Exclusive Interview With Jon Rundell
Having been a DJ since 1996, Jon Rundell has seen the evolution that dance music has taken, but has always stayed true to himself and his own style. Being able to seamlessly blend styles from deep house, progressive, breakbeat and techno, Jon and won himself the admiration of fans all over the world. In 2006, Jon joined forces with the legendary Carl Cox to work as A&R for Intec Records. While working to help expand Intec to what it is today, Jon still found time to create one-of-a-kind productions and play for his loving fan base. With the support of artists like Paul van Dyk, John Digweed, Danny Tenaglia and Ben Sims, it is no wonder that Jon is in the position that he is today. Now, set for release in April, Jon has teamed up with Carl Cox, to release a new mix compilation, Pure Intec Two. It has been 9 years since the first Pure Intec mix compilation came out and Jon wanted to make sure that they got it right. With brand new tracks and remixes on it, along with a new style of physical release and a series of parties tomorrow, Pure Intec Two is ready to take the world by storm. We were able to chat with Jon about the upcoming album recently, and it was a conversation, this writer will never forget.
Q: We are a couple months in to 2013 so far. Tell me how the year is going for you.
It is pretty phenomenal. A lot of work on the new mix compilation and all the events I am doing. We started putting everything is place, started putting together the track listings, putting together art concepts and ideas. That was kind of full on and very entertaining. And in February I started playing a few more gigs while working on all of that. I just got back from Mexico literally yesterday and we are continuing on with the (album release) party and the compilation and everything being put out there pretty soon. So 2013 has been pretty good to me so far.
Q: Tell us about this Mexico gig. How was that?
It was cool. First time I had ever played a festival out there. It was called Equinox in Mexico City. Very interesting. Slightly behind in terms of the length of production as other countries, but I think there are enough people out there that will go out and listen to the music. So over time I think it will build up. It is good to see it from its grass roots and try to understand why it is people in that country like our music too.
Q: Is there any place in particular that you like playing more?
Yeah, there are a few that stick out from over the year that you have just had really good experiences. Space Ibiza is for sure one of those places. Last year, I closed the party for Carl (Cox) and that was one of the best experiences I ever had. I am very grateful to him for allowing me to do that. Growing up and going to clubs, going there I have witnessed some amazing DJs and heard some amazing music on that sound system, and to now do the same, it is quite humbling really. When you are younger and you are in the crowd, you never really think that, that can be you. And then it was. Afterwards it was kind of just like an out of body experience, I guess you can say.
Q: You were just sort of taken aback by it?
Yeah, definitely. But there have been a couple other places as well. London is very special to me. I have had some great time at the clubs there, such as Magna and The End where I had a residency many years ago. And to play a club like that with that sound system was really, really good. That was new type of club. It was literally a place for people to get down and dance. You can get close to the DJ, with the way the booth was and really see what they were doing. It was a good learning experience down there for sure. That’s definitely one of the places that stick in my memory as a good time.
Q: Do you think there is still a market or a crowd for clubs such as that? Here in the US it is all about the production and buying bottles and not as much about the music or dancing anymore.
Yeah I would think so from my point of view. There is a lot of that as you mentioned going on right now, but it is nice to have some contrast. If you want to go to the big events with the lights and everyone has their camera up in the air recording everything instead of dancing, then that is great. But then later, if you are searching for something without and end and a more musical point of view, then we are there to offer something different that people can find out about and get into so that way they can appreciate what is going on with the music specifically in the genre. The underground is what we are really, and that is what we try to stay true too. The whole point of us starting in London is to stay true to that point. So at the shows, the lighting is going to be a bit darker, and the emphasis will be on the music and not the DJs. The visual production side of things will be very conceptual.
Q: Let s talk about the new mix compilation Pure Intec Two. It has been a couple years since you guys have released a CD in the series. What were you and Carl Cox discussing when you were putting the mix together?
Well basically, we have been back now for three years just working on music, and we felt it was just time to represent that we are here with what we are doing and just increase the level of it. We released the first compilation back in 2004 which was perfect. All of our material, all of our releases. So we wanted to do it the same way this time around and give more of a platform for the labels music. Carl initially said that he was going to be mix together a lot of the remixes that he had commissioned from his previous album that he had released last year called All Roads Lead To The Dancefloor so there were artists like Sharam, Loco Dice, Guti, Jim Rivers, Ben Sims, Nicole Moudaber. They had all done remixes and we had never released them up to that point. So we thought it would be a good opportunity for him to put that to bed and at the same time showcase these artists that we really appreciate. Some of them are already on the label, some of them are not. But that means that we still like their music and that is why we are interested in doing the mixes. So really it is a journey for Carl to put those together because he is working in a very limited choice kind of way in terms of what he can do with the music. I think it flows from start to finish. I am very proud of the way he put it together.
