When Houndstooth was launched three years ago electronic music in this country was in sore need of a bit of individuality.
In its own manner, the London-based imprint has supplied these. Each release feels painstakingly thought through, carefully curated and packaged in some of the most luxurious designs around.
Turning three with nary a wrinkle in sight, fabric's sister label decided to toast its birthday in the only way it knows how: throwing a party (or three).
Of course, there's also the music. Houndstooth recently unveiled their 50th release, a stunning compilation named 'Tessellations' that features all-new material from label favourites such as Throwing Snow, 18+, House Of Black Lanterns, Soft As Snow, and many more.
Out on February 26th, Clash has a quick chat with the Houndstooth team while 'Tessellations' played in the background.
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Houndstooth launched three years ago – was it always meant to be a long-term project? How do you feel about reaching this milestone?
The goal has always been to build Houndstooth into a big label that lasts as long as we continue to release great music, reaching three in the current climate of the music industry is a great milestone, we look forward to our 5th, 10th and 20th Birthdays and beyond.
The new compilation is a great way of honouring that anniversary, featuring exclusive material from each artist who has released on the album. But how easy was that to actually accomplish? Has this been a long time in the works?
The compilation was at least 8 months of planning that went right to the wire getting it completed, cash bribes and sexual favours saw us over the line.
It’s an eclectic listen – has that sense of breadth always been something you wanted to achieve with the label? Where does that come from?
Whilst the wide ranging styles of music on offer at fabric on Fridays and Saturdays were part of the inspiration behind the music we would release, it was also equally from the personal tastes of ourselves, bringing in Rob Booth from Electronic Explorations to do the A&R was a big part of achieving that goal. It was always our intention to not go down one cul-de-sac of musical style and to take things away from the dancefloor as well as on it.
What threads do you think connect these tracks? Is there a Houndstooth spirit/approach, and how would you define it?
Whilst the obvious thread of connection is an electronic element the main approach is simply quality. Our spirit/approach is to work with artists whose music we love therefore we feel others will feel the same.
You’ve paid a lot of attention to packaging in the past, will you be doing something special for the compilation?
Packaging will be a very nice 2xCD release in our traditional PVC sleeve with spot-printed tessellating pattern, followed by a vinyