Slater Hogan: In the Chicago House
In 2002 Slater Hogan started working with John Larner and since then, they released over 12 records in 2003 and have played Belgium, Norway, Scotland, England, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, and Canada. We caught him this year in Los Angeles before his Oz tour.
“Yeah – in LA – I just got back from a gig and I am sitting in the studio of a friend’s house at 2am overlooking the famous HOLLYWOOD sign.”
To many, Slater and his partner in crime John Larner define the “Chicago” house sound. It’s a long way from being exposed to House in Northern UK to being recognised as an internationally renowned quality act. “I can’t really remember the first time I heard house music, but the most memorable first DJ set I can recall is listening to Derrick Carter “Illusions”. I was in the car with my friend, John Larner, and we heard some future classics for the first time, including a preview of Daft Punk “Around The World”.
But its one thing to like music, another to be referred to as the ones who define a style. Slater says “For me the Chicago sound is all about the beats. The funky swing of the high hats and snares. The generic house sound is so linear sounding….” This makes sense when you understand the generations of music in the family, and that he is listening to Ella Fitzgerald at the time of sending the answers.
But there is a dark and stormy side to the history of the group, with Slater first going to UK on a tennis scholarship. “DJing started as a hobby for me and grew over time; tennis was fairly flexible. As DJing became a bigger part of my life I cut back on my hours on the tennis court. My parents are supportive of what I do, maybe not as much in the beginning as they are now.”
His parents aren’t the only supportive ones, with a devoted following forming around the world, including “Electric Circus” in Adelaide on New Years Eve – one of the guys favourite spots. “Some of my good friends own this spot and I have always enjoyed playing there. The crowd is a highly educated house crowd and the system and booth are world class.”
“You have to educate and you have to entertain. A good DJ can get away with educating a crowd, I like to sometimes take them out of their comfort zone. On good nights you can get an amazing reaction.” The Electric Circus Crowd in Adelaide, Monkey Tennis kids in Sydney and Sunshine People folk of Melbourne will no doubt relish in a little education on New Years Day, with homework including crashin on the couch afterwards until at least the 3rd Jan.
“I am still sorting out my 2007 schedule. I am speaking with promoters in South Africa, Argentina and Asia. I have a return trip to the UK and Belgium planned as well as a gig with John at the legandary club, Smartbar, in Chicago.”
The future – “I have already achieved way more than I ever imagined. I’m not sure what else I could ask for. There are some countries I have not yet played in so that is my goal for now.”
Slater Hogan tour dates
Adelaide @ Electric Circus on New Year’s Eve
Melbourne @ Sunshine People on New Year’s Day
Sydney @ Monkey Tennis on Saturday 13th January