Anyone that has frequented Mancunian dancefloors over the past decade will know the name Jon K. In fact, his story goes back even further – Jon brought the likes of Moodymann to Manchester for the Eyes Down night he co-ran from 2000 until 2008 – and while a reputation in 2020 transcends this status, there’s no escaping the fact he’s been a mainstay to the local scene: Eyes Down, Hoya:Hoya, Friends & Family; the parties Jon had a hand have left a truly indelible mark on the city’s nightlife.
The ‘DJ’s DJ’ is a hackneyed term you’d do well to avoid under most circumstances, but in Jon’s case the sentiment rings true. This is a guy equally at home playing straight-up parties as he is composing genre-colliding, experimentally inclined mixtapes for Reel Torque, The Trilogy Tapes and Few Crackles (rumour has it that last one’s getting a re-up in the not-too-distant future). Suspicious of vinyl-buying habits that place availability and price above anything else, many aspiring DJs could learn a thing or two from the NTS resident.
Gorging on a diet of post-punk, new wave and industrial as a teen, Jon traces his insatiable appetite for outsider music back to Leicester-based record shop Ultima Thule. A formative experience, this musical education would prove invaluable, setting him on his way to sync Throbbing Gristle onto episodes of Panorama for the BBC and weave disparate threads between gamellan, EBM and techno on those aforementioned mixtapes. It struck a resonating note that still reverberates in Jon’s DJing to this day, and charging through hard-edged electronic abstractions, oddball curiosities, cavernous dub and bass-heavy techno mutations, his latest mix is no exception.