HØST Interview by Lyndon Jarr
Harry Taylor aka HØST, forms part of the pioneering group of artists that, in recent years, have made the cross-pollination of Hip-hop, Electronic and Bass an art form. Having demonstrated his worth on labels such as Division, Saturate, Vandal and Unchained, he is recognised for tastefully combining multiple disparate styles within his music. His latest contribution to Unchained’s Various Artists compilation: The Year of the Rat, demonstrates his aptitude for threading experimental electronic and off-the-rails sound design into dancefloor bangers – good news for both the chin stroker and the jaw-churning dance floor zealot alike.
Co-founder of Unchained, Lyndon Jarr, caught up with HØST for a candid chat about his music in 2020 as well as his creative process as a producer.
Lyndon: Saw your announcement on the official HØST page last week that you have a lot of things planned and booked for 2020, tell us…..
HØST: Pretty much I had something happen to me a while back that really made me feel weird and took me about 2 years to come back from, not that I wasn’t ‘there’ but I wasn’t on the same route as I was. I wasn’t using my time to its best ability and wasn’t necessarily ever happy. I think a lot of the work I put out in this time was rushed and not my best work regardless of how much I loved the idea it wasn’t to the standard I know I can produce at.
I think this year the music you will hear from me will be more standout than ever before. I’ve enjoyed the level of freedom which comes from doing independent releases (see Chapters & Beats & King Sheets series) however I want to be a bit more concise with what I put out and so have removed everything I’ve made up till now and will be making a compilation release at the end of 2020 with remastered and remixed versions of my favourite pieces of work from the previous years.
I’ve got releases on labels locked in with Renraku, Hooversound, Division, Sine, 40oz collective and collabs forthcoming with DJ Ride, Balatron, 4Tune, Allone, Subp Yao, Episcool, Vscheral, DMT, HNGIN, Objectiv, Aagentah, Rizzle, Rohaan and cømpiler. Got a couple bootlegs dropping soon such as my Tried by Twelve 2020 edit, Bloody Beetroots – Warp, Schoolboy Q – Floating, Dizzee Rascal – Ice Rink & Stop Dat 2020 edit & Ghetts – Artillery to name a few.
Lyndon: Labelled by some as notable feats of sound design, your tunes are often incredibly rich in layers and sonic palette. Can you give some of the producers out there an insight into how you make your creations and what makes you such a special snowflake……
HØST: Ummmm, there is no secret, I use reason to produce maybe that’s what makes it sound different? I’ve been producing since I was about 12/13 so like to think I’ve developed my own sound as such in that space of time. I don’t spend a ton of time listening to new music and shit so don’t really get caught up on trying to sound like someone else, maybe that’s it. Maybe its just the way I’ll put 4 distortion kits on raw Sub37 recordings…haha.I couldn’t give a specific answer into what makes my tunes ‘special’ I like to really feel an idea before I push it out and play a lot of the leads and bass’s in my songs live to give a more organic feel to it all. (I’ve recently got an Akai MPC midi thing so doing this with drums as well now). I think I allow myself to experiment as much a possible in tracks and try and push for something different each time. To be honest I don’t think my music is that special haha, one day maybe it will be.
Lyndon: What your biggest challenge in making tunes?
HØST: Finding the time! On a real, I don’t find getting inspired a massive problem and can usually sit down and write no matter what, I rarely know what’s going to come out when I sit down and don’t let an idea bog me down so in all reality, its time. I work full time and then exercise and cook and shit when I’m home so maybe get 1-2 hours in the week then about 30-40 over the weekend. Sounds stupid but I could do with at least double that! There is nothing worse than feeling ‘rushed’ to finish anything that can be such a killer of creativity.
Lyndon: Who’s your fave current artists and why?
HØST: Hmm this one a hard one, I could be full on boring and say Alix Perez, as his music is always so top. I also love Jon Wayne & Tsuruda (shock). Upcoming artists I really fuck with are 4Tune, Allone, Rizzle, Aagentah, Thenticy, Anti negative, Aleph.