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Coming of Age: Xavier Morel interview

Author: Mel Hart
Friday, 10 November 2006
It's that time of the year again, man it comes fast! Christmas is just around the corner and the Spring Racing Carnival is keeping many of us occupied until Santa fills our lives with unnecessary, yet deliciously fun, bits and bobs. But if you're like me, and prefer watching the sun rise while dancing to psy-trance with thousands of people instead of having a champagne breakfast and losing your lunch by dinner time, then Earthcore will keep you busy.

This years line up is packed full of locals like Scott Alert, Kundalini, Deep Jungle Childe and Lil Miss Breaks, as well as numerous international DJs from the UK, Japan, Germany, Denmark, Israel and France among other countries.

French born Xavier Morel has been Djing for eighteen years, ensuring he joins the likes of Norman Cook (aka Fatboy Slim) and Richard Melville Hall (aka Moby) as one of the most experienced DJs in the dance scene. His wealth of experience and inspiration has come from all walks of life including Elvis, to Kraftwerk and even Mozart.

Morel's specialty is trance, but his favourite music is the punky, energetic and sometimes distorted, sub-genre of industrial, Electronic Body Music (EBM), much like that of KMFDM. He also has his own music label, Atomic Reactor, which contains artists like Male or Female (Front 242), Juno Reactor, Section-X, Jimmy Caupty (KLF), Generik Funk (a twenty year old French musician), Thomas P Heckman (German) and Black Lung (SNOG side project from Melbourne, Australia), to name a few.

Although born in France with a family tree that includes such countries as Belgium, Sweden and Scandinavia, Morel feels he owes his loyalty to Japan...
"I belong to the Japanese music culture because Japan made me as an international DJ."
What is it about the Japanese music scene that Morel loves so much-
"Very tough question that one….you would have too come and find out for yourself!"
Personally, I would find the prospect of DJing atop a mountain to be extremely appealing, as apparently happens often in Japan. His love of all thing Japanese also extends to food, places to DJ and his wife, Miho.

This year, Morel is joining the considerable list of other talented DJs to help create Earthcore into the massive dancing frenzy it is infamous for. It is his first time in Australia, so we'll have to make him feel welcome and attempt to add Australia to his very short list of favourite places for DJing: UK and, of course, Japan.

Exactly what treats he has in store for Earthcore are, at present, kept secret. But one thing he was certain about was to live up to his objective of making it impossible for people to stop themselves from dancing.

"As it is my first ever visit to Australia I hope whatever I do will be a treat! I have been playing intense DJ sets for a long time that challenge people not to dance and I very much look forward to doing the same at Earthcore. I have heard a lot about the event but seeing is believing."

It is easy to tell that Morel loves his work and takes it very seriously, no matter where he is playing.
"For me playing music is playing music [no matter what the location]. People are making an effort to come and see you whether it is in a club or up a mountain so I enjoy every setting, providing there are decks and a sound system….
"It is very important for me to feel what is going on [on] the dance floor and to make sure the sound system is doing its job and if it is not, to try and do something about it!
"I have worked with many VJs over the years, but I do not work with any one in particular. I am generally happy for the resident guy to do what he feels (within reason of course). My manager is there to make sure that things stay within what I feel is acceptable, the main message is in the music anyhow."

Morel has played with, and is a fan of a number of Australian DJs.
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