Warren 'Hanna' Harris marks his return.
After taking a break from releasing music altogether for around seven years, Hanna’s futuristic house sound returned earlier this year with Bless, an album available exclusively on CD via Theo Parrish’s Sound Signature. For many heads, Hanna is one of the most prolific yet underrated US house producers of the 2000s, consistently dealing in beautiful, deeply funky basslines and shuffling grooves better than any, with his soul drenched classics like Evenflow, Quiet Place and Cottage among our favourite house records of all time. With an air of mystery surrounding the release, we managed to track down Warren to find out the latest on his resurgence and allow him to take care of our 160th episode.
Hey Warren, what have you been up to? Where are you living these days?
I have been coaching tennis and writing a book on tennis strategy for the past few years. I eventually hope to coach on the professional tour. I live in Chicago.
So up until earlier this year it had been around seven years since you had released new music, tell us about your motivation for getting new Hanna material there again after so long? Had releasing a full length for Sound Signature always been something you wanted to do?
I had no motivation for releasing new material. Sound Signature signed Bless 10 years ago and it came out this year. Nothing is new here.
What can you tell us about your recording process at the moment, how has it changed since your last release back in 2009, and what are your main tools nowadays?
At the moment, I am not recording any new music. I still have my Roland MV-8800. I never used a computer to make music. Always hardware.
Your diverse records have always felt intimately connected by a deeply funky jazz inspired groove that runsthrough each, whether they fit within the realms of house, techno or hip hop. Can you talk a little bit about what inspired this unique sound?
I have records with grooves that range from drum and bass to downtempo. I am fascinated with de-quantizing drums and rhythms. Chords and harmony and solos come from modes and minor scales and coming from an anti-blues and anti-soul frame of mind.
Tell us about this mix you’ve put together for us, what can we expect?
The mix is an obscure techno set. Front-ended by interesting tracks by the artist Shed. It moves into some deep and harder house. Tracks I like to play for a live audience.
I hear that you’ve recently played some shows live shows in Detroit and New York, and have a European tour in the works. What can fans expect from your new live show?
I am playing tracks from samplers and playing live bass and synth throughout the show. I do some ‘greatest hits’ from my catalogue. There are tracks that I have remixed that will never be released and only will be heard when I play live.
Word is that you also have some new EPs due for release soon, what can you tell us about those, and what else do you have coming up?
I have a 3 part vinyl release with the first vinyl coming out around January called Chicago (where I live now) on the label Perpetual Rhythms. Around March, on the label Apron Records, I have a vinyl release coming out called The Never End. Both those records have tracks that are 10 years old or older. I don’t have any new material coming out. I haven’t done any new music in years.