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What leads an individual to walk the often obsessive path of the crate digger? Raiding filthy basements and accumulating back-breaking stacks of wax on a tantalising search for the unearthed groove, Kon cites early exposure as the source of his calling: "One of the first physical records I fell in love with was Electric Light Orchestra's 'El Dorado'. The music on that LP is incredible, climatic strings, and full of amazing songwriting. To digest and absorb music with such depth is the best thing for a 4 year old. Get 'em going young! I know this is part of the reason why later in life I searched further than what was just on the radio."
Kon's father was a drummer, and his love of the break not only inspired the quest for the funkiest rarities that birthed the iconic 'On Track' and 'Off Track' compilations, but also informed his approach to the edit. Check the 'Nite Time Remix' of 'Hooked' as the perfect introduction to his style: breaking things down to the bare essentials, the rhythm section takes on a life of its own in what has fast become the definitive version of an already classic disco workout. Kon's output has given new life to this art form, and on the road to mastery he studied the golden touch of editing and remix masters Walter Gibbons and BBE label-mate John Morales.
The natural next step for this beat-juggling heavyweight was a return to the crafting of his own original productions. Bringing together a close-knit team of musician friends, Kon has revived a longstanding partnership with BBE and recorded his debut album titled On My Way. Kon's first productions were committed to tape in the early 90s when he a formed a rap group called Mikst Nutz. Their demo was given heavy rotation by DJs Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito, and, in 1992, Jive Records came close to signing the project.
We are also treated to the unmistakeable vocals of UK talent Ben Westbeech, who Kon first met at the Southport Weekender. “I was with Amir leaving to catch the car service back to our hotel when I heard a guy yelling our names. Turns out it was Ben, and I had no idea he knew about our On Track compilations. And in turn he seemed to be shocked that I knew who he was! I've always liked Ben's work and I was staying in London with him when we first cut this tune. It was originally recorded to a totally different track that was all samples.”
The musical arrangement of 'On My Way' reflects a deep understanding of dance floor dynamics, and Kon honed his craft as a DJ playing at house parties in the 80s, coming from a party rock background where all styles were thrown into the mix. He remembers looking up to Boston radio jocks like DJ Jesse McGee and DJ T-Clark, while records like Cash Money & Marvellous' 'Ugly People Be Quiet' influenced his technical craft: “They contained scratches that were ahead of their time. I really didn't have any mentors, except for these records and the mixes those guys would do on the radio.”
In 'On My Way', a rich cultural heritage has been distilled into an upfront album of burning dance floor action, showing us why the BBE-crowned 'King of Digging' has for so long remained a formidable, worldwide musical icon.
1. All Night (Everybody) Feat. Amy Douglas
2. She Was A Queen
3. Day Dream
4. Don't Cha Wanna Feat. Georg Levin
5. Awe Baby
6. 808 State
7. You Don’t Know ( I’ve Been Looking For You ) Feat. Ben Westbeech
8. Love Shine Feat. Induce
9. Yeah Yeah
10. Blow Me... A Kiss Feat. Amy Douglas
11. On My Way
A1 All Night (Everybody)
A2 She Was A Queen
B1 Don't Cha Wanna
B2 Awe Baby
C1 You Don’t Know ( I’ve Been Looking For You )
C2 Love Shine
D1 Blow Me... A Kiss
D2 On My Way