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Hardfloor's Not So Bitter Acperience

Author: Jonty Skrufff (
Wednesday, June 29, 2005

"The true soulful spirit of house was forgotten, but there is still hope for independent survivors that people find out what time it is today."

Adding a line from their 2003 track Soulful Spirit on the sleeve-notes of their new album Four Out Of Five Aliens Recommend This, it's clear that German duo Hardfloor remain committed to their original acid house values and listening to the 303 drenched minimal acid of their new ten track album, they're clearly musically still reading from the same page.

Though throughout their 14-year career, their experiences have included having a number one pop hit in the UK (via Fragma's Toca's Miracle) and more significantly, the legacy that remains Acperience.

Coming out on Sven Vath's Harthouse Records in 1992, the 303 drenched acid house instrumental immediately swamped UK clubland, crossing both of the then dominant genres of house and techno laying a new template for what a club record was allowed to it. It also immediately established the German duo alongside key innovators of the time like Underworld, Leftfield and Dave Clarke, gaining the plaudit "arguably the most important post-acid house house record ever' in The Guinness Book of Techno in 1995.

The Guinness Encylopedia also termed the pair "acid house revivalists' so quite what they make of their new album, as well as today's so called acid house scene is anybody's guess.

: For a long time we had no idea what to do with the Hardfloor project then in 2003 we started our own label and from that point we decided to start using the 303 again," Oliver tells Jonty Skrufff. "Then in a lot of other producers followed and nowadays there's loads of acid house records again. So we thought "wow, since all these other producers are doing it as well, as part of what's a second or even third revival' we might as well too, so we decided to do an album.

Ramon is the first to agree, admitting "we saw lots of people using 303s and they also call it acid but I think what other people call acid isn't really the sound that we're doing."

"They're making electro tracks or progressive electro tracks with a 303 and everybody's saying "acid is back', but that's not what we call acid. Our album is really old skool and it's what we consider acid and where it comes from. Sure we've been inspired by others using 303s, we saw them using them in another way and we thought "we know how to use them our way."

Skrufff (Jonty Skrufff): Why did you decide to call the album Four Out Of Five Aliens Recommend This-

Hardfloor: (Ramon) "It was Oliver's idea. Firstly he wanted to name a track with that title but I thought it was a great choice for the album, it's from Futurama, and Oliver spotted it on a sticker on a book that was featured on the cartoon. We thought it was funny so we chose it. We don't think too much about titles most of the tracks are instrumentals."

Skrufff: You seem to be inextricably linked to Roland, the makers of the 303 machines, does Hardfloor have any kind of business relationship with Roland-

Hardfloor: "Not really, though we did visit them at their factory in 1999. It was really funny and we also met the inventor of the 303, which was really interesting."

Skrufff: What was he like-

Hardfloor: "He was just a typical Japanese man, he's forty-something and he didn't have a clue about what he'd done with the 303. He also invented the 808, and the 909 but for him it meant little. When the 909 came out it was more of a commercial failure; a flop, they didn't sell very many because when Roland released it, people wanted digital sounds. He wasn't happy with the 909. I remember telling him "did you know that the bass drum on the 909 influenced dance music than any musician ever did-' and he was like "er, ah, yeah'. He said he was trying to do a different sounding bass drum, which wasn't technically possible so the way it came out was an accident. He made the machine, it came out and didn't do very well just like a