August, 2016 marked the 7 year anniversary of one of the most influential clubs in all of Japan, Akihabara’s Mogra.
For those of you living outside of Japan, Mogra may not be a household name. The thriving underground club tucked away in the corner of the bubbling electronics district, Akihabara, has been the birthplace of a whole generation of musicians throughout its 7 year lifespan. Artists such as kzLivetune, tofubeats, DJ Shimamura, and even Dempagumi.inc‘s own Nemu Yumemi make up only a small portion of the musicians birthed of this club.
Though it may not be Japan’s largest club, it is definitely one of its most influential in it’s own rights.
Mogra is more than just a club. It’s a diverse and inviting community of individuals who express themselves through the music they love. Breaking down the barriers of musical genre, the club urges those in attendance to further develop their musical interests with a warm embrace.
Seven years ago, D-Yama, who could barely attend a club himself, moved forward with his ambition to open an otaku-centric environment. At 21 years of age, there was no way for him to know what he was getting into; let alone where his ambitions would lead him just seven years later.
Mogra’s 7th Anniversary event took place over three days, each attributing to their own unique style. Though I couldn’t be there for all three days, I had the honor of attending day two. Upon entering the building, I’m immediately greeted by event-manager Hara, who went on to introduce me to club owner D-Yama. I was taken back a little; there was no green room, no office-space, D-Yama was simply a member in attendance to the environment he himself had created. We exchanged a short conversation in both broken English and broken Japanese and then continued to enjoy the happenings of the night.
No other club feels like Mogra. The moment you walk down the stairs you’re not entering a club; you’re entering a community.
Mogra has been home to some of the most exhilarating shows to come to Tokyo. Pulling in names both domestically and internationally, Mogra enables itself to be accessible on a global scale. Within its lifespan we have seen acts such as Porter Robinson, JACK댄스 and Digitalism call Mogra home for the night. Performances like these really drive home the international credibility of the club, as well as the reputation it holds.
Part of what makes Mogra such a well noted club internationally is their live stream that accompanies every show. With almost 3 million total views and just under 10,000 subscribers from all around the world, the stream enables individuals worldwide to plug in, regardless of location. Some of my favorite memories in Australia were based around watching that stream on a Friday night with friends. It exposed us to new music in a way that only Mogra could.
Mogra stands as one of the most important cornerstones in the emerging Japanese music scene. In seven short years, it has opened so many opportunities for artists of all skill and caliber. It is a critical part of Japan’s electronic music’s culture, and I wish it the best for another seven successful years, and onwards.
Thank you Mogra.