Fitting in within the current world of electronic music might be something most producers have usually figured out after a decade plus on the scene, but for British born DJ/ producer Jon Gooch, fitting in has never been much of a priority. Moving through genres as Feed Me, Spor and Seventh Stitch, Jon has given himself the freedom to become whatever he wants to be, and create as he sees fit.
“I have no idea how I fit into electronic music as a scene, but I hope I can keep it that way.” he says, “Shifting identities has let me pursue all these avenues, create new places to exist. From the day I joined the internet I was an alias in some form or other, and each time you can start again.”
Jon’s path into production was largely self-taught, playing with software in a spare room of his family home, whilst working as an online graphic designer (his passion for art is still present across his various projects, designing artwork and Feed Me’s infamous green monster).
An early fascination of sounds and influences from his parents collection of records (Tubular Bells, Yes, Pink Floyd) into Placebo, Radiohead and Squarepusher, resonated with him and piqued his interest around the way these sounds were created. “I started hearing more and more music that made me wonder how the sounds were made. It's that fascination - is it organic or synthetic? When sounds sit in that space I become really interested”.
Transforming between the electro/ house sounds of Feed Me, the dark drum and bass of Spor and the more creative leftfield output of Seventh Stitch, Jon has released multiple projects across labels such as Lifted Music, his own imprint Sotto Voce and most notably deadmau5’s label mau5trap that launched his exponential rise as Feed Me.
Leaving behind university when music started to take off, Jon got a few shows under his belt before pursuing it as a full time career, “I quit in my fourth year and lied to my family that I was still going.” He admitted, “It gave me about a year to make something of myself before they noticed!”
Becoming the first outside act to sign with deadmau5’s label in 2010, he released ‘Feed Me’s Big Adventure’, ‘To The Stars’ and ‘Feed Me’s Escape from Electric Mountain’ as part of the mau5trap family. Followed by his debut album ‘Calamari Tuesday’ in 2012, the project saw Jon’s profile (along with his little green monster) dramatically rise, with the creation of the Teeth live show launching a sold out 20 date tour of the US.
A few releases followed on Jon’s Sotto Voce imprint, 2014’s ‘Feed Me’s Psychedelic Journey’, ‘A Giant Warrior Descends on Tokyo’, and ‘Feed Me’s Family Reunion’, before returning to mau5trap for ‘Existential Crisis’ along with another 30 date live bus tour across the US and festival appearances at Fuji Rocks Japan, Creamfields, EDC, Reading & Leeds and Exit Festival.
After a run of Feed Me releases, in 2015 Jon returned to producing music as Spor. His 2015 album ‘Caligo’ became the focal point for the year, giving Feed Me and the Teeth show a break. Pushing the boundaries of a conventional album campaign, the project was released via Sotto Voce/ Bit Torrent in a never been done before, pay what you want scheme, along with various bundles of artwork and extras.
If Feed Me’s initial explosion in popularity had been brilliantly unexpected, the next stage for Jon is set to be a completely new chapter. He explains, “My life rearranged itself so drastically when I started touring Feed Me, the first album was a product of pure momentum in the breaths between. With the second album it was written all across the world, across a big expanse of time. Finishing it has felt like a catalyst for a lot of positive brain function”. With a new outlook and a more in control approach to the creation of his music, Jon’s path into the creation of ‘High Street Creeps’ has been a lot more structured.
Named after an infamous Hertfordshire pheasant poaching gang of the 1980s, ‘High Street Creeps’ features 10 tracks which span a variety of styles, a lot of which differ from what he’s created in the past. Handpicking key vocalists for songs such as Rosie Doonan on ‘Feel Love’ as well tracks like ‘Sleepless’, which was almost entirely produced from a Eurorack Modulator, the album has been a long time in the making. He said, “I'd amassed a lot of material since my last album, but it took a long time for me to feel like it was the right time to do another.”
A redesign of the Teeth stage and a host of upcoming shows planned for 2019 as well, means that eager fans will get to see the producer doing what he does best, “Building the ‘Teeth’ show is probably my proudest achievement,” Jon explains. “It was the ultimate way to present what I do and a creative dream, to combine a big array of memories and chaos into something fully structured. It represents me getting my lifestyle under control and I feel like I can move forward with more speed now, it's a total release.”
Never shy of testing his creative limits, Jon and his many aliases continues to grow and evolve, “otherwise why the fuck am I here” he puts so succinctly. With the new album and shows marking a clear, mature musical evolution for the producer, Jon can continue to look forward to the future, as can his fans.