JAPAN-ISM vol. 1: WACKO MARIA by Slam Jam Socialism

Slam Jam got a chance to sit down with Atsuhiko Mori of cult label WACKO MARIA for a talk about origins, music influences, collaborations and the future of his label as a part of it's new JAPAN-ISM series.

"Originally founded in 2005 by retired J-league footballers Keiji Ishizuka and Atsuhiko MoriWacko Maria remains an influential though low-key brand in the Japanese fashion scene. Its Paradise City location is a retail trinity that combines a clothing store, vintage sound system, and coffee shop. Even if located in Tokyo’s trendy Meguro ward, the store is off the beaten path and located on a busy street devoid of any other relevant retailers."

Check out the video and a few excerpts below and head over to Slam Jam for more

You’ve successfully combined a lot of concepts into this space such as the music, the clothing store, and the coffee shop. Did you have the same interests/direction/vision?

My partner and I started with the same direction, but we’ve since gone separate ways. For myself, I’m the type that gravitates towards culture and music like what you see here.

Other than music, what else are you influenced by?

I like a lot of different things, including movies. I’m a huge fan of Italian architecture, the four Renaissance men and film directors like Luchino Visconti, Federico Fellini, and Bernardo Bertolucci. I also like Godard.

Tell us about your particular relationship with vinyl.

I listen to records every day, and I get excited when I find new records. I buy a lot from friends. There aren’t many stores left, there used to be a lot in Shibuya 20 years ago. Hardcore ones are fewer and fewer to come by. I have a lot of friends that are collectors, so I buy privately from them. 

We post our Soundcloud mixtape called Killer Tunes Broadcast account on our webpage. All the music on that playlist is from the vinyl I collect, and everything on it is diverse. I play that when I have house parties too.