Profile - Harmonic 313 aka Mark Pritchard
- Kit Macdonald
- 19 March 2009
Name: Harmonic 313, aka Mark Pritchard.
Where have I heard that name? In the credits on any of two-dozen different electronic projects during the last 20 years. However, Pritchard always records under aliases (he’s had a whopping 23 at the last count), hence the lower levels of name-recognition than similarly influential contemporaries such as Richard D James, Tom Middleton or Luke Slater.
Why all the aliases? Because each one channels a different strand of his sickeningly limitless musical abilities. Early doors, he and his friend Middleton redrew the mid-90s ambient and electro landscapes as Global Communication and Jedi Knights respectively. Since then he’s successfully nailed everything from drum & bass (as The Chameleon) and Brazilian club music (as Troubleman) to sci-fi exotica (as Harmonic 313). An inspiration-hog, basically.
So what’s Harmonic 313 all about? It’s about Detroit and Britain. 313 is the telephone area code for Detroit, you see, but rather than nodding to Motor City’s famous techno scene, the project is primarily inspired by the warm, textured beats of another of Michigan’s most revered musical sons – the late hip hop producer J Dilla. From there Pritchard provides his own take on the many current strands of ‘UK bass music’, as he calls it, making stops at rumbling dubstep, 8-bit electro, synthy hip hop and more. The resulting album, When Machines Exceed Human Intelligence, released last month on Warp, should probably be a bit of a mess. But with Pritchard at the controls it makes perfect sense.
What’ll he be playing? Pritchard is DJing rather than playing live on this tour, but a listen to When Machines … tells you what to expect from him: an effortless melding of seemingly disparate genres united by enough bass to fell an elk.
Harmonic 313 plays Kinky Afro at the Sub Club, Glasgow, on Fri Mar 27