KAONASHI Conneiusseur of Music

12 Feb 2021

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We caught up with DJ Kaonashi, aka Jo Fubar, on Harmony Dave's sofa at the Canteen in Thong Sala - Joe had just returned from a night partying hard and DJ-ing at the Castle Koh Tao.  He was leaving the island for Nepal the next morning…

Joe Fubar

How do you feel about Koh Phangan?


Yes, we all go through our moments of island ennui!  

Ok, try again… What does Koh Phangan mean to you?

The World!  Everything!!  FREEDOM!!!  Funny how you can find freedom in a place so small…

Joe first visited Koh Phangan with a girlfriend in 2005, aged 21.  After 3 days here they went on to Phuket, but turned straight back around to spend their time on Koh Phangan!

The seed was sown there. Joe went home to finish university, then returned to Phangan three years later at 24yrs old. He's 29 this year.

What made you come back?

Memories. Must have been the memories...

I was looking on the internet for a bar to buy, and came across Marc London's  Moonlight Cafe  in Haad Rin.  Funnily enough Marc turned out to be a friend of a friend, and in Feb 2008 I flew out to Koh Phangan with sister Alice to check it out.

Back in the UK I sold everything within two months, and was back on the island in April 2008. I bought the bar for my 24th birthday present!

All I got for my birthday that year was the bar and a fake pair of sunglasses from Alex McKemey, who stayed with me at Fubar for 3 months. He was one of the closest friends to my heart, but I never saw him again!

Have you still got the glasses?  No, but I have still got the bar! Wish it was the other way around!

Is Koh Phangan still your home?

Yes! I kiss the ground every time I come home! Even now, off the ferry from Koh Tao! Obviously I don't want to kiss a concrete pier, but I kiss my fingers and kiss the ground, always!

I don't want to kiss the ground when I go back to Heathrow.

You had 5yrs at Fubar …

Yes, at first I called it Kaonashi, until Guy became a partner in Oct 2008 and we renamed it Fubar, Guy's idea.  The first time I met Guy he was passed out in Fubar after a Full Moon Party, his head hanging over the edge as there was no wall at the time.  He came round and said, "Yeah, I'll buy your bar!"... and the rest is history!

Joe Fubar jungle Experience Kaonashi

Can you describe your time at Fubar?

Dedicated;  wholly consuming;  testing;  absolutely brilliant;  LIFE-MAKING! 

The people I met, I was so lucky to be introduced to Marc London. I got to meet all of the locals and become part of the long term scene straight away.

I saw Outback Paddy a couple of years ago, before he died, he stopped me and talked to me for the first time. We talked a lot in that last year or so of his life and he too became dear to my heart.

I'll always remember what he said that day: "We were all looking, waiting to see how you would do with your sister… we thought you were a dickhead, but you know what, YOU'RE ALRIGHT! " 

That to me was confirmation: we were part of the in crowd.

Confirmation indeed from the stalwart Paddy, a Koh Phangan veteran for so many years, may Buddha rest his soul from all of us who remember him!

Joe also remembers his first encounters with Jungle Gym Marissa. He remembers calling her out to his friends, only to have Marissa come up to him at Guy's Bar: I'm not a bitch, alright. Joe laughs as he tells how petrified he was! Of course, they eventually became great friends.

OK, OK , so what about Marc London? What did Marc London mean to you?

Instantly Joe wells up, with red eyes ready to flow tears...

I'm going to get emotional, man. He was really important to me. Even though he didn't think too highly of me, he was really important to me. He taught me how to behave … and how to misbehave.

HOW to misbehave, you know, there's a way to do it. He helped me by being who he was. Some young guy comes in and buys a bar, acts like a twat. To have a figure, certified, like that to give support, when he could have walked away and not cared less what happened... to us or the bar!

I ripped all his old vinyls onto my computer once, spent hours getting all his best music down, then went to Guy's Bar and presented him with a USB stick. Imagine! All your best vinyl - in WAV. form!! He just looked at me, held the USB stick and said, "That's a GESTURE!"

That's all I got. But that was Marc! 

It was magic stuff, man, electro progressive Backyard stuff, or maybe in hindsight, it wasn't Backyard music!

Before I DJ'd in what was Kaonashi back then, we had EPIC line ups! Marc London David Chong DJ Kim Ollie Redeye LaFunk… Epic man! It was all locals in the bar, all the Haad Tien crowd used to come over.

But as good a the good times were, Joe wasn't making any money, and eventually a couple of friends suggested he DJ himself.  NB. Correction from Joe:  I didnt start djing cos I was broke, but I was tired of all the 'superstars' pissing over what time they were playing, how much they were gettin paid, etc...  huge egos!!!!!  Couldnt stand that rubbish so decided to do it myself...          

I learnt to DJ with Chang Mark when he took over The Fridge down Drop In Soi. He called it Luna-C. Genius! He used to play Marc & Richie & Dirty White Boy Gary's sets, and DJ Kim from the Rock Paradise!

Listening to Kim's sets was one of the reasons I learnt to DJ. He used to play all night in Kaonashi, 15-16hr sets on Full Moon Nights -  sometimes I had to pull the plug out of the socket to stop him! I didn't know anything about DJing at the time - I thought that was normal!

Joe Fubar


Joe says that was the inspiration for his own famed 8hr sets at Fubar. 

"OK, Kim crashed and banged them together… but in a beautiful way… and the music, man!"

Joe soon took to 'crash-banging them' together himself, after Argentinian Cris gave DJ Kaonashi his whole minimal tech-house collection. Joe went through it and put it into 3 folders, Backyard Tech 1 2 & 3, which he still uses today.

QUALITY! Beautiful music! I don't consider myself inspired by normal house; non-house house inspired me, songs were songs, music was music!

JoFubar at Back Yard  after his 1st epic 5hr set

I practised for a couple of months, then in July 2009 I played the best set of my life. 5-6hrs at Fubar, I recorded it. UNTOUCHABLE!!! It's fucking the nuts! BECAUSE… I didn't know what I was doing!

All that happened the night before, Cris had given me more tracks - real quality music - memorable!  I didn't have an encyclopaedic knowledge of house at that time, so I had a fresh ear - and I could mix that shit in a very unique way.  I was mixing three-quarter beats, which is an art form of mixing, but I had NO IDEA what I was doing or how I was doing it, but it was amazing!

Up the Backyard I was flying, best I'd ever felt in my life, I'd made a set, I was a DJ! I was upstairs floating like a butterfly, prancing around, over the moon.

French Joel was taking pictures and I specifically told him NO, but then I turned round and he snapped me, and I am so happy he did.  He captured that moment in time.  It is a very special photo to me, I felt like I'd conquered!  The mix was so good we went back to Fubar to listen to my mix rather than stay at the Backyard!

"My hand has a white bandage in the Backyard photo.  Cris from Argentina made us all a shot in Fubar in the night, flaming sambucas, and i was busy mixing so i let it burn to long... put my hand on it and had a nice ring burn in the palm of my hand. Dj'd all morning with ice cubes in my hand dripping on everything!"

Jungle Experience Joe Fubar



PAC party phanganOver the last 4 yrs DJ Kaonashi has held 3 island residencies at Fubar, Backyard & Anahata; and has made regular appearances at Jungle Experience, Loi Lay, Rhythm & Sands & PAC Party Phangan to name but a few!

When will you be back on Koh Phangan, Fubar Jo?

Christmas hopefully!   Christmas?!

When I'm on the island I find it hard to leave, but when I'm away I find it hard to come back!

On the brink of a new journey now, Jo Fubar was going out in style: Just returned from a Friday night at The Castle Koh Tao, he was on his way to Eden Garden for one last Saturday night party with old mate Ollie Redeye LaFunk - before they both flew out for the season!

Sunday morning Joe was leaving the island at 11am, on his way to Nepal.


Go with love, brother, know that Koh Phangan returns your love in abundance, and will always be waiting with open shores to welcome you home ;)


Dj Kaonashi's new mixes are/will be at http://www.play.fm/artist/kaonashi and check out his poetry below!




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