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Local record labels seem to be a dying breed of late. The financial costs too high, the returns too low. Fortunately, there are still some people wanting to make a go of it. Enter Slipstone Records. I caught up with founder Chris I'Anson and label debutant Kesper (aka Chris Pawlik) about Slipstone, the release and drunken house party agreements.

Good to talk to you guys. To start off, what was your inspiration behind starting the label?

CI: At the end of last year I was getting a bit sick of the same sounds being used and churned around. There wasn’t anything that I wanted to hear really - I was being sent promos that all sounded like each other. It all just got a bit old. I was bored of seeing the same names on the same labels. Don’t get me wrong, the tracks were good, but it wasn't anything groundbreaking. Then, I had a little trip abroad to Berlin, and I’d be lying if I said that didn’t influence me. When I was there I just heard a lot of really, really good stuff. When I came back I was hearing the same old house sounds, and I thought, I could do something new. Felt like the right sort of time too, university work was growing a bit stale, and I didn’t want to go into that straight away. So I thought, what do I love? Music, so I’m gonna do that.

Nowadays, a lot of people starting labels shy away from vinyl because of the expense and the perception of it being a dying art. How important was it that your label was going to revolve around vinyl?

CI: It’s very important. For me, playing vinyl is more fun than playing digital tunes, but it’s about the whole experience - the cover, the sleeve. Doing an arts degree, being able to do the creative side of the record, it can be my creative output; the vinyl, the cover, all the extras you’ll get with the record. I don’t know, digital is kind of throw away. I just love vinyl, and at the end of the day, you’ve got to do what you love.

Very true. I’ve been meaning to ask, what was the reasoning behind the name?

CI: I was having a lot of trouble coming up with the name really - I thought for ages. I’m an outdoorsy guy so I wanted to give it an outdoorsy feel, but the names I came up for that didn’t really work. Then I thought back to when I grew up, and near there, there’s a climbing crag called Slipstone rocks. I always loved going there and I loved the name. So I thought, let’s have that. I really like the name and so far the people I’ve talked to like it as well.

Yeah, I'm a fan. A question to both of you - Who approached who when it came to the first release?

K: I think I commented on one of Chris’ mixes on soundcloud.
CI: Yeah it was a bit weird really.
K: I don’t think we’d have found each other if I hadn’t…
CI: Yeah you commented on my mix, then I checked your tunes out. I messaged you - you had a profile picture that didn’t show who you were - but I assumed it was probably someone I knew from BPM or the Leeds scene. Turns out we hadn’t met. This was about six or seven months ago, and when I decided to start the label, I thought Chris would be right for it.
K: Yeah, you approached me at a house party.
CI: Is that where it was?
K: Yeah…I told you had I had some tunes for you.
CI: I can’t remember...

Where all the best relationships start….

CI: Haha yeah. We were just dancing in the main room, Chris was right next to me but I hadn’t realised. 

Kesper [photo credit: Bryony Eacott]

Kesper, have you always produced the same sort of music that's being put out on Slipstone?

KWell, one of the first ever tracks I remixed - an Anton Lanski tune - kinda kicked things off for me, the structure of the track, the way it sounds. Ambience and atmosphere have always been a huge part of my productions so I wanted consistency, that floaty-ness and breath of fresh air you get with those sort of tunes. So I’ve just been sticking with that, and I feel this release is a result of the tunes I’ve made before - lots of different sub-genres, minimal techno but also the ambient side of things too. Yeah…we just did it, just happened.

I know you’re associated with the Bristol-based Banoffie Pies - how influential were they in your release?

K: Those guys have been massively inspirational. They just had this idea and they went for it, and you know, I’m kinda following on from that they’ve done, but up in Leeds. 

Are you thinking long term with Slipstone, Chris? Anything lined up, future releases?

CI: I’m kind of taking it easy at the moment. I’m not doing this to churn releases out, to get content out there. If I’m approached or I find some good stuff, I’ll get in touch and try and get something out, but at the moment I’m in no rush. I have got my eyes on a few people, but no solid plans at the moment. We want to focus on quality output, the pressing, the artwork, everything.

The artwork seems like an important part of the release - you’ve mentioned previously about getting local artists involved?

