Photo: Sash Berg (Mor Elian)
It takes a lot of energy to keep up with Mor Elian. Splitting her time between Los Angeles, Berlin, and Tel Aviv, the Israeli juggles two jobs as a jewelry designer and a DJ, producer, radio host and – newly so – label owner. Hot on the heels of her inaugural release for Fever AM, the imprint she founded together with Cassegrain’s Alex Tsiridis, Elian is already back with another single, this time on Kevin McHugh alis Ambivalent’s Delft. Similarly, her contribution to our Groove podcast is a restless affair, shifting styles seamlessly and shaking up things effortlessly, as Mor Elian does best.
You grew up in Tel Aviv, a city with a vibrant electronic scene. How did you get into the music and what did your first steps there look like?
I was into music as long as I can remember myself and started buying tapes (!) and CDs at age 9. Then I became a raver. I stared going to clubs and raves at 13, it was normal and I made it work. Later I would give out flyers to raves so I can get that free entrance – I put in the work for that! I worked the door a couple of times and finally, in my late teens, started playing in friends’ bars. I would come to vacation in Tel Aviv from Los Angeles and play there, I only started playing in LA around 2010. In Los Angeles, I was there for some years before the scene started booming and I was already into dance music, so I was literally waiting for it to start happening. Meanwhile I was very much invested in other music scenes that collide with the dance music scene. It was a natural progression we all were part off. In Tel Aviv, the scene has always been present from the early 90s and never stopped, even when dance music was going through a dip, so I grew up part of it, in and out of different genres, some under that big dance music umbrella.
Before launching your music career, you’ve been a jewelry designer and still have your own jewelry line. How do you balance both careers at once?
Actually, I started doing MYRRH Jewelry around the same time as DJing professionally. You can say I am a DJ first. You can also say I had non-identical twins. They co-exist harmoniously and I did delegate like assisting and shipping some of my duties to other people for MYRRH so I can work more on music. I love that I can also do different kinds of medias. Being confined to one profession is a very old-world way of thinking to me. Everyone should experience as much as they want.
Together with Cassegrain’s Alex Tsiridis, you have launched the label Fever AM. How did this joint venture come about and what are your plans with Fever AM?
We were talking and as we share so many musical influences dated back to our childhood and dance records that changed us from the 90s and 00s. We wanted to embody that feeling in a our own label where we can shape it how we want without being confined to others aesthetics and sounds.
Your new single for Ambivalent’s Delft label is called “Miracle Mind Program”, on the flip side you’ll find “Break Memories” and “In Satellite”. What inspired the music? Your releases usually seem to have a thematic thread running through them.
Ssomething from my childhood started resurfacing heavily, and being a crazy nostalgic person I started hearing childhood dance anthems with more musically trained, adult ears and heard so much more then I did as a child. This record is me connecting to those sounds that I know is what I heard first when I was introduced to music. But obviously with a current vibe as the music was created now. You can’t control the influence of the current sound, it’s just there without your control.
Apart from DJing a producing, you also host an irregular radio show on Dublab called “Plaza 2 Plaza”. What is your approach to those radio shows?
Actually, “Plaza 2 Plaza” is every first Thursday of the month! Tune in at 2-4 pm LA time. My approach is usually to feature artists and DJs I meet on my journeys that inspire me. I don’t look to feature so many big names but more people that are heavy collectors that no one knows about because they deserve to be heard and they taught me something on my travels. If I do a mix I used to feature new music but now I pick a theme, like for instance once I did all New Wave, and another time I did all G-Funk. But I do those less these days because I have so many people to feature!
Just like your own music, your contribution to our Groove podcast is a bit hard to categorise, jumping from one genre to another. What was your idea behind it?
I got that question before and I find it amusing. Yes, I “mix genres”, but I think all together they work nicely. And I think it’s funny that people can see it like that because they are all 4/4 beats on the same rhythmic palate, so Is my jump that big? Not really. It’s all under the same umbrella and all hyper-connected. I would understand that if I was to mix Metal and Arabic music, but I’m mixing club music, and as you can probably tell I don’t like to define myself by one thing and don’t like to be confined to “one genre”. Humans like to categorize things because it makes them feel a sense of belonging to something and defining things and themselves, I think it’s boring to be honest.
Last but not least: Where can we see you behind the decks and what are your plans as a producer?
My plans right now is first and foremost to be happy and healthy, without that there will be no fruit to bare. I make music all the time and learn all the time and I hope to be able to show myself as much as I can through it. You can see me at clubs around Europe every month! Hope to see you, too!
Stream: Mor Elian – Groove Podcast 124
01. Lakker – Empress
02. Heiko Laux – Dark Fader
03. Alien FM – Infinity (Optic Nerve Rmx)
04. Acid Jesus – Interstate
05. The Mover – Astral Damons (Remastered 2017)
06. Beatrice Dillon and Call Super – Injekt
07. Bobby Konders – Massai Woman
08. Gunner Haslam – Transdisciplinary
09. SecretStudio Ft. Kink &Friends – Black Friday
10. Hodge- Swing for the Fences
11. Mor Elian – Break Memories
12. Rhyw – Too Late Tool
13. Albert Van Abbe – More To Ignore (The Exaltics Remix)
14. DMX Krew – RAM Expansion