Constant Sound is a record label from Burnski and Jon Woodall, focusing on forward thinking house and techno. In a day and age where the definition of ‘house’ is constantly being re-conceptualised, a new breed of young-blood producers step forward bringing with them a deep and groove-laden sound building on classic timbers. At the forefront we find Burnski. Deftly abridging vintage Detroit and Chicago, always infused with the unmistakable Burnski charm, he is moving dance floors all over the world.
You don’t get much more involved in quality underground house than Jon Woodall. DJ, producer and booker for the house institution Back To Basics, it’s hard to see where there is time for anything else. His gigs at Basics have seen him play with some of the best DJ’s in the business as well as playing at huge events like Rebel Rave’s, Circoloco and We Love. As well as playing at Basics main events, Jon is perhaps better known for his long time involvement in Basics infamous after parties, something he set up alongside James Barnsley back in 2006. Starting with a year of weekly Sunday mornings at the legendary Mint Club, the party was then moved to the BlackBox at Basics last club Stinkys Peephouse.
Decoded Radio manager Daz Pearson caught up with Jon and Burnski to discuss the label, Burnski’s new album DNA and the launch of Constant Sound’s sub label Constant Black.
Welcome to Decoded Radio Jon and James. It’s great for the opportunity to chat. It’s busy times at the moment so plenty to talk about. How is the summer season going so far?
Jon: Summer is going well, I live in Ibiza so it’s all go, with parties as well as everything else. We’ve only put one release out this summer but a lot of work has gone into making sure everything’s ready for Burnski’s album at the end of this month.
Burnski: Yeah it’s been a good summer! We have been planning the album for a bit so been busy doing lots of press for that and planning the release. Excited!
Let’s begin with the new release on the label from Diego Krause ‘Abyss’ who was highly praised by Subb-an in the last Decoded Radio feature interview with One Records. Could you tell us about the release? It’s already hit number one spot on the Juno best seller chart, congratulations.
Jon: We actually got in touch with him to do something for our new label, Constant Black, but once he sent the tracks over we knew they had to come out on Constant Sound. For us they’re the best tracks he’s put out so it’s no great surprise it’s done well.
The label launched in 2015 with Burnski ‘Your Love’. What does the label bring to the scene that others may not?
Jon: I wouldn’t necessarily say we’re bringing something that others are not, we see the label as an opportunity to do things our way. There’s no competitive element to it for us.
Burnski: Yeah it’s more about putting things out there that resonate with us.
I understand there will also be a sub label launching in October?
Yes, Constant Black will launch this October with an EP from Noha, an artist we’ve been following for a while through his releases on Cabinet, which is one of our favourite labels and a big inspiration for our label. This label will be vinyl only, limited to 300 copies and gives us the opportunity to release music that’s a little different from what we do on Constant Sound.
Do you have a set release schedule for frequency of releases and how important do you feel timing is between each release?
Since the start we’ve tried to keep the momentum up by releasing every 6-8 weeks, although that isn’t always possible with how busy pressing plants are these days. We always try and have a couple of releases up our sleeves that are ready to go so that we can control out schedule as much as possible, but it doesn’t always work out like you want it too.. The Diego Krause release was 3 months overdue!
Burnski, Your DNA album was released 10th September. Could you tell us about the process of how the album came together?
I produced it in the winter last year. It was probably always going to come out a little bit moody working on it in a Uk winter! It was picked down to 9 tracks I was feeling and exploring at that time.
The album was the first project I worked on after taking pretty much a year off from producing dancefloor stuff. I think the break did me the world of good and I have come back with new ideas and energy. Its the first batch of music that’s come out from me that hasn’t been about 2/ 3 years old by the time it is released in a long while.
Jon, you are also booking agent at Air London who are responsible for artists as AudioJack and Nick Curly to name a few. I expect this is a great position to be in for access to artists alongside label management?
To be honest, apart from Burnski, there’s only Laura Jones on Air London that’s involved in Constant Sound, and we’ve been friends for years, long before I joined Air. What it does help with is the label parties, all of our showcases we book through Air London and it’s great to be able to keep everything organised through Air.
… and your involvement in the scene goes back to on the days of Back to Basics in Leeds. What was it like being a part of the team of such a prolific house brand as both a DJ and Booker for the brand?
It was amazing, I can’t say enough how much inspiration it gave me and influence it had. I started going to Basics when I moved to Leeds for University. I did pretty much every job going, starting off doing guest list runs, then social media stuff, doing the lights, running the after party, playing there and eventually doing the bookings. Those were amazing times with amazing people, it’s the reason I do what I do now and it’s given me enough funny stories for a life time!
