Skrufff is the weekly e-zine Skrufff-E, the blog Skrufff.com, the international website syndication network and the DJing, music making and consultancy activities of Jonty Skrufff, the agency’s founder and owner.
Specializing in cutting edge club culture and quality dance music (whether it’s called house, techno, electronic and/ or underground) it’s about the characters, artists and stars who live their lives in nightlife- and everything that goes with it (the thrills, spills, pitfalls and peaks; the sex, drugs, parties and politics).
“Skrufff covers the three things I’m most interested in; music, clubbing and human rights. An excellent mix.”
Chris Lowe, the Pet Shop Boys, UK
“If I read one thing every week about our industry and more, it’s Skrufff.”
Danny Whittle, Director, Pacha Ibiza
Who Is Jonty Skrufff?
Graduating with a BSC (Econ) Honours degree in Economics and Statistics from the London School Of Economics, he started his career in music in 1992 working as a freelance/ stringer for pop/ rock/ lifestyle magazines including Tutti Frutti and Metal Shock (Italy), 3D World, Onion and Zebra (Australia), Caravan (Thailand) and British music mag Rock CD.
Adding radio to the mix in 1993 (for syndication company MCM Media Europe) he next became an interviewer for Super Channel, the pan-European satellite television network which at the time (1993) was MTV’s only rival European music channel (NBC Super Channel: http://bit.ly/kada6j)
Interviewing hundreds of rock and pop stars (including Celine Dion, Chemical Brothers, Phil Collins, Radiohead, Aerosmith, Massive Attack and Blur) he also quizzed virtually all of the world’s greatest living jazz legends (including Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Sonny Rollins and Wynton Marsalis for weekly show Talking Jazz (many with Jonty on camera).
In 1995 (while still working for Super Channel and his network of magazines) he helped launch IPC’s British club magazine Muzik, as its first chief feature writer helping to shape the editorial direction of what became the most influential clubbing magazine of the 90s.
Covering everything from Sydney’s club scene and Thailand’s Full Moon Parties to London’s then thriving pirate radio scene he also conceived and implemented Thirst Aid, a campaign aiming to encourage British clubs to provide free drinking water for revellers.
Highlighting clubs which guaranteed free cold drinking water with blue tap symbols in the magazine’s listing section (and asking readers to alert Muzik if taps were turned off), the campaign was immediately successful, and was quickly embraced by British authorities who incorporated its goal into their own Dance ‘Til Dance Safely nightlife campaign.
Within 12 months, all British clubs were required to provide free and unrestricted access to cold drinking water by law, a policy that remains in place in the UK today.
Two years and 25 features later (in 1997) he left to launch EMI’s first global dance music portal Dancesite.com, a clubbing site designed to promote all the dance related releases and acts from EMI’s global network of previously competitive sub labels (including Positiva, Parlophone, Virgin and US hip hop label Priority Records.)
Recruited with a carte blanche brief to make the site credible and non-corporate, he conceived, created and implemented a strategy which combined the best of EMI’s electronic music roster (Chemical Brothers, Daft Punk, Adam F, Beastie Boys etc) with external cutting edge non EMI content.
EMI’s then Vice President of New Media and Internet heavyweight Jeremy Silver (who Jonty reported to between 1997 and 1999) fully approved.
“Jonty is one of the most persistently positive, curiously articulate, passionately enthusiastic, dance music writer, journalist, advocate that I’ve ever met. The pioneering work he did at EMI and Virgin was groundbreaking and still reverberates,” says Jeremy (who is nowadays Chairman at Semetric and an advisor to both the UK Technology Strategy Board and the Featured Artist Coalition).
“Jonty has a vision and all the practical skills and talent to implement it,” he adds. “It’s great to see him continuing to pursue something that he has been so instrumental in creating,” he says today. (Jeremy Silver: http://bit.ly/7iulst )
“Skrufff is an addictive e-zine, a window to the wider clubbing world. It’s the only weekly mail-out I always read from start to finish, an essential feed of information and entertainment always served up with knowledge, irreverence and wit.”
Mark Kavanagh, Assistant Editor Daily Star (Ireland)/ DJ, Dublin.
“Jonty Skrufff’s E-zine is a bloody marvel. In just ten minutes it tells me every last thing I need to know about current club culture around the world. No more late nights, no more drugs, no more 3am vomits in the gutter – I can now stay home and do it alone vicariously. All you need is Skrufff.”
Simon Napier-Bell, author of music industry history ‘Black Vinyl, White Powder’, erstwhile manager of Wham, Japan, Marc Bolan, the Yardbirds.
Jonty Skrufff; Today
Leaving EMI in 2000 to focus more on independent club culture and dance music he spent a year helping to develop Mezzmusic.com for May Day Ball/ UK nightclub group Mezzazine, going fully independent in 2001 to launch Skrufff Media.
10 years on, Skrufff has expanded to incorporate a blog while Jonty’s added DJing and music making to the original Skrufff syndication/ e-zine portfolio (in 2004 and 2008 respectively). He also now works all year round as a consultant/ moderator for the Amsterdam Dance Event, contributing original concepts and ideas for panels and selecting high quality guest panelists and speakers for the leading electronic music conference.
“Since joining ADE in 2010 Jonty has become a vital member of the team,” says ADE general manager Richard Zijlma.
“Energetic, enthusiastic and self-motivated, his vast experience as an international DJ, producer and multi-media journalist mean he’s also an accomplished moderator and talented interviewer, and has quickly become central to ADE’s ongoing development. He’s a great DJ too,” Richard adds.
DJing & Music Production:
Starting DJing in 2004, Jonty has since held residencies at Pacha Ibiza and London’s Fabric (DTPM) and DJed in 27 countries, regularly headlining superclubs and festivals from the Balkans to Brazil and China to Czech Republic. As a producer, he has co-produced tracks with Radio 1 DJ Judge Jules and in 2009 won a Qwartz Award (equivalent to a French Grammy) for his first official release, a remix of Motor’s Death Rave.
“Check out Jonty Skrufff’s remix of the mighty ‘Death Rave’; fully deserving of the tag ‘Masterpiece’.” Electronic Beats Magazine: Germany
“LOVE Death Rave! Will play it for sure.” Soulwax
In London he produced and presented a weekly radio show on Ministry Of Sound Radio for two years and now presents Germany Calling on new Berlin station BLN.FM (alongside fellow Skrufff DJ Fidelity Kastrow). The show is also broadcast on 88.4FM each month in the Berlin area and is one of the radio station’s most popular shows.
Skrufff: the Future:
New developments include Skrufff’s radio show Germany Calling (on BLN.FM) going weekly from June 2011 (20.00 CET, BLN.FM/ 88.4FM Berlin).