Founded in 1990 by Red Jerry and Phil Howells (who left after HOOJ 004 to go and work with Pete Tong at FFRR). It was Howells’ girlfriend, Emma, who came up with the Hoojman logo. It released numerous #1 records to the world. Its changing styles throughout the years did much to guide the tastes of DJs and dance floors around the world. Probably best known for re-releasing the mid-90's dance floor hit "Café Del Mar" by Energy 52, which remains a dance floor classic. It specialized in progressive house and progressive trance, although later releases dabbled in breaks, deep house, electro and ambient flavours. It shut down in mid-2003 due to ongoing financial difficulties, but returned in 2006 under the same management as Lost Language. Only a few new releases appeared on the label, and the company Hooj Choons Ltd. that operated since 1993 was dissolved in 2010. After a few years in a dormant state, the Hooj name has again been restarted in January 2014, with an expected "sparse but high quality release schedule".
|Hooj Choons Ltd.
|Airtight, Airtight Recordings, Fodder (2), Hooj Choons Australia, No Future, Precinct Recordings, Prolekult, Shining Path Recordings, Top Banana Recordings
Hooj Choons Ltd. / Hooj Music
|hooj.com , Bandcamp , Facebook , MySpace , Wikipedia , YouTube
- anyone know the story behind cat no.4,why it never really saw the light of day....also no number 8??
- When record shopping, I have one rule. If I see a Hooj Choon, I buy it.
- One of my favourite record labels, often the sought after tracks at the time were released on Hooj Choons, I have found memories of this label, along with Positiva and Platipus and their second label Lost Language.
The introduction of their website along with a very special message board introduced me to some great characters and some not so great. Special shouts to Wicket, Steev, Bod and Chris Lake, there were many others I loved talking to on those message boards, but for the life of me I cannot think of their usernames :( Lads, I still have your releases you posted out to me. Much love 2badmice
- Edited 2 years agoThe classical Hooj Choons label is interested in four kind of styles:
1st: most well known for progressive house and trancy stuff
2nd: some are underground tech house
3rd: few ones are straight house
4th: 90ties RAVE! back to the old skool
find your gem!
- A good rule of thumb when searching through these is the change of sleeve. The Lost Language-ish sleeve design showed the switch from often great, if not sometimes cheesy trance to Y2K deep prog which has really aged poorly most the time.
- To echo a lot of the comments below.
I remember reading an interview with Red Jerry at the turn of the millennium. In it, he stated that Hooj's change of direction - from consistent purveyors of timeless anthems to boring tech house - was fuelled by Ronnie Randall's lacklustre review of CM's 'Dream Universe' in an edition of DJ Mag. Randall stated that 'it's a nice enough journey, but one that's been done many times before'.
By way of consequence, in order to inaugurate this 'new direction', the label immediately started pumping off stuff by the likes of DJ Gogo (whose debut EP featured a mind-numbingly yawntastic rework of 'Cry' by Sam Mollison), Midway and Silvio Ecomo.
In parallel, Hooj was still, for a time at least, putting out legendary bangers from Salt Tank, The Light, Katcha and Solar Stone. But, with the advent of Lost Language, the label's focus changed entirely to minimalistic techy stuff. Leaving a lot of us wondering 'What the hell happened?' Hooj was, after all, the imprint that gave us the hip house bounce of Antic and Artemesia; the screeching diva frenzy that was Escrima; Space Kittens' ultra- hardbag 'Storm'; ten million mixes of Energy 52; the Klubbheads'-produced Greenfield and, of course, JX.
Don't get me wrong. After the change - marked by an alteration in the sleeves - there were still moments of magic. 'Escape (Driving to Heaven)' by 16B and Legend of the Talking Dog's 'My Shadow Dances' being pretty seminal.
It's still difficult to reconcile RJ's volte face with the storming, characteristic hardbag remixes he put out by the dozen, between '93 and '97: Felix, Pizzaman, Sleazesisters, Our Tribe, Ariel ad infinitum.
- Edited 3 years agoAlways sure floor fillers in the trance/bangin' house clubs around London mid-late 1990s - and you'd always hear Graham Gold and Judge Jules drop their tunes on Kiss FM before you went out. Great productions, just great records - Hooj really sums up raving in London in the second half of the 90s like nothing else.
- From Oakey to Sasha, from Digweed to Tenaglia, if there was ever one label to sum up the whole "Progressive" scene in the 1990s, forget Platipus, Fluid, Quad, it just has to be Hooj Choons...Dream Universe, Movin through your system, cafe del mar, invisible, everytime, space manoeuvres, dimension, greece 2000, Body shine....the lists endless, like it says on the tin "Occasional Providers of half-decent house"
- A classic label up to about 2001. 2002 and after the releases are extremely boring. Before then it was pretty much a surefire win with every release. Early releases in the mid 90's were excellent progressive then they released some top quality trance / progressive for a few years.
The big change came when the design changed on the sleeves, maybe Silvio Ecomo - Standing and Pilgrimage to Paradise were the exceptions but generally 2002 onwards it became quite lacklustre. Maybe this more 'bland' sound contributed to their demise. But then again, the trance / progressive scene had all but gone in 2002 and cheese took over so i suppose they had no choice. Still collected them all almost though.
- Killer Progressive House label.
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