T.O.P Interview: Wará (Urban Legend Records)

Words/Interview by Helena Markos

Photography by Teresa Espadafor

 

Inspired by his Arab roots, Wará is the most recent alias of Fran Mora: The Sevilla-born, Barcelona-based dj, producer and founder of the Urban Legend label, known for his dark industrial techno project /beyond/.

Wará’s debut EP “Luna Verde”, released on his own label, inhales the rhythms and murmurs of el Raval, Barcelona’s iconic multicultural neighbourhood. For this project, Mora leads us into the hypnotic sounds of Hindu and Arabic classical music without leaving behind the magma of dense noise and manipulated samples he is recognised for; a sonic journey from texture to rhythm with Arab instruments that make the listener feel as if you they were arriving to a Bedouin village after crossing the desert. (Source: Mira Festival website).

Tales of Psychofonia has interviewed Mora about his Wará project, only few days before his AV live act, at Mira Festival. Wará is an experience and a hazy mental trip into different cultures. Whilst listening his latest EP “Luna Verde”, you can smell the herbs of other countries and taste their flavours. Wará is a land without limits, without borders, where the East meets the West and the point where we all become ONE. This project is more than music and sound, it exceeds genres and it is experienced as an audiovisual documentary. Mora talks about his influences, upcoming plans, the experience of collaborating with great audiovisual artists and photographers and what the music of Wará means for him.

 

T.O.P: Could you tell us few things about your Wará project and what does this represent? 

M.: Well, these days we are working on a new audio-visual show, with an incredible photographic material by Teresa Espadafor that we had collected in a series of trips in Morocco. This material has been edited by Raul Hidalgo, two of the most exciting photographers in Barcelona, whom I blindly trust. All this analog work of experimentation is edited by Unseen and Trama Barceló, with whom I had previously collaborated and it feels great working with. 

We are very happy because it is a very unique project, since all the visual part is based on very well-chosen photographs. This is a very different process of reaching the public, it is more imaginative and more related to creating your own subjective conclusions of what is happening.

T.O.P: How do you feel about your upcoming performance at the MIRA festival, in Barcelona?

M.: Well, filled with enthusiasm! It is wonderful to see an AV project projected on a  screen of festival dimensions and a public really open to new sounds and of course, alongside epic artists. Besides, currently I am accompanied by a great team and I am sure it will be a exciting moment.

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T.O.P: Is there any connection between /Beyond/ and WARA or do you see them as completely different?

M.: The idea of ​​creating another project was to use it in a more visceral and spontaneous way, although sometimes they come together and they seem interlinked, I always try to avoid this.

T.O.P: What is the ideal mentality / environment for you to produce?

M.: So far, my studio “cave” has been my favourite place. I designed and manufactured it to be very comfortable and that’s the way it is. I really enjoy it and is there where I lose the notion of time and I get inspired, especially at dawn, creating or making my own vinyl or just imagining things. Now, I feel the need to get away from the city and create somewhere with more light  and surrounded by nature.

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T.O.P: Could you tell us few things about your latest EP,  LUNA VERDE, released on your own label Urban Legend Records?

M.: Well now that it has been almost a year I would like to thank for the feedback I have received. I am very happy with this album that has marked a personal stage and it has turned into a genuine tribute to my neighbours in Raval, Barcelona.

T.O.P: Next collaborations, releases or concerts that you want to share with us?

M.: Through the presentation of the live AV en MIRA festival, you can have a preview of what will be the new Wará EP. An EP with a more hypnotic sound, edited by Urban Legend. We are also working with Pedro Maia on a new AV project, that will be released at the beginning of the year, under the stamp of a label that I cannot reveal just yet.

 

T.O.P: What are the main feelings you are dealing with while listening this project? 

M.: I can tell you what is what I feel, although each person because of their culture can feel different. In my case the sound that comes out of this project embraces me, it is a project in which I let myself go and scratch my origins. Everyday, I feel more and more that I have much more  in common with the people in Africa than with those in Europe…

T.O.P: Do you think that using samples from different ethnic groups is a way to educate and promote equality?

M.: I think it could be, depending on the message you want to convey. For me, every time I hear unknown sounds normally coming from other cultures I can see a world opening to me,  with different patterns of perception and I discover different ways of making music. This is very exciting for me and experimenting with it is a game on which I am truly hooked.

T.O.P: Finally, what are your main influences / inspiration as Wará?

M.: It turns out that especially this last year I do not listen to music, I’m very disconnected, except flamenco, which I use mostly to evade. I spend loads of time experimenting in the studio. I’m inspired sometimes by sensations and micro seconds or by other gigs, things that are all recorded in my memory, although I could not tell you specific things. I always say that the artists who have moved me the most are Esplendor Geométrico y Camarón.