Jona - The Jazz And Techno Fusion
Monday, 30 June 2008
Get Physical harbours bigger acts than Jonathan 'Jona' Troupin - cue Booka Shade - but the unassuming DJ/producer has cult appeal. He's a relative outsider even to the German crew, coming from Liege, Belgium. What's more, Jona's musical references diverge. Electro/techno/house types rarely cite rock guitarist Joe Satriani and Carl Craig as heroes. 'I don't have the sound of everybody else,' Jona says of his relationship with Get Physical. 'I've got my unique sound - and that's why they like me.'
Troupin's background lies in rock, blues and jazz, having studied guitar under Belgium's Gerard Jouffroy. And he's actually tutored budding guitarists himself.
Indeed, Troupin has many facets. He initially pursued a career in graphic design and then, realising music was his 'passion', sound engineering, constructing his own studio. He attended his first dance party at 15, developing a fascination with techno - and Detroit. Inevitably, he invested in turntables. Jona was producing from his late teens.
The 'neo-house' DJ made his name with The Learnings - encapsulating Learning from Making Mistakes - on Get Physical. He's been recording an LP for the Berlin stable, originally meant to surface early this year.
'In fact, I forgot the idea of the album because some projects need more time, so I'm giving myself more time on that project,' he confesses. 'I decided to do only dancefloor maxis - records with two or three tracks on them - so the album will be for later. I'm still working on it from time to time, but it's not my priority right now.'
Jona's perfectionism isn't at issue - he simply prefers to air music whenever the mood strikes him, which a single allows. 'Doing dancefloor tracks is something I'm really attached to right now,' he says. 'For my album I want something deeper, something more musical and less 'dancefloor'. That's why I'm waiting.'
Following the recent Mantra, Troupin's next release entails a house cover of the Dave Brubeck Quartet's Take Five. He's also put out Altiplano on his idol Carl Craig's Planet E.
Troupin hasn't forgotten the blues and jazz. 'I'm listening to blues and jazz every day. I listen to a lot of Stevie Ray Vaughan,' he says. 'He's one of the best musicians that was ever heard. He did amazing stuff. That's a guitarist I respect a lot. Every day I listen to music from him. I also listen to a lot of jazz - old jazz from the '60s and '70s - so I'm pretty much still into those influences.'
Troupin is returning to Australia after his inaugural tour last winter - one of his highlights for 2007. And he's approaching his DJing differently this time. 'You can expect some older house and techno music. I'm really going back to my roots,' he says. 'I'm going to spin some records I bought when I was 16 - like old UK techno, old house... I'm really into that right now - and I've always been into that. Last year I played a lot of new stuff, but my DJ sets nowadays are mainly based on this older stuff. So it will be really good grooves and fat beats and, yeah, really good music!'
WHAT: Plays Eye Candy at Le Panic
WHEN: Saturday 12 July