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Chris Hare aka Hariku and Maruki interview with Frenzy

7th April 2008 - interview copyright of Frenzy

Chris Hare used to be resident for the legendary Country Club, but now he plays electro with his mysterious DJ'ing partner under their Hariku and Maruki aliases. Chris also has his own record label called Arcade Riot and will be starring for Frenzy in our room two on the Andy Whitby night on May 23rd.

1. Hi Chris, as way of introduction tell the Frenzy crew a little about yourself. We want to know how old you are, what your favourite TV program is, what you’re currently listening to, and where you’re sat right now?

Hey Frenzy! Well in gameshow terms, my name is Chris Hare, I'm 25 and enjoy making music in my secret lab in Bournemouth! I sold my TV to buy blank CDs and rarely watch the one my housemates bought to replace the one I sold.

Chris Hare... big fan of hats
Chris Hare... big fan of hats

At this very moment I'm listening to the new Boxcutter album, for those of you who haven't heard any Boxcutter he makes incredible Dub step - Glitch - Experimental music and the albums called Glyphic - just out on Planet Mu Recordings. If you meant in general then I listen to everything i can get my hands on from ambient stuff right through to 200 bpm Grimecore Freestyle Techno Drum & Clap Step.. and everything in between.. including of course Electro :) !

2. A lot of Bournemouth clubbers will know you from the crazy Country Club days. What was it about that club that made it so special and do you have any mad memories you’d like to share with us?

Blimey, it's hard to sum up the Country Club, it always seems to inflict instant nostalgia on people who went regularly.. I guess it was a special place because it was so unique. Now that its gone we won't see a place like that again for while I'm sure. The sound system would crack skulls, the music was cutting edge, it stayed open till 8am and was regularly filled to the brim with the biggest loonies I've ever met.

I remember once on a Sunday morning some guy thought he could lift cars up with his bare hands because he had attached glow sticks to his wrists and shoes! Last time I saw him he was trying to climb the fence over to the go-cart range... still in his full car-lifting suit!

I also remember Mark E.G sawing bits of the club off and handing them to people when he played his last set. That was pretty memorable. It was a hard trance and techno mecca.

Mark EG and his saw at the Country Club
Mark EG and his saw at the Country Club

3. I spoke to someone the other day, abd they remembered you from the Country Club, and hadn’t heard about you for years. When I said you were DJ’ng this gig they wanted to know where on earth you’d been hiding the last five years and what you’d been up to?

Well to cut a long story short(ish) I got pretty disillusioned by the hard trance scene about a year or so after the club shut. Id always been collecting techno and started playing that as I felt it was moving forward the right way - this was around 2003 and 2004.

Despite this move into playing a different genre in the clubs at home in the studio i was listening to more experimental genres and artists. Like stuff on Warp and people like Boards of Canada and Amon Tobin. I fell in love with that stuff and decided to take time out from DJ'ing all together to write an electronica album as well as get some funding to start my studio - Alchemical Audio Labs - full time.

It took the best part of 2 and half years to finish the album which can I just mention is forthcoming very shortly entitled Doorways, and is under the alias Shamanic Technology on Herb Recordings. With the studio all set up and the album under my belt I decided to get back into the dance music scene and by this time a new style was infecting everything with a kick drum - Electro!

Chris Hare's record label Arcade Riot
Chris Hare's record label Arcade Riot

4. So, you’re now producing electro. What is it about electro that seems to convert the ways of the old ravers... it seems to be happening all over the place. One minute somebody likes hard beats, the next thing they’re shaking their ass to this new sound. Explain please?

For me electro contains everything I love about dance music, a little bit of the best from each genre. Some tunes are rolling techno-esque and funky, others are jump up no holds barred bassline bangers. However to be honest I think the style is infectious in the sense that the kind of sounds being used and the techniques used to make them have coincided with some new software, plugins and the gear people are using to produce.

Electro seemed to pioneer it a little from the start, but it's all swings and round abouts really, everything from drum & bass, hardcore and minimal techno have been borrowing elements of electro sounds and ideas in the last couple of years. The glitchy arrangements and 8bit retro noises are something that many genres have become either influenced by or tried to integrate into there sound. Even.. ahem.. pop music.

So it's like the walls are down a bit between genres which personally I think is great! Things are a lot less linear these days which is mainly what made me so interested again. Having spent ages learning to make experimental music I would of been hard pushed to come back to simple four to the floor kick and bass-fuelled dance floor stuff.

Chris Hare... really loves hats
Chris Hare... really loves hats

In respect to old ravers loving the sound, it's packed full of remixes of classics, big basslines, lots of old school elements and influences so its got a little for everyone really.

5. So... who the heck are Hariku and Maruki? These mysterious Japanese-sounding chaps are representing Arcade Riot at Frenzy on May the 23rd in the electro room. Tell me more, especially where the whole Oriental concept and names came from?

Hariku (pronounced Ha Ree Koo) is my electro house alias and doesn't mean anything in Japanese as far as Im aware! Basically I love Japanese culture, animation, technology, computer games etc. With the label being called Arcade Riot and my sound being heavily loaded with 8bit emulation I figured something Japanese sounding would be fitting.

Maruki:One (Mar Roo Key) is another artist on AR and has had a lot of releases in the Hard Trance and Techno scene under a name which conveniently translates to Maruki in Japanese, a little babel fishing online might reveal his true identity but other than that I'm keeping quiet!

We plan to play out as a duo representing Arcade Riot as things begin to kick off with the launch. The label itself has teamed up with several other underground labels - all London-based who regularly put nights on all over the shop so were set to be pretty busy, gig wise over the coming months. Should be fun!

6. You’ll be sharing the electro duties on the evening with the one and only DJ Wilma, plus Frenzy and Slinky residents Dirty Inc. When I spoke to Jay and Jon from Dirty Inc recently I asked them how they came up with ideas for a track. I imagine that it’s quite a tricky process producing concepts into something people will actually dance to?

I could tell you, but I'd have to kill you and the rest of your family would have to change their names by deed poll and emigrate to somewhere far away like Skunthorpe in order to escape from my deadly Japanese robot assassins!

Chris Hare enjoying himself
Chris Hare enjoying himself

To be honest I really don't have a specific way of producing, I always try and do something a little different each time in the way I approach it as that always breeds interesting results - I learn more and I love experimenting.

That's a pretty lame answer though so I'd say I have to watch myself a bit as I tend to experiment too much sometimes... and as you put it, people have to dance to it so I tend to do tame stuff and chuck things out of a track that are too left field until I'm left with a solid dance floor friendly tune. But not too dance floor friendly though! I'd say with all this genre-bending going on people are a lot more receptive to stranger arrangements these days.. which again is a really good thing.

7. Finally, what can Frenzy’s electro crowd expect from you on the 23rd whilst the hard house fans are downstairs listening to Andy Whitby?

If I don't keep a close eye on Maruki he might drop the Timewarp! He loves that tune.. other than me keeping him at bay from dropping school disco classics, well be playing a selection of stuff from our forthcoming releases and lots of fidgety, twisted, wonky electro business.  Thanks for the chat  :)

You can see Chris Hare playing in Frenzy's room two alongside electro residents Dirty Inc. The main event will include Andy Whitby in the basement plus guests. Check out our forthcoming events for more details.