Orb Podcast 020: HRTL

Leoš Hort is a revered Czech producer throughout the electronic music scene for his work with modular synthesizers, along with his involvement in the founding of Bükko Tapes, a cassette record label located in Brno, Czech Republic. He performs under the moniker HRTL, in which he is an active member of famous collective Bastl Instruments, a group that is widely known for their innovative ability to create hand-made open-source music hardware.

Examining the evolution of an artist’s work is a particularly interesting project, especially with HRTL’s work. His music has developed intriguingly over time, from “post-witch” house to repetitive rhythms harnessing a rich and melodic feel to it by infusing an ever-changing atmosphere and playful structures. Whether you find yourself listening to his ability to produce exceptional dirty house music with an ’80s vibe or “fluorescent” techno followed by dark bubbly beats, you’ll notice that HRTL abstains from playing the same thing twice. Both his live performances and recordings are spontaneous and done with solely hardware synthesizers.

In 2014, HRTL released his debut cassette Hydroxid and year later followed with his album Dataloss, which was awarded as best electronic music record of 2015 by Czech Academy Of Popular Music. In 2017, he came back with second album Yellow Mellow, which was released on vinyl via Nona Records and resulted in another nomination for the previously granted award. After big success with online video streaming sessions that were supported by artists such as KiNK, Tripeo and others, HRTL is currently travelling Europe, exploring new sounds at artist residencies and proactively collecting new material for upcoming EP releases.

For this week’s Orb podcast, HRTL provided us with his insight on the mix. “It is a collection of clips from live gigs I had in past month, so all of it is live and all of it is fresh,” revealed Hort. “There are imperfections and all the elements related to the live situation because I want the podcast to be true to the sound I have on stage, but arranged the clips to form a nice and enjoyable podcast for your followers.”