It’s commonplace for DJs to talk about their disdain for preparing in advance for their sets. many jocks prefer turning up at a gig, reading the crowd and thinking things through in real-time. While venerable techno artist/Intec label manager Jon Rundell is certainly open to serendipity, preparation has become an essential part of how he executes when he’s in the DJ booth.
With a summer of full-on gigs ranging from club and festival appearances in the UK, Italy, Mexico, Ireland and Ibiza, and a busy fourth quarter ahead of him, Rundell tells us that preparing — especially when he plays with Cox on his Intec label nights — allows Rundell to take his music to an even higher level.
For his upcoming set this month with Cox at Space in Ibiza, Rundell tells us that he started thinking about tracks three months ago. “I’ll go through them all the weeks leading up to it to help me learn them more and get more feeling for them.”
We talked to Rundell about how preparation is an important part of his modus operandi and what inspired him to craft a wicked edit of Omni Trio’s “Renegade Snares.”
Jon Rundell plays Intec presents Carl Cox & Jon Rundell at The Arches, Scotland on September 12 and Carl Cox – Music Is Revolution’s at Space, Ibiza on September 16.
You recently issued a free edit of Omni Trio’s “Renegade Snares.” Why did you release your homage to this classic track?
Jon Rundell: It’s not released as such. I just put it out there for people to enjoy, as a few had been asking me about it from playing it in my sets, and that’s all it was originally meant for really. I made it as it’s one of my all-time favorites from back then — it’s got power yet it’s so laid-back somehow too. I never wanted to use too much of the original track, so I just complimented really with a techno take on it. Most the edit hardly uses anything from it.
Have you heard from Rob Haigh about your edit? Have you ever run into him during your travels?
I haven’t. He makes some very different music these days. People move on I guess and go where they feel their heart takes them. That’s the great thing about being creative, that you can just do that.
Do you think you’ll edit more tracks from back in the day?
There is another one I’ve done already. I haven’t even played it out yet, and I’ve been sat on it for months wondering what to do with it. It’s pretty rare I do any edits really, the mood just took me one day and I thought let’s just see what happens. I haven’t even played to it anyone to see what they think yet either.
What have been some of your highlights from this summer? Do any gigs stand out?
Space in July for Carl [Cox]’s birthday is always special, and this year was no exception. The Awakenings Festival was also very very good and inspiring in so many ways. Playing Room 2 at Fabric in London was a good experience too, as well as a great tour of South America a few weeks back.
“I’m always putting tracks into playlists for certain gigs I know I’ve got coming up.”
You played Intec at Lehman Club with Gary Beck, Harvey McKay and Raphael Dinscsoy. What’s it like to get Carl Cox’s stamp of approval? What has his influence been on your career?
It’s positive. It makes you think in different ways. It’s hard sometimes when you sat alone a lot working away to try to create things for people and it’s that positive influence that helps keep you going. Lehmann Club was unreal: the sound system was ridiculous and a proper underground techno club.
You’re set to play Carl’s night in Ibiza on September 16. How does one prepare for such a gig?
A lot. I’m always putting tracks into playlists for certain gigs I know I’ve got coming up. For Space I actually started about three months ago and then I’ll go through them all the weeks leading up to it to help me learn them more and get more feeling for them. Outside of that the best thing to do is get as much rest as possible beforehand as it’s going to be a long night for sure.
We’re heading into the last quarter of 2014. What’s in store for you in terms of releases? Do you have any goals you’re looking to achieve, either professionally or personally?
I’m working on the next Intec EP and Etch EP at the moment. I’m nearly there with them, so as soon as these are ready they will be out over the coming months to the end of the year. In terms of goals, there are also for sure some venues I would love to experience one day so they are in there to work towards, and plenty of things I’m targeting to do with Intec as well. It’s ongoing all the time. Outside of this I don’t really set personal goals so to speak as they always seem to be professionally related mostly.
A group of respected DJs recently posed for pictures with a hotel heiress who is bent on becoming a DJ. Would you do such a thing?
I think the actual question is: “If I was there would she want me in it.” And the answer to that is, I very much doubt it, and I wouldn’t get in it for the sake of some likes or comments either anyway. I’m not into all that kind of stuff.
What’s the best part of being Jon Rundell right now?
Finding a different sound that no one else is making and slowly building Intec up with developing some new artists along the way, as well as keeping fit and healthy and having a reasonably balanced life.