For as long as he can remember, Jondo has been digging for a special kind of music, honing his craft and becoming a long term resident of Düsseldorf’s famed club-bar Salon des Amateurs. Since 2014 he has also is also been a resident of London’s NTS Radio, initially with the show “We r All Egyptians”.
In early 2019, he launched a new show called “SPA”, dedicated to the music on and around the label Spa Recordings, that he co-runs with his local buddy DJ Brom aka FRANCE '98 and Friday Dunard. The label has released a string of records by artists like Belia Winnewisser from Lucerne, Switzerland, and mysterious German producer luxxuryproblems, featuring multicoloured music between Ambient, experimental bass sounds, Reggaeton, downtempo, Hip Hop, and other electronic leftfield zones.
As an internationally touring DJ, Jondo breaks down the essence of dancehall, R&B, jungle, rap and bass-heavy techno, and reassembles all into challenging, yet highly driving DJ sets. He is also part of the duo Garland, which released two tribal downtempo albums on the label Lullabies For Insomniacs. Furthermore, Jondo recently created some grimy club meditations alongside Melbourne’s DJ Plead and British composer/double-bass player Maxwell Sterling.
As usual, we got in touch with our host and talked with Jondo about his recent DJ experience after a long break, his label Spa Recordings, his latest musical adventures and more.
Check the spell below and enjoy Jondo’s sensible bass-laden 160 BPM trip into the music of today!
Q. Hello Jondo, recently you started to DJ again. How was the energy? How does it feel to be back at events, making people dance and smile?
A. It’s not that there were so many but it was great to see people, especially playing at Dekmantel Selectors was a blast.
Q. You've been DJing for over a decade now. How did your DJ style change over time?
A. I think I was more lo-fi in the first place, especially looking out for the rather strange things I could find in hidden corners of the world wide web and record stores. Nowadays, I still have that same old heart beating for obscure-no-one-really-cares-about records, but at the same time I started to DJ more at events and quite naturally I became more interested in dance/club music as I was digging when doing my NTS show. Besides that, I think CDJ’s and a Pioneer changed the way I deejay somehow, like working with loops e.g., mixing much faster as I would so with records.
Q. Besides DJing you are also part of the duo Garland, releasing music on labels like 'Lullabies For Insomniacs' and your own co-run imprint, Spa Recordings. Is there any new Garland material coming soon? And do you have other music in the pipeline, like solo works for instance?
A. Simon, the other half of Garland lives in Glasgow and due to COVID, we didn’t have the chance to work face to face for the last 18 months. Before that we played a few live shows and collected material that has never seen the light of the day. He will be visiting me next week and we have a whole week to record new material and maybe fiddle something out of the old files. Next to that, I’ve worked with Maxwell Sterling and DJ Plead over the past two years and we will soon release some music via the Dutch label Dekmantel. I’ve also worked on another project featuring my very favourite people from Switzerland: I made an EP with Xzavier Stone and DJ Plead. And I helped Belia Winnewisser finish her LP for the label Präsens Editionen.
Q. Since 2018 you've been part of Spa Recordings along with DJ Brom and Friday Dunard. Can you tell us something about the label’s philosophy and your future plans?
A. Right now, we have our next release ready and some more in the pipeline which people are currently working on. Also, Kieran aka DJ Brom is working on a print thing. The idea in the first place was to create a platform for music that we wanted to put out for a long time. But also to create a space for people with a similar vision, musical taste or however you want to call it. There was not really an anchor point for diverse music as we liked it in Cologne even though there were lots of people practicing/recording their own amazing music in the city.
I met people in the University who were listening/celebrating the same stuff as I do, living close to people I was super impressed by but never had the chance to meet because there was simply nothing happening that could have brought us together. Maybe that explains why there was a need for something like SPA in our eyes. The philosophy is simply not being stuck, learn, develop, be open, curious, not boring.
Q. You are based in Cologne. How is the party scene there? Any new movements after the lockdowns? Any new musicians or DJs the world should look out for?
A. Compared to every other city I’ve been to over the last few months, Cologne is the city that still feels most locked down. I'm not sure why this is but I don’t feel much happening except restaurants and beer gardens are open again. Well, there was this movie score with Felix Kubin but I, unfortunately, missed it. I discovered lots of German rap happening in and around Cologne that I really appreciate. Makes me happy to see that there are kids from my hometown blowing up.
Q. Spa run also a monthly NTS Radio show. How much does the show reflect the music of your label? Or is it something far away from what you release?
A. We always try to put label related music in our mixes. I guess you can hear SPA material in NTS mixes from years ago, that still hasn't been released, also in almost every mix. So, we are constantly working with what we’re working on, but also selecting music that isn’t our own output. Inspiring music, field recordings and other stuff from all over the globe.
Q. How did you select the music for The EDWIN Music Channel? Is there any special story behind the sound or is it just another mix?
A. I think usually I would mess around with the tempo a lot but not in this case, it stays 160 all the way. Recorded with two CDJ’s and an Allen&Heath battlemixer.
Q. Can you tell us a few things you have not done yet, but have always wanted to?
A. I’d actually always wanted to do more visual work and clothing. It's still something I never really did except one or two times but it is there in the back of my head.
Q. What are three perfect records to start a party? And three to close one?
A. Depends on where you are and play. Think that’s very different. I’d definitely start/stop so differently when playing a pool party e.g. compared to when I am playing a dark sweaty club night.
Q. What are your current top five and why?
A. SPA#18: DJH & FRANCE '98 for NTS Radio - all DJH production mix with backup from FRANCE’98 - on repeat!
Xzavier Stone x Modulaw - hottest producer duo there is!
fatherblaze - TREEHOUSE OF HORROR - sick collab album from fatherblaze!
Silvia Kastel - check her mixes and NTS Radio show!
Cgoon & BLOKKBOY$ - C.A.D.T. (Deluxe) (2021) - my favorite from Cologne.
Q. What's your favourite spot in your hometown and what makes it special?
A. Might be the botanical garden or the plaza close to where I live in Cologne, I often go there when I need some time off and visit the geese and ducks. Especially often since the ducklings arrived. Super calm spot :)
Q. As an artist that likes to explore new frontiers: can you name us some musical genres, that you always wanted to unite?
A. There is an edit around 30 minutes into this mix and it sounds like Jon Hassel’s trumpet is being sampled, layered with a footwork pattern by DJ Take and I just love that. I got never tired of this track and often thought It would be nice to have an entire LP of Fourth World x Teklife.
TD Nasty, Neana & Basile 3 - Kendal Green
5002 Seven - SNACKS7
Dj Taye - Another4 (feat Dj Manny)
Loto Retina - Ensemble
Proc Fiscal - Prop O Deed
TD Nasty - On a Bad'n
Xzavier Stone - Shea Butta
Dj Plead - RT02
Skee Mask - Crosssection
Slick Shoota - Transcend
L-Vis 1990 & Dj Taye - Calling
5002 Seven - THEYWON’TFORGETYOU
Taso - Loc’d out smoked out
5002 Seven - Gangsta
luxxuryproblems - Stevia
BSN Posse - Bollywork
BSN Posse - Soul Remains
So Drove - If You Slept On Me It’s Too Late (DJ PAYPAL Remix)
Detroit's Filthiest - Secret Sauce (BSN Salsa Secreta Remix)