TF Archives

Dino Moran - The Man With The Holy Afro

Author: 3D
Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Southern African tribal/prog house producer Dino Moran may be best known through his work with House of the Holy Afro, but you’ll see a different side of him at Womadelaide this month. 3D chats with the Mozambique native.

You were born in Mozambique but now live in Cape Town. Do you get the chance to go back to Mozambique and play shows there these days-
I absolutely love Mozambique and go back every chance I get. In the past few years we have developed some awesome annual projects such as Mozambique Fashion Week and Mozambique Music Conference, which have helped massively to nurture and develop talent and industry. I also produce a 16-track double MFW album annually that is focused on developing and promoting new music talent. Mozambique Music Conference was launched last year and is a forum for artists to get together and share ideas and learn from each other. We ran workshops with prominent African music industry leaders who shared their knowledge and contacts openly, all working to elevate the Southern African music industry to global prominence.

On a lighter note I have played at the sickest all-night street parties and 10,000-people New Year’s Eve beach parties, not to mention Club Coconutz on the beach front in the capital Maputo which holds 5,000 people and has been going for more than 30 years. Mozambiquans love to party very, very hard and are always up-for-it. Think hot nights and sexy Afro-Latinos!

If we described your DJ style as progressive house with an African tribal percussive beat would we be far off the mark-
Tribal and percussive is the most obvious blend for African fusion club music and works perfectly. My late-night taste is most definitely progressive and deep but that’s only a small segment of my box. If playing an earlier or smaller gig I will lean more towards the jazzy soulful Afro calypso sound or in a hi-tech inner city nightclub for a younger crowd I have developed a super glitchy African electro sound that fits the setting. I am most interested in the journey of the dancefloor and the progression of the night and feel it’s my job to read the crowd and play what is relevant to the occasion. Often I will change genres four or five times in a six-hour set to keep things interesting and pace my floor.

You contributed the soundtrack to House of the Holy Afro, a conceptual theatre/dance piece that tours the globe, are you working on any more projects in that sphere-
No need to start more projects like House of the Holy Afro as we are continually working on the one we have! It’s a unique, one-of-a-kind show that is massively exciting and we change it for every tour. Between Brett Bailey’s eccentric visions, Odidiva’s in-your-face performance and poetry style and the energetic rock star cast of Third World BunFight we fly this show off the seat of our pants and the audience are assured of a once in a lifetime night out. It’s a sort of theatrical democracy that Natalie Fisher, who is Africa’s leading dance choreographer, and myself, the music producer, work hard to keep a leash on. All of us enjoy working together on it so much and it is doing so well that keeping up with its growth and the demand for tours is enough to keep me busy.

There have been articles floating around about the rapid growth and progression of the South African club scene. How have you seen it change over the last few years-
Yes, South Africa has a very strong club and outdoor festival scene but unfortunately, due to the ridiculous new liquor laws that are in place making clubs stop serving at 2am, and even worse suggestions of changing that to 11pm in residential areas soon, I feel that the authorities are killing a massive young tourism-based revenue stream – especially on the eve of the FIFA World Cup 2010. On a more positive note there is huge support for the local music production and band scene, which is blazing with some of the hottest acts on the planet, especially on the drum n bass, psytrance, house, dub, jazz and rock front. I guess we’re just going to have to have massive daytime parties!

WHO: Dino Moran
WHAT: Plays WOMADelaide (Adelaide)
WHEN: Sunday 8 March