Mooji is the alter-ego of Spanish DJ and producer, Kramnik. His album, ‘Double Agent’, is a play on the idea that as Mooji he is able to explore elements of acid-jazz, dub, funk, down tempo and blues – a world away from the sound of DJ Kramnik.
Starting his career at Sony Music Spain, Kramnik worked with some of the biggest names in popular music, but soon became disillusioned with the big label’s approach. As a passionate lover of music, he decided instead to start booking world famous DJs for his underground nights, which quickly became some of the most revered in Spain.
During this time Kramnik honed his own DJ skills, and performed all over the world.
Kramnik’s first album, ‘Dark Matters’, was released in 2012. It established him in electronic music circles as a producer and a name to watch out for, and garnered much praise, including from Future Music the producer’s bible, who described him as:
“one of the most distinctive artists of the year, with a unique and unaffected sound. A truly singular artist, Kramnik could well be bending our minds for years and decades to come.”
Kramnik then moved to Berlin, to completely submerge himself in the city and its vibe. It’s here that Kramnik stripped his music back to the bare bones, and with a heavy mix of songwriting, improvisation and live instrumentation, Mooji, and the subsequent album, ‘Double Agent’, was born. He explains:
“Because my debut album was designed for DJs, I wanted to make music that could appeal to a wider audience. I wanted to make music that could be enjoyed beyond the dance floor, something that could be shared with others.”
‘Double Agent’, is only eight songs long, but it’s intense and gratifying. Taking two years to make, recorded as he travelled around the world, it features vocals of legendary blues artists such as Leadbelly, John Lee Hooker, and Muddy Waters, as well as Dub pioneer, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Mooji takes his inspiration from the places he visited – Cuba, Laos, Morocco, Japan, Mongolia. The songs are dirty and sexy – his take on Leadbelly’s ‘Roberta’, reworked as ‘How Long’, is sultry and smooth, with a video to match. Mooji is taking on the mammoth task of making videos for six of the songs on the album.
‘Medley’ features Jamaican legendary Dub artist, Lee “Scratch” Perry, whose laid back and drawly vocals should be at odds with the pulsating Dub rhythms, but actually work really well, sitting snugly in the midst of the music.
‘Psilo Symphony’, is probably our favourite track on the album. It brings in the sounds of Morocco – you can almost taste the heady aroma of sweat, spices and camels – and feel the heat shimmering off the rooftops and desert.
‘Don’t’ is intense with the refrain reminding us of Fatboy Slim’s ‘Eat Sleep Rave Repeat’.
‘So Good’ features vocals and slide guitar of John Lee Hooker, with his voice rumbling drowsily, mixed in with the thrumming of open strum chords. It really is, ‘So Good’.
‘Double Agent’ features live session musicians playing guitar, harmonica and trumpets – with Mooji on drums. It’s available to stream and download from all the usual places, with ‘Medley’ available as a free download. You can find Mooji online on Twitter, Facebook, Soundcloud and Youtube, as well as on his website.