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Meet Hard Ton, the disco love-child of Divine, Sylvester & Leigh Bowery
07.25.2013
11:35 am

Topics:
Dance
Music
Queer
Unorthodox

Tags:
Drag
Hard Ton
House music


 
Ladies and gentlemen, all the way from disco-licious Italy, let me introduce you to the wonderful Hard Ton!

This Italian house music performer comes across like the bastard offspring of Divine and Sylvester (and with more than a little Leigh Bowery to satisfy your outlandish-costume-and-make-up needs.) Hard Ton makes a righteous, soulful noise that harks back to the original pioneers of sleazy, seedy Chicago house like Mr Fingers and Robert Owens. In a sea of anonymous dance-music acts that seem happy to bask in the hazy glow of their battered MacBooks, Hard Ton stands out not just for making authentically retro-sounding house, but for making a huge visual statement that reminds us that house was once the realm of the weirdos and the outcasts.

Hard Ton is actually a duo composed of Mauro Wawashi, a formidable producer and DJ in his own right, and vocalist/front person Max, here taking a break from his day job in various metal tribute acts to channel his inner disco diva, including wrapping himself up in the kind of glad rags that would make a hooker blush. Being quite the big guy, this in itself is a bit of a statement, and a beautiful act of plus-size body positivity. Not surprisingly, Hard Ton are fast gaining a hardcore following among the gay bear community.

To my shame, I have known Hard Ton for quite a while now (we even shared a label, Dissident, a few years back) but have failed to feature them on Dangerous Minds before. Let’s remedy that right away! With a new EP to promote and a current tour of the States for Pride season, I sent the formidable Max some questions to wrap his tongue, and brain, around.

The Niallist: Who and what is Hard Ton?

Hard Ton: A multi-sensorial experience: you can dance to me, you can watch me, you can touch me. Sometimes you can also bite me.

The Niallist: What inspires you musically?

Hard Ton: Acid house, disco music, pop. But I suppose I got inspired from everything I ear, it could be a techno track in an underground club, a metal song in a concert, or the shit played on the radio. Outside of music I find inspiration in pop culture, club culture, photography, fashion and art. Well, some fashion and some art. And definitely all the queens who stood up against the police at Stonewall back in 1969!

The Niallist: What can someone expect form a Hard Ton show?

Hard Ton: A ton of meat screaming like a real diva. 

The Niallist: What is the strangest reaction you have had live?

Hard Ton: A guy kissed me in front of his girlfriend while I was singing, and I’m not talking about that kind of kiss that your mama would give you…

The Niallist: What is in the near future for Hard Ton?
 
Hard Ton
: Our new E.P. has just been released [via Killekill Records - check it out here], and we are very proud of it. We’ve also just finished a remix for S’Express, and produced some tracks for Paul Parker. And of course we are working on new tracks. As for an album… is there really anyone who still buys CDs? Well, I do!

Hard Ton “Work That Body”
 

 
You can find Hard Ton on Facebook, and keep up with the latest news via Hard Ton’s Twitter.

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Notes From The Niallist #12: ‘Work It’ with Egyptian Lover & friends


 
It’s the first Notes column of the new year, and it’s time for a little bit of self-promotion!

When I first joined the DM crew I remember talking to Richard Metzger (he;‘s not just bigger than Jesus, you know, he’s bigger than God!) about self-promotion on the site. I explained that the British people are actually pretty shit at promoting themselves, and he agreed. Not that I’m British, mind you. But it’s just one of those things that Americans do so much better than Europeans: selling yourselves, without coming across like utter cocks. Most of the time, anyway.

One of the points of starting this NFTN column was to have a little corner of the site all to myself, where I could talk about the more niche stuff I am interested in, but also to show off some of the stuff I do beyond blogging for Dangerous Minds. And I do a lot. Film-making, event organising, writing, djing, and, first and foremost, making music. 

So anyway, enough beating around the bush.

I’ve just released my latest single, remixes of a hip-house cover of Missy Elliot’s “Work It”, which is available to buy now, exclusively, from Juno Download.

The release contains six remixes, with the lead-off track being a rework by the legendary founder of electro music on the West Coast, Egyptian Lover. I gotta admit, I was pretty stoked when he said he liked my track enough to remix it, but that was nothing compared to how I felt when I heard it. It’s classic Egypt, a straight-up electro-funk bomb, and I am honored to release it. In fact, it made my year.

That’s not to knock any of the other artists who provided remixes, oh no siree. This release is really strong from start to finish. Additional mixes are supplied by upcoming legend Hard Ton, who turn in an Italian piano-house version that would have rocked the original acid raves at Shoom, Berlin based Electrosexual, who comes on strong with a percussive industrial mix, and rising star Ynfynyt Scroll, who turns in a mix half-way between southern hip-hop and Jersey club banger.

There’s also a remix by the mysterious new act Cunt Traxxx, in a “vogue house” style, but you’ll be hearing more about them right here in the very near future. For now, here are the tracks for your earholes:
 

 
If you want to purchase any of the “Work It” remixes, hop over here.

The original version of “Work It” is available on my mixtape AKA, which came out last year. You can hear it, and download the whole tape for free, at my Bandcamp page.

And here’s a video I put together for the track, featuring footage from our annual Vogue Brawl party, where only the most fabulous and fierce survive, and everybody is made to werrrk it…

THE NIALLIST “Work It” (AKA album version)
 

 
You can follow The Niallist on Twitter:

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