So, I stopped playing that sound and got deeper into the type of disco I like to play dirty. The change has helped me get into other markets. If I’d stuck to my previous sound I’d probably have more opportunities outside Tokyo, but I can’t fake it if I’m not feeling it.

Besides London Calling, where else can people get their DJ Munoz groove on these days?

I recently started a monthly lounge event at Rhythm Café in the heart of Shibuya where I’m free to play anything I want: from Sade to ELO, or Culture Club to Jimmy Cliff. The other places are my studio where I’m making my own tracks or posting late-night ’80s songs on Facebook. I think my gazillion FB friends can attest to that!

What can people look forward to at LC’s five-year anniversary bash?

I felt having Alexander Robotnick as our headliner says just as much about the music I love as it does about showcasing artists I admire and respect. What better way to celebrate our birthday than having the Godfather of Italo Disco performing live for all your friends?

Will there be any festivities after the festivities (if you know what I mean…)?

Trash! My dirty little after hours party at the dirtiest place in Tokyo—Rockwest. We’ll be celebrating our Trash four-year anniversary immediately following London Calling. Wow, I can’t believe I’ve managed to keep an after hours event going as long as I have. Ouch… Just thinking about it making me feel Sunday-afternoon already.

Will London Calling be kicking around Tokyo for another five years?

I hope not! I’m pooped!

London Calling. Trump Room, Jun 16 (listing).

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