On The Sauce
Harri '5 name carries more weight than most in deep house circles yet mainstream success has always evaded him. With a new release all that might be about to change. Rory Weller follows the trail.
60 Beat are about to make Harri a star. The Godfather of Scottish house music, with more than a dozen years behind the decks, is on the cusp of becoming a household name. At the beginning of November the record company are releasing his first track as Daddy's Favourite, and with advance royalties that equate to sales of upwards of 20,000, they guestimate his tune will hit the Top 20. Tong, Rampling and Jules are all caning it on their radio shows and after years of waiting for his turn, maybe the time has come for the wee man.
The disco cut-up track, 'I Feel Good Things For You' was released on Stevie Middleton’s Disco Soul imprint a couple of years ago and has been a pretty much solid underground hit
DJ Harri on the edge of stardom
since. The majors have been fighting over each other to license it and then the Patrice Rushen sample had to be cleared, but now it's going on the racks of your local HMV and Virgin.
So is Harri (or James Harrigan as nobody calls him) excited? ’l was quite chuffed when I heard them playing it on the radio,’ he says with typical Harri understatement. 'And if it's a hit, then I can whack my DJ fee up.’
He's been making tracks since '93 with his first release under the name Skelph For Limbo (which shifted 10,000 units) and he’s been punting stuff out as Magpie, Happy Larry, H Foundation and a few as Harri, but none have produced as much excitement as this one. He doesn’t have any musical equipment of his own and makes all of his records in five-hour stints at friends' studios every Sunday and Monday night. If a track doesn't work in one session he‘ll leave it and come back to it months later.
Middleton had to practically force Harri to let him release the track and it looks like there's already another belter on its way too. Yogi Haughton made up an acetate of a new
track that Harri gave him and says it's going down a storm.
Harri's a bit suprised: ‘I played it at the weekend and Luke Solomon and Ashley Beedle came up to me and said, "What the hell is that?" I thought, "Fuck me, I might have another one here.“
As far as the money goes he's not really that bothered. Before he started DJing he was working in the oil industry earning £25,000—£30,000, so he's not fazed by the riches on offer. He's got his residencies, his two nights in the studio and he likes it that way.
'l've a nice flat, a car, a gorgeous girlfriend and kids. I don't really need a carrot on a stick to make me work. To be honest, an awful lot of it is just going into the studio, getting ripped and nodding away to the music.’ Seems to work, though. (Rory Weller)
Harri 015 every Saturday at The Sub Club and every Friday at Fridays R Firing at Plastic People (London). Daddy’s Favourite ’/ Feel Good Things For You' (Go Beat) is available in speCIa/ist shops now and on general release 2 Nov.
\ a... 6’ '3
Moving things forward-Neotropic
Dance music is no longer what it was. Back in those mythical halcyon days of ’88 and '89, when all that mattered was the pulsating bass and the driVing kick drums, you knew where you were,
But now? Everywhere you turn, listen for the ringing of tills, look for the proverbial dollar signs in the eyes. The whole dance scene is as dead as half the passengers of the Titanic.
Meanwhile, outside the mainstream there’s a riot gom’ on Experimentation is the game and the only thing you need is your imagination And Riz Maslen, aka NeotrOpic, is aning the battleflag, 'At the moment the scene really needs a bomb under it ' Strong words, indeed, and words Riz is QUite prepared to act on. 'I want to shake people at times and say, “C'mon, wake up, you've got to move on". It's just stayed the same for the past ten years, there’s still the janeg pianos, the anthemic vocals. There’s nothing new
. . it's sad that it's ended up like this.'
This, says the mild-mannered yet talkative Riz, is part of the reason she got into making music in the first place. ’I was frustrated, but it was also about doing something for me, rather than for other people'
Her music sounds like nothing else; hip hop and jazz rub shoulders with freakout noise, snatches of techno and jungle are juxtaposed against lush, sweeping chords, the occasional vocals add a human element. And while this seeming melange might end up a sprawling, inchoate mess, Riz has crafted some of the most beautiful music made on machines since Kraftwerk started banging on about models.
She puts the eclecticism of her output down to absorbing and documenting everything, listening to anything from the Stones and classical music to poetry. 'I hope that’s present in my mum, I think | absorb things in an unconscious (sic) way . . . it’s not premeditated, what I do. I don’t sit down and think, "I’m gonna write a track in 6/8 today".’(Leon McDermott)
Neotropi'c's Mr Brubaker's Strawberry Alarm Clocked is released on N Tone on 79 Oct; she plays at (32, Glasgow, Sat 25 Oct.
Things have been happenin' at Wilkie. Normal has now finished at Wilkie House despite their impressive booking of The Advent for 16 Oct. Lift is leaving its current home of The Vaults and will move to Wilkie House to celebrate its fourth birthday on the 16 Oct. Wilkie House have also started their brilliant version of the student night with Pants every Thursday night. Check this out.
No doubt you've been at least a little excited by the multitude of nights booked at Potterrow. It is, however, a students club (literally, not just a haven for drink promos and cheesy music) and is thus subject to special membership regulations. If you are not currently a university student but have some sort of student ID (student card, library card etc) proving that you have been a student at any institution at any time, you will be allowed in. Each ’student’ may sign in two guests even if they do not hold student ID. Still, I recommend blagging your way in with the line 'l‘m a student of the School of Life, maaan.‘ Call me if it works.
Under The Duvet, the event in aid of the Names Project, was cancelled late last issue due to 3 ‘jobs worth attitude' from Glasgow City Council's licencing department, according to organiser lain Macdonald. The event was cancelled just over a week before it was due to take place after a noise pollution officer stated he had 'serious misgivings‘ about the event, meaning that no firm licence for the event was made available. Macdonald reckons the cancellation has cost the charity £6,000 in pre-production costs. The good news is that Under The Duvet 2 will relocate to the GPO Building, Edinburgh, on Sat 21 Nov with a similar line-up to the Glasgow non-event.
Fresh Air FM (105.4FM) start another 28 day RSL broadcast at midnight on Sun 12 Oct running through until Sat 7 Nov. Nearly every Edinburgh club (from The Lizzard Lounge to Sublime, Taste to Manga, Seen to Tackno and all in between) is hosting a show, so chances are that you'll want to tune in all day, every day. ’Cept when you're clubbing, of course.
The Lizzard Lounge's Joseph Malick
forms part of the attraction of
Fresh Air FM's RSL broadcasts
8—22 Oct 1998 THE lIST 71