Jon K’s Skate Vid Soundtracks 18th February, 2015

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Jon K has spent the past 2 decades spinning, which might explain why his merits as a DJ are so comprehensively respected amongst his peers, fellow Hoya:Hoya residents and the countless others who’ve experienced his sets. Amazingly, from his first DJing experience in a dive basement in Leicester, to playing around the UK and Europe, it’s only now that his first physical mix release has surfaced. Entitled Loukanikos’ Dance, it’s been accurately described as “a labyrinthine lesson in the black art of DJing delivered by a pillar of Manchester dancefloors”. The constant accolade that follows his mixes and sets are his innate ability to seamlessly move a crowd (or listener) through the full tempo spectrum of heady disco dubs, cracked post-punk, hip-hop, astral jazz and all manner of top-shelf body movers.

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As an adopted Manc of 20 years, Jon arrived in the city when the Hacienda was still open and City played at Maine Road, but the dominant Manchester music narrative is something he’s keen to debunk: “most people find the way it’s wheeled out pretty cringeworthy […] what struck me when I moved up here (which was reinforced during my 10 years at Fat City records) was how some of the DJ’s and clubs that were arguably as popular / relevant to how the city developed musically often get overlooked by the mainstream timeline – places like the Gallery, PSV, Thunderdome & Konspiracy as well as DJ’s like Hewan Clarke, Jam MC’s & Andy Madhatter.”

However, he’s not one to be looking in the rear-view: “these days there’s an underground scene in the city that’s as healthy and diverse as ever… [Hoya:Hoya’s] last year of parties match up to any of those in the early days”. Hoya:Hoya still going strong after 7 years and their Fabric residency is certainly proof of that. For Jon it validates that “there’s a space for club nights that don’t wanna just play one tempo all night!”.

Growing up on a skateboard in the late 80s and citing Glen E Friedman’s Fuck You Heroes as a touchstone of his development, he recalls a session at Nottingham Rollersnakes ramp when asked about his musical memories attached to skateboarding “I’ve got a vivid snapshot of skating there to Dead Kennedy’s ‘Police Truck’ and probably being as happy I’ve ever been before and since.” with that in mind it seemed fitting to ask him to give us a slightly nostalgic selection of his favourite tracks used on skate vids.

Jon K's kitchen pinboard - skate pic circa '92

Jon K’s kitchen pinboard – skate pic circa ’92

Real Skateboards – The Real Video (1993)
Loved the Real vid – tbh, at that age I could’ve watched Tommy Guerrero doing his tax return and be stoked but the soundtrack here was strong……nothing super obscure but just different to what you’d hear on other vids at the time + it just worked really well…..Kelly Bird skating to Steppenwolf (4:30) & James Kelch to Cheryl Lynn (12:10) were favourites…..along with Jim Thiebaud to the Wonder Woman theme!

Unnamed Vid
This is actually only a few years back but if there’s 2 things that resonate with my mid teens skating more than Gonz pissing about to Ciccone Youth I can’t think of them just now…..too good!

Powell Peralta – Public Domain (1988)
From 5:30 to 8:10 – from what I remember this was one of the first times a street section had been the standout scene in a vid (over ramp footage etc)…..I love the way it’s shot + to this day it’s still one of my favourite sections of street skating…..the tune’s by Chuck Treece’s band called McRad who put out stuff on a label called Beware that released skate related music (Caballero’s band Odd Man Out etc) – their LP is toe curlingly cheesy in places yet amazing at the same time.

Girl – Mouse (1996)
Massively stating the obvious too, but this as a whole is Spike Jonze at his finest, ridiculous skating & a killer soundtrack.

Girl Skateboards – Mouse from ekkun on Vimeo.

Jon’s Regular chart on 22Tracks.com

Catch Jon alongside Illum Sphere & Jonny Dub at The Art School this Saturday night.