Once he told me that, that left me to basically look at all the forth-coming releases that we have and put that together in the same way. We both discussed that we wanted to make sure that it had a logical flow to it and that people would understand that this is what truly represents Intec, as well as myself and Carl and that we represent that too in return. It is just important for us to let people know that we are here, what we represent, what we believe in and the artists that we are pushing and supporting. And if there the newer ones that we are putting on the compilation like Victor Vera and Alex Sibley, Daryl Stay, people get to find out about these artists and then they can start to produce more music. They then develop themselves as artists and can start playing more events and venues. We are one of the first places that they can come and find a home and know that we believe in them.
Q: With it being such a large gap, almost 9 year, is there anything that you tried to do different from the first release compared to this one?
Well, we wanted to make sure that the music was fresh and exclusive to the compilation. So actually a lot of the tracks on there will be tracks that no one has heard before. There is a lot of unreleased material on this so far. That was quite important to us because obviously we wanted people to be quite excited about it and not just go, “Ahhh, we have heard all this before and it is just a compilation that has packaged it all up.” We wanted to make sure that people could feel excited about what is forth coming on the label. A lot of the tracks are off of upcoming releases or EPs throughout the rest of the year. And obviously the remixes, no one has heard any of those before. It really is very exciting, and just something fresh.
Q: I know that you are using the same release concept as you did with Carl’s album All Roads Lead To The Dancefloor with the automatic updating USB. How did you decide to bring this back again and what can it do differently for people who buy music in general now?
It worked really well for us in terms of the album that we did last year. We just felt that it was just a format that worked too well really. One of the sides of it, is that you receive something physical. It can turn into a key ring as well. If people want to take it into their car with them they can do that, plug it into their stereo and put their keys on it. Basically whatever they want to use it for. It also bridges together the digital world in that you will receive all the brand new content. It is something for the people to use to download music, plus we can always add new music to it, which is good for us, because we can keep updating the audience. So this time around, you get both the mixes on mine and Carl in Pure Intec Two, and then later on, when we release Pure Intec Three as the next part of the compilation series, you will then receive that as an automatic update as well. So we can put more on it than a CD or a package you download online. We can just decide when to keep going. I feel that is offers a really good value for the money, since you are going to be getting all the new compilations minimum in the end. You pay the one price and you get all the forthcoming stuff. The value of what you get for your money is really important.
Q: So you are going to continue with the mix compilation series correct?
Yes, definitely. We are going to try to do the series whenever we get the chance. We think it is a good concept with a good name. We just need to make sure that we have enough material. And then each time, another artist will come along and mix part of the series. Again, I think it’s a good way to get our artists out there too. We will then choose a particular artist based on their commitment with the label and how the label has been committed to them. Also, just in terms of what these artists represent as well because it is important that these artists have their identity and for us to be able to push it out there. I think a compilation is a good way to do that instead of releasing EPs again and again. It just gives them more of a reason to be a part of us as well.
Q: I know that this summer you are going to be doing a string of Pure Intec parties to coincide with the release in London, Ibiza and throughout Europe. What can you tell about the parties?
Basically, it is all about getting the artist out there more. The album launch party will be taking place in London. And following that, this summer we will be taking things throughout Europe. And we are trying to grow our music throughout Europe too. We got a lot of special things planned. Again we are trying to utilize as much of the roster as we can. Some of the more established name people you will see, but we are also trying to get a lot of the up-and-coming DJs and producers out there because it gives them experience to get some opportunities to play in front of more people. And maybe learn a thing or two from some of the more veteran artists that we support of the label and make them fell part of something. It is all about being part of a movement and traveling around and basically having a good time playing the music that we love. As long we can keep doing that and keep giving people these outlets, then when people come and see us play they get it and they understand it. However the fans want to represent themselves in the movement, whether it is wearing a T-shirt or getting the album or buying a download, it doesn’t really matter. As long as they are enjoying the music, that is all that matters.
In your own words, tell fans why they need to get this mix compilation.
Cause it’s the bullocks. Basically, they should get it, because it tells the story of Intec, and who we are. Like I keep saying, it is what we represent. It gives people a good idea of what we are about. It makes people understand how passionate we are with what we are doing and that we are truly passionate about the artists that we are representing. That is why we would want the people to hear all about them.
Pure Intec Two will be available for purchase April 8.