An international DJ, acclaimed producer, in-demand remixer and record label boss, Jon Rundell is now a far cry from where he started out; saving money from part-time jobs to buy his first set of decks at the age of 15. DJing and organising his own club nights across Brighton before leaving the South Coast to cut his teeth on the London Club scene, Jon met Carl Cox. After striking up the friendship, Carl soon became a staunch purveyor and strong supporter of both Jon’s production work and DJ ability, and in 2006 asked him to join Intec as A&R and label manager. While working on the label, Jon has travelled the world DJing and was responsible for the re-launch of the historic label in digital form.
We last spoke to Jon about a year ago, since then much has happened. So with The Social Festival mere days away, UK Editor Simon Huxtable sat down with the Intec man to talk festivals, release schedules and his thoughts on the Fabric situation.
Hi Jon, it’s been a while since we last interviewed you on Decoded. How has it been going? Looks like you had a blast at Sunwaves Festival recently.
It’s been going good thanks, you? Sunwaves was great as usual. It’s such a cool festival in such an interesting part of the world right now.
Talking of festivals, September 10th sees you playing alongside a star-studded cast at The Social Festival. Anyone you’re personally excited to see play? Laurent perhaps?
Club sets appear to be a little different to festival gigs because the DJs before know they are warming up to a peak time set from the main headliner. But at festivals, it’s normally pretty full on from the start. When you go into a situation like that, how do you keep the energy going?
I still warm up properly at festivals if I’m on at that time, to be honest. I treat them the same as clubs. I always keep the groove and swing though so they can just sway to the music. Festivals are usually on in the summer so it’s hotter earlier in the day and people have hours to go yet so you have to be pretty disciplined not to go overboard and burn them out early.
Let’s move on to Intec for a moment and that amazingly good Josh Wink release which features remixes by Carl and yourself. Can you talk us through the typical timeline for a release?
It varies really. Once we decide what to sign I go off and schedule it all based around other releases those artists already have planned or not. We had the release date in for the Wink remixes for quite some time, as we always planned to release at the same time as he played for Carl at Space. Carl had actually finished his mix last year, whereas I delivered the third and final version about a week before it needed to be sent off for mastering! From here it can take about 4-6 weeks before it’s actually released generally.
We understand you have a new EP called ‘Warped’ out on September 19th. Can you tell us a little about that one?
I’ve not had my head down in the studio that much in the last year and a half really, it’s from a combination of the label keeping me busy and from losing the creativity I’d had before. I was starting ideas and they just were not up to it so I scrapped them all and took a break. This EP is the first one I’ve had out in quite some time and once I got momentum again I found I was leaning much further into the techno influences from before. Warped is a full on heavy hitter with a classic rave-esque chord in it, whereas Mind is more of a drum machine workout with some funk for added flavor.
We’ve been watching with interest the Fabric closure story unfold. It’s been really heartwarming to see everyone rally round and support the club. If Fabric were to close for good, what impact do you think it have on London nightlife, and in the wider sense, UK clubbing do you think?
Clubs have always come and gone over the years, but it certainly feels that more have gone in the last few years here that are good well-run places, that then largely get handed over to property developers to build ‘luxury’ apartments. If Fabric were to close for good then I believe London will lose an iconic cultural space and the effect will reverberate around the city, around the UK and around Europe. It feels as if the powers that be just don’t want clubs of any kind in London anymore really.
Places further out in East London like Passing Clouds, Dance Tunnel, and Shapes have all also recently been shut down and handed over to developers. Nightlife will still exist and people will still go out, they will just head to areas of London further and further out, and then perhaps to illegal places too. In a wider UK sense, because Fabric is such an influential venue it may mean that other areas of the UK decide to follow suit sadly. It’s very heartwarming indeed to see the support the club is getting, I just really hope it helps and the council take it on board, they can’t ignore it that’s for sure!
Another venue on the verge of closing is, of course, Space. I’m sure you have many fond memories, could you maybe share with us the first time you played there and any plans you have for the closing party?
The first time was on the inside terrace before Darren Emerson, around ten or twelve years ago I think. It was an unreal experience. Since then I’ve basically ended up playing in every single room that’s ever existed in there over the years. I’ll be over for Carl’s closing party to support him and take it all in, and then I’ll be back to play there for the last ever party after that. To say it’s an honour to have been asked is an understatement! Working out what to play will a tough one for something that will forever go down in not just Ibiza history but also the whole of clubland history.
It’s been great to chat again Jon, we look forward to hearing you on Sept. 10th. In closing, is there anything you’d like to add?
Thanks for the continued support from you guys it’s very much appreciated and I look forward to seeing you on the 10th!
You can catch Jon Rundell this Saturday, 10th September with headliners Laurent Garnier, Joseph Capriati and Dubfire. The Social Festival returns on Friday 9th & Saturday 10th September 2016 to its new home, The Kent County Showground. Tickets are available here.