The mad percussionist, producer and label-owner Jon Kennedy has resurfaced with the hypnotic seven-minute single “Once Upon a Time”, his first new music since the spectacular 2017 LP HA!. What’s even more exciting than the sensation this song delivers is the knowledge that it’s the title track from an album forthcoming in 2020.
Kennedy was first discovered in 2000 by a ranking DJ in the Greater Manchester area of the UK. Today he lives in the countryside in the Czech Republic where he continues to produce and run his label, Jon Kennedy Federation, which he founded in 2007. He’s performed around the world as a DJ and as a drummer within his own live band and others, Last we heard, he was playing frequent small gigs in Thailand. With a deep discography and unsullied artistic vision, he carved out space for himself over time in the downtempo, beats and breaks universe. There’s no trend to his sound and very little shine, but there’s also no flaws, either. JK just makes great music, and “Once Upon a Time” is a predictably good addition to his catalog with an unpredictably fast tempo.
His percussion is clear and creative. It’s the element within his music that demands the most attention, while the other elements usually lilt in the background in a delightful ballet. The drums on “Once Upon a Time'“ are absolutely manic, not just the arrangement but the sounds themselves; whipping fast and prickly hi-hats and resonant, gangly snares.
To dive deeper into Kenndy’s music, check out his last album HA!. or the Rusted Rhythms mix from 2017 that he was gracious enough to drop on us. It’s full of the same drum and bass flavor in this latest single. Despite his long career, Kennedy continues to operate far from the spotlight. But he continues delivering top-shelf, uncompromising electronic music that’s more than worth our time to shine a light upon.