In the current electronic climate, house music is standing tall, heating up dancefloors worldwide, and it's thanks to house bred and fed DJs like Halo, whose incomparable knowledge of house music history still gleams bright on every work he touches. Halo, aka Brian Vargo, is recognised worldwide as a being a seminal DJ for two reasons: as one half of H-Foundation, whose landmark "Here Dis Sound" on Siesta Recordings became the blueprint for dub-influenced house music; and he is also a passionate producer, carving his own niche with numerous solo masterpieces, as well as fronting the successful Deep City imprint. It's been a lifelong passion that's followed him from a remarkably young age: finding a job with seminal Chicago record label/distribution centre Hip House at the age of 9, by the age of 12 he was DJing around his home town, despite being unable to attend parties as a paying customer.
Seeing him play alongside his longtime mate and kindred soul Hipp-E this past weekend, the duo's chemistry, spirit and immaculate talents took over our Room Three booth completely. Before the epic weekend commenced, however, we got Halo to sit down and write down a few quips.
While you read, fill your rooms with his trademark sound - taken from his last set in our Room Three last August:
Talk us through your own history with fabric...
Fabric holds a very special place in my heart and in my DJ career because it was one of my first UK and over seas DJ gigs over ten ago, fabric has always been a home for me since day one. The staff have been like family to me, especially Judy who I call my London mum, who has always looked after me and works so hard on making sure that everything and everyone is being looked after. The best thing about playing at fabric has to be soundsystem - it's probably one of the best I've ever played on in the UK. Also the DJ booth is amazing, everytime I play there I feel right at home in a very comfortable situation, which is very important to me.
If you were going to make another fabric album for us, whose sound waves would be hearing?
WOW, we would love to do another fabric album - does this mean there will be another Halo & Hippe fabric album in the near future?! Over the years and now, I've really been inspired by the sound waves of Dixon, Henrik Schwarz and the rest of the Innervisions crew, Rocco, Radio Slave, Ricardo Vllalobos, Dennis Ferrer and AtJazz.
You’ve been doing your thing now for 19 years. How do you and Hipp-E keep your love for house music strong...there seems to be a passionate pull or ‘force’ between the two of you?
Yes, House music has always been a part of my life and has brought me to where I am today. Me and Hipp-E have always had a special bond because we have been able to branch off into our solo producing and DJ careers, and when we get into the studio to produce our H Foundation it has always come together naturally for us...and we always have the best laughs while we are working together.
Do you think it’s important for DJs to have an education in acid house, garage, Detroit techno etc, like you have...it’s obviously had a massive affect on the music you make.
Well, I think it's very important with anything you do to know your roots and where it all came from, lucky for me I grew up in the birth place and heart of House Music "Chicago" and at that time going to clubs I would hear DJs play a mix of Disco, Acid House, Detroit techno and Industrial music like Head Hunter from Front 242.
How did you aquire the name Halo?
The name Halo comes from my Graffiti days in high school and it was my name that I used to write. I was heavily into graffiti and used to draw on everything, including sneaking out at night while I was a kid and meeting up with the rest of the crew to bombard some nice clean white walls. The name has stayed with me all these years.
Finally, if you could invite one house hero to the DJ booth with you, who would it be?
It would have to be legendary Ron Hardy. I can go on forever on writing how much he has inspired probably every House dj that has come out of Chicago.