Henry Johnstone, Sydney - Australia - on 8/8/12
Further Records head lady and one of Seattle's long-standing DJs, Chloe Harris, is making her Australian debut in Melbourne and Sydney this weekend alongside fellow American Kate Simko. Ahead of their gigs, we catch up with Chloe to shoot the breeze on music tastes, the Seattle scene and her love for cassette tapes.
Pulse: Back in the early to mid 00s you were pushing a progressive and breaks sound. Fill us in on how your tastes have changed since then and where they lie now in terms of DJing. Chloe Harris: Hmmm, good question. I have always been into various styles of music, first i started DJing electro/idm/techno, then found Oliver Lieb's trance/prog and off I went. That was in '98, then I found more proggy stuff. I loved the more minimal style of people like Kasey Taylor and what Vapour were doing, as well as Voyager etc; the tough, unhappy kind of sadder stuff. In 2000 or so I started collecting a lot of surreal, wiggle and more tech-house stuff, then got more into techno, and then got bored with the cyclical nature of dance music which is why I think I wanted to start my label Further Records.
I've always tried to play for the crowd and feel what they want, so when I was touring with Diggers [John Digweed] I definitely played more deep and tech house. When I'd headline I'd go much tougher and now I just bring loads of stuff from ambient to deep to dub to house to techno and hope that I can mix things in a way to make it fun and groovy for people.
What about more eclectic, downtempo music? Does that still tickle your fancy? Yeah it's a lot of what I do, especially now. My Raica project has taken off a bit with a few people and I can only hope that it continues. It's weird, experimental and focuses more on the fun gear I've collected over 20 years. I also think there is a lot more interesting music coming out right now through the not-really-dance-music labels like Digitalis, Agguire and Nice Up Intl.
Seattle’s reputation was often (and you might say still is) mainly for grunge. Has that changed at all do you think and has Decibel festival had much to do with it? Decibel and Sean Horton have helped Seattle a lot. We had electronic shows and dance events from the very early 90s and late 80s, but Decibel helped put Seattle on the world map for electronic music I think. There are so many great producers and artists here, there's always something fun to do or explore. It's also a very fun scene and the people who party and go out are really ace. We've been known to dance outside a party when there's no room inside. We've always been a very music and art city and I can only hope that side of Seattle grows even more.
Your bio is refreshingly hilarious. Is it a response to some of the ridiculous ones about these days? Bios are simply hilarious - make yourself look awesome on paper. They're generally the same and its always like, 'Look how cool I am. Richie Hawtin likes me!!! yay!'.
It seems pretty crazy that this will be your debut tour of Australia, particularly given the progressive sound you were playing ten years ago was so popular here. What happened? Hmmm, no idea. But the time is now and I'm so excited to meet you all finally!
Your tour is alongside Kate Simko. Do you guys know each other? Are you aware of her work? Yeah I'm really excited to see her play again. We played at Movement (DEMF) the same year as well, but I never got a true chance to meet her. I love meeting other girls who have a passion about gear, music, and production. It's a beautiful thing.
Fill us in on Further Records. How did you come to found it and why? I always wanted to do a record label and felt like I was going to blow myself up in 2009. I wasn't feeling too awesome about what I was personally doing, but did love a lot of what some others were doing and felt like we could help showcase some unusual talent. Further means going on, pushing ideas, pushing sounds further than they'd been before. I wanted to try to combine my love for weirder stuff with a love for the not so weird. It seems to work on some level and the artists I also work with via the label are the coolest people ever and that is really great and makes it easy and super fun.
Cassette tapes are one of the mediums Further releases on. Why? I came from mixtapes and have a tape player in my car. I love how they are pocket size, I love how you can make them into anything you want and they are easy to do small or big quantities. They sound warm and hissy and I think some of the music we put out works for that medium. Tape is life and love. I love tape.
I actually bought a tape from the Further website - 'United Hate' by Public Safety - to listen to in my car, but another tape I had that was sitting in the car warped in the sun and then got stuck in the player, so now I can’t play it anymore, which sucks. Sorry for the rhetorical question. Oh crap. I'll bring you some stuff...not on tape.
Tell us three tracks that are really doing it for you at the moment. This Doshy track is so mental and crazy.
This function edit is amazing.
And this is just soooo funky.
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