With an array of releases on stellar labels like Last Night On Earth, Afro Acid and Anjunadeep, and with the heaviest hitters in the industry already supporting his unique take on house & techno, Manchester based artist Jozef K is clearly on the rise. He makes a welcome debut on Constant Circles with his remix of “Out Of Distance” on our forthcoming vinyl release. We caught up with him for a chat, and a guest slot on the radio show with Just Her.
What is your background and how did you get into music?
Cliche artist answer but I just always loved music since I can remember, my mum told me I used to cry watching the opera as a toddler!
How would you describe your sound – do you think your music falls into a particular genre?
The emotional side of house music. I write too many styles really but this would be the most common and I guess what people expect of me! I do have a penchant for acid also, but I just like something that grabs me from the inside.
You are making your debut on Constant Circles with your remix of Onur Ozman “Out Of Distance” – how did you approach this project and how did the idea come together?
All the parts were mega so it was really fun to remix, big up Onur for that! I normally write more elements for a remix. In terms of approach, another artist cliche here, but I wanted to add my own slant to the original without taking the vibe away from it, my way of doing this was to write a stripped back 303 with a tonne of delay and reverb. I moved around the pattern of the stab (I think, I have made 30 million tunes since I finished this!) and chopped a few bits up too, I think that swirly thing for example. Oh and I did something I love to do, and added tonnes of atmospheric effects to the vocal and brought it right down in the mix, fluctuating it in the tune subtly in and out, I love things being on the edge of perception, really good for building tension I think. Oh and fucked around with the panning automation for the same reason. In short made the vocal into an atmosphere layer and not so vocally!
What is your production process – is each project different? And what are your key pieces of studio kit?
I’m fully in the box, I just love it. It’s so quick I don’t even have to think when I am in the studio. And that is a big part of the process! Being natural. It is different with a remix, but I love to come into the studio with a blank mind, and just let the track make itself, the subconscious knows what it wants, why fuck around wasting time thinking?!
Key studio kit = Reaktor & ABL3 (legendary acid plug).
What is the craziest gig you have ever played?
I played at my mates 21st in working mens labour club (before I was DJing full time!. At the end everyone was on the tables and chairs, it started off as a family night, aunties, uncles, buffet etc.
I wasn’t even mixing just playing tunes off iTunes, I planned the set and didn’t think it would end up like that at all, can remember playing Eryka Badu and Nina Simone when people were eating, and stuff like The Cure/Joy Division/Nirvana/Snoop Dogg/The Kinks after the food and a little bit donk at the end of the night… hence the table and chairs action. It was strange because the tune I was playing was a live recording from a night with an MC on it and everyone knew the words to it singing along (a little insight into growing up in Northern England here), but like it hadn’t had a proper release or anything. Just a CD that got passed around at high school and sent around phones via Bluetooth!
That moment was just mad! I think there were some tops off too.
iTunes provided me with 6 seconds of crossfade heaven between tracks, I liked it go be fair, felt old school, in a way it was some of the most honest DJing I have ever done! It was kinda hard to play to the room because there were so many different age groups, I tried to target alternate groups, though everyone likes The Beatles though don’t they! And Fleetwoood Mac – The Chain, surely everyone in the whole world likes that bassline. Just wish it wasn’t the Formula 1 theme tune!
Tell us your deepest, darkest secret?
I massively love the song En Vogue – Don’t Let Go. There’s a sweet Netflix documentary about the production outfit that wrote the music for this, Organized Noise that’s well worth checking out, they also created Outkast’s first album, but not the one Outkast took the Grammy for!
What do you have coming up in terms of releases and gigs?
Gigs = China tour next month
Releases = Pfeiffer Records, Rawax, Balkan/I Love Acid, Last Night On Earth, Lossless, Western Lore, Afro Acid, LET
How did you put together your guest mix for the radio show & what have you included – any exclusives or surprises?
Went through my promos, and made a mix from them and hopefully people understand the story I went for with it! I’m not sad enough to check but pretty sure none of them are out yet! That new Mathew Johnson one is a pearler. Usually I have less well known names in my track lists so I felt a bit bad about that haha, I like to support the fringe/upcoming artists and dig out forgotten tracks too. But it was super nice to work with all brand new and unreleased tracks! I also made sure to include the remix I did for the label – not just because Just Her told me I had to! 😉
Closed out with Lauren Flax’s super dreamy remix of my track Everybody Loves Daft Punk, I love it! This is out next month on Pfeiffer Records, Chris Simon who works there is a great guy, as is Sam behind the scenes. Chris puts out some tight records too!
Check out Jozef K’s guest mix on Constant Circles Radio with Just Her: