A music producer Joaquin “Joe” Claussell.
Celebrating his brand new album “Corresponding Echoes”, Joe was making a Japan tour from March to April in 2008. We had a change to interview with him asking about new album and also his deep thought in music and its roots this time.

Joe ClaussellJoe Claussell

How is the Japan tour going so far?

So far it’s been beautiful. The first place I played was at Fillmore North in Sapporo.
That was actually amazing experience. It was my first time playing with just two turntables and no mixer. I just switched one back to the other, and it was incredible sound system as well. It was wonderful start in all.

Did you know that Yellow would be closing in this June?

Yes, I’m very sad. Yellow was home for me almost for 12-13 years.

Could you tell us briefly the concept of your new album “Corresponding Echoes”, which was released on this March?

The concept of that album is actually a part of series of “Unchanged Rhythm”. And Unchanged Rhythms is where we just created freely without worrying about trend or hype. Actually Corresponding Echoes is the final chapter of that project as well.

How long did it take to finish up for creating?

The album was compiled over a year. It’s also like a diary of music.
But again, it was not the planned project. The whole project was assembled for few years.

How is your own label “Spiritual Life Music” going recently?

I haven’t put any of new releases on Spiritual life music for a long time. But I’m still working on new concept.
However I’ve been creating music under “Sacred Rhythm Music”, where new album “Corresponding Echoes” was released. Spiritual Life Music is actually under construction of concept, and Sacred Rhythm Music is my primary label at this moment.

Joe Claussell

From your biography and sound of your music, we feel that the words like “cosmic”, “spiritual” and “religious” coming up, do you have any conceptual thoughts in your music?

It’s simply I’ve grown up in a deep knowledge of music from home, because of my upbringing at the same time, how I listen to music was naturally trained. I was able to feel and listen to music in a deeper sense. I believe that music is very powerful force of our planet. It’s a part of cosmo, and part of universe. A rhythm of music is not by accident. And it’s very cosmic thing. As far as spiritual aspect, I believe that music is a true message of what we are supposed to. Music is actually something that brings us together.

Is there anyone who gives you an inspiration your music?

It’s “Life”. It’s a Studying life.
Why I create music is never I thought it was cool, I’m here creating music by accident. I’ve never set myself I want to be a DJ or producer. Actually it all happened in a very natural way.

I take music very very seriously. When compare music to religion or church, religion is something that brings people together, but it actually doesn’t. the more racism in religion than anything else, in my opinion. But in music, it’s like a bridge that all the culture brings together. Music has higher power than religion. Rhythm of our planet is music itself, and all you have to do is listen and feel, that’s how I create music. We live in a world where rhythm is surrounding us. It tells you music and rhythm is dominant force of our planet.

Can you imagine you living in completely a silent planet?

I can’t really imagine that, but even with a silence we have a sound.
There is nowhere in the planet where you can escape from rhythms, I believe.

Could you tell us the first party you played in your life?

That was when I was 17-18 years old in NYC, my friends and I put DJ equipment together, and someone hired us as DJs went for a special party like wedding party. And my first experience watching a DJ was not in a club or either. It was very natural experience as well. My brother and I used to involve in “Black Association” where we had a party with my neighborhood. My brother one day brought a really good sound system to the street, which was Pioneer SX1010 receiver, Techniques original 1200 turntable, and pair of speakers. And my brother brought those equipments on the street, he was not DJing, but playing music. That was my first experience I watched DJ and everybody dancing. And my family made me into music, actually picture of a woman on Corresponding Echoes is my mother at teenager. She’s in front of stereo holding a record. That’s the logo of Sacred Rhythm Music as well. It shows the roots of my music of existence. All the music came from my education, from my home,
So again to answer your question, I’m here very natural way. That’s how I treat and create music.

Joe Claussell

How is the music scene in NYC going on?

Honestly, I don’t really follow music scene in NYC or anywhere, but it not as interesting as before. We have regular party for Sacred Rhyme Music twice a month on Sunday afternoon at club called “Love” in West Village.

Any reasons why you stick to Sunday Afternoon party?

It’s really easy for me.
Coming from Body & Soul, my time now, I’m not really excited about going to a club at 3 o’clock in the morning. It’s smoke all over the place and loud music So it’s better for me on Sunday afternoon.
It’s more peaceful. We finish up at midnight, get some sleep and get ready for a week.
We will be back for Body & Soul Tokyo on May 18th and 25th in NYC, then Singapore.

How do you think of Japanese audience in general? Any characteristic you see compare to other cities fans?

Japanese are very passionate. In every city, aura and the way they react to music are very different. In Tokyo for example they are very energetic, whereas in Sapporo it’s more different feeling. They are more relaxed in Sapporo, but in a powerful way.

Nowadays it’s said that CD or vinyl’s sales is getting smaller, instead of this, mp3 like digital format is emerging. How do you think of all the changes?

Music industry is not about music. People in music industry don’t care about music. It’s only business for them.
Vinyl can disappear tomorrow, mp3 can disappear tomorrow, they don’t care.
They are always trying to find the best way to make money.
So they try to introduce new thing, but it’s not about music, it’s about new technology for them.
So because of this, it’s the reason why music doesn’t sell good.
It’s because there is no passion or energy behind the music.
Music can sell really well today if the records companies believe the music.

Thank you so much for your very sincere interview, Joe.
We all now know that Joe Claussell is the one who sticks to what he believes in and carries those beliefs all around the world for us.
From his messages by believing what music is supposed to be, many of us may get his words well all beyond music genre/categories…

Corresponding Echoes
Release date: March 26th, 2008
Label: Sacred Rhythm Music

Text: Yasuharu Motomiya, Naoko Kawaguchi

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