John Gomez – The Ransom Note Monday Is Ok Mix
The great ears of John Gomez were introduced to us via our office stablemate Mr Bobby Pleasure. Mr Gomez is a selector of the highest order and runs the Tangent parties with Nick The Record with a bag of wax tricks you'll most likely never have or need to have heard of. This is what DJs are all about in the age of the Beatport generation, people that educate your ears with nuggets never heard before. He hosts the Rush Hour Takeovers on NTS and is a regular selector at London audiophile hot spot Brilliant Corners, which recently saw him go head-to-head and back-to-back with the venerable record bags of the Invisible City DJs and Floating Points. We thought it about time he made Monday OK at R$N towers so here is his mandate… plus a proper with John n all…
Please introduce yourself…
Who are you?
My parents called me John Gómez, my friends call me Gómez.
Where are you?
At home in Peckham, following election night.
What are you?
Increasingly demoralised with the realisation that my Facebook feed is not representative of the country.
You are a purveyor of many fine aural obscurities. What’s your earliest memory of music?
Boney M. I grew up in a bilingual Spanish-English home and I remember dancing around our flat in Madrid, singing in both languages. Showing off, basically.
You’re described by many as a DJ’s DJ… whatever that means! I think it refers to the fact you have the most ridiculous record collection. Where did this love affair with black plastic begin?
In Discos Del Sur, a shop on a dark alley in Madrid that used to be home to prostitutes and junkies. It was one of the only shops in the city that stocked imports and it became a second home for me. I used to go there pretty much every Friday after school and got caught up in the allure of the records in the racks. I’ve always thought my collection has resulted from a passion for music, rather than with the object itself. But with time I have slowly come to accept the interest in the material history of records as an indispensable part of it. There is an emotional life in finding, selecting, and arranging records.
What was the first electronic record you heard and how did it make you feel?
A purely electronic record? Maybe Black Dog Productions Bytes or Seefeel’s Quique, both of which I inherited from a teacher who was a kind of musical mentor for me. I was really into hip hop, jazz, and soul, but these ethereal, complex records completely changed my preconceptions about what electronic music could be. They seemed to have feeling carved into them.
Tell us about your musical journey thus far.
It has seen only one transition: from nerding out alone to nerding out in the company of others.
First and last record bought?
My first actual vinyl record was Nas Illmatic. I was so excited about vinyl I started buying records before I even had a turntable. I could only listen to records when I babysat my neighbour’s kids. As for the last record, I was in Copenhagen last weekend and visited the mighty digger Martin Aalykke, who hooked me up with some amazing records, including a rare and unique Danish new age LP by Suzanne Menzel.
Tell us about your love affair with Rush Hour, Hunee and Antal.
I’ve known Antal for about ten years. Him and KC played a night in Madrid that is still etched in my memory. They were so knowledgeable but at the same didn’t just live in the past. It was a true party, full of risk and surprise, and it made me want to study what they did. Hunee is one of the most diligent students of that school. But more than anything else, they are both kind, gentle souls.
What about with Invisible City?
I’ve bought records from Brandon and Gary for a while, and chatted lots online. But we played together recently in London and we developed a proper rapport. There was so much joy in the two parties we did. It’s one of the best things about records: something that can be seen as quite introspective eventually leads to friendships with great people.
Where was the mix recorded?
At my friend Franck’s flat in Hackney Wick, with a bottle of wine and a view of the sun setting over the Olympic Stadium.
What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?
Some parts of it wouldn’t be out of place in a lift.
What should we be wearing?
A piano tie adds a touch of class to any outfit.
What would be your dream setting to record a mix?
Pretty clichéd, but a beach would do me nicely.
Which track in the mix is your current favourite?
The opener is a recent Brazilian discovery that has been pricking up all the right ears since I found it a few weeks back.
What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?
More than an all-time favourite, Jamie Tiller’s recent May Jams reflects what I want to be listening to right now. It is refined, subdued, and is mixed with superb simplicity.
If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?
Fiona Talkington and Max Reinhardt. Not strictly DJs in the sense you are after, but they are unceasingly interesting and talented listeners.
What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?
I don’t have a set up at home now – just one turntable and a Sansui amplifier.
What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?
The opener – do people actually finish anything they start these days?
If this mix was an edible thing, what would it taste like?
Arctic roll, obviously.
If it was an animal what would it be?
One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?
I make a lot of records in my collection appear un-mixable.
What are you obsessed with at the moment?
Not losing touch with my Spanish life.
With the mess that lies ahead in the UK, maybe not. However, I don’t recall being as genuinely excited about a political figure as I am about Manuela Carmena, a municipal candidate in Madrid. Years of conservative ruling has left the city exhausted and crushed, but her reasoned approach, rooted in common sense and civic responsibility, makes me feel a small glimmer of hope for my home town.
Seek out Pop Rocks’ Purple Jelly EP.
What’s your favourite colour maraca?
Shiny and golden, like those on the cover of Tabu Ley’s Haffi Deo.
How many hats do you own?
Enough to justify owning a hat and coat stand.
Have you ever touched a marmoset?
I just had to Google marmoset.
What’s your favourite place on earth?
Right now, I would love to be in Naoshima or Koyasan, both in Japan.
When was the last time you played a good game of table tennis?
Good in that I won? My memory doesn’t stretch that far…
Upcoming in the world of John Gómez?
John Gómez’s is next playing at his night Tangent with supreme digger Nick the Record on Saturday May 16th in Hoxton, click here for more information.