Tales from the Echobox 007
Launching in 2021, Echobox has been forging a path for community radio by showcasing the diverse characters and concepts that surround them. In this feature, we will be looking into a few of the broadcasts that you can tune into so get locked in and don’t touch that dial.
Mechanics of Joy - Kike Morales & Jon Woodroof
Could you tell us a little about the concept of Mechanics of Joy?
Kike Morales: Through cycling, we want to discuss the actual logic of happiness and general life on earth, in a way that we highlight direct relationships that, by being simple and reliable, are almost mechanical; i.e: how we relate to our city, our community, and our planet? which role plays the sense of adventure and discovery in our lives? how can we have a positive and transformative impact in our surroundings?
Jon Woodruf: Indeed. Ultimately the joke is: that we're not mechanics (lol) but do wanna learn from people about how this stuff (joy) works for other people and share that with our listeners.
Just how joyful are you guys, exactly? Or are you actually miserable but are the mechanics of the joy of others?
KM: As Jon would say: hold your line and you'll be fine! We both know struggle and complexity, both in our own personal life, surroundings, and definitely others. Joy is a mystery, but also a commitment, so hold your line...
JW: Thank you for that, Kike! I agree. I'd also say that: Joy is contagious. And, you're the sum of who you spend the most time around. So by putting a critical yet positive message & content out there with a thought-provoking conversation & meaningful music: we hope to do our part to share our joy and that of those that we invite to the show!
Have bicycles always been part of your life, whether in terms of work or pleasure?
KM: For Jon definitely part of his life: big time, he doesn't own a car (neither does he like them), travels as much as he can by train, and bicycles have been a spinal bone in his life. For me, I used to be a climber and I embraced gravity and two wheels when I moved to The Netherlands – but for some strange reason, loved Le Tour since I was a teenager.
JW: indeed. I grew up riding. My father's a cyclist and his parents too. I rode throughout college. had a bike shop with bike messenger friends of mine. Haha, here is my official blurb:
"He has 10 years of competitive cycling experience from the streets dodging traffic in alleycats to track sprinting internationally to amateur road racing and criteriums to digging deep in Dutch mud racing cyclocross. For Jon, “it all comes back to the bike.”
What things between the cycling community and the music communities of Amsterdam are exciting for you right now?
KM: Well, we're working a lot with Dox Records, and after the pandemic, Jon and I have been already to two concerts together (Peter Somuah – he was at the show, and Dox 25th Anniversary); we also play music together, Jon on guitar me on the tenor sax. We love music and we have it constantly on at the office.
JW: We're also planning on doing an event with DOX in the Ardennes next summer. And like Kike said, we have a music studio in our office and need to get back in there. Everyone we play music with Fish, Hidde, Jur and others all ride too!
The longest cycle you’ve ever done? What music got you through the trip?
KM: I pass this one to Jon, because my answer is going to be pretty lame: I like the sound of the smooth mechanics; but my longest ride has been around 5/6 hours.
JW: I've done several ultra events over weeks but the real burly stuff in several times I've done 500km in one go and 5 or 6 times 300 in one go.
Another blurb I use sometimes:
"Back in 2018, Jon embarked on the 1st Silk Road Mountain Race in Kyrgyzstan. Before that, it was the first Torino-Nice Rally in 2016 & thereafter the Atlas Mountain Race in Morocco in 2020. Next week, it'll be the Bohemian Border Bash Race in the Czech Republic, Poland & Germany."
How important are cycling and other alternative methods of transport in the face of the climate crisis?
KM: Well, is crucial! Not just because oil prices, but because it changes how you relate to your city and your surroundings, something that seems pretty obvious for Amsterdamers, but is not the case elsewhere... also, we're not gonna save the planet with bikes, we need politics and policies, but definitely commuting by car is damn stupid: it took a big white bunch of lobbyist to convince us all that we needed a car to go everywhere.
JW: Agreeing with Kike and quite simply: bikes will save the world.
Jon, you recently brought your kids onto the show with you. What kind of perspective does speaking with them grant you that is different from others?
JW: I love the perspective of my kids and their friends. I always say: "kids get it". They see things for how they are (i.e. without complexity nor bias) and at the same time, see the possibility in unorthodox solutions (i.e. sure that could work, why not?)
I love to squat down and see things from a kids perspective. It's the antidote to becoming a boomer.
