Two House Music Capos Working With The Don.
With a groove taken straight from a sweaty, Sunday morning after hours club, Harry “Choo Choo” Romero and Joeski have joined forces to become ‘Hr & Ski’. Their new EP is strictly dedicated to the dance floor, gilded with a bombastic beat that will happily feed the new bass thirsty underground generation into a frenzy.
The EP was instantly liked by the family head DJ Sneak and the EP is now released on his label ‘I am a House Gangster’ exclusively on Traxsource. I reached out to Harry Romero and asked him some questions on the project, how it came to fruition and how he and Joe unite as one in the studio.
My own first experience of Harry was when I, like many others, walked home from the local records dealer with ‘Tania’ in my arms. This now classic house banger has circled the scene for nearly 14 years, truly reflecting the musical playfulness that Harry stands for. It’s big, soulful and sonically grandiose with a very well emphasised hook. Joeski dawned on me a couple of years later when a friend of mine put on ‘All by Myself’. A deeper soulful banger that possesses some very distinctive and now hugely familiar clap sounds. In my eyes they both seem to connect with a kind of a Hip-House raw New York sound. A sample based – beat making culture full of soul and grit. Not to be confused with the Hip-House movement adopted by bands like LMAFO or Pitbull. Harry tells me that “It was really about digging and digging thru tons of old vinyl to find that 1 or 2 bar loop to base the track around, it’s really about keeping it simple and to the point”
Both Harry and Joe are experienced collaborators working with names like DJ Chus and Jose Nunez, seemingly very comfortable with the shared experience. They first met in the early 90’s but touring and playing the international scene did keep them apart for a while. It wasn’t until the ‘Gangster Party’ at WMC 2014 that the team met again. Harry tells me that he quite often bumped into people and said ’Hey let’s hook up and make some tracks’ which almost is more of a polite statement then an actual invitation. This time though, they pushed through and actually did something. Something that Harry believes has to do with them both being at a low point and needing that extra push that a collaboration could bring.
The team often starts the day off by Harry picking up Joe from the train station, before they grab something to eat and then head to Harry’s house. Nothing was different on the day of producing ‘Ghetto Jazz’. This time though, they started off with a bit of a bumpy ride. When they sat down for the session they both hit the infamous creators block that we’ve all hit at one point or another. In front of them was just that empty timeline poking for their attention and they decided to go for a ride to clear their heads. Some random jazz radio provided them with a much needed aural break and little did they know that that was all they needed. 2 hours later ‘Ghetto Bounce’ was born with samples from that very song played on the car stereo.
According to Harry, Sneak is highly involved with the team and has always supported them over the years. He always makes time to listen to whatever they send him and always has constructive criticism. He know what he likes and doesn’t like and he is not afraid to speak his mind. Much like Don Corleone thought us “A man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man”
Together they have produced two proper house bangers with their 40 years of DJ experience compressed into the format of an EP. Earning them a well-deserved place in Sneaks house music gangster family. The sonic spaces are filled to the max and the bass pumps in a way that urges you to play with the bass eq knob – but leave it – the contemporary and well produced drop in ‘GHETTO BOUNCE’ is best to leave untouched.
Catch them next at VERBOTEN in Brooklyn on July 17th where they will be playing their well-rehearsed 2 mixers and 4 decks back2back set and according to the rumours – they have a few tricks up their sleeves.
- Words by Magnus Bohlin.