Big Ups With Sweater Funk

Name, Location, What You Do:
JB: Jon Blunck from Sweater Funk, San Francisco.
G: Jacob Pena, I go by Guillermo when I DJ. I’m from San Francisco, I work for Amoeba SF and play records.

JB: My biggest influence and inspiration is Dam-Funk and his Funkmosphere party.

G: The Funkmosphere crew (L.A.), The Good Foot crew (LBC), Monk One’s 12×12 column in Wax Poetics, Jonny Blunck (Sweater Funk), Kirk Harper (Sweater Funk), Vinnie Esparza (Spill The Wine / Groove Merchant).

Favorite Records at the Moment:
JB: Everything coming out on the Star Creature label from Chicago right now is insane. The Trailer Limon  45 rules, and that one by Joao Donato and his son is ridiculous. I got a test press for the forthcoming Pendletons LP coming out soon on Bastard Jazz that is on repeat.

G: Honey And The Bee’s “I Want You To Make Love To Me” single on Josie. I’m obsessed with this tune right now! Such a feel good song, I want to plat it in every set! It’s been on regular rotation in my apartment since I picked it up!

Best Digging Story:
JB: Every record has a story for sure. I remember once I found a record I wanted on Discogs, so I sent this dude money through PayPal and the record appeared at my door a few days later. So sick, I didn’t have to go anywhere or talk to anyone. I could have done the whole transaction butt ass naked, had I only thought of it at the time.

G: I guess the most recent one was in my go to shop in Long Beach CA, Bagatelle Records. I was with my dude Dennis Owens and we had hit up another shop that day and spent about 3 hours digging and didn’t come up with much to show for it. That’ll happen. So later we decide to pop in to Bagatelle on our way home and we make it in there with 20 minutes before they close. We split up and I took the 12″s and Dennis hit the new arrival 45s (I’d gone through the 45s the day before). 10 minutes later the owner comes in with 3 boxes of freshly priced soul and latin 45s and sets them down in front of me! With only 10 minutes! The guy working that day says “you think you can go through all of em in 10?” and before I can answer, Steve the owner says “ah he can do it, he’s like a mechanic!” I’m still not sure what that meant, I guess that I can go through these recordss and just listen to a few seconds of it to know what’s going on with that tune? Anyway, we ended up pulling 4 times what we purchased at the previous shop in those last few minutes! Never thought I could dig that fast! Not a mind blowing story, just one I think of often.

Favorite Mix and Why. Any Genre, Any DJ.
JB: Fave mix is definitely Soul Boulders by my man B.Cause and the late great Matthew Africa. A rare thing of perfection.

G: I don’t remember the name of it, but it was a live Stone Love sound system DJ mix from the late 80’s or early 90’s if I had to guess by the tunes on there. I had it in my car and I bumped that tape CONSTANTLY! At least until I got my car towed! I didn’t notice it was missing for maybe a week but it must’ve gotten swiped while at the tow yard that night! I miss the hell out of that thing! I’m still trying to figure out tunes from that mix!

LP, 12”, or 7” format?
JB: 45s of course!

G: 12″. It’s just so perfect. Enough surface area for ease of mixing AND stretching that tune across the whole side so it’s nice and loud on any sound system. It’s great! I’ll play a 45 set and it’s fine sonicly, but it’s definitely more of a challenge when it comes to mixing. Mad props to folks that throw parties that specialize in the 7″ format, it really challenges you to think harder about what you’re playing, the songs are shorter and you really have to be on top of it. With some 12’s you could probably go take a bathroom break and get another round at the bar! I do a lot of nights where it’s just me playing for 4 hours, those extended mixes can be a life saver!

Junk Food You Can’t Live Without:
JB: I’m afflicted with many vices, but junk food is oddly not one of them.

G: Pepperidge Farm Chesapeake Dark Chocolate Pecan Cookies. You can find ’em pretty much every where so they make for a good snack!

Most Memorable Gig Played:
JB: It’s a three way tie between Soul Summit in Chicago, Shake! Brooklyn (seriously, man) and Funk Freaks at OG Mikes in Santa Ana (the most knowledgeable and dedicated dance floor outside of northern soul events, you gotta see it to believe it).

G: The night Prince died was pretty epic. Jon and Kirk had a soul night scheduled that evening but changed it to a Prince tribute as soon as we found out the news. When I walked into the venue that night it was packed wall to wall with people ready to work out their loss on the dance floor. We played the hits, the b sides, deep album cuts, songs he wrote for others, songs he himself loved (I knew he was a Chaka fan so I brought plenty of her tunes!) and we had the place rocking all night long! It ended with Purple Rain and plenty of tears. Nothing could ever recreate that night.

JB adds to the story: The night Prince died Jacob was knocking it so deeply and heartfelt that we forced him to play to play entire night. Anyone there will tell you it was as deeply emotional and joyous as it could possibly have been with tears in every face and something only Jacob could have pulled off in a few hours notice ’cause he’s that fucking dude!

Record That Never Leaves Your Record Box:
JB: SF presents K-MAXX EP is a permanent resident in the big box. The small one always has “The Hardest Part” by Curtis Anderson.

G: Brutal Force “Dreams For Sale”. I recently acquired this tune after pining after it for months! It’s got a killer baseline, great mid tempo feel that easy to dance too with out wearing you out and some nice stops in the tune for some showing out on the dance floor!

Shout Outs, Last Remarks, and Gig Info:
JB: Shouts to all the chulitas, brujas and cookies out there making record parties fun and exciting again. Sweater Funk Sundays are always free and never cheap at the Knockout SF going on ten years, baby.

G: Shout out to the folks who keep digging and keep dancing! Shout out to all the DJs that put me up back when no one knew or cared about who I am or who I DJ with, THANK YOU! You can catch me at Spill The Wine every 1st & 3rd Sunday and the odd Sweater Funk Sunday nights. Don’t sleep on Spill The Wine with L.A.s Boogaloo Assassins band at The Elbo Room 4/27/18!

Dig Deeper!

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