Can you tell us a little bit about how Astrofever and DIAL212 got
Astrofever Records saw the light of day in late 2017, it's a family-run initiative
that's been in ideation for years. After a series of events my older brother and
I had started in 2011, the ecosystem in which we used to operate in the first
place has undergone unbearable changes which made us realize there was
so much of a gap to bridge as we wanted to connect and engage with
broader audiences through musical releases not only club nights, we couldn't
think of a better pivoting to solidify what we started, and that’s how the
establishment of the imprint came about.
DIAL212 was launched in that same spirit of continuity, the show is a
successor to a set of broadcasts I landed through Red Light Radio between
2016 and 2020. One year ago, I learned about the birthing of Echobox and
was eager to join the conversation as means to uphold the connection
between Amsterdam and my hometown, also, create a channel that would
serve as a space for the local community and like-minded fellow artists to
express their musical environment though.
You have a new album out on Astrofever Records, the Vinyl drops on
August 26th, what was the process of writing that album like? What kind
of things should we expect?
It's the longest and most elevating journey I went on musically! the approach
was different from the traditional music-making route I was used to. Far
beyond writing songs, I wanted to create something introspective with a deep
connection to my actual life, and shaping a homogenous body of work takes
time! a lot of time, planning, personal and creative scrutiny about who you
are, how to deliver the reflection in pristine form and where to take the music!
After countless recording sessions, I reflected on the narrative of the project. It took me a while to glue things together but I was firmly convinced I was bringing it to completion halfway through, the time spent building has sparked new energy
and brought musical contributions from artists I've always wanted to work
with, we were able to inspire each other and that's what matters the most to
me. I have to admit, I do look at “PRAISE THE SUN“ as the musical venture
that made me a better and more realistic version of myself.
Sound wise, it's a hybrid of the many and varied musical territories I identify
with, all gently intersecting with each other. It's been described as rich,
multicolored and bright. The digital edition is available to purchase on our Bandcamp, along with a limited colored 12" vinyl expected to ship by the end of next month. You can find out more here:
Astrofever operates out of Casablanca, Morocco. What kind of scene
is bubbling up over there? Who are the key actors, and who are some of
the freshest faces on the block that we should know about?
The Hip-hop scene has been booming over the last few years and is in full
swing at present. The dynamic expands to the techno and house landscape
as well. The likes of Casa Voyager’s Kosh, OCB and Malika, have been
delivering overseas, conveying an expression deeply rooted in the city. Artists
like Cee El Assad, Hicham Hitack, Guedra Guedra, Nawfel, Retro Cassetta,
Saib and collectives like People's Choice, all across different musical
currents, have been greatly contributing to shaping the city's sound.
Related to the previous question, what's going on in the world of
radio in Casablanca?
Aside from national and commercial stations, there's not much going on, I
suppose there's still a lot of work to do as far as raising awareness around
community radio and how much of a culture catalyst it can become.
If I pick up my phone right now, and dial 212, who's on the other end
of the line? What should I chat to them about?
We'll hook it up to a sampler, you can beatbox, and I'll incorporate it within
my next record. Holy sh**t just picture how fire this would be!
Your show delves into a wide range of music from places including but not limited to Asia. Could you talk a little about how music played a role for you growing up?
Like most of the other people in this universe, my daily life motivation is from music. In my case, I have been fascinated by music from Asia, from the unique original style, and Western music cover songs to total rip-off music.
Why is it called Snacktime?
I would love whoever tuned into the show to feel like they are snacking some Lille fun snack. Once in a while during the day, you cannot help but snacking. And snacks should be something small but entertaining and in various ranges. I wanted my radio to be like a snack. And to make matters better, my radio program starts at 15:00. Snack time with Yukarita!
Who would be your ideal guest on the show?
WHOEVER READING THIS ARTICLE THIS FAR. YOU! MESSAGE ME ON IG or MYSPACE!
Could you speak a little about the dolphin-infused aesthetic?
What do you mean? I am the dolphin.
If you could bring one thing from Tokyo to Amsterdam, what would it be?
Convenient Stores and Department Stores.
What is your favourite snack and what is the ideal time to eat said snack?
Ramen for after going out for clubbing hours / Fried squid for after 16:00 before dinner time hours/ Bubble Tea for some time around 14:00 / Small portion of Haagen-Daz Matcha ice cream after dinner hours.