Clouds and Tommy Holohan team up to form collaborative alias ‘Hard Target’

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Clouds and Tommy Holohan have teamed up to form collaborative moniker ‘Hard Target’, simultaneously launching Hard Target Records.

The project pays homage to early breakbeat hardcore and 2000s trance, which has been channelled through their contemporary perspective of techno, launching the concept with debut EP ‘Echoes’.

Opener, and titular track ‘Echoes’ is a trance anthem from beginning to end, embracing euphoric elements of classic trance before thrusting listeners into ‘Idol Sound’, a gritty techo cut with early 2000s reminiscence and neuro drum ‘n’ bass influence.

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‘Roadblock (Rush Me)’ follows – a groove-infused, hardcore affair, infused with vocal hooks from early 90s London pirate radio adverts – before ‘Pluto (On a Trip II)’ ties the four-tracker together with samples from an old-school hardcore track, exhilarating breakdowns and groove at its core.

“I can still remember the day my mate Casey played me ‘Chained to a Dead Camel’ around 16 years old and us two trying to figure the title’s meaning,” Holohan laughs, telling Mixmag. “It’s pretty cool for this come full circle and get this project finally out to the masses. I’ve learnt a lot from both the lads and definitely noticed my own production skills have levelled up from their advice!”

“Starting Hard Target with Tommy has been a lot of fun and has let us experiment with different ideas, different influences, that we thought perhaps we couldn’t explore with Clouds for whatever reason,” adds Clouds’ Calum. “It feels similar to when we were starting out: nothing is wrong, no one is expecting anything in particular. It’s also a nice challenge to tackle these different sounds or ideas; we can set ourselves targets, like can we write a track as good as any in Picotto’s reptile triptych? Is that the hard target? I won’t say.”

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Clouds and Holohan first crossed paths in 2015, originally sparking ideas of a collaboration to channel the trio’s similar influences, starting with impromptu b2b sets at venues including Sub Club and La Cheetah in Glasgow. Soon materialising into producing edits together, Hard Target, it appears, emerged as a natural domino effect.

‘Echoes’ EP by Hard Target is available now via Hard Target Records, check it out here.

Niamh Ingram is Mixmag’s Weekend Editor, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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