Techno Tuesday: Jon Rundell on the shifting digital climate of the industry
Techno Tuesday is a feature on Dancing Astronaut documenting the culture of underground dance music. We’ll bring you exclusive interviews, tracks, and narratives from artists within the techno, tech house, and deep house world in an effort to shed light on some of the best talent outside the world of mainstream dance music.
The legendary Intec Digital is celebrating its 100th release in the form of a brand new EP from Carl Cox and Jon Rundell. The imprint was first founded back in 1999 by Cox as Intec Records, before disbanding in 2006, and relaunching in 2010 under the new name Intec Digital. One of the biggest changes with the rebranding was the appointment of Jon Rundell as Label Manager and A&R. The Londoner has proven himself an invaluable asset to the success of the imprint — not to mention a potent producer and DJ in his own right.
To commemorate Intec Digital’s latest milestone, we’ve tapped Jon Rundell for some insight into the operations of the label, and what it takes to successfully stand out in today’s changing modern landscape.
As Intec has recently hit 100 releases and it’s been a time for reflecting our music, how we release it, how people consume it, and how artists have changed the way they also promote it with the social media world we now live in. I’ve also been taking a good long hard look at my own level of output and reassessing what is most important of all.
With streaming becoming more and more popular, I believe there will be a shift away from sales, and a focus towards the amount of listens you have had on a track as to whether it has connected with people or not. As a result of this, artists should be really focusing hard on making their music better and better all the time, myself included, so that it stands out and gets those listens, gets you heard.
Everywhere I look people seem to be holding on to the old ways of doing things, but those old ways with the new generation of music listener just don’t work. Some time ago I saw an amazing campaign from Noisia, where there was zero press or mention of their Purpose EP until the day of release. It smashed it everywhere that day, it was literally everywhere and it did very well. The quality level of the EP was very very high and they clearly focus on the music first (the reason why many people have become their fans over the years, and can now account for why such a method of doing things has such a big instant impact).
If more artists out there focused on this I believe there would be a lot better music out there, instead all the time and energy seems to focus on posting on social media to keep in people’s minds, without really saying much with it.
I’ve never really been one of those artists, but I’ve often felt under pressure from most areas of the industry to do this, and last year it really affected my vision and clarity. I succumbed to it at times and I forgot about what’s most important, why it is I actually exist in the music world.
It’s hard work to consistently make great records, but I’ve realised the only way to do it is to keep your head down and focus on the studio, with zero distractions, and just keep throwing down idea after idea after idea, while improving your skills each day bit by bit. That’s what I will be doing a lot of this year, on top of running the label of course, and I strongly urge any artist out there to do the same.
At the end of the day you exist as that artist because of the music you make, nothing else. The only thing you will be remembered for long after you’re gone is your music, not the post you made of some random picture, so why not focus on this first and foremost as your biggest priority. Let the music do the talking and the rest will come!