CI: Yeah, I want to get as many people involved as possible - if we can make it a community label, it’s more likely to succeed, and the easier it is for people to promote their sounds. It’s difficult in the music scene and I feel it’s important that people help each other out, so I want to do that as much as possible.

I noticed from the promo video that there seemed to be a space theme, was that deliberate? 

K: Yeah, we wanted the EP to have a concept. 
CI: A lot of people are starting labels but there isn’t a unique selling point. With this release, the sound, the image - it all works together. 
K: Yeah, we wanted to make it concrete with the first release, we felt it was important. It was in line with our own vision and other people’s feedback.

Have you got a date for release?

CI: May 4th and we’re doing the launch night on May 7th.

You must feel like it’s gone incredibly quickly. What is it...six months from conception to release?

CI: Yeah, it’s gone so fast. Rather than thinking a week in advance, at the moment I’m thinking months in advance.
K: It’s hard to stick to that plan as well. There’s always delays, issues…

Well, I commend you for it.

CI: Thanks. We’re trying to add as much value to the vinyl release as possible. Hand screen-printed artwork and a few more treats that are going to be in there…yeah. If you’re going to invest in a physical piece of media, you want to get your money’s worth. 

Appreciate you talking to me today guys. To finish, Kesper - favourite tune at the moment (and not your own)? 

KIt’s actually a free download, by these two amazing eastern european producers, Gorje Hewek & Izhevski.

And Chris, if you could sign anyone to your label, who would it be?

CI: I love the sounds and have been inspired a lot by Oliver Schories, a guy who's not got much of a rep round here compared to on the continent. He, and sounds similar, are a huge inspiration to me. But maybe not for the label, well not yet at least...

Moonwalk EP - Kesper [Slipstone]

[SLIPSTONE001] is out May 4th.



Delsin represses Claro Intelecto’s stunning ‘Peace of Mind’ EP from 2003, after it was first released on now defunct British label Ai Records. The EP starts with Peace of Mind (Electrosoul), a frosty, futuristic piece that’s dripping in the melancholy of a not so distant future. Sparse keys sound out into an empty void for the first couple of minutes, before Intelecto gradually eases in some sharp synth stabs. Think Blade Runner-style cityscapes and you’ll conjure exactly the kind of sound Intelecto intends here. It’s less sci-fi and more sci-funk, with the awkward, staccato grooviness of the track being propelled through a strict, robotic sense of rhythm.

‘Tone’ starts with shuffling hats and off-beat, saturated kick drums. After the linearity of the first track, this one’s a dark and disorientating exploration of the underworld. If we’re still stuck with the Blade Runner analogy, we’re no longer floating high above the cityscape. We’ve descended deep into the murkiest corners of the dystopia, as the overdriven crunch of acid squirms and jolts its way through five minutes. The drums maintain their lack of orthodox patterning throughout and seem happy to roam free, grizzly snares and hi-hats wreak havoc throughout.

The third track, 'Contact', switches it up yet again. This time, bassline weight takes centre stage, wherein a booming, pulsing envelope of sound dominates. Icy drum work finds a sense of convention once more, kicking and clapping in uniformity, much like in the EP’s opener.

Finishing up is a more ambient, atmospheric cut, consistently mainly of swirling, eery pads and deep, throbbing synth lines, which pan and zone freely amongst an Aphex-style electric melody.

The decision from Dutch label Delsin to re-release an eleven-year-old British EP may initially seem strange, but on closer inspection it seems like a shrewd move. The record hasn’t dated one bit, far from it. Every tune sounds as chillingly futuristic as if it were produced only yesterday. Top notch production and a perfectly executed aesthetic makes this one timeless.

Peace of Mind EP - Claro Intelecto [Delsin]

There's still a few copies left at Redeye.



Berliner Spencer Parker drops a couple of remixes of his most recent release, ‘The Moment Not The Memory’, allowing techno heavyweights Answer Code Request and Aaron Siegel to apply their own stylings to the three-tracker on Parker’s own Work Them Records.

Looking first at Answer Code Request's remix of 'Spacial', straight-up, no-nonsense techno that’s fed through a narrow tunnel, as swirling, tryptamine-tinged synths reverberate around a bouncy kick drum. The whole affair isn’t particularly ground-breaking, but he knows what he wants to achieve and does it well. It's a heady, big room sound, designed to deliver on a grand scale.

ACR supplements his full-length effort with an interesting 'Loop Mix'. It’s that same dubbed-up synth loop, just dripping in a little more saturated fuzz. It plays out for the majority, so would be a useful DJ tool for the adventurous amongst us. It’s practically praying for somebody to apply a beat to it, so could produce some interesting results in the right hands - a cool addition to the release.

Aaron Siegel, the man behind the impeccable FIT imprint, delivers a broken, left-field version of ‘Faster Forward’ on the flip. Classy piano hits are coupled with a grooving bassline, which propels things onto the very edge of dancefloor territory. Though far less direct than ACR's, the track isn’t short on quality and closes out an interesting release, which covers all the bases.

Coming soon at Juno.


Introducing AS IT IS RECORDS

Kogui presents three slices of acidic, deep house for new French label, A(s)I(t)I(s), with a remix from HH favourite Steven Tang.

The first two Kogui tracks are simple yet powerful experiments in 303 modulation, which find themselves paired with droning, melodic accompaniments and frenetic percussion elements. 'Afw' sees the smooth, acidic lines of 'Implied Reference' shaken to the core. These notes remain, but quiver all over the track as Kogui's tinny hats press matters forward.

'F88' is the final piece from Kogui. Keeping acid as the primary focus yet looking to explore murkier depths, the tempo slows, and the result is a brooding sub-aquatic affair that bubbles its way through the deep.

Implied Reference To Fundamental EP - Kogui [As It Is]

Emphasis Recordings boss and Smallville contributor Steven Tang lends his own breed of languorous house to 'Implied Reference' with a tidy 'Mixdown remix'. Here, the sting of Kogui's acid stabs is nullified slightly and instead of shuffling ceaselessly all over the place as in the original, Tang chooses to isolate a singular note and work his sound around that.

A strong start from both Kogui and As It Is - go check the release out at Juno.


Featuring XDB

Steffi's Dolly imprint returns with #017 and a second outing for Metrolux boss XDB. Answer Code Request provides a loopy remix of 'Ganivon' to start things off, adding crisp, high-end synths to XDB's percussive and whimsical original.

Personal favourite 'Tonik' kicks off the B-side with sliding synths and an array of groove elements. There's subtle atmosphere here too, which adds a lot on closer listening. Finally, 'Liberty' plods along without the signature percussive-led grooves of the other two originals, but with a chirpy synth line that builds throughout the track.

Ganivon EP – XDB [Dolly]

[DOLLY017] is sold out at most shops for the time being, but there appears to be a few left at Clone and a repress is already underway.


Introducing BABA STILTZ

Studio Barnhus is a Stockholm-based label run by a trio of Swedes, of which Axel Boman is one. On this latest release, fellow countryman Baba Stiltz is at the controls with 'Palats'.

On 'Palats', Stiltz lures you in with an occasional vocal snippet peppered into the textured, velvety chords, which themselves are coated generously in the snap and crackle of tape recording. These chords build until they eventually make way for crisp percussion, knocking its way throughout. And then comes the bassline, a hybrid of the fire alarm at a nuclear power plant and the foghorn of the SS Titanic. Complete mayhem ensues for the next five minutes, mayhem that finds itself enveloped between those aforementioned synths.

The flipside, 'Crypt', takes a slightly gentler approach. Heavenly synths whisper across a bassline that never appears to simmer too far above the surface. After the blitzkrieg-carnage of 'Palats', Stiltz is opting to tell a different tale. This one's more the calm after the storm, as the dust settles and the clouds realign to the sound of Baba's static-drenched melodies.

Palats - Baba Stiltz [Studio Barnhus]

Keep an eye out for this in the record stores - the patchwork-quilt sleeve art by Theodor Johansson should help. If you're shopping online, grab it from Juno.


Featuring HIVER

The Italian duo Hiver, who recently contributed to our exclusive mix series, have delivered their third release, 'The Uncolored Truth'. It's their second on Vidab Records and a fine delivery of two beautiful pieces of electronica.

A-side 'Zefiro' is a restrained affair. Subdued percussion and ambient melodies marry together in a way that Hiver seem to have done so well previously. Nothing is contrived or too in your face and the atmosphere carries the listener along softly. The song breaks down to almost silence half way through, returning slowly with its kick, then its percussion, before delving back into the previous soundscape. Its uncertainty gives the track an air of melancholy, and is all the more a gem for it.

The Uncolored Truth EP – Hiver [Vidab]

On the flip is 'Right Place', which steps things up a little. Still with reams of atmosphere, the percussion is this time much more in the foreground, the drum programming and bassline working to create a solid groove without losing any of the feeling from the beginning. Soon, synth stabs phase slowly over the already laid foundations, bringing the track to a natural peak before ebbing away nicely to conclude.

HH MIX #047 - HIVER [download]

[VIDAB 10"02] is available now from Juno.



Premise is set to take place on Saturday 22 March from 3pm - 3am at Low Profile Studios in the Finsbury Park / Harringay / Manor House area of London.

Headlining the occasion will be Musk who are flying in for their first UK live show. The Berlin duo have turned out a number of solid releases in the past couple of years and gained particular attention via the Innervisions / Muting The Noise shop. Their style could be described something like Disco meets House at its best plus a load of fun and energy mixed in.

Dance Dance Dance - Musk [LGDZ]

In support are DeadEcho who we hosted in Leeds alongside Redshape & Fullbarr back in January 2012 - we can guarantee they’ll have the loft in full swing. Good friend Pelski also makes the line up and of course your trusty Hush House residents R & J.

Tickets are highly recommended as capacity is, of course, limited. Get them here. Facebook event here.



Houndstooth was something of a runaway success last year, storming out of the blocks with quick succession of releases. The aim of the game for Houndstooth is seemingly to push genuinely original music from a variety of (mostly new and up-and-coming) acts.

Saying that, one of the core reasons for the success of the label to date is not attributable to a fresh-faced newcomer - instead, it's down to an absolute veteran, Paul Woolford, who since late 2012 has found a new lease of life operating under the Special Request guise. But you already knew that, right? Woolford's foray into jungle-revivalism has been heavily documented, and rightly so.

Joining Special Request on this release is an act that we'd attribute much of Houndstooth's early success to - Akkord. With the hype Special Request's album, 'Soul Music', received, the debut self-titled LP from these Mancunians slipped under the radar slightly. The group recently produced a FACT mix and it's really worth your time if you're looking for boundary-bending electronic sounds that defy genre conventions. First time we heard the mix we were taken aback by its individuality. This latest Houndstooth release carries through with this notion, executed with a slick nonchalance I've not seen for some time.

The two tracks found here are taken from a larger seven-tracker, with the limited vinyl pressing looking to concentrate on the talents of Akkord and Special Request alone. The 'HTH vs HTH' concept pits the production processes of Houndstooth's artists against one another. Firstly, Woolford takes on Akkord's 'Destruction'; it's a grizzly, booming, fire-and-brimstone assault on the original, ice-cold amens and deadly bassline rhythms pulse and squirm their way through a drum track that's equally as heavy. What makes this effort so visceral and so potent is the way Woolford warps and bends the breakbeat framework Special Request tracks generally work within. The track isn't full-on jungle nostalgia, it's a subtle and simple nod to the era, with the result sounding both fresh and hard-hitting in equal measure.

The flipside is a role-reversal, as Akkord battle with the stems of Special Request's 'Lockjaw'. The group's razor-sharp approach to sound design is in full effect here. Clattering drums and stuttered pads are the primary elements for the first half of the track, before the entire thing opens up, making way for a more comprehensive percussionary attack that's all stainless steel and titanium. Sonic minimalism done right and done effectively, the simplistic power of Akkord's work is pretty tricky to define in words alone.

HTH vs HTH - Special Request & Akkord [Houndstooth]

Go take a listen for yourself and grab the 12" at Juno.


Introducing CLIFF LOTHAR

Cliff Lothar pushes through a second release following last year's 'White Savage', this time popping up on Skudge White. This offshoot of the Stockholm-based label has thus far, in its limited two year history, appeared intent on presenting mutated, contorted house and techno from a variety of mysterious production aliases.

Up to now, content on Skudge White has been a mixed bag. Generally operating at the lower end of comfortable in terms of BPM, the label's focus on weirdness does at times feel a tad overpowering. Though in this latest release from Lothar, they've struck all the right notes. Admittedly, this newest offering is far from traditional techno fare, but there's enough of a conventional beat contained within the four tracks to make the overall effect very powerful.

First is 'Murked Out', where dingy synths poke around a gloomy drum track. Cavernous, nocturnal and raw, the feeling is generally rather bleak. Despite that, there's a definite direction and purpose that would render it useful on the dancefloor - something that can't always be said for Skudge White twelves.

Next, 'Tangaxuan II' drops the tempo slightly and ventures further into the darkness. This one's funky enough, with sparse bleeps and bells peppered here and there, twinkling away in the shadows. 'Audiomess' carries this theme onwards (or possibly even downwards) before the final track, 'Darkhole Gloryroom', raises the tempo again; shuffling percussion looks to drive you through a tunnel and into the metaphorical light - except that somebody's forgotten the torch. It's confusing, schizophrenic and stifling, and it's the pick of the bunch. Both Lothar and Skudge White have hit the spot with this one - it's a sufficiently weird and dark journey that manages to straddle the line of 'dancefloor-friendly' perfectly.

Murked Out EP - Cliff Lothar [Skudge White]

Go cop it now at Juno.



Combining elements of hip-hop with atmospheric house is a very difficult task. Traditionally, for the most part at least, the two forms of music have been like oil and water. This is what makes Galcher Lustwerk's work so impressive. His sound follows in the vein of tracks like Matthias Meyer's 'Infinity' which subtly nods to 'From '93 'til Infinity' by use of a sample from early nineties hip-hop outfit Souls of Mischief. It's what could be regarded as "street sensible" house music.

As well as owing some of the aspects of his sound to hip-hop, Galcher also draws on the ethereal realms of deep house, as well as electronic outfits like Underworld. This is most evident in the track 'Outside the Club' from Galcher's lauded 100% Galcher mix from last year; a mix most consider to be an album in its own right.

Having only one EP to his name, released last year on Brooklyn's White Material label, this month sees the producer release the four track Nu Day EP on Tsuba.

'Fate' opens the EP with the trademark deepness we've come to expect from Galcher. An ethereal synth runs throughout the track, with some lo-fi synth bleepiness featured along the way. The slightly more upbeat, but equally deep 'Nu Day' follows with more emphasis on a solid kick drum to drive the track forward. '216' is the first track on the EP to feature Galcher's smooth raps as he proceeds to the mic with precision. On the last track, 'Chillin in the Booth', Galcher offers up his mic skills over a lo-fi crunchy house track that rounds out the EP to nice effect.

Nu Day EP - Galcher Lustwerk [Tsuba]

Look out for the pre-order at Juno.

Words by: Ethan Becker



Night Voyage, an offshoot of the Night Slugs label, resurfaced late last year to follow up 2011's excellent 'Night Voyage Toolkit EP'. Once again, Tom Trago and Bok Bok are on the buttons to showcase their unique blend of styles.

Using the label as a vehicle to release nothing but their own material, the pair have recently treated us to two releases in as many months. 'Get Me What You Want', the energetic title track from December's offering is backed with the excellent 'Hole Driller 3'; two tracks to really open the eyes of those who had perhaps forgotten what a deadly combination these producers can be.

Get Me What You Want / Hole Driller 3 [Night Voyage Tool Kit]

And dropping just last month was the label's third 12", 'Pussy Trak'. Both these cuts are as different from each other as they are from the preceding release. With the title track rooted deeply in classic Chicago house and built around a catchy vocal hook, the flip, 'Silent G Safari' is a stripped back techno joint, soaked in essence of Bok Bok's Night Slugs work but retaining enough of Tom Trago's style for it stand apart.

Pussy Trak / Silent G Safari [Night Voyage Tool Kit]

Pick up [NV002] and [NV003] from Juno.


Introducing BUZ LUDZHA

Irish-based label All City offer up their first release of 2014 with a 12" from new alias, Buz Ludzha. The two tracks contained on 'Love Repetitive Rhythmics' are sleepy deep house cuts that feature subtly acidic, jackin' undertones.

First comes 'Rave With Love', where Ludzha chucks together punchy 303-stabs with celestial vocal wailings - indecipherable, but weaving throughout. A melancholic piano roll competes against drum work of the most solid kind. It's a strangely satisfying mixture; the blend of dreamy, shimmering melodies with kicking percussion.

