Harthouse & Eye-Q

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linked frankfurt labels. both very successful during the first wave of trance, both found transitions away problematic. are they still around?

harthouse was the harder, more techno of the 2 labels, and all the early hardfloor records are rocking, other than that? well, cybordelics adventures of dama is a trance classic, progressive attacks secrets of love tries to marry belgian hardcore to the germanic trance chassis, but i'm not sure these records would cut it if released today. marco zaffarano's minimalism still stands up, but not so sure about the sunpad ep (its a bit too much really). or is it? am i just too wary of the 'trance/cheese' tag? aurin's mecon was good but i cant remember it

eye-q was fluffier, and i still say that Cygnus X ~ Superstring is wonderful, reminds me of going to festivals at 2 in the afternoon on the thursday in blazing sun. cynically manipulative? hell yeah! pushes all the right buttons. melt the most cynical of hearts, maybe! what else, well energy 52s cafe del mar, and vernons wonderland are more famous but dont stand up so well i think


gareth, Monday, 15 April 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

the onyl thing i've seen on eye q is the mogwai remix album, which has some sublime moments on it....

ambrose, Monday, 15 April 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

three months pass...
i couldn't find a hardfloor thread, which surprised me. i was thinking the other day that ronan really should hear hardfloor's 'hardtrance asperience'.

gareth, Thursday, 25 July 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Good call, Gareth. DAN PERRY TO THREAD!

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 25 July 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

While Dan's collating his response, I'll just say that their remix of Robert Armani's "Circus Bells" is the techno equivalent of Dr. J vs Larry Bird one-on-one --> it's a frickin CLINIC

Tracer Hand, Thursday, 25 July 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

i mean, boring answer, but props are due! i also like "Boudolee" with the tricky kettledrum bits

Tracer Hand, Thursday, 25 July 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Both labels are now defunct. Sven Vath, Paul van Dyk, etc have gone their ways.

I loved this stuff in those days. But a year ago, I pulled out all the old comps, and realized that virtually none of these tracks work anymore in today's clubs. While the melodies and such are still great, the production is way too flat and one-dimensional, the tempi are too high, and the buildups seem clumsy and half-assed. It's amazing what ten years of productional refining has done to the music. Most of these tracks have seen remakes in the last five years (Firedance/Sunrise, Vernon's Wonderland, Superstring, Symmetry, The Orange Theme), and frankly virtually all of these are better than the originals. "Cafe Del Mar" is probably the only one that is still actually being played in its original mix.

Siegbran Hetteson, Thursday, 25 July 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

yea, but i think you're thinking more of the eye-q side of things, which (superstring aside) i don't think stood up that well even at the time (bonzai or whatever was always fiercer)

but the acidy side of things, the particularly the hardfloor sounds much stronger than similar stuff today (and, weirdly, for music criticised as metronomic, funkier). i played some hardfloor, damon wild, pump panel stuff for someone who wasn't aware of all this stuff and they loved it, thought it should be played out today...

gareth, Friday, 26 July 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

The acid/techno Harthouse side of things was never very interesting IMO. I like acidy bleeps and minimalist structures as much as the next guy, but without my M&M's most of this stuff is just unbearably boring.

The stuff has indeed stood the test of time better, probably because of its more minimalist nature. Chris Liebling could play some of that stuff and few would notice that it's ten years old.

Siegbran Hetteson, Friday, 26 July 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

but surely hardfloor were maximalist?

i mean, harthouse wasn't exactly austere was it?

gareth, Friday, 26 July 2002 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

two years pass...
Funny, I was going to post a S&D for Harthouse but found this instead. I'd never known anything about the label until buying a couple of Alter Ego records at Open Mind ("Soulfree Remix" and something they did with David Holmes) and having my head fairly flipped around. Found a Harthouse comp from '94 today - "Harthouse Compilation Chapter 4: Global Virus" and it's got some moments, but nothing as good as the Alter Ego records.

Any other must-haves not mentioned above?

philip sherburne (philip sherburne), Saturday, 14 August 2004 03:13 (sixteen years ago) link

"Deliberation" by Cygnus X although i don't know what label that's on.

Tracer Hand (tracerhand), Saturday, 14 August 2004 08:46 (sixteen years ago) link

Harthouse ain't defunct but the style has changed. I corresponded with them briefly last year (they may have become defunct since then of course). They have changed their style however, or so they told me - they had also slimmed down their roster. It may have been a change of management or something.

the music mole (colin s barrow), Saturday, 14 August 2004 08:59 (sixteen years ago) link

Hacienda - Sunday Afternoon and Freddy Fresh - Accidentally Classic, both more eclectic than the customary Harthouse blend, mixing and matching so freely (and effectively) from among elements of electro, downtempo, house, techno, R&B, electro, jazz, Latin, funk, soul, and pop that they exemplify genres of their own design.

most of the Recycle or Die titles offer interesting variations on ambient/trance. haven't heard all of them, but Ralf Hildenbeutel's Looking Beyond and Dominic Woosey's Straylight are worth seeking out. the Baked Beans discs are also kinda cool.

echoinggrove (echoinggrove), Saturday, 14 August 2004 12:23 (sixteen years ago) link

got electro in there twice. heh. good thing there's such a strong electro influence, esp. on Freddy's LP. i'm listening to that one again, and it's putting me in mind of the very best Brotherhood of Structure gear. "accidental" or not, this is definitely classic.

echoinggrove (echoinggrove), Saturday, 14 August 2004 12:29 (sixteen years ago) link

seven years pass...

I found the Pulsations EP on youtube the other day. It is such a moody and brilliant piece of work, all the way through - the tracks are thematically linked and appear to have been written in quick succession. Revisiting it after many years, I was pleased that it had lost none of its magic.


moley, Tuesday, 15 May 2012 07:08 (eight years ago) link

I have to say Harthouse is a classic label for their Hardfloor, Spicelab/Oliver Lieb, and Alter Ego releases alone. They also released some neat early stuff by folks like Koxbox and Susumu Yokota, and I have a fond spot for the Sven Väth and Stevie B-Zet collab called Astral Pilot too. A lot of their stuff probably sounds dated now, because it's harder and faster than the style of techno that's been popular in the recent years, but it's not the sort of cheesy 90s rave revivalists prefer either. But if you can get past that, there's plenty of gems in their catalogue.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 15 May 2012 08:00 (eight years ago) link

This was a good 'un too


moley, Thursday, 17 May 2012 06:57 (eight years ago) link

eight years pass...

any good mix CDs on these labels? I really like a few tracks on the 3rd Harthouse comp (C-Trance. Alice in Wonderland, Shapechanger)

brimstead, Monday, 14 September 2020 18:36 (one week ago) link

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