Saturday, August 21
JONDI + SPESH
(looq records, renaissance, san fran)
Jondi & Spesh. Muzik named their album "We Are Connected" one of the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Top 40 Albums of the YearÃ¢â‚¬Â. Mixmag called them "dons of west coast progressive house." For over a decade, Jondi & Spesh have put out dance tracks of such stunning quality that the worldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s dj elite have gone to great lengths to hunt down their unique underground sound.
When Jondi met Spesh at a party in San Francisco's South of Market district in 1993, neither realized that the meeting would eventually take them to the creative center of the San Francisco dance music community and put them on the map as two of the world's most innovative and risk-taking dance music producers.
Ten years later, Jondi & Spesh have a music label with over twenty releases (the LoÃƒÂ¶q 12"'s get praise and play from all the biggest - Digweed, Oakenfold, Sasha, Tong, Tenaglia, etc.), an extremely popular event (QoÃƒÂ¶l, the world's first underground dance music happy hour) going into it's eighth year, two full length albums with the highest critical praise (see press pack), and a third album to be released on Spundae Records that may very well unearth them from the underground and put them solidly into that "strange yet widely appealing" category currently inhabited by the likes of Radiohead, BjÃƒÂ¶rk, and Postal Service.
JD Moyer (Jondi) and Stephen Kay (Spesh) are an unlikely pair - wildly divergent personalities that combine in the studio to creative a creative alchemy : electricity is converted into pleasing noise. Spesh is the strategic mastermind of the duo ... a Vulcan-like intellect with zero tolerance for mushy thinking - he is often three steps ahead of whoever he is speaking with yet is too socially gracious to let them catch on to that fact. His personality is like his DJ sets ... charismatic yet somehow reserved and intimate (this massive subtlety has gained him a large following independent of his production work). For Spesh music is about connecting to people ... even his most twisted production ideas have warmth and accessibility.
Jondi is the slightly more feral side of the duo. While Spesh is a gourmand and culinary expert, Jondi will eat out of paper bags on the kitchen floor if left to his own devices. His creative nature is both prolific and schizophrenic ... there are never less than four current projects on the hard disk at any moment (music, of course, but also programming artificial life software, writing screenplays, and communicating with various scientists in his fields of interest "just to keep up"). Musically he brings innovation, a desire for constant change, and a trigger-happy mouse hand that eventually led to a bone spur on his right clavicle (a problem solved by forced ambidexterity). Philosophically Jondi is slightly left of normal, speculating that after death, he and all of humanity will be resurrected as fully conscious simulations of themselves by infinitely intelligent space-faring supercomputers.
The new Jondi & Spesh album, "The Answer," stays true to their previous work with minimalistic melodies and lush, complex production, yet diverges stylistically with big hooky choruses on several songs, and sublime female vocals on others. The sound palette is organic and unique, with timbres morphing among vocal, synth, and analog natures.