Updated: Jun 11, 2021
NEW YORK CITY
Jason Drummond, aka DJ SPUN, has been a fixture of NYC’s underground dance music scene since the turn of the millenium. Spun was the curator of MOMA’s PS1 warm up music series for nearly a decade. His Promo Only/ Rong edit label shares credit for bringing the 1990s disco edit mania to the United States. His All Night Rong parties in NYC with DJ Harvey and other seminal DJ’s remain the stuff of legend.
Originally from San Jose, California, Drummond was a punk musician whose musical sensibilities evolved with exposure and appreciation for Hip Hop in the 1980s and 90s in his hometown and the nearby cultural hub of San Francisco. Eventually his musical path led to clubbing and a purchase of pair of technics. The guitar and 3 note chord progressions were quickly retired and Jason’s career as a DJ and aficionado was born.
Jason has played at venues around the world such as Panorama Bar in Berlin, Liquid Room in Tokyo and Horse Meat Disco’s party in London. Jason has the range to play New Wave and disco tunes to futuristic acid - it depends on the place and the vibe. Jason’s work with the Loose Control Band with pal Jonah Sharp keeps his instrumentation fresh and ongoing, while his Blackspun project with Blakkat provides a more synthesized and beat driven bent for him to pursue as a producer.
Spun remains firmly planted as a central figure in the NYC dance scene and beyond. Jason provided us with a 3 hour exclusive mix that takes the listener on a journey far and wide through past present and future. We were also lucky enough to do an interview with Jason which will serve nicely as an accompaniment to the tunes on this June afternoon.
BL Interview with Spun:
Jason, thank you so much for joining the OVER&OVER PRESENTS series. We’re stoked to have you on and can’t wait to share this 3 hour mix with the world. More on that later.
As we always start our interviews - how have you coped with COVID as an artist?
I’ve done a little creative work, including remixes for Sunshine Jones and my better half, Natalie Smash’s debut artist single on Chicago’s Still Music. Besides that I’ve been taking some time off to regroup, reflect, reinvent and prepare for all of our next chapter.
The virus has obviously caused deep destruction to the dance music industry. Do you see reason for optimism given the current vaccine rollout? Are there any silver linings for dance music that will emerge from this period?
I think that times like these remind us of how much we need each other and how valuable communing with others can be. I’m expecting us to move into a hi-tech, 21st Century version of “The Roaring 20’s”...
So you’re known for your work as a producer, record label, artist and curator in NYC. But take us back to the origin story. You’re a kid coming up in San Jose in the 1980s… Did you know you wanted to be a musician / artist? What was the moment you decided on dance music?
It was a progression. First with hip hop which seemed to me to be the new punk along with the introduction of the turn table as an instrument. Then I got more into other types of dance music as I made some new friends and morphed into some sort of Club Kid around ‘87. But creating music has been a main focus since I composed my first song, at around 7 years old.
What are 3 of your most influential records that helped formed your identity as an artist/ dj?
There is really no way to break this down in 3 records, but I will say, Miles Davis, Punk Rock, early Hip Hop, Kraftwerk, Gamble & Huff, the Talking Heads, Trax Records, On-U Sound, naming just a few of so many influences.
What brought you to NYC?
I’ve had a long lasting love of NYC and made the move to NYC in 2002 to curate PS1/MoMA’s Summer Music Series “Warm Up”.
What have been your favorite experiences as an artist/ dj/ producer in NYC that you’d like to share?
Getting to work as a DJ, Producer, Remixer, and/or curator with so many artists that I love, admire, and respect.
Favorite venue to play in NY? In the world?
In recent times my two of my favorite clubs in NY, Output and Cielo closed, so for New York I’d have to say MoMA/PS1 is still quite amazing! Worldwide, playing anywhere in Tokyo is always so special and unique, with some of the best and most educated, music fans in the world.
Have you remained active as a producer / record label owner? What is in the works for you at the moment?
Lately I’ve been really excited about my production work with Natalie Smash, she’s written a bunch of great songs and I’m trying to help them come to life. As I mentioned earlier, stay tuned for her upcoming release “New Start” on Still Music. The release features remixes from Jonah Sharp and myself as the Loose Control Band, DJ Spun, and oldNY and T Bag Records in Miami’s new edit label D.O.P.E. or Dope Optimal Party Edits.
As for Rong Music, our output has definitely slowed the past few years, but stay tuned for some stellar releases in 2022 as we celebrate 20 years of Rong with a few releases as well as some new directions for the brand!
Finally, tell us about this mix. It’s three hours of vibes from the deep to the pulsing. Is this an organic representation of your feelings at the moment or was there a theme/idea in mind?
My partner Natalie Smash and I have been hiding out in NorCal through the pandemic and this mix was recorded live at the Rong Again Warehouse & West Coast HQ to a crowd of none. The mix was done off the cuff, starting with a more chilled out warm up vibe and getting up to peak hour vibes and back to planet earth. Enjoy, and I hope to see you all on a dance floor someplace, sometime soon.
Jason, we love your mix and are grateful for you joining us! We wish you the best and hope to catch you soon for a night out in NYC!
We are proud to present an EXCLUSIVE mix by DJ SPUN...