Flipside is 'Basslines For Death'. Again, there's a real undisputed display of musicality, with the theme remaining much the same as the opener. Comparisons could be drawn to Boards of Canada - the vibe's definitely in that territory, with rolling basslines eking a weird kind of dispirited poignancy. This melancholia is again wrapped up and packaged with that jacking percussion track, which is livelier here than on 'Rave With Love'. Ludzha's debut is by all accounts an incredibly solid effort. The kind of fuzzed-up, light-headed house music he presents on 'Love Repetitive Rhythmics' is certainly different to the norm. Keep an eye out for future movements.

Love Repetitive Rhythmics - Buz Ludzha [All City]

[ACOS2X12] is available now from Juno.


Featuring UNTIDY

The Untidy project appeared for the first time last year, offering 4 cuts of beefy house tracks with a heavily Germanic flavour. The release was vinyl-only and came with a fair amount of mystique, whilst being very well-received by many of the scene's big hitters. So it was strange to see the project disappear almost as quickly as it surfaced.

Promo Mix - Untidy

The music contained within the first Untidy release is heavy, dubby and expertly produced - suggestions are that the project could be an alias for Jonas Kopp. Thankfully, after almost a year, Untidy returns for 002. This second attempt replicates the techno-house hybridity of the first: gritty, cavernous stompers, all likely to do some damage this year.

There's a fair amount of variety on display here - A2 is a mellow roller that uses percussion alone to generate a dark, brooding mood. However, our favourite is the B1, a prolonged piano piece that builds continuously before falling back in on itself, looping seemingly ad infinitum and drenched heavily in reverb-soaked hi-hats. The final track is the most direct of the bunch, tribal drum patterns operate beneath wavering, oscillating synth lines.

Preview and pre-order [UNTIDY002] the release here. Excitingly, it appears a release on Skudge is also on the horizon.


Featuring MOVE D: FABRIC 74

David Moufang is one of those DJs who finds himself lauded with the most peculiar of titles - that infamous cliché of a 'DJ's DJ'. In truth though, you'd be hard pressed to knock his CV. Having been in the game since the early 80s, his position as a house heavyweight is undeniable, gaining a reputation for delivering no frills, hard-hitting sets, heavily-laden with wax.

So to Fabric 74, as Moufang is tasked with compiling a mix for the London superclub. The mix is exactly what you'd expect - fifteen tracks spread over eighty minutes, classy deep house selections with intelligent, patient transitions from scene to scene. There's no frenetic DJ wizardry, no effect-crazed tomfoolery, just an incredibly honest and, for want of a better word, simplistic mix that lets the tunes do the work.

Two tracks in, the dub mix of Liz Torres' 'Your Love is All I Need' warms things nicely before Moufang teases the Liberty City classic 'Some Lovin' for a good three or four minutes, allowing the soaring vocals to really hit home which kicks the mix off to a flying start.

What follows, is a series of peaks and troughs that characterise a peak time Move D set. There's the kaleidoscopic, disorientating acidity of Darkman's 'Annihilating Rhythmn' jostling with the shuffling retro-euphoria of K-Alexi's Dub mix of MD III's 'Shake That Body'. When the mix slows down slightly to create space for Dom 877's 'Do It Right' and collaborators JuJu & Jordash's 'Loosey Goosey', the quality remains. In fact, the 877 tune comes close to being the pick of the bunch - it feels like the perfectly choice cut, slotted in exactly the right place in the way only a DJ of Moufang's prestige knows how.

Things get seriously jackin' again as we move into the last quarter as Moufang draws for a tune that will sound familiar to anybody who's caught a Move D set in the past few years, the garage-tinged, sub bass roar of Last Magpie's 'Roots' mingles with David's own 'Luvbyrds' - the only of the artist's own productions to make an appearance. Just like the beginning of the mix, the final 10 minutes or so dwindles down the gears gradually, finishing up with the blissfully smokey, cosmos-wandering 'Unke' by Hush House favourites Smallpeople & Rau.

On this latest mix, Moufang shows just how comfortable he feels behind the decks - the formula is the same as always, so don't expect anything different - just genuine deep house with soul, treated with the respect it deserves.

Fabric 74 - Move D [fabric]

Available now from Juno.