At the tender age of seven, Chris Hreno had already acquired his first record - a 7” copy of Pink Floyd’s ‘Another Brick in the Wall’- and had already played his first gig, at a friend’s wedding by eleven. Growing up in Montreal, the local record stores were to become his second home, as he acquainted himself with the vast swathes of music and styles around him. “Montreal was a digger’s paradise,” Hreno says about those formative years. It was this attraction to digging that has come to define his approach to DJing. “It’s about sharing the music I’ve collected and piecing them together for the people,” as he puts it. 

Hreno’s dedication to DJing invariably helped him work his way into the Montreal nightlife scene, playing his first gig at the now defunct club, Angels. Later on, having moved to Vancouver to attend art school, he eventually met fellow cohort, companion and future co-producer Colin de la Plante, a.k.a. The Mole, in one of the city’s most esteemed stores, Hush Records. Hreno made his way to the Netherlands around 2006, a period in which he spent several years mastering his studio technique, and immersing himself in the local house scene. Since moving to Berlin In 2009, Hreno has become a well-versed traveller, DJing in clubs across Europe, Asia and North America and of course, regularly playing out in the German capital itself. 

A vinyl-only DJ, Hreno’s style is built around a diversity in taste with solid minimal textures rooted in house proficiency and a familiarity in pronounced basslines, all mixed together with a background in seminal funk and disco. It’s a sound that is defined by his produtions, from the 2001 debut on le Plante’s early imprint Next Door, through –and not limited to- further EPs on Sound Architecture and Meander, as well as remixes on Turbo, Internasjonal and other imprints.

Hreno’s indoctrination into live performance began in tandem with his DJ career, with his live show at Montreal’s Stereo Club in 1995 alongside The Mole and Mathew Jonson. Although consistently evolving, his live set-up consists of an analogue construct of drum machines and synthesizers. It’s an extension of Hreno’s studio process, a fluid progression of form and function that highlight his production faculties, with triggered hypnotic basslines and attentive house rhythms. Hreno’s approach to live performance is centred around improvisation, which is very much his ideology. You’ll never hear a single set that sounds the same, whether he’s playing live or DJing. You can thank Montreal for that.




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