Your production duo goes under the alias of ‘Constant’. Let’s talk a little about your studio gear and work process. Do you both work in the studio together?
Jon: At the moment, we live in separate countries, but the Constant thing came about when we first started the label and we lived together in Ibiza. I already had an apartment with a studio before Burnski moved in for the summer. He brought over a small section of his studio and we shared the studio for the summer. We did a remix for the 2nd release, with no real plan to take it any further, but we decided to get in again just to see what happened. What came out ended up being the original for our 5th release. We got a remix from S.A.M and then asked our friends Blackhall & Bookless and A Scott to do remixes as well. We were really pleased with whole EP and that also sat at number 1 on the Juno bestsellers chart for a couple of weeks, before selling out.
Burnski: I think we made the whole of that on the nord lead as it was pretty much the only thing I broke over for the summer! It came together really quick as most tracks do and we stuck with the early idea of what we made and didn’t stray to much from that.
With Adriatique recently announcing plans to launch their own label ‘Siamese’ (read news here) do you think we are nearing saturation point with too many labels?
Jon: There are a lot of labels, but I don’t see a problem, as long as people are focusing on quality, where’s the downside?
Are there any future plans to further extend the Constant Sound brand?
Jon: We’re focusing on label parties more now, with my background running parties it’s only natural and we’ve had a couple of really good one’s so far. The first one was at Chalet in Berlin with Laura Jones, Burnski and myself, then a couple of weeks later Unusual Suspects (who’s parties & line up’s have been some of the best in Ibiza this summer) let us co-curate the line up at Sankeys. We had Thomas Melchior and Steve O’Sullivan headlining, and it was also the first time we played as “Constant”. It was a great night and we’ve been asked to go back and do 2 dates there next year.
This is your first label showcase mix to promo Constant Sound. Has it been a good opportunity to evaluate the label so far?
Jon: Because we live in different countries now, the way we did it was that I put together the track list and then sent it over to Burnski to mix. When he sent it over and I listened through it was really cool to hear the tracks from the label put together as a mix, I’ve never heard them in that context so it was nice to hear them like that.
What learning points have you both personally taken away from running the label that you didn’t anticipate before?
Jon: Neither of us knew just how much work goes into it. There’s constantly something to deal with, and it takes up a lot more time than you think. You also don’t realise just how stretched the pressing plants are, especially around Record Store Day which has caused us problems 2 years running!
If you could pick any artist or producer that perfectly sums up Constant Sound who would it be and why?
Jon: It’s impossible to pick just one artist as the label is quite varied. We’ve taken a lot of inspiration from Cabinet and Mosaic, run by Cab Drivers and Steve O’Sullivan respectively, and we’ve been lucky enough to have both of those acts involved from the early releases.
And leading on from that question. To best suit your label if you could re-release a track from any label with a new remix package what track would you choose, and additionally who would you choose to remix it, and why?
Burnski: it would be a release maybe from the svek back catalogue I think. There’s to many to choose from there though! That label was a big inspiration for starting Constant Sound.
Lastly is there is anything you would like to add for our readers and your fans? All the best with the label guys.
Just thanks for supporting the label, and please keep doing so! :)
Decoded Radio hosted by Ian Dillon presents Constant Sound with Constant.
Decoded Hot Picks Chart Countdown
#4 Eli Nissan – Frames (Original mix) [Movement Recordings]
#3 Mariano Mellino – St. Luke Reborn (Graziano Raffa Remix) [Sudbeat]
#2 Cristoph feat Jinadu – Closer (Hot Since 82 Remix) [Knee Deep In Sound]
#1 Habischman – Endless Tunnel (Original Mix) [Global Underground]
01. Oliver Schories – Metris (Solee Remix) [Parquet]
02. Stas Drive – Inspired By Her ( Steve McGrath Remix)
03. KatrinKa feat. Thomas Gandey – How Does it Feel [Chapter 24]
04. TILT & Silinder feat Natasha Cadman – Black Hearts (Silinders Nod To The 90’s Remix) [Pro B Tech Music]
01. Noha – Hanna Banana
02. A Scott & Chad – Mrs J (Cab Drivers Remix)
03. Burnski – Your Love – (Steve O’Sullivan Remix)
04. Noha – Hamal
05. Burnski – Green Room
06. Constant – Dub Life – (S.A.M Reshape)
07. Diego Krause – Abyss
08. Burnski – Control
09. Constant – Dub Life (Original)
10. Burnski – State of Panic
11. Stephen Brown – Concave
12. Burnski – Cosmic Warfare
13. Constant – Dub Life – (A Scott Victim X Remix)
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