Starting out in 2005, Laura Jones shot up the ranks quickly, defining herself in the dub/house space. Breaking out with a string of releases and high-profile appearances in 2011, Jones is now associated with some of the dominant labels on the scene, including Visionquest, Noir Music and Crosstown Rebels. Music-News caught up with her to talk about her rise and rise.
People say you occupy this space between house and techno – how would you describe your sound?
Producing and DJing wise Its definitely a mixture between house and techno. I don’t really necessarily agree with my tracks being singled out into genres as well because a lot of the time the definitions are so varied it doesnt make much sense anyway. I’d say its always melodic, always has a ballsy bassline to it, whether it be house or techno and always a kind of element of eerieness to it too.
That particular middle ground has become a lot wider and more popular in recent years –
It’s definitely changed in the sense of there’s been a big uptake in the whole kind of indie, nu-disco stuff more so than anything else – though obviously there’s still a lot of people out there playing the classic, timeless house and techno styles – indie/nu-disco does seem to be on the up at present. When I first got into the industry it was all about (Music label) Minus and obviously Minus is still big for the minimal/tech thing but in the UK the overall trend has shifted somewhat. Its interesting to see these dynamics changing from where I’ve experienced it. With regards to my own tastes and what I play myself it’s more on the camp of classical house and techno.
As a producer linked to several big-name labels then, are you ‘strategic’ with regards to your approach to making music?
At the start it was very non-strategic. It was a hobby and I was working on whatever came out. Now as I’ve obviously got more exposure and people begin to have expectations you can’t help but start to think a bit more about it. I’m still trying very much not to overthink it because I feel when you start to over think things thats when it all goes to pot, but obviously when you’ve got certain labels wanting things from you and you need to tailor it to that label then it starts to be a bit more strategic. I’m now naturally starting to produce things that are very Visionquest because of my classical background, very melodic, lots of musicality to them. Almost more ‘song-like’ than what’s usually expected of a lot of house music.
A lot of DJs are now starting to produce and play very cross-genre stuff. Do you find that from where your sitting that this is becoming increasingly the norm?
Definitely. There is now a lot more cross of genres. Even very genre-defined names, such as (Drum and Bass producer) Marcus Intalex is now producing house through pseudonym Travino – he’s actually one of my favourite producers at the moment. There is a lot of that going on – the Hot Flushes and Scubas and George Fitzgerald’s of the world are becoming more popular and the scene is branching more into the dubby side of house music because of those artists now crossing over into house.
After this festival (SW4) you’re on to the US, to Canada – does the type of clubber you play too and their reactions vary worldwide?
Definitely. This is why style-wise I’m not a one trick pony. You see some one-trick acts that are well established in their own residencies or countries but then they go abroad and they’re just not there yet. Hats off to people who can just push their own sound and infiltrate across the world and have everyone buy it but from what I can see it doesn’t really work like that. Certain countries musically speaking are a little bit behind others, at different stages in the evolution path. I actually really enjoy the challenge of going to certain countries and having to figure out what it is they want – you play your first 5 tracks and try some different stuff out then eventually you figure out what it is they want.
How does playing a festival differ from playing a club?
The festival thing’s quite new to me – I did the Bugged Out Weekender in January, which was interesting – I had to close a stage after Maya (Jane Coles) and that was wicked – great opportunity, big line-up. It was a good challenge. I had a festival-like experience in Milan in October before then too, but it is still new. You are playing to a much wider audience so you do sometimes need to think a bit outside the box. Obviously what I play is underground and sometimes you need to branch more into the less underground stuff just because you wanna please the crowd because, well, essentially they are paying for you to be there!
What’s your schedule like going forward?
I’m sorting just taking every moment as it comes at present! I’m embracing the situation I’m in – I’ve been very fortunate to come so far in such a short space of time. With regards to where I’m heading I’m very much getting back into the studio after a year of getting my head around it all going so fast and having to go from essentially being a warm up DJ to being a headline, international act. Getting back into the studio now, got a remix coming up with Dusky I’ve got a Visionquest EP coming up, I’m also working on an EP for Loveroom and, well, who knows who I’ll be releasing with in future – I’m sorting figuring it all out at the moment everything’s happened so quickly to me. The production’s continually evolving and I’m making some really interesting stuff at the moment and I’m keen to make a diverse mix of stuff like I play, a bit of dubstep, a bit of other stuff. I’m just riding the wave I guess!