Oliver Ho on iBooks

Oliver Ho

Along with other DJ/producers like James Ruskin and Surgeon, Oliver Ho is one of the most talented artists to have emerged during the mid-'90s in England's hard techno scene. In addition to international DJ appearances, Ho released a wealth of 12"s throughout the late '90s and into the next decade on labels like Blueprint, Surface, and his own label, Meta. His style of techno is similar to that of his other U.K. hard techno peers like Ruskin, Surgeon, Regis, and Ben Sims -- fast, minimal, percussive, tribal, and somewhere between Drumcode-style Swedish techno, Tresor-style Berlin techno, and Axis-style Detroit techno. Even though Ho never garnered much acclaim or fame in his native country, he became a superstar in techno-friendly countries like Germany and Japan, where he often DJed. Occasionally, Ho would release full-length albums like Listening to the Voice Inside, but for the most part, he focused on the 12" medium -- dancefloor-orientated tracks rather than listener-friendly songs.

Growing up in the West London area, Ho found himself surrounded with music at an early age. Some of his early interests included early industrial and electronic music by artists such as Brian Eno, Coil, and Psychic TV. During his adolescent years, he learned to play the guitar, simultaneously developing an appreciation for jazz. After being exposed to early-'90s Warp recordings by artists such as Aphex Twin, Ho began creating electronic music. With a Roland sampler and a sequencer, he produced his first tracks in 1995 and these tracks subsequently came to the attention of James Ruskin, a fellow hard techno producer/DJ also from the London area. Ruskin happened to be starting his own label, Blueprint, and asked Ho to contribute some of his tracks, the resulting 12," The Gathering, was the second release in the Blueprint catalog, with many more Ho 12"s to follow, including some full-length releases like Sentience.

By 1997, Ho had already established himself as one of the global techno scene's more accomplished producers as other big-name labels like Drumcode (Sweden) and Surface (France) also began releasing his records. It was then that Ho decided to start his own label, Meta. One release followed another through the late '90s as Ho churned out a prolific output, capitalizing on his rising popularity. In fact, his voluminous Meta catalog had proven so successful in such a brief period of time that Ho decided to start another label in 1999, Light and Dark. Then, in 2000, Ho released his first full-length CD on Meta, Listening to the Voice Inside, which helped him cross over to the non-DJ crowd. ~ Jason Birchmeier

    London, England

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