About Hobo Technologies

A hobo stays in motion, choosing freedom over security. Here at Hobo Technologies “hobo” means simplicity not poverty. It means finding what is useful to you and using it, ignoring pointless trends, and embodying a ceaseless dedication to finding your own way in a world dedicated to pouring you into a pre-cut path that serves you up to a variety of predators motivated by little but a short-term interest in picking your pocket.

You don’t need a boxcar to be a hobo. But you do have to stay curious, consider the comforts of the world somewhat suspect, and be ready to go your own way when you wind blows just right. Don’t sweat it, we’ll all reconnect in the Jungle.

Jon has a lot of different bios because he does a lot of different things. These are available on request if you are booking him to present a workshop or judge a swimsuit competition. They will probably all get posted here at some point for easy access. His artist info is on the Hobotech page.

And now,

Born on the Upper West Side of New York City, Jon Margulies grew up influenced by all manner of creative chaos. From a young age, it was apparent that he would go on to sing, act, play guitar, run a Tribeca recording studio with a crazy person, engineer music for SNL’s TV Funhouse, get fired from a pop band under orders by Adam Schlesinger, improvise electronic music from the back of an Astroturf covered minivan, and have his ORIGINAL Ibanez Tube Screamer lost by an amazing Polish bass player at some wedding gig. Really, dude?

His musical education began in earnest at age 11, as a member of the choir at the Cathedral of St John the Divine where he had the good fortune to be directed by Paul Halley, and perform music well outside the traditional liturgical spectrum. This included performances with the Paul Winter Consort and James Taylor, and performances at the Kennedy Center and Spoleto Festival with The Ensemble For Early Music.

Jon started playing guitar around this same age, and went on to study jazz with heavyweights such as Kenny Werner and Mick Goodrick, and performed with mindblowing musicians such as Chris Wood, Tony Mason, Rob Reddy, Reggie Workman, Ben Allison and Pete Drungle (to name a few of his favorites). His dedication to jazz was disrupted quite early however by an ongoing fascination with electronic music, and a desire to craft compelling, accessible pop music.

As his focus shifted to production and songwriting, he also discovered a talent for programming and delved into database coding to fund his studio equipment and non-stop tinkering with samplers and songwriting. During this period, he released Esther Becomes Queen under the name Safteycan, and went on to produce a 30-performer variety show of the same name, featuring songs from the album, a talking christmas tree, dancing plants, and the preparation of a gigantic salad.

Spending the next few years in Minneapolis, Jon co-founded the band Suki Takahashi which was at the cutting edge of the midwest live electronica scene. The group released one EP, and a track on the M3rck compilation “Dosage” before disbanding to spend more time with each other’s families. By this point, however, Jon had gone too far into electronic music to turn back. Conveniently, Ableton Live was released at exactly this moment. This led to a period of intense composing, performing and DJing with Live under several aliases including Professor Space Jazz and Hercules. Jon also discovered that his time as a technology consultant and his time spent discovering Ableton Live could combine to make him a powerful teacher, and he went on to create the only third-party training product for Live (8 hours of videos on Live 5!) to ever be officially endorsed by Ableton and sold via their web shop.

In 2007, Hobotech was born – first as a joke. At the height of New York’s pre-real-estate-bubble madness, it seemed an antidote to bottle service culture was needed. Why not create a genre of electronic music that would be as offensive to that mindset as possible? Why not glorify eating beans out of a can, playing the spoons and camping out by the railroad tracks? Within a year, he had started mashing up tom waits and john lee hooker with minimal techno, and a movement was born. This led to a series of highly successful parties in Brooklyn featuring other old-meets-new artists such as ATOM, FreeBassBK and Hobotrail.