Many labels who call the electronic music industry their home can be a little guilty of genre restricting. Too often we are exposed to music that all sounds a little bit duplicated, strangling our craving for new and experimental sound. A label that has satisfied this hunger, and then some, is Houndstooth; an in-house project from the distinguished Fabric nightclub in London.
The venture is operated by Rob Booth (the creator of Electronic Explorations), Leo Belchetz (the label manager) and Rob Butterworth (the label director) and is the result of a commitment to the sounds that surround club culture, as well as the soundtrack to club culture itself.
Booth told Resident Advisor “with the greatest respect to labels that are tied to clubs, I didn’t want to be just a techno label.” Booth has created an artist led label solely focused on releasing albums. It was born in February 2013, and has since been granted label of the year by XLR8R and third place in Resident Advisor’s top 20 labels of 2013. Its success is due to it maintaining the raw roots of its conception; whilst also producing a wide range of different types of music, not just one specific genre.
The following slides are EP’s and albums released on Houndstooth that I regard as important. Some are spiritual, some are haunting, and some are just straight up bangers. So here they are, in no particular order. Enjoy.
09 / 09
Akkord – Akkord
Release date: November 2013
This self titled record was the debut release from Manchester duo Liam Blackburn and Joe McBride. Minimal sound design is implemented to produce an inconspicuous record shrouded in mystery. A raw, metallic, industrial aura is maintained throughout. Whilst it is primarily techno influenced, the pair betray the perspective of techno purists to produce something ambiguous and experimental.
The second track, Smoke Circle, has a tribal feel to it as chanting is accompanied by a pummelling baseline that makes your bones convulse. 3dOs is a terrifying track; demonic sounds are applied to spawn a dark tone to which subtlety is key.
Tracks are clean and precise. Hex Ad is a Greek named track that glitches throughout its 6 minute length. The breakbeat is accompanied by vibrations and a robotic atmosphere. Channel Drift begins slow, mechanical sounds like those heard in a car manufacturers are used to further utilise the industrial side of techno, before half way through it is flipped upside down with bass and jungle vibes.
It’s clear that secrecy is used to the Akkord’s advantage. Intrigue causes the listener to crave more. The record holds back on euphoric satisfaction and instead preserves a cryptic and dark personality.