Learn how to make cutting-edge House and Tech House with our 3 month online Production Certificate taught by Ben Remember & Jon Kong.
Since then the duo have gone on to present a monthly Rinse FM show, earn residencies at Fabric (London) and Sankeys (Ibiza), as well as releases on Hot Creations, VIVa, Truesoul, Mobilee, Knee Deep In Sound, Sola, Relief, Solid Grooves and of course Toolroom as well as their own renowned imprint Lost Records.
We caught up with Jon Kong, one half of the duo, to catch up on the duo’s successes, production, and all things music.
Hi Toolroom, so my name is Jon Kong, I grew up in Wembley in Northwest London, and that was where I first got into underground music. I was 12 or 13 when I got into Garage, and soon after started mixing those kinds of underground sounds. I quickly ended up on pirate radio. I got into House music when I was in my 20’s and I’ve been producing for about 10 years now, first under my real name and now as half of Leftwing : Kody.
Previous to about 2 years ago we were always in the studio together, I’ve now moved out of London making it difficult for us to regularly get in the studio together. These days I’m doing production while Chris does the touring, he’s got his ear to the ground with finding new music and talent, whereas I jump in the studio and throw ideas about.
Lost Records was just originally a platform for us to release records from artists that support us, as well as those that we felt were up and coming. Mostly it was just for people’s music who we were feeling at that time.
One thing I would say is take your time before sending stuff out. In the early days I’d be impatient and just send my music straight out to labels. I think you should live with music and make sure you’re sending it to the right label. Keep emails to a minimum with a few words about you, the track and your Soundcloud link.
Toolroom is label that before Leftwing : Kody I used to release under Jon Kong. We have had a good working relationship for about 10 years. It’s been really interesting. Mark has kindly let me use his studio too. So, I’ve been around the Toolroom environment for a while now.
The year we made that one we were heavily influenced by the sound that was coming through at the time. We were really into low end groove and that tribal sound – the drums really came together like that and the rest followed. We wanted to do an EP with tribal groove and put our stamp on it with our Leftwing : Kody influence.
That was a really cool course – I kind of went into how I do my mixdowns, so basically a step by step process on mixing a demo for the club or an A&R. It’s the same process as my own that I use with any track to get it to that level.
As for my plugins that I used in the FaderPro course – The Oxford Limiter is favourite, as is the Waves SSL Bus Compressor and Brainworx Bx_Digital V2.
So, number 1 tips would be to make sure your room is set up correctly, that’s so important. That or decent headphones. Number 2 I’d say to make sure you have the right reference material. Number 3 – watch the course.
Generally, before sitting down I try to have some kind of vision of where I’m going by way of sound or style. That’s and important one. Also focus on what your trying to do. Get an idea out in a day, for me that would usually be the main section and a small break.
It’s all about doing something a little different to what everyone else is doing – there’s so much music out there that sounds the same. Everyone’s doing the same thing. You can be that range that’s cool but step out of it and do something a little different, that’s what will make you stand out.
For me, hardware, UAD Apollo Twin, and the UAD Satellite for sure. They help you get a real rich analog sound. As for software I’m really into UAD’s mixing plugins, as well as Rob Papen’s Sub Boom Bass and the Sonarworks Reference stuff.
I actually just bought the PreSonus Faderport 16 DAW controller. It’s kinda like a production controller and a mixing deck. You can even control the plugins with it.
We just had a moon harbour EP out today (Friday 18th January) – Then we have a big EP out on Lost called ‘Keep on Pushin’ that everyone’s asking about. Then our summer track is coming out on Toolroom, it’s called ‘Feel It’. Then we also have an EP on circus called Chaos Theory and a remix on Circus for mambo brothers.