One of the most well-known and respected underground dance music producers of the 1990s and 00s, Jon Carter is best known for being part of an influential group of burgeoning UK DJs who were to set the musical tone of clubland and dance culture at the time. The set comprised of Norman Cook (Fat Boy Slim), The Chemical Brothers and the late and much missed Andy Weatherall who were all residents at the mind-blowing and now officially legendary club night, label and cultural music institution the Heavenly Social.
Despite all of this success, Jon Carter chose to duck out of the music game for a decade or more, retreating to concentrate on other projects, until sensationally and very recently drawn back in by a life-changing moment.
Listening to the soundtrack from the film Countryman on some newly set-up record decks where he was staying on the south coast of England, he experienced a personal event for the first time in more than a decade. “I heard something leap out from a tune which made me hear a whole new piece of music around it, but I didn’t know what it was yet,” Jon recalls. “It was there waiting to come into existence. Ten years is a long time out in the wilderness away from music, and I hadn’t had this experience for longer than that.”
He quickly rewound that section of music on the decks. “Then I saw this internal silver light turn on and travel up from my heart, through my left shoulder and into my head,” he says, “and I knew that I had to do something instantly.” He attached a lead out of the mixer to his laptop and got his old 303 out of a cupboard. “I topped and tailed the percussion loop, and just stuck a 303 into the mixer, without any timing, using the tempo control to mix it and put a Derrick Carter beat over the top. Suddenly I was making music again after so long.”
Jon told this story to author and musician Ian Snowball, who understood what he meant and told Jon to meet him in the studio, which happened to be just a few yards from where he previously lived in London for 30 years. All the signs were there.
“Boys Own legend, Terry Farley, who’s done a few bits over the years, was in the studio with Ian and Wade Teo, who has just made a track with house legend Marshall Jefferson with Curtis McClain on vocals,” Jon tells. “This was the partnership that made the seminal house music anthem ‘Move Your Body’, and it seemed there was a path being laid ahead that I had to follow.
“Curtis is such a talent that just the outtakes from their tune worked perfectly with what I brought to the studio,” he continues. “Thanks to Ian, Terry and Wade Teo, I was making music again, and thanks to Curtis and Marshall and the light I was loving it once more.”
So ‘Brother & Sister’ is the tune that catapulted Jon back into the music game after so long away. More music followed, including the recently released ‘Mighty Horses’ on Jack Said What and his remix of Scott Booth’s ‘The Beginning’. “Now I have a whole new love for music again, which I thought had gone,” Jon says. “Music has become a guiding force once again. Always look out for the signs — you may not see them at first, but they are there when you look, and they will guide you.”
“Have faith, come together, brother and sister, and happiness will come.”
Jon’s original collaborator’s Spaces Between (Terry Farley, Wade Teo and Ian Snowball) send it deeper, while Steve Mac ruffs it up. Sit back and enjoy!