The 10 best set openers, according to Jon Rust

A Londoner born and bred, Jon has been a well-oiled cog of the London music scene for many years now, learning the ropes by working at some of the city's most important musical institutions including Plastic People, Rinse FM and Phonica. He was also one third of party throwing clique Standard Place alongside Oneman and Reecha, who were one of the first DJ crews invited to perform on Boiler Room.

These days Jon is a firm fixture on NTS Radio with his show No Boring Intros, and spends the rest of his time running the Levels label, which is responsible for releasing killer 12”s from the likes of Lord Tusk & Ajukaja, Andrevski, and Ruutu Poiss.

Now, it just so happens that since opening their doors in September last last year, Phonox's resident Jasper James has played an extended set every Saturday night…and believe us when we say, that's a lot of extended sets. Taking a well earned break this August, the Brixton club have enlisted non other than Jon Rust to fill Jasper's boots until he returns to do it all again on September 3rd.

Kicking things off this August 6th, Rust invites a friend of very high demand to open his month-long residency, and although they will remain unannounced we imagine it'll be worth the trip. Phonox promises that the further guests will be just as impressive, with Rust staying true to his London roots and inviting a host of friends to play alongside him each week, which he'll announce the Monday before each party. 

In Jon's own words:

"VERY excited to be hosting Saturdays at Phonox this August. Growing up south of the river, I’ve had many formative musical experiences in the area. So it’s a privilege to set the levels at the club for four weeks straight. Each week I’ll be inviting some friends and special guests for the ride – some you will know, others you might not, but each represents their love for DJing and club culture just as much as I do. Look out for the announcements and I’ll see down on the dancefloor…" 

To mark this momentous occasion, we asked Jon to share some of the best tried and tested set openers from his crates. Schooled from his time on No Boring Intros, the selections range from Gary Numan to the late and great Romanthony, so get lost in the moment with Jon Rust's selections below or listen seamlessly via our YouTube playlist.

Keith Hudson Hunting

Jon Rust: "Intense and brooding opener from Keith Hudson’s 1974 album 'Flesh of my Skin, Blood of my Blood'. Goosebumps."

Jean-Luc Ponty Plastic Idols

Jon Rust: "It's hard to overstate my love for Jon-Luc Ponty, especially the solo albums from 1983-85, which are gold. This one taken from 'Fables' (1980) is purely atmospherics."

Coati Mundi Me No Pop I

Jon Rust: "A tropical party starter. Takes me back to Nonsense nights down in the basement Plastic People. Extreme performance from the main main in the video too."

Gary Numan Night Talk

Jon Rust: "Rude Linn drum swagger from new wave OG Numan. Now If I really want to make an entrance…"

DJ Fett Burger Pogo

Jon Rust: "Synth bomb. Truthfully, I haven’t figured out how to play it anywhere other than at the start of a set. So that is where it stays."

Candi Staton Do Your Duty (Pepe Braddock Erectus Rework)

Jon Rust: "Resetting the vibe doesn’t always wash, especially peak time. When following some level 900 energy ninja, this is the track."

Romanthony Now You Want Me (Original Jersey Mix)

Jon Rust: "I opened a few back to backs with Reecha at Standard Place parties with this. A solid selection when you want to achieve maximum impact in as short a space of time.Romanthony was a total maverick talent. Rest in Peace."

Caldera Sky Islands

Jon Rust: "For me, Caldera were the ultimate fusion band, with just the right balance of latin, jazz and rock elements. The cover image is a sandstorm turning into a volcano. Talk about drama…"

Dinosaur L Go Bang! #5 (Francois K Mix)

Jon Rust: "Perhaps the ultimate opening track and I know it’s there in a lot of DJ’s all time favourite lists. It’s just bonkers. Seven minutes of this and people will think they’re on another planet. Not so much a track, and more of a spaceship."

The Winans Let My People Go (M&M Breakdown Reprise)

Jon Rust: "Great set openers can often make great set closers too – it just depends on the setting. This gospel soul nugget serves well for both."

Jon Rust plays Phonox on August 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th as part of a month-long residency at Phonox, Brixton (info).

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