Mouca is a small tape-label aiming to connect people. Since the beginning of 2012 it has put out an impressive amount of tapes and organized many great shows involving people from different places and scenes. Whenever founder Augusto Gómez Lima finds something he likes, he tries to push it the best he can. The latest Mouca project is a mixtape edition dedicated to each city they operate in at the moment: Berlin, Porto and Vilnius. The first one will be released and celebrated at ACUD this wednesday with a live show by Garbanotas Bosistas from Vilnius and Raiments from Berlin. We asked him a few questions about Mouca, the Lithuanian music scene and tapes.
Why did you start Mouca?
It was a natural thing, to start putting many underground artists together with some kind of well know ones, and bring the opportunity for both worlds to interact.
You release the mixtapes online for free. Is there a special reason for it?
I think it is the best way to put out a digital compilation. It works well like this because people get curious about the artists and dig further, which eventually leads them to get some more of the artists physical releases or going to their shows.
What do you like about compiling? Is it about recommending music? Or about creating a certain atmosphere?
I always try to create a certain atmosphere, actually a very personal one, since I am always doing these mixtapes based on the music that I am discovering. This is something I have done for myself for years, that now comes out public in a certain sequence accompanied by a certain artwork.
You have done a lot of different collaborations – what do you like about working with other people?
I like sharing the enthusiasm of making things happen, and not being the only one responsible. And these experiences often have a snowball effect. For example working with Cartouche made it possible for us to know each other better, to come up with some shows for 케이프 and even helped to establish this connection now with ACUD.
Let’s talk about the Lithuanian music scene: How and when did u come across Garbanotas Bosistas?
I got into them along with other Lithuanian artists more than a year ago through my girlfriend Dalia But their last album really got my attention. It is way better than the last Tame Impala record.
Could you describe the music scenes?
Lithuania is well known for their avantgarde jazz scene through the hands of No Business Records, one of the most important jazz labels in the world, as well as for their Vilnius Mama Jazz festival. Lithuanian underground punk scene was big already 30 years ago, Sonic Youth played in Vilnius in 1989 and I guess all these people in the punk scene were there. We are still talking about Soviet times. There was a good number of fanzines and publications, and today you can still feel a connection with that past through bands like No Real Pioneers. These days you also have an enigmatic noise scene, and vibrant electronic movement, with Napo or the great producer Fingalick. There are countless great artists in the pop-rock scene, to mention Mmpsuf, Kamanių Šilelis, Garbanotas Bosistas, UMIKO, Chung Kran or OBŠRR among many others.
When and why did you start digging there?
I started spending more time in Vilnius when Dalia moved there to write her master thesis. So it was a natural thing to me, to start connecting with the local art scene.
You always try to connect people from different places – is there a reason why?
Back in the late 90s I simply could not afford going to see the bands I wanted to London or New York. There were only few low cost airlines, and almost none flying from Porto. So I started sending some emails and in the end a small independent touring map was built with the help of other promoters. So, putting in contact people, artists, in different places is also a way of making things happen. In this case the idea is to create a triangle between Porto, Vilnius and Berlin, and fill the gaps in between. It is already happening.
What do you like about tapes?
A tape is a cool music container. It is cheap, easy to record, has two sides, it‘s small enough to put it into your pocket and has a strong connection with the DIY mixtapes from the 90’s.
What are your most favourite tape labels at the moment?
Many labels are releasing tapes right now, which is great. Gnar, Burger and Orchid are among the ones I pay more attention to.
Could you recommend a good tape store in Berlin?
There is “Staalplaat” in Neukölln with an assortiment of great new releases of obscure electronic music, also one in Reichenbergerstraße with old stuff and a couple of second hand stores where you can find great things.