At some point in the early 90s, I became aware of electronic dance music... prior to that I had classified the music as vapid, with a fanbase that posessed neither a keen grasp on history nor a positive atitude towards innovation or forward movement; both attributes that I still find somewhat necessary.
The near-simultaneous opening of the Beat Non-Stop and Satellite record stores in Boston revealed a great many things... I remember stumbling into Beat Non-Stop after I was tipped off that they were carrying the then-new "Isolationism" comp on Virgin, and it dawned on me that I didn't know a single thing about any of the artists that the shop stocked in their "experimental" section. So... for a period of 2 years I bought just about every record that landed in said section of either shop; among these were Seefeel's "Pure/Impure", Aphex Twin's "On", Luke Vibert & Jeremy Simmonds' "Weirs", and later on, Disjecta's "Clean Pit and Lid", Tom Jenkinson's "Bubble & Squeak" and Plug's "Plug 1/Plug 2" double pack. These records were all incredibly eye-opening, proving that something in the underground was in fact bubbling; that a select set of producers were willing to cut the dance-music lexicon with influences from the same Avant-Garde movements I was and remain a student of.
As an undergrad at Boston's Berklee college of music, I was granted 6 hours a night of studio time in any of the three "Music Synthesis" labs... Each station was eqipped with a Mac running Sound Designer, Hyperprism, Max, C-Sound, and Vision, as well as Kurzweil K-2500 sampler,various Lexicon LXP-series effects, and a rackmount mixer. Every night, after I had worked a little bit on an assignment or my final project (a piece called "Error", 3 hours long and in 6 sections), I would launch up Vision and the Kurzweil, load in field recordings and little bits of lo-fi drumming and samples from jazz records, and teach myself bit by bit the fine art of sequencing.
Soon enough I had amassed a collection of crude, lo-fi tracks that, while lacking in production values, were very gratifying to listen to. Realizing that the environment in the labs wasn't exactly tuned to musical experimentation, I extended my modest home setup to include an Akai S2800 sampler and a Mac Performa 6300CD, on which I ran Master Tracks Pro and Vision. I began spending more and more time at home working on beat-based "tracks", less and less time working on my school projects.
At some point around this time I had a revelation; talking to a local jungle producer in Satellite I was made aware of the concept of "breakbeats", the part of select 60s & 70s soul tunes where everything but the drums dropped out... up until this point all of the drum sounds I'd been using were things that I had played and recorded myself, or sounds from MIDI synth modules. After a few months of networking and research, I descended on the Cheapo record store in Central square and walked out with a copy of The Winstons' "Color Him Father b/w Amen Brother" 7", Lyn Collins' "Think", and all four volumes of "Scarface Records Beats & Breaks."
During the following years I became quite prolific, often returning home at 10pm from my job only to stay up until 4 in the morning tinkering in the studio, working out new ways to slice up breakbeats into intricate drum programs and writing track after track after track, often mixing the end-results to DAT through headphones as not to wake up my housemates. Other than the occasional cassette for a friend these tracks were rarely heard until a chance encounter with The Third Eye Foundation's Matt Elliot (and his subsequent enthusiasm) put the idea in my head to release some of this music to the public.
In the spring of 1997 I began to work at Forced Exposure. Inspired by the great number of DIY artists and labels that FE distributed, I decided to form a label called Reckankreuzungsklankewerkzeuge, compiled all of the concise breakbeat-themed sketches and short attention-span experiments that had been languishing on DAT, and, in April of 1998, released an LP called "Attention: Cats." The success of tbe LP, and the subsequent interest in my break-cutup experiments led me to compile my 11 favorite full-length tracks into a CD, "Oiseaux 96-98", which was released in August of 1999 to great reviews and much interest from those tired of the "by the numbers" approach to electronic dance music.
The adage, "You have your whole life to make your first album, and a year to make the second" felt particularly apt, and it wasn't until 2002 that another full-length album of music by Hrvatski was released, this time on Mike Paradinas' Planet µ label. By this time I had already begun focusing my efforts on recording and performing more abstract, less rhythm-based music, and had begun releasing records under my own name of digital minimalism and improvised guitar-computer pieces.
I occasionally revisit the Hrvatski moniker for remix requests and the occasional single/compilation track. Recently, after a 3 year break, I've begun producing new Hrvatski material, in hopes to release a third album sometime in 2006.