John Larner hailing from Bloomington, Indiana has had a 20-year association with electronic music and dance culture. As with most youngsters he began with his Father’s record collection, which introduced him to the electronic and new wave sounds of the late 70’s and early 80’s. From here because of his unique location, he was given a front row seat to the Chicago and Detroit music scenes which blew up in the mid-80’s. A religious follower of the Hot Mix Five and Wizard (JeffMills) mix tapes, John was influenced by the best.
In 1983 John began his early experiments with dance music where he fused Chicago acid house, Detroit electro, European new-wave sounds and Hip-Hop on his Dad’s turntables. He wanted to emulate the sounds he heard coming out of Chicago and Detroit. John describes his early experiments, “I’d try mixing Prince with Kraftwerk or Art Of Noise with Hip Hop or funk with Newcleus or electro. This came from the influence of the Wizard tapes that we all listened to. That style has stuck with me to this day”.
It wasn’t until 1988, when John first heard Lil’ Louis “French Kiss” that he became hooked on house music for life. With years of musicology behind him, he hit the DJ world with the help of some Chicago DJ friends. From house parties at Ball State University with Richie Hawtin to playing raves with Derrick Carter and Paul Johnson in Chicago, John Larner hit the straps as a DJ in the Mid West. His name became synonymous with the tougher edge of Chicago and Detroit house sounds taking him all over the local area and to New York and Canada.
Naturally, his success as a DJ led him into production. His first release “How I Really Feel” on Better Days Records in 1999 (under the name Cyberjive) was played throughout Chicago. Around this time he started working in the studio with his long-time friend, Slater Hogan. Their association unleashed a flurry of underground releases. In 2002, their first release, a white label bootleg caused a major stir in Miami and put the two on the map.
John Larner and Slater Hogan’s creative output blossomed into a hybrid of swing, jazz, hip-hop, techno and classic house sounds. The last three years has seen the two deliver some of the finest moments in modern house history. Most notably, the rough and ready styles of “Caught Up” on Hip Therapist reached the decks of Pete Tong, Yousef and Paul Woolford on BBC Radio One. “NOLA House” on Aroma was a ‘jam’ that made DJ’s rejoice and their girlfriends dance. “Blessed With Soul” on Scotland’s Flygaric Tracks, jazzed up the mix and bumped up the groove. The Hoosier Daddy EP ..school, was an instant underground classic that was Daft Punk, Louis Armstrong and the Music Box all in one, and was championed by Mark Farina and Fred Everything. The Freaky World Bubble EP on Lowdown was played in all corners of the globe, while “A.D.D Acid” on Mouthful was a staple on BBC Radio One, bounced by Yousef and Lottie. More recently “Movin” on Odds and Ends, with its infectious R&B vocal hook has received universal approval from heads, dancers and DJ’s worldwide. John and Slater got it right from the beginning, and their association has seen their music released by the world’s best house labels. Icon, Gallery, Nightshift, Aesoteric and Tango have all joined the party, eager to be part of this house phenomenon.
In 2001 John, Slater and Shawn Collins founded Muzique Boutique Recordings as a vehicle to present their sound to the world. Packaged in a colourful, kitsch sleeve picturing a martini glass, it’s an ironic nod to the swing and jazz history of the area. With acclaimed releases from Jonene & Tony Senghore, Hakan Lidbo, Lance De Sardi, The Littlemen and Stacy Kidd the label is a consistent performer. Muzique Boutique releases have found their way into the record boxes of Mark Farina, Derrick Carter, Inland Knights, Heather and DJ Sneak.
John’s production success and DJ talent have seen him in demand in clubs around the globe. Widely known for his high-octane sets, which incorporate a balanced mix of fresh cuts and the old sounds of Chicago and Detroit. John’s DJ mantra is juxtaposition, and he isn’t afraid to mix things up for his audience. His full-spectrum sets are enjoyed in Europe, United Kingdom, Scandinavia, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand. With strong followings in Belgium, Australia and Scotland, John racks up frequent flyer points all year long!
Back home in the U.S.A, when not in the studio, you can catch him laying it down from San Francisco to New Orleans and most places in between. For 20 years John has made electronic music his life thanks to friends and family. He currently receives his musical inspirations from likes of Derrick Carter, Mark Farina, Mathew Dear, Phil Weeks, Lance De Sardi and music from all over the globe. He digs playing shows in new places, and jamming the local skateparks when he gets a chance and exposing people to his music.
Past Mousetrap Concerts: