One of the bigger names in Asia that has been in the spotlight for the past couple of years - Mari Furuya aka Apsara, started out playing trance music, which gained her gigs all around the world from Tokyo to San Francisco and even Tomorrowland in Belgium. Now she is residing in Jakarta and a regular at many Indonesian nightclubs.
Over the years, her style has changed to a more house and techno influenced sound and she started producing her own tracks and releasing on numerous regional and international labels such as Plus Records, Bonzai Progressive, System Recordings, Silk Royal, Moonshine Records, Mona Records, Spundae Black, Apulia Records and many more. She also holds a monthly residency at Frisky Radio called ‘After Dark’.
For our new episode of Asia In Focus, Apsara recorded a mix exclusively for Pulse Radio and hat a quick chat with us.
Hi Apsara, what can you tell us about your DJ career, what year did you start and who were your musical influences at that time? Hi David! I started in 2008, at that time I was very into progressive psychedelic trance. I was influenced by John 00 Fleming and Kintar a lot. The Chemical Brothers and Underworld also influenced me a lot musically before I knew it's electronic music, their creativity always inspires me.
You have released on quite a few labels now, can you tell us your secret about producing a good track? What kind of software and what kind of equipment do you use? I work using Ableton Live as my main software. I don't know if there are any secrets in producing a good track, but what I like to do is when i hit a wall, I tend to leave the project for a bit and listen to a completely different genre of music and just relax. As far as other tools, I'm still experimenting a lot with different plug ins and instruments.
The EDM-scene is growing every day and more and more DJs are popping up. What are your thoughts on the electronic music scene nowadays, what are the pro’s and con’s? The EDM scene is huge now, there are lots of negative responses regarding the EDM scene, but I always try to see the positive side of it. There are lots of massive festivals around the world, and it helps people get their feet wet in the world of dance music. I see EDM as a doorway to the many genres of dance music. The ones that are casual fans are going to love it until the next mainstream thing comes out, but the hardcore fans are going to stay and move on to different genres in dance music. I think complaining about it in social media will not change a thing, so what we all should do as DJs is to keep supporting the producers that are creative and producing great tunes by playing their tracks in your mixes.
Do you have any remarkable or unforgettable performances that you have experienced through your DJ career? Which are your favourite venues that you have played in? I have to say, one was at Tomorrowland in 2010, when I won a DJ competition to be able to perform at trance addict stage. It was just a year later when I had my first gig ever in 2009, so I was very very nervous. And another one was at Stadium in Jakarta. Very sad that the club has been shut down by the government last year, Joris Voorn described it as "Berghain on steroid". It was a really crazy place, but the energy of the crowd, the sound system, the resident DJs and the management of the club, everything was perfect for me as a DJ.
Do you have any tips for apsiring DJs and producers? Be original, and listen to many kinds of music, inspiration can come from everywhere, try to build your own sound. (Which I am still trying to!)
Finally, can you tell us something about the mix you did? On this mix, I've put 5 tracks / remixes of my own. The last track is my future release "Breaker" from Apulia Records, which will be out in November this year. I'm really happy that I can have my own release out from the label that I've been digging for quite a while.