Welcome to 909rewind, a new series from 909originals that delves into the early careers of some of dance music’s biggest names, uncovering hidden gems and familiar classics from the archives.
We dive into an artist’s back catalogue to uncover rare singles, albums, productions, remixes and more… the tracks that helped shape their sound and set them on the path to legendary status.
This week we examine the early career of arguably the finest exponents of the TB-303 sound this side of Chicago: Oliver Bondzio and Ramon Zenker, aka Hardfloor.
Since bursting on to Sven Väth’s Eye Q and Harthouse labels in the early 90s, the Cologne duo hit an early high water mark with Acperience, released in 1992, which made it into the UK charts, setting the tone for a close to three-decade career in music.
In what is rare enough for the electronic music scene, Bondzio and Zenker approached their productions with a dash of humour, with bizarre track titles such as Fish & Chips, Asbestos In Obstetrics (borrowed from an old Beavis & Butthead skit) and Mustard Cornflakes… they don’t call it ‘acid’ for nothing, after all.
They were also arguably the first dance act to develop proper ‘concept’ albums, such as the baseball focused Home Run, released in 1996, and the pinball-themed All Targets Down, in 1998. Along the way, the duo also loaned their remixing abilities to club stormers such as Robert Armani’s Circus Bells and New Order’s Blue Monday, both of which we have included in this playlist.
Speaking to Germany’s Partysan.net back in 2011, Oliver Bondzio put Hardfloor’s longevity down to the fact that while the duo are close, they keep their relationship strictly focused on the music.
“I think we are both very loyal and we focus our whole relationship on music,” he explained. “Maybe the secret is that privately, we do not really have much to do with each other. We limit it to studio appointments and touring […] so there has never been friction, argument or disagreement. That could definitely be part of the success.”
Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen… Hardfloor.