When you hold an instrument in your hands, the possibilities are thrilling – so many potential combinations of notes, chords and rhythms! But that’s nothing compared to being a DJ. With a laptop and turntable in front of you, you’ve got the history of recorded music to play with. I found myself floating down this rabbit hole while listening to the new EP from Portland DJ Mo Nunez, better known as Mosart212. 212pill is a 29-minute suite that’s part YouTube how-to video, part nirvana-seeking daydream. It begins with the voice of a DJ talking about what we can learn from the innovators of the form, then segues into an atmosphere of floating piano chords and disembodied voices, a scented pillow for us to rest on while we contemplate. Mosart212 guides us through one meditation after another, filtering soul and funk samples through a transistor-radio crackle that makes the occasional full-stereo beats feel like satori. “It’s being able to move the record back and forth, forth and back, and creating rhythms and sounds that otherwise are not there,” our instructor pontificates toward the end. The whole thing fits together like C fits with E. Let’s be grateful it exists.
— Joe Sweeney
Mosart212 spins at Bayside Bowl on the mezzanine on June 1 and the rooftop on June 4.