Hailing from downtown Tokyo, Moshi Moshi is the home of a uniquely Japanese subculture: recordings of unsolicited tele-sales calls received by the label’s boss, set to a grinding industrial techno score. We can’t get enough of it at JUICE. Honest. Don’t believe us? Oh well, not really, but we had you going for a minute, didn’t we? In fact Moshi Moshi has precious little to do with Japan, other than the fact it’s cooler than a polar bear surfing on an ice floe.
Now ten years old, the London indie has been a first home for some of the biggest acts clogging up today’s album charts, not to mention releasing the super rare ‘Caroline’ single by The Detestable Kate Nashâ„¢. Current crit-faves Hot Chip spent an album and a few singles on the label, honing their Prince meets Ibiza sound. Bloc Party also found time to put out their first single for Moshi Moshi, the techno-disco monster ‘Banquet’, and the label is currently home to the likes of Au Revoir Simone, Hot Club de Paris, Friendly Fires, Best Fwends and Dntel.
While there’s a decidedly lo-fi synthetic feel to many of the acts on the label, founders Michael McClatchey and Stephen Bass set it up with no particular sound in mind. In fact, for most of its decade long life the label has concentrated on putting out singles rather than albums, hence its career building reputation for artists like The Chip, The Nash and The Party. Even now, with plenty of albums under its belt and plans to be as big as indie supreme Domino, the Moshi Moshi Singles Club is still the label’s biggest talking point.
Despite, or maybe because these 7″ vinyl only gems are released to a handful of stores, they’ve become gold dust to serious collectors and geeky fan boys alike. For the rest of us, we have to wait until the label throws together its periodic comps collecting the vinyl output. The just released Moshi Moshi Singles Club rounds up hotly tipped Scandi-popper Lykke Li, the thrice-mentioned Nash, along with Friendly Fires anthem ‘Paris’, the superbly monikered Danananaykroyd and Matt & Kim.
More at www.moshimoshimusic.com.
Text Matt Armitage
This article was first published in the May 2008 issue of JUICE