Artist To Artist: Jonah Sharp & Dj Spun As The Loose Control Band

Pre rave in San Jose, psychedelics and more.

Artist To Artist: Jonah Sharp & Dj Spun As The Loose Control Band

Pre rave in San Jose, psychedelics and more.

Familar faces? Perhaps to some... however to others these two remain a mystery of sorts. 

Jonah Sharp has been plugging away (literally) for many years now having worked on a vast array of experimental electronic music, club focused cuts and eclectic wonders. As the founder of the Reflective label, a pioneering force for ambient music during the nineties, he has amassed an array of experience in the sculpture of sound and has helped in the progression of many an artist. More recently he has worked alongside David Moufang aka Move D as part of Reagenz and has released music on the likes of Workshop. 

Dj Spun is the alias of Jason Drummond, a key figure in the New York nightlife scene as the founder of both the Warm Up Music series and All Night Rong. As a producer he has released a stream of interesting releases on the likes of Stilllove4music, Golf Channel, Church Street Recordings and more. 

Together the pair make up The Loose Control Band, an outfit which focuses on happy go lucky club ready music with a nostalgic nod to the classic days of disco, funk, soul and house. 

We invited the pair to interview one another below: 

[Jonah to Jason] 

How was the music scene in San Jose pre rave era ?

San Jose had a really cool DIY punk rock scene and a few cool new wave clubs. There was some good electro, freestyle, and hip hop things happening but in the 80s the scene's were all pretty segregated with the exception of a very few open minded people trying to mix things up. But being so close to San Francisco, San Jose has always been intertwined with whatever is happening in San Francisco with bands, DJs and partiers from SJ always playing in SF as well.

[Jason to Jonah] 

You moved to San Francisco from the UK in the early 90's.  What prompted your move and what were initial impressions of San Francisco and California?

Came to SF from London in March 1992 initially to do a show at the old Townsend night club SOMA. However I was very taken by the creative energy and burgeoning rave scene and decided to spend some more time there. Soon after I met my wife and thought this would be a good place to pursue my creative endeavors and start a family. Early impressions of the city were that of a place very open to new ideas with much room to express my own musical visions. 

[Jonah to Jason] 

How did you come to make the transition from band member to DJ?

By the late 80s I think I had played three chords in every combination imaginable, done a lot of screaming, and was getting pretty bored with the punk scene. I saw Grand Master Flash DJing on a kitchen table in Wild Style and NY artist Christian Marklay do his Avante Turntablism thing and started to see turntables as a new instrument to play. Then I started hanging out with some people that really, really liked going to dance clubs. Within a year I had sold my guitar and bought turntables, quite a while before someone wrote a song about it.

[Jason to Jonah] 

Spacetime Continuum seemed really together conceptually when you arrived in SF, with your own sound, look, label (reflective) and a very interesting crew. When, where, and how did all of that start?

Initially the project was called Spacetime; it was a collaboration between myself and synthesist/fashion designer Richard Sharpe whom I'd known in London and had previously been the touring and recording synth guy for the Shaman. However he got more involved in the fashion world and moved to Japan so I changed the named to Spacetime Continuum and carried on solo. I started my label Reflective pretty soon after moving here with Richard as art director and as a home for my music and that of like minded musical people mostly from the Bay area.

[Jonah to Jason] 

When did you start to produce events?

While in high school I threw a few punk shows and helped a friend promote a new wave/goth club. Then after being very involved in the weekly production of my first DJ residency at FX the Club, I ventured out with my twin brother, amazing visual artist Donovan, and good friend Manny Alferez and started presenting our own underground club night, moving forward I did a number of long running weekly parties in San Francisco and San Jose. But it wasn't until I moved to NY and started curating for PS1/MoMA's Summer Music Series that I started doing larger scale events that weren't built around me DJ'ing. But for the couple of years I've been happy to put that aside and just focus on MUSIC!

[Jason to Jonah] 

You've collaborated with some really amazing people from famed ethnobotanist Terance McKenna to Bill Laswell, to your work as Reagenz and the Mulholland Free Clinic. What was it like working with Terance? 

I had met Terence McKenna through some people in SF and the idea was born to present a show in a kind of "rave" format that involved spoken word, visuals and music. The event got a lot of attention and we decided to run for two night after overwhelmingly  enthusiastic response. He felt at the time that presenting his ideas in these kind of events would be a great way to connect with people in a different way to his usual lectures. It was also the first time I was involved in event production.

[Jason to Jonah] 

What have been some of your favorite collaborations and why?

I have always found musical collaboration to be a joyful thing and a way to push myself further into new territories. Certainly playing live with others, especially in an improvised setting can be a totally rewarding and satisfying experience for us and audience alike. My long running project Reagenz with Move D is exclusively a completely improvised thing using basic hardware only and we have many releases that have come from this format.

[Jason to Jonah] 

What are your thoughts on the connection between psychedelics and music?

There's always been a strong connection between certain drugs and music, and with psychedelics the human brain has been found to show increased activity in response to rhythm and sound with potentially very positive therapeutic benefits!


Buy the new release on Rekids HERE. Photo courtesy of Hiromi Kiba. 

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