Getting his start as a member of the Krush Posse in the early ’80s, DJ Muro has evolved over the last two and a half decades from a Japanese hip hop pioneer, to an elder statesman in the scene he helped to create. Known as a master selector, Muro’s record collection clocks in at over 100,000 albums. [Rumor has it that the records have their own Tokyo apartment.] In addition to his career as an international DJ, he also works as a record producer, owns a hip hop clothing shop in Tokyo’s Shibuya district called Savage!, and runs a label called Incredible Records.

When DJing live, what do you think makes the perfect set?

Always try to be in contact with your records and know what you have inside-out.

What elements make a good DJ?

Go to clubs and record stores as much as you can, and watch and learn.

How important is record sleeve art to an album?

A tasteful record has a tasteful sleeve. I can’t really guarantee it, but my collection is like that.

How do you think your travels have affected or informed your DJing over the years?

I put out an album based on a concept that I set up a fictional airline called Pan Rhythm Airline and travel around the world, so I think it influenced my style to a certain extent. However, I still bring vinyl wherever I go.

Do you have a favorite place to spin?

APT in NYC and a club called Praha in Niigata, Japan.

Do you have a favorite artist? One who inspires your music or your musical choices?

It is not a person, but the film music of Toei, a famous Japanese movie company, that inspires me.

Do you have a favorite record sleeve?

It is not a sleeve, but an exclusive picture disc of me and Lord Finesse’s unreleased version, given as a present from my manager, when I collaborated with the much-longed-for D.I.T.C about five years ago.

Do you have a favorite record sleeve?

It is not a sleeve, but an exclusive picture disc of me and Lord Finesse’s unreleased version, given as a present from my manager, when I collaborated with the much-longed-for D.I.T.C about five years ago.

You’ve traveled a lot for music. What do you think is the most creative, coolest city right now?

NYC, this will never change. NYC is always the city.

Dj Muro