Celebrating Black History: Pioneers of house music - - Mixmag

Celebrating Black History: Pioneers of house music

A trip through the timeline of dance music

  • Harrison Williams
  • 21 February 2017
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Ron Hardy

When Frankie Knuckles left the Warehouse, later renamed The Muzic Box, Ron Hardy was there to fill his shoes and he did so with a completely different style, which had a profound effect on house music. It is said that he played records at a drastically pitched up speed than others who came before him and this would influence the vigorous nature of house music years later.

DJ experimentation was pioneered by Hardy, who would manipulate records to his liking, something that wasn’t often being done. His sets were harder than those of his peers and with that in mind, DJ Pierre gave Hardy the first Phuture track, dubbed ‘Acid Tracks’, that also possessed different textures than previous releases.

Although Hardy’s life was cut short due to heroin addiction, his innovation as a DJ inspired many in the scene. Marshall Jefferson spoke on how he was mesmerized by Hardy’s creativity: “Ron Hardy got up there like, ‘I’m the king of this bitch!’ All of those mixes he did were done on the fly, no edits. He moved faders up and down, using all fucking ten fingers on 'Move Your Body'. Did the whole thing straight through, four fucking passes.”

Later, artists like DJ Harvey, Theo Parrish and more would pay tribute to Hardy with a series of edits and remixes.

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