Atsuhiko Mori is an analog person. He doesn’t have a computer on his desk in his studio; in fact, he rarely uses emails. I asked him why, and while he recovered from his late night drinking, Mori answered: “I wonder why. When something is too convenient, it just doesn’t feel cool to me. I prefer meeting someone in person to emailing.” Watching him murmur these words while standing in front of his vintage sound system in Lee Perry’s Killer Tune t-shirt, somehow made his words sound more convincing. During our conversation, he picked up and showed a few of his favorite records from his enormous vinyl collection. One of them was The Best of Bob Marley & the Wailers 12” with the embossed cover with silkscreen print on top. “When I went to New York, I found this by chance at a flea market. It was really cheap too,” Mori smiled.
He dove deeply into rebel music in his late teens, after spending years devoted to soccer. “I found dreadlocks cool and loved the feel-good Jamaican rhythms. That was the start,” explained Mori. Later when he relocated to Tokyo as a professional soccer player, it didn’t take long for him to start frequenting record stores. Back then, the world was all about designer brands, but Mori was not interested. Like many other kids did at that time, he tried to copy the looks and styles of his favorite musicians by buying cheap secondhand clothes and creatively mixing-and-matching them together. “When I saw the film ‘The Rockers’, some of the casts and Bob Marley were playing soccer in tracksuits with beanies; so I copied that style, but it looked so dorky (laughs). I constantly tweaked things in hopes to make it cool.” Soon after, Mori joined the Yokohama Flügels as a goalie. Aside from his talent and skill as an athlete, his defending the goal with bandana over his dreadlocks certainly helped him gain attention.