BK: Hard House Stands For Hard Techno, Hard Trance and Tough House
Author: Jonty Adderley @ SKRUFF
Friday, 1 June 2001Nukleuz star producer Brian 'BK' Keen is one of the key new wave of electronic music producers responsible for popularising this year's biggest clubland musical phenomenon 'hard house'. Producing over 50% of Nukleuz's entire catalogue, the 28 year old sound engineer took up DJing in 1999 and these days tours the world as one of the scene's top producers. Jonty Adderley caught up with him, as he finalised preparations for his forthcoming (and 5th) Australian tour.
Skrufff: What's the plan for your Australian dates-
BK: "I've been out there four or five times already and my sets are pretty similar to the ones I play here. I've discovered that recently Australians are just as clued up as we are here in the UK, so I just try and play them the most full-on, upfront, energetic sets that I can. When I first toured there, they weren't quite as upfront but I think now with technology and the internet the world's getting smaller. They know just as much as anybody else does."
Skrufff: Are you receiving the star treatment more when you travel these days-
BK: " "Not really, the good thing about the hard house community is that everybody's laid back and down to Earth. Obviously there are people who buy all the records and are fans but in hard house that's more about a general love of the music rather than adoration of particular DJs."
Skrufff: your fellow Nukleuz producer Mauro Picotto recently made a point of telling us he isn't playing'hard house' preferring labels like techno, what's your stance on the hard house tag-
BK: "I'm not a big fan of pigeon-holing. To me hard house refers to the harder end of any dance music genre, whether it's hard techno, hard trance, whatever. It's house music with a tougher edge. The media, especially the UK media has pigeonholed hard house to mean one particular sound which isn't quite right."
Skrufff: DJs including Jon The Dentist and Deep Dish have all recently called hard house shit..
BK: "That's because the media pigeonholed hard house as a particular sound; that bouncey more ravey end of hard house which you tend to find in Northern clubs in England, places like Insomniacz and Sundissential. They've got their own very particular sound which is great but it's not the be-all and end-all of hard house. It's that more commercial, bouncey, more obvious end of hard house. People like Nick Sentience and myself are trying to encompass other genres within it, such as techno."
Skrufff: When did you start clubbing-
BK: "I used to go to raves and clubs in particular places like Trade to see Tony De Vit playing. I used to go to loads of clubs doing that general club thing you do. I used to follow DJs mainly, I'd hear people like Tony De Vit play, see the crowd reaction and think 'this is amazing'. I was working as an engineer in a studio at this point and I'd always be in the studio fiddling around to make dance tunes. Eventually they got me to make tunes for Nintendo and Sega computer games that were all becoming dance music orienatated. Those eventually led onto making proper dance music."
Skrufff: When you joined Nukleuz 5 years ago, was the label already specialising in hard house-
BK: "When I first joined the label was just starting and they were signing tracks from many different genres. I was given the opportunity to do the hardbeat CDs and they sold almost three times as much as any of their previous releases. So we made some more."
Skrufff: I was surprised that you're responsible for 50% of Nukleuz's productions, do you ever worry about burning out-
BK: "Every now and again I take a step back to return fresh. I've been exploring the hard beat sound for the last couple of years and now I'm just in the process of progressing towards something a little bit different. As long as I keep changing and enjoying it, I'll be all right."
Skrufff: How easy was it to take on the DJing alongside production-
BK: "It Tags