Read Further - The Edit - Joe Morris
Joe is one of our favourite producers at the moment, his recent(ish) ‘Bahia’ EP on Balearic Social is our go to record when we need some sun kissed sounds in the office. We sit down with the man to quiz him about all things music and travel …
An introduction, please … who are you, where are you, and what pays the bills?
Howdy; Joe Morris. Lancashire exile based over the Pennines in Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK. Music occasionally pays the bills; more often than not it’s a nice supplement to the day job and a means to visit great places. By day I work in Telecoms Project Management. Music certainly feels like the full time job though.
Where was the mix recorded, and what is the inspiration behind it?
At home in my spare room come studio using 2 x Technics 1210’s, 2 x Pioneer XDJ’s and an Allen & Heath X:One 22 DJ Mixer, with the accompaniment of a couple of Ale’s. I always try and record DJ mixes in one take, I did however have to make a small fix in Ableton after my hand brushed the 45 button on the decks. Possibly due to the aforementioned Ale’s. I added some light mastering once it was finished.
As for the inspiration; in keeping with the ethos of ‘Afield’ all records were chosen specifically as they were inspired by places I’ve travelled to or because they come from somewhere I aspire to visit. There’s music from Bali, Africa, The Caribbean, Central America, Australia, Zurich, Ibiza and from far flung places that invoke a sense of exotica in some way
Strictly vinyl? Strictly digital? Couldn’t care less?
As long as the music being presented is good it really doesn’t matter. I’m a vinyl enthusiast and always will be but I’m not such a purist to insist on being vinyl only. I do always try and take some records to gigs but I like the option of both. I like to extend parts of tracks sometimes by using the loop functions on the CDJ which obviously you can’t do with records. My only problem with digital is that often the audio is way too compressed; a digital signal can sound horrible though a lot of club systems. When I see a blocked out waveform on a CDJ it makes me wince.
‘Balearic’, seems to be a somewhat overused term these days, but if you had to – and we are asking you to – describe the essence of ‘Balearic’ in one record?
Impossible question to answer you rascal! In the interest of being a good sport though I shall say “Lio – Sage Comme Une Image”
Favourite place you’ve travelled to? And why?
I visited Vietnam and Cambodia a couple of years ago on honeymoon which blew my mind. I’d always wanted to visit South East Asia and it didn’t disappoint. So many highlights from mountain biking through the Angkor jungle at dawn, the sobering Phomn Penh killing fields, Ha Long Bay, the madness of Ho Chi Minh city… I would definitely recommend it. Such wonderful hospitality out there.
Sunset or Sunrise? And the best place to experience it?
There’s a lot to be said for both! Seeing the sunrise somewhere warm when you’re still up from a night dancing is always magical. I’ve been lucky enough to experience a lot of sunsets around the world, it’s hard to pick one so here are a few of the best. Sunset: from the sea organ in Zadar; Ashram in Ibiza; rooftops of Hanoi, Vietnam; Michelangelo’s Square in Florence, Italy. Sunrise: Angkor Wat, Cambodia; at the edge of the Sahara, Tunisia; Tisno Bay, Croatia.
The most you’ve ever spent on one record that you’re willing to tell us? Or the best bargain bin finds you’ve digged out over the years, which you’re happy to brag about?
You know what, and this might put me out of favour with the record diggers, I’ve never spent a fortune on a single record. I think the most I ever spent was £30 on an obscure late 70’s record by a group called Witch Queen, which is an EP of fantastic weirdo italo disco /rock covers of T Rex. I’d kinda rather wait and see if the records I really want turn up in a bargain bin for £2. That’s never happened yet though. There is one record I’ve been coveting for years though which goes for silly money; Chez Damier & Stacey Pullen “Forver Monna”. I missed that first time around in the mid-nineties.
Favourite DJ you’ve heard play out over the years?
James Holroyrd, an incredibly versatile DJ who is always consistently brilliant. When I think about it, he’s probably the DJ where I’ve wanted to know what most of his records were after each time I’ve seen him play. For a long time I wanted to check out Harvey, and the first time I saw him after he came back from his exile in the States was a bit disappointing. Then I saw him play all night and into the morning in Croatia which was the best set I’ve heard in a long time. He just so deftly goes through all the sounds I want to hear on a dance floor.
Anything else we should know about you or what you are up to?
For folks that don’t know I make up the third member of Clandestino, for my sins. Which I enjoy as it gives me the opportunity to explore more club oriented music as opposed to my own stuff which is becoming increasingly more chilled. It’s also interesting to be in a collective and bounce around ideas, its kinda like being in a band and makes being on the road and doing gigs loads of fun (most of the time!). We launched a record label last summer which is gaining speed, and we’ve just done a few recent gigs around Europe and there’s also lots planned this year. Personally I’ve just done a bunch of remixes which are out about now, I’m working on some new original material and at some point in the future I want to record an album, working with live musicians and singers. I’d like that to come together organically though so I’m not rushing with that.
Massive thanks to Joe for taking the time out to answer these questions.