Becoming a resident for the iconic Tribal Sessions at Sankeys in Manchester at 19 was just the beginning of Jozef K's career. Joining Sankeys on the road in New York, Manchester and at Sankeys Ibiza, as well as gigs across Europe and as far as China, Jozef K has established himself as a unique selector. Digging deep for little known tracks, as well as classics, his abilities have earned him a place on Pete Tong's Hot Mix series as well as a live mix at BBC Radio 1 b2b with B.Traits. Not just famed for his selections, Jozef K is an esteemed producer - with tracks on Sasha’s Last Night On Earth, Steve Lawler’s VIVa, Acid Test, W&O Street Tracks and many more.
Despite the ever growing list of venues and spaces in the UK that have fallen victim to councils, housing developers and shopping centres - Manchester remains a thriving hub of electronic music and continues to fly the flag for a scene which is under constant sabotage and scrutiny. This Friday presented by Pineal Groove, Jozef K will be in the hometown setting of Manchester to be play his first ever All Night Long set at South - Manchester's underground basement venue launched by Paul Cons, the promotions manager of the legendary Hacienda.
Ahead of the special All Night Long set at South this Friday, EARMILK spoke with Jozef K to go a little more in depth with regards to his illustrious career thus far - sharing five of his most memorable moments as a DJ.
Gazgolder, Moscow 2010
"This was my first ever international booking - playing in the capital of Russia was something I will never forget. I can still remember most of the tracks I played in the set. When I first started playing I lost the vibe in the room as I reset it from the previous DJ but I knew what my plan was. When it wasn’t going so great initially, I remember one of the guys behind the decks advising me to "get some tech house on" I said nothing, but in my head I was like "fuck you" and come the end of my set, this person was shaking my hand and being super complimentary. I knew what my plan was musically for this event stuck to it, and it fortunately it worked. I played Williams - "Poltergeist" to a packed room as the penultimate track to a packed room, good memories."
Sankeys, New York City 2013
"Playing in NYC was a dream of mine since I first started doing music for a living, mainly due to the musical heritage from this special area. My first love was hip-hop and East coast rappers such as Nas, Mobb Deep, Notorious B.I.G - they were obviously huge exponents of NYC so it was dope to play in their backyard. Also from the city the CBGB punk movement took place with bands such as The Ramones, Talking Heads and Television stamping a new genre and attitude. NYC was also a catalyst in the inception of nightclub culture in terms of really embracing this lifestyle, David Mancuso’s invite only loft parties embody this perfectly. Some of my all time favourite DJs are from the city too in Danny Tenaglia and Francois K, also not forgetting the late great Larry Levan, one of the first and by all accounts one of the best to ever do it. His base was here at the legendary Paradise Garage and was one of the first DJ icons, any young DJs out there I recommend checking out some of his sets and really trying to picture what he was out to achieve. This list could keep going for an age, basically New York was responsible for a lot of shit musically. There must be something in the air. I remember walking through midtown Manhattan stone cold sober and I felt high as fuck. Had a bit of a moment and was like ''shit, how did I end up here, through playing house music?’'. A notable record for me here was from a Legowelt alias - which I feel has the New York City feeling somehow"
Sankeys, Ibiza 2016
"After multiple seasons playing at the Ibiza venue as part of my summer residencies for Tribal Sessions - one night stands out just for being completely insane. I played before Snoop Dogg and after him. I was playing old school hip-hop tunes (first and only time - I loved it) and some funk and soul too. I also closed the basement playing more of my usual stuff after Scuba. What else can I say? it’s Snoop D O motherfuckin double G, I shook his hand when he took to the decks after me. A stand out tune would have to be a Mobb Deep classic, which I guess to hiphop heads is a bit beatport top ten, but it’s just too sick to ignore"
Farbfernseher, Berlin 2013
"In terms of the music I am writing and playing, Berlin is the place for me, this was my first booking there and was for a 3 hour set. Every part of the night felt perfect and it was also my first trip to the city. "Farbfernseher" means TV repair shop and the spot was, you guessed it, an old TV repair place - very ‘Berlin’. To this day this was the most comfortable I ever felt playing, I am used to spinning Manchester where it feels like people need to be entertained from the outset but in Berlin the artistry is more appreciated I feel. I remember people dancing on tables to Steve Murphy & Die Roh - "Needle Eyes"
Dada, Beijing 2015
"This was an absolutely unforgettable one, I look back on this night with rapturous joy. If I'm having a bad day I look to this night to reshape my mood. This was my first ever time playing in China and the place was sold out. Coming on I was nervous as fuck, I was thinking "what if they don’t like the vibe, I am 10,000 miles from home and I have no reference of what these guys are going to like" I had played further afield previously but was this was uncharted territory musically as all the other places I could gage it at least a little beforehand. Anyway, when I started to play I connected super quickly, which if you ask any vibe DJ, doesn’t happen as often as we might like! I was down to play 2 hours but ended up playing 5. I felt harsh to consume the resident DJ's set time and I offered to come off as soon as the scheduled time finished, but they were like "No keep playing" and I am fiend once I get locked in. If I am presented with the choice, I would play on and on all day and night. For me that’s my happy place. Also the crowd was cool as fuck too, super well dressed. Looking forward to be being there over New Year for my 4th China tour! A stand out from that night was Craig Sopo's I-95 featuring Jared Wilson (Jared Wilson remix) on Tresoul - a hard hitting electro jam."
Pineal Groove presents Jozef K All Night Long at South in Manchester this Friday 9th November, with tickets available from Resident Advisor.