Ross Harper has an infectious love of electronic music. Every set a blank slate waiting to be written, playing anything from deep house, techno, dark disco, cool breaks, progressive house and everything in between.
A respected producer in his own right, Ross Harper’s productions are rich and varied with works having been supported by industry legends like Laurent Garner, Charlotte de Witte, Martin L Gore of Depeche Mode and Nemone on BBC Radio 6. His Ambient Girl series explores downtempo and has seen support from Cici, Lemonella and Ben Malone on Kiss FM. In Your Eyes e-zine dubbed it as “strong candidate for electronic album of the year”.
Ross is also founding father of City Wall Records, where as lead A&R he has signed tracks played in numerous Boiler Room sets including SNTS at Kompass and Ancient Methods in Berlin, whilst holding a weekly radio residency on Deptford based AAJA Music.
We spoke to Ross on his exclusive guest mix for Decoded Magazine;
“For Decoded and fitting with your ethos I have created a mix that indeed requires the mind to decode the complexities and incredible depth of creativity in modern techno music. The energy in this mix is all about celebrating “going to the edge”, which is also what my new LP, The Dark Album is about. Finding the “edge”, hanging out at the “edge”, where there are feelings of instability and danger, but also excitement and fun. Where new, funky and unexpected things can happen, sometimes, all by themselves. This is actually what I am all about, and even what my name Ross Harper actually means. Providing the edge through music which allows people to find space there.
I have held back one notch from the complete techno extreme I love to go to, if listeners want to go there with me, they have to come and hear me play in person. I think there is something different about a pre-record and playing live, with a pre-record there is automatically the thought that the majority of people will not be dancing when they listen back, whereas with a live DJ set, of course, the anticipation is that people will be dancing. So I find, even my mixing style is different in a pre-record, with the natural urge to hold back just a little.
What people will find in this set, and all my sets, is that I am not simply mixing a lot of tracks that are all the same style, but instead there is a thread of feeling or elements within tracks that fit together, which is a mystery in itself, almost like the producers sat down together and agree to make music that is similar, by similar I do not mean the same beat, but actual complex tonal character. Of course the producers have not done that, I would suggest that just like trees have a way of communicating that as yet science does not understand, there is also a cultural and social phenomena where creators tune into something greater than the individual.
So, what listeners will find with my shows is a story of many chapters, where the mix takes them through multiple scenes, an entire complex montage of sound, sometimes with similar characters emerging and then reemerging. And much like with my album, where I have created something that is truly individual, I come back to this final point, what is the point of doing something if it is just the same as what has already been done? And what is the point of doing something if is just the same as what the majority are doing? In this case one might as well be dead. In my mind, unless it has heart and soul, uniqueness and creativity, an AI could make it, right?”
Ross Harper ’The Dark Album’ is out now on City Wall Records. https://bfan.link/the-dark-album
Trunkline – Invasion [Arkham Audio]
Bjorn del Togno – Don’t Kill The Happiness (Nocow Remix) [Pirates are Loud]
Anfisa Letyago – Gravity (Boston 168 Remix) [NSDA]
J.Blofeld – 47 (Mark Broom Remix) [Arkham Audio]
Trunkline – Vertigo [Arkham Audio]
Dense & Pika – Honey ft. Matthew Dear (Ryan James Ford Remix) [BMG]
Ben Khlifa – a proximiter [NECHTO]
Droughtwerk – Sombre [Droughtwerk]
Omis (Italy) – Red Line [Genau Recordings]
Interagent – Ghosts [Panspermia]
Retina.it & Plaster – Covered Stones [Eklero]
Ason Teva – Malmilian [Dream Baby Dream]
Ross Harper – Narcissist (Original Mix) [City Wall Records]
Oliver Rosemann & Alexander Kowalski – Stealth [Recorded Things]
Altrd Being & Ruhig – Temporale Master [Ascetic Limited]
Vandal Future Punk – Harmonices Mundi [Sound Anarchy Records]
Klint – Adversaire [TUTU]
Noctam – Deep Diving [M.E.S. Music]
Michal Wolski – Anatman [International Day Off]
Gimenö – Ports (Live Mix) [TUTU]
Ross Harper – Zeitgeber (Original Mix) City Wall Records]
Fadeface – Variation One [Lemos]
The Allegorist – Projekt Gestalten [Awaken Chronicles]
Lucid Void – Dogma (Original Mix) [Benthic Records]
Crime as a Service – Carbanak [Modularz]
Amorphic – Voyager D [Modularz]
Rotkeller – Skpp Skpp feat. B. Skupin [Thrénes Records]
Orbe – Minds Over [NECHTO]
Ethical Governor – Masonry Bit [Enclosed Order]
Insolate – Wonderful Life (Truncate Remix) [Arkham Audio]
Oliver Rosemann & Alexander Kowalski – Wasps Attack When Drunk [Recorded Things]
Greencross – Quantum Systems (The Third Halving Event) [Adeon]
A.Paul & DJ Dextro – Teleportation (Original Mix) [Korpus 9]
Ross Harper – My Gift (Original Mix) [City Wall Records]