Jon Sable (soundcloud) joins us this round for an hour long journey into his world of deep and jazzy house sounds. Growing up in Auckland, New Zealand, he fell in love with music of this variety while driving from beach to beach, bumping mixtapes. Around the same time, he met Ben and Louis Helliker-Hales of Chaos In The CBD and began exploring production methods. A few years ago, Jon made the jump across the pond to NYC, where he cut his teeth playing out in bars and clubs and selling wax behind the counter at Turntable Lab. Shortly after, he made the move to London where he’s now set up a slew of forthcoming releases with labels like Tief Music and Banoffee Pies. On top of this, he’s put together his own imprint ‘In Dust We Trust’ co-founding the label with Ben and Louis as they take turns pressing up moody and melodic mid-tempo jammers of their own. The most recent release, Accidental Meetings EP, sold out almost immediately. As a growing audience waits for more, we’ve rung up Jon for a sampling of his DJing, as well as answers to some questions below.
Hey Jon, thanks for joining in for a conversation. Seems like you’ve made great changes of scenery in your life recently, leaving your hometown and traveling to America and Britain. Do you feel at home where you are now? How often do you get back to New Zealand, and what are your favorite things to do on a weekend over there?
I’m currently based in London and I love it here. British culture is very similar to what I am used to back in New Zealand. It almost feels like a home away from home, with the comforts of home but with the excitement of a big city. The music scene is amazing, it is big enough for you to never feel trapped but it seems that everyone is on the same wavelength. I find myself constantly inspired by the people around me and the music they are creating. I try to make it back once a year to see family and friends and also to skip some of the long ass London winter. In Auckland, there isn’t a huge amount of good clubs so usually when I am back for a trip we will go stay at a beach house with a bunch of friends.
You lived in NYC a few years ago, what sort of places did you frequent? What were some things you liked and disliked about the Big Apple? What prompted the move to London?
I lived in Brooklyn, and spent most of my time in record stores as I worked at Turntable Lab, which is in the East Village – a hotspot for record shopping in NYC. Other than TTL, there was A1 Records and Academy. I also spent a lot of time at Cameo Gallery (RIP), the Mister Sunday parties and the Bossa Nova Civic Club to name a few. As anyone who has spent some time in the city knows, it is hard to stop yourself from drinking every night of the week, with all the awesome small bars dotted around the city. My favorite bar was this funny little spot just off the Montrose L train station called ‘Post No Bills’, where the bartender comped most of our drinks and let us jam in his practice space beneath the bar after he finished his shift. My favorite thing about the city would definitely have to be the people. They are some of the friendliest people I have ever met. The thing I disliked most about the city would have to be the feeling that I had missed out on the glory days of the city. The parties and general lawlessness that I heard about in stories from the people I met there are something that I would have loved to be a part of. The reason I moved from NY to London is a boring one. Mine and my partner’s work visas ran out and we had to leave. Having visited London previously (and was intrigued by its music scene), we decided to make it over and see what it was about.
Where are you now settled in the city? Any favorite parties at the moment? What have you seen or heard that’s an inspiration to take back into the studio and gets you motivated?
I’m living in Hackney in East London. Half of my friends are based in East London and the other half in South, so I spend my time split between the two places.
I might be a little bit biased but I really enjoy the Tief parties at Corsica Studios. The line-ups are always really good and well thought out and Corsica is always a good night out. The Rhythm Section parties are also a highlight; they have been a staple for me. The atmosphere created by the music and the inviting energy coming from Bradley Zero make that party something special. Church of Sound have also been throwing great parties at an old church in Clapton Pond, and the acoustics are amazing for the live jazz performances they host.
I find that I draw inspiration from a mix of the people creating music around me, and a lot of the great music that came out 10-15 years ago – good ideas that aren’t over produced. I also find that I often draw inspiration from my surroundings and moods – I find that I can only write music that I enjoy when I am relaxed.
How did you link up with Tief? Was there a process for choosing the music they decided to press up on the past and forthcoming EPs?
Matt Hessleworth from Tief has become a very close friend of mine. I initially sent over a bunch of demos and then met through a mutual friend. We got on really well and had similar tastes in music. We eventually settled on the two tracks that came out on the ‘Colourless’ EP. As we became better friends I decided that I wanted to release the next EP with Tief despite another offer from a label I really like. My next record (TIEF011) should be dropping within the next month.
If you had a motto for your label ‘In Dust We Trust,’ what would it be?
If you find a better price somewhere else, we’ll beat it by 10%.
How did you choose the music being released on the first couple of 12”s?
Just like everyone else says: it was very organic. Ever since we first got into house music and started making our own, we wanted to start a label. All of us have been working on music for a long time and have music that we are sitting on that we feel is special to us and we don’t want to let anyone else release it. This made the selection process simple – if all three of us are happy with it, we’re good!
As Chaos in The CBD embarks on a US tour, are there plans for future label events when they return? Any plans for the spring/summer?
We have plans to start our own regular parties in London. We are looking to create something that is uniquely our own and are currently looking for the perfect venue. Once the label gets more established, we would like to tour together – mainly because flying around getting drunk with your friends is fun.
Do you frequent any festivals that you’re excited to return to this year or check out for the very first time?
The festival that I’m looking forward to the most this year is Love International in Croatia. After a long cold winter in London – some sunshine and amazing music will be greatly appreciated.
Tell us a little about this mix?
I recorded this mix while in Taiwan. This mix is a recording of a jam I had before playing at a club in Taipei called Korner, in the Wenshan District. I was out there to play this show and visit my girlfriend’s family, something that we do every other year. I’ve got a lot of love for Taiwan, it’s got amazing scenery, wild cities, super friendly people and the best food I have ever had in my life.