Mobin Master: The master of tribal funk

Adelaide’s Mobin Master is a man of many talents. In addition to producing chart topping house tracks and DJing around the globe, Mobin works as a doctor full time and is currently studying to become a radiology specialist. He won the People’s Choice Award for South Australian DJ of the year at the 2001 DMA’s (Australian Dance Music Awards), had his ‘Tribal Funk’ series played by Seb Fontaine and Radio 1 in the UK which has been licensed to the latest Carl Cox compilation as well as holding down residencies in Adelaide and in his home town of Melbourne.

Needless to say, Mobin is an extremely busy man but still manages to churn out one hit after another. His funky house productions are favourites with some of the biggest names in the global scene, including Bob Sinclair, Roger Sanchez, Little Louie Vega, Dimitri From Paris, Josh Wink, Liquid People and Jim Shaft Ryan. His remix repertoire is also a driving force in both the Australian and international dance music industry. Mobin’s remix of Madison Avenue’s ‘Everything You Need’ (Virgin/EMI) in 2000 became a worldwide, club chart hit and went straight to number one on the local Aria Club Chart – as did his remix of Sgt Slick’s ‘Let It Ride’ (Vicious Grooves).

So how does this talented artist manage to juggle a highly successful musical career, a demanding day job and postgraduate medical studies? “Obviously, I have to be very efficient with my time,” admits Mobin. “I do about 2 CD burns per night and analyse the track on my way to work. Unfortunately, this doesn’t give me much time for other things, like keeping up with current affairs – but I work out on a treadmill at the gym and sometimes manage to catch the news when football isn’t showing on all three channels,” he laughs.

At the time of our interview, Mobin is preparing for a primary anatomy exam before taking a break from his studies to promote his latest CD, ‘Troubled Girl.’ He sounds fairly confident having studied for the test for the last six months but according to him, postgraduate exams only have about a fifteen percent success rate. “Medical school depends on exams so you have to keep doing them until you pass. After the exam on Monday I have final exams in two years and then I’ll do one more year in a public hospital and work as a slave on a low wage. Then I can go into private practise and start receiving a healthy wage.”

Mobin admits the doctor/DJ combination is somewhat bizarre but says the two careers suit him perfectly because he needs to “use both sides of the brain – the analytical and the creative.” He seems to perform at his best when working in both areas. Take his final year at high school. It is usually a time when most kids are virtually pulling their hair out from the stress but not Mobin – he taught himself to play the guitar during study breaks! “I always liked percussion and funk music and my next door neighbour taught me how to play piano when I was young,” explains Mobin of his early beginnings. “I did my first CD is with Hess [founder of Bamboo Records] and I have to say we owe a lot of our success to each other. He helped me when I was starting out as a DJ and I helped him out with production. I started out producing first and DJing was quite a challenge – if you really want to be good or interesting. I like using three turntables and two CD players and I play acapellas over known tracks – people just love that. I’m kind of remixing on the spot.”

He teamed up with Hess again recently to produce ‘Troubled Girl’ a cover of the Latin house classic by Karen Ramirez, featuring Moby’s vocalist Dianne Charlemagne. The track is a big hit on dance floors throughout Europe and Ibiza, with plays from Dimitri from Paris, Liquid People (Defected), Dave Clarke and Slammin’ Boys (Galaxy FM, UK).

Karina Chavez and Mobin have been performing together around Adelaide for the last year and half and he says she is “a great performer with an amazing black sounding voice. She’s only 21 so, when it’s time for her to do her thing in the club she’s always busy having a good time. Karen’s Argentinean and they really know how to live life..” They leave to eat, go to carnivals and relax in the summer. Everyone is always out until 11pm over there – even the oldest people in the families are out that late. It’s similar to the French lifestyle, although people in Spain and South America are a lot nicer,” he says with a chuckle.

Mobin’s love affair with this lifestyle plays out in his music, which has an unmistakable Latin vibe. His Persian background and time spent living and working oversees also influences his unique sound. “I was in Israel for a year, and worked as a gardener over there before I started medical school,” he explains. “I met about 150 youth volunteers from all over the world. They came from Africa, China, USA, India and of course Australia so, I was introduced to a lot of multicultural music and had a really great time.”

“I moved to England in 1999 to do some locum work and while I was there I was able to absorb the music scene and played in places like London, Gloucester and Cheltenham. It gave me a good concept and understanding of what the British scene is like. Things move up and down in the charts within a few days and the quantity of music was amazing.” Mobin will be travelling oversees again this month but this time he is off to East Asia on a DJ tour. He also plans to start work on the next installment of his ‘Tribal Funk’ series in Shanghai.

Troubled Girl is out now through Vicious.

You can catch Mobin Master at the launch of ‘Kink Summer Sessions’ at the Arthouse on Oct 25, click HERE for more info.

and in Perth on Saturday 22nd Novemeber @ the new Office Nightclub – click HERE for more info.