That Fat Feline with Many Monikers
We had to conduct this in English because our long friend apparently speaks eloquently in this language. Continuing the hype of Defile for the past 4 episodes, this time the crew will visit Yogyakarta’s scene along with local heroes – Django, Android 18, Moustapha Spliff and not to forget to invite Ones, Ffonz and SKS to stomp the dance floor. For those who know better, Ffonz and Moustapha Spliff are pretty much the same person. But who is he and why he remains mysterious since the first time he got back to Indonesia? We got a chance to ask some fundamental questions to reveal who he is.
So, what’s your story with vinyl and cats?
Vinyl and cats? Let’s start with cats. I basically grew up in a hippie-esque household where animals are able to come in and out as they pleased. Being Jakarta, these are mostly cats. So I always played with them as a kid. And when I was in Holland I used to cat-sit for friends before finally adopting a couple of cats myself. So yeah, there’s this fascination from childhood. Plus they’re strange and arrogant motherfuckers, something that weirdly endeared them to me.
As far as records are concerned, I bought them out of necessity. Because it was cheap. Back in 2002-2004, after leaving Manchester to live in Holland, I found that most of the CDs I was looking for (mainly Dylan, Bowie, Pink Floyd, etc.) were going for 10-15-20 Euros each, which was expensive for a student who cleaned toilets for a living. LPs were going for around 5 euros and EPs were 1 or 2 euros. So yeah, it’s an economical decision.
Who are Ffonz, Moustapha Spliff and Humphrey Higgins? Are they siblings?
Ffonz is me, the double F being a typo that I never seemed to bother getting rid of.
Moustapha’s my cousin from Istanbul. He came here a couple of years ago in a container ship transporting garden chairs. It just so happens that he likes psychedelic rock as well as his native Turkish joints and other middle-eastern crackers.
Humphrey’s an old neighbour of mine from when I was living in England, who moved to Jakarta a few months ago. He’s a weird fellow. He considers marshmallows an aphrodisiac and likes to chirp like a bird every-time he’s taking a dump.
You spent years in Holland – Amsterdam and Den Haag – and had privilege to have a show “ Fat Cat” at Red Light Radio. How much has your experience there influence your music taste?
Ah Red Light Radio (RLR), one of the funnest times of my life. I was lucky because I was introduced to the guys who were running it (Orpheu de Jong and Hugo van Heijningen) just as they set up the station. I was invited as a guest for another RLR regular called Future Vintage to be interviewed and spin in conjunction with that Those Shocking Shaking Days comp.That was my first ever appearance on the station.
Luck also had it that I was close friends with another RLR regular, Mark Cremins (aka Nose van Conk, Mark From Middlesex, Carl Cardigan), who was head distributor for Amsterdam’s Rush Hour Records. Out of the blue he set up a slot for me at RLR, playing a jazz set with Mo Kolours. During that show Mark introduced me to Hugo and Orpheu, and being the nice souls they are, offered me a bi-weekly spot. Couldn’t say no to that.
And all those cats I mentioned above had an extreme diverse taste in music. From weird disco to bizarre spoken word records, greek electronica, various shades of hard rock/metal/psych/prog, middle-eastern folk and pretty much everything in between. Plus listening to the other slots on the station just added to that. So yeah of course it opened my eyes and ears.
We’ve seen your passion towards jazz, hip hop and funk music – black music, suffice to say. Why that particular music?
Interesting question as I never really pondered as to why. If I had to put my finger on it, I guess it’s because I had a fascination with blues from a very early age. My dad used to play in blues bands so I was always drawn to the blue notes. I mean it’s a style of music where the artists sounds sad and happy at the same time. How could you not love that?
Jazz in particular has a strong blues influence, with many of early jazz records pretty much being sped up blues music with 4 pounds of swing added into it. Plus stuff by Louis Armstrong, W.C. Handy, King Oliver and the likes had the name ‘blues’ within their song titles. St. Louis Blues, Potato Head Blues, Aunt Hagar’s Blues, etc. And that blues influence in jazz stayed pretty much up till the 60s.
And all the other shades of Black American music I like, be it rhythm and blues, soul, funk, hip hop, disco, house, techno,etc. grew out of those two aforementioned genres. And what all these genres, from blues to techno and hip hop had in common was improvisation. Something else that attracted me from a very early age.
What’s your ideal party?
The ideal party? One where punters don’t ask the guy playing records to “put on some R&B” all the fucking time.
Sabtu, 13 Mei 2017
Taphouse Beer Garden, Yogyakarta
Ones (Casual Dance)