Jon Rundell is an international DJ, acclaimed producer, in-demand remixer and Intec Digital label boss. We had the chance to talk with the artist ahead of the release of his latest EP ‘Warped’.
Electronic Groove: Congrats on the release of your new EP ‘Warped’. What process went into creating this EP? Do you prefer to lock yourself away in the studio or do you find you make music better when you’re on the road?
Jon Rundell: ‘Warped’ was a mixture really, I never know when I’m going to feel inspired so always have my laptop with me to get an idea down quickly when on the move, then when I’m settled I lock myself away with no distractions to really focus on what I’m doing. Sometimes I just lock myself away from the start, it just depends where I am and what I’m doing at the time. I think making music is such a random creative thing that it is best to try and remove the pressure as much as you can. You get tension from all areas, but sometimes you just got to let the nature of being creative do its thing, and if it’s not happening it is best not to release something just for the sake of it, as often as possible it has to be your best at the time.
Electronic Groove: You’ve been living in London for some time now. How does the city influence your productions?
Jon Rundell: With so much traveling I take influences from all over the world, but if I’m honest where I am has never tended to influence a track, it’s more how I feel at the moment. If I feel like do something tough and menacing then I do that, if I feel like doing something more melodic or dubbier then I move forward to a related sound. My environment so far has never really seemed to sway the way I feel, or at least I’m not aware if it has.
“There’s too much of the same out there”
Electronic Groove: We’ve heard some of your sets where we haven’t recognized some of the tracks played! Is this something that you strive to achieve in a set?
Jon Rundell: Definitely. There’s too much of the same out there, there always has been but now with the internet it has been magnified even more. I try to spend as little time as possible online to avoid seeing and hearing a lot of the same music or tracks, be distracted by it and waste time. I like to just jump in and blast through demos, promos and web stores and literally just pick out what I feel I like, regardless of who made it or what label it’s on. That’s the DJ job during the week, to research and collate music. I feel I haven’t been lazy and I’ve done my job to introduce new music to people by doing this. I guess is because we get so many demos into the label I do often end up playing a lot of unsigned music if there is something I can play, even if we don’t end up signing it. Of course there are times when a track becomes popular and I play it a lot still within a set, but for me it’s about curating that set there and then, and I’ve never been one to go all out from the start, I like to build first.
Electronic Groove: You’ve talked fondly of your love for all things Mod and the influence that music had on you when you were younger. Before you discovered Techno, did you think a different genre of music would be your calling?
Jon Rundell: I was into US Hip Hop when I was kid, and all different types of it too. I liked the raw and funky stuff, the deeper more thoughtful stuff, I played a bit of guitar too at the same time as this, as was into bands like The Jam as well, and where my MOD roots stemmed from. Then I discovered house music and liked, then breakbeats in the rave scene, including all the Jungle and Drum&Bass music, this before hitting Techno. Basically I like a lot of different types of music. Techno just seemed to connect with me as I felt the energy and rhythm of it, was perfect for me, plus I felt it had so many layers that it felt more futuristic and you could really explore it. It also felt rebellious, something the MOD in me already was to a degree, and even though I rarely show it these days there is still a huge inner rebel in me.
Electronic Groove: As a longstanding and influential member of the Techno community, how do you keep things fresh, both in the studio and in your sets?
Jon Rundell: By doing all of the above! There was a time before we re-started the label where I was always online checking out what everyone was doing and I wasn’t getting anything done, so I just cut myself off from it. Social Media has done some great things but by rarely using it personally I just do what I feel musically, with no distractions, and this is how I keep things fresh. Of course I’m inspired by the other music and it’s easy to access anything you feel like listening to with the likes of Spotify, or by going to hear what other DJs who are playing that you admire and respect, this is important too. You just have to keep trying to evolve and develop all the time and I would always advise any young producer out there to try to be like this. Doing the same over and over just gets boring basically!
Jon Rundell’s ‘Warped’ is available here.
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