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Chewing the Fat With Harry Choo Choo

One factor that has prevented House music from becoming just another fad, is how it has evolved over the years; from its Soul and R地達 roots though to Disco, to the super clubs and beyond, as the music has evolved, so too have the producers a

Date published: 27th Aug 2004

One factor that has prevented House music from becoming just another fad, is the way in which it has evolved over the years; from its Soul and R地達 roots though to Disco, to the 鉄uper Clubs and beyond, as the music has evolved, so too have the producers and DJ痴. Harry 鼎hoo Choo Romero has been a significant figure in House for years now, which is why I considered it a privilege and an education to interview him while he was in New York.

As a character that has been involved in the various levels of House music for many years it was interesting to hear Harry痴 take on the scene now. For instance, despite us being in the year 2004, there are some vinyl junkies out there who still deplore the use of CD痴 in DJing. Harry is one of the new breed who have embraced the digital disc; I play about 99.9% of my sets using CD痴 these days man: what ever I play off vinyl is only because I haven稚 had time to burn it and his reason for this? 典he technology of the CDJ痴 totally surpasses anything you can do on two turntables, or even three or four, plus it痴 easier on my back, he retorts, letting out a deep Bronx chuckle.

Along with the rise of the super clubs and the popularity of House came the superstar DJ痴, but with the trend now for venues to be more intimate spaces, it痴 widely argued that the exorbitant fee痴 charged by some of the remaining 都uperstar DJ痴 are out of touch with the current scene. So what is Harry痴 opinion on this? You won稚 be surprised to find he doesn稚 have a big problem with it. 的f the clubs are full and everybody is making money I think it痴 worth it. If these people charge these inflated amounts of pound or dollars, they might pull the wool over peoples eyes one or two times but by the third time it痴 no longer working.

With money to one side, one of Harry痴 biggest DJ dreams is to play back in his home country of Columbia, which he managed to do this past New Year痴 Eve. 的t was unbelievable man, a great experience. I flew the whole family out, had some fun in the sun, ate good food, saw some beautiful things.

Despite being well known all over Europe and Latin America, Harry is relatively unknown in The States, 鄭merica is all about Hip-Hop, R&B and Trance. The music market is very different over the other side of the pond, with corporations having a larger effect on what music gets out, could this be why House music isn稚 given so much support? 徹ver there [the UK] you still have some radio jocks who are still willing to be a little bit more open minded. Over here it痴 about the status quo. If a major radio station in my area decides to play something different, whether it痴 House music or just something other than the norm; Pepsi and Coca Cola - they wont advertise with them.

Despite spending so much time on his decks, Harry still gets time to appreciate other DJ痴. Like the rest of us, for a DJ to impress him they have to be able to do two things. 的f a DJ is making me dance and also pumping some shit I aint heard before, then we got a party man. It痴 well known that one of Harry痴 favourite DJs is Derrick Carter, 的 love the way he plays man, I just think he doesn稚 care man, he痴 technically on point, I mean the way this guy rocks the turntables, ain稚 nobody痴 business.

As well as being a well respected DJ and producer, Harry is the man behind the Bambossa label, which is distributed by the monster, Subliminal Records. As a label, Subliminal gets a lot of respect but it takes a lot of hard work to stay at the top of the game for so long as well as being a pioneer. 添ou致e got to persevere man, believe in what you are doing and the history of it. You have to educate yourself and immerse yourself in the sound. These being two things that Harry Romero and Erick Morillo have been doing, even before the formation of Subliminal, back in 1997.

Harry and Erick痴 musical partnership has been a key factor in Subliminal痴 rise and dominance. As the label has evolved so too have the reputations of its artists, or more specifically, Morillo痴 and the rumours of him being a ladies man. Harry sees a different side to him though: 的t痴 like with anybody, they have two sides to them. I know the Erick where he will call or I call him and we will be like big brothers, we have that kind of rapport. I mean with us, when we are in our little zone, me, Erick and Jse [Nnez] nobody is trying to shine, there are no egos attached. But on the other hand you have got to have another persona and that has helped Erick get where he is, he has gone really far.

The family feeling within the House scene is a big factor behind its durability, each artist educating and influencing the others. Even though Harry has been into House since the beginning, it was Lil Louie Vega that got him in to producing House music. 的 got their early stuff off a large system, first hand, with Louie probably playing it off a DAT out of the studio; it was fresh. That inspired me.

With House music now filtering into the commercial charts (although not as much as it was in the 90痴) a lot of producers and labels have 都old out. Could Harry ever do this? 哲o way man! I can稚 do that; I致e got to look myself in the face every morning. It痴 not that important for me to sell millions and millions of records. If it痴 going to happen, it will happen on my terms and with the Grace of God. How does it feel though, seeing a form of music you池e so passionate about being represented on a commercial stage. 溺y wife, she was on Top Of The Pops performing her song 全hiny Disco Balls. I think it痴 great man, I mean everything has got to have it痴 moment in the spot light, then it goes back underground, you致e just got to be at the right place at the right time and do it from the heart.

So with all this production, management and DJing in his portfolio, what is Harry up to right now? 鄭t the moment I知 writing film scores, some independent things at the moment. And the score Harry would most like to re-write? 鉄carface! he says empathically, not even taking a moment to think. The problem with updating Scarface is that it痴 a film set in the 80痴, so what would Harry do to make it different? 的 think I would make it even darker, even the dark moments I would make even darker.

So even after all the work that Harry and Subliminal has brought to us, we can now ponder the possibility of Scarface, running to a Harry Romero soundtrack. I certainly think that痴 something worth looking forward too!


Harry will be performing in the UK on September 4th at the Turnmills in London. His latest single Machine Control is out now on Subliminal.