Kon’s Star Time label delivers stellar disco edits
“In 1978, my mother was pretty much a disco diva—a little queen—and would take me to the club on Saturdays,” says DJ and producer Kon. “I’d be the only boy at this roller rink that was on Lansdowne—a famous street in Boston near Fenway Park. I was there when the Crusaders’ ‘Street Life’ and Michael Jackson’s ‘Off the Wall’ first dropped. That music resonated with me so much.”
Kon’s Star Time imprint is a new chapter in his storied musical career as a tastemaker, DJ, and edit maestro. With Star Time, Kon (from Kon and Amir fame) deconstructs and re-freaks ubiquitous blue-ribbon disco masterpieces like Donna Summer’s “Bad Girls,” Chaka Kahn’s “I’m Every Woman,” Chic’s “Everybody Dance,” and Michael Jackson’s “P.Y.T.” These tracks are already unequivocal landmarks that need no introduction. With that said, Kon does it like most can’t and breathes new life into widely familiar sure-shots.
With the multi-track stems in hand, Kon applies a bulletproof re-touch formula. His massive edits are enhanced with extra drum breaks, extended instrumentals, blockbuster a cappellas, and colossal piano drops. The compositions are stripped down and stretched out—and an utterly ridiculous EQ job is the cherry on top. Boston’s Caserta and Philly’s Scott Stallone masterfully mix the tracks.
When asked about his overall approach, Kon explains, “To be honest, I don’t really think about it too much. It’s just instinct. There’s no real secret. I just do what I do. I try to keep the original intact as much as possible with my arrangements. I don’t overdo it, because essentially you are playing God with songs that are already damn near perfect. I always try to make a drum break, and I like to strip things down and expose elements that I feel should have been given a little bit more shine.”
Most of the Star Time releases have a B-side black-and-white headshot of the musician in sequined party attire. The aesthetic is clean and simple. Kon praises Star Time’s art director Freddy Anzures from Wax Poetics and San Francisco’s Sweater Funk crew: “Freddy is the man, dude. He’s got eclectic taste as a DJ too—he is the only other dude beside myself who plays Lenny Kravitz’s ‘What Goes Around Comes Around.’”
Kon explains the impetus behind his newfound label, “Star Time is a play on words from James Brown—you know, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, it’s star time!’ The theme thus far has been massive records by stars. I already covered the nerdy, unknown, rare, obscure stuff with Amir on the BBE comps and On Track stuff. I have matured enough where I don’t care so much about rarity. I don’t really give a shit about how rare a record is. It’s like, whatever, dude. A record is either good or bad. Not to sound bitter, but I’m just so over that. I just like good music. There are records that I grew up with that I have heard at least four to five thousand times. I could still listen to ‘Disco Nights’ by GQ a hundred thousand more times. I’ll never get tired of that record, because it connects me to my childhood.”
Kon’s name has become synonymous with stone-cold quality. His edits are instant dynamite for the discotheque, roller rink, or barbecue. Whether it’s MJ, Donna, or Chaka Khan, these edits make you happy, relaxed, and ready for some body movement.
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