In the beginning, jack had a groove. And thanks to heavyweight house heroes like Harry Romero, that groove is now back. “My love of house came from the culture,” explains Jersey’s finest from his studio headquarters in The Butchashop. Harry, in case you missed the musical memo, is a humble house music legend with classic club cuts like ‘Tania’, ‘Night @ The Black’ and ‘I Go Back’ with Robert Owens under his belt, but really that’s just the tip of the iceberg as his current catalogue will attest. Harry’s 2021 saw releases and remixes on labels from Crosstown Rebels to Hot Creations and Classic Recordings, and 2022 will see him release on Defected for the first time since the mighty ‘Revolution’: and just wait until you hear who he has on vocals! (She’s house music royalty and that sums it up.) See, from then to now, Harry represents one thing: and that’s pure quality. His inspirations growing up tell the same story. From the mid to late 80s he listened to Tony Humphreys on the radio and followed Todd Terry, Masters At Work and Fingers Inc. But right now, we’re not only dealing with 90s nostalgia, we’re also very much in the middle of a 20 year cycle. As 2021 comes to an end, we have to mention his massive remix of ‘Everybody Loves A 303’, a huge remix of the Fatboy Slim classic: “I even replayed the acid line!” he laughs. “When I was making music in the late 90s, I was sampling 70s music,” he reasons. “So now the producers are going back and taking that Kerri, Mood II Swing and MAW sound and putting their own touch on it. Me, I’m a sucker for that era. It’s that comfy sweater that I like to wear. The business model has changed drastically.” What he means is that if you have song-writing skills, you have the capacity to shine. We’re back in the era of great songs again. “I really want to see people writing songs. I want to see another K.O.T. – ‘Finally’ and learn what it’s like to pan and stack harmonies: it’s a craft. I’m going to try my hardest to make quality house music, whether it’s house or techno. I will always blur the lines.” Ask Harry his artist wish list to work with and he’ll say Sade, Stevie Nicks and Jill Scott. But he’s also working with new artists, including hot new vocal talent Lunar June and more to be revealed. So, with the full backing of Simon Dunmore and Luke Solomun at Defected and Classic, it’s now Harry’s time to shine. As well as collaborating with both Claude VonStroke and Louie Vega (“bucket list shit!”), he also remixed Rita Lee (which was hammered by Damian Lazarus and Pete Tong alike) and also released a killer two tracker on the infamous and always iconic Nu-Groove imprint, with ‘I Love’ especially doing damage. Friends for (club) life, his Danny Tenaglia association with ‘Don’t Turn Your Back’ on Hot Creations had been a calling card and a major success and lead to a steady supply of remix work. With the epic and spiritual sequel to ‘Afro Horn’, ‘It’s You’ having dropped and Lazarus back Harry for Get Lost and more, we can also now reveal that he’s working on Honey Dijon’s new album due for release in 2022. In short, he has become the go-to remixer for house mixes once again and there’s plenty more ahead, including one for the Hacienda rave classic ‘Rhythm Is A Mystery’. So what’s his ethos now? Simple! To wave his own flag. “I know what I’m capable of in the studio and behind the decks. Harry 2.0, this is my renaissance! “ He’s had a career that now runs across two decades but also recognizes that “this is a rebirth, not a remix.” It’s also about reaching a new generation with a catalogue that speaks for itself. “’Tania’ is still being played by Loco Dice and Luciano. It’s not easy to do something with ‘Tania’, he notes. “Obviously, what Honey Dijon handed in was unbelievable. She knows the original from Danny Tenaglia playing it in the city and she made it harder and tougher while also being something standing on its own.” Make no mistake, 2021 and 2022 may be a crazy world but we’re coming out of the dark and Harry’s steered his way through it with skill and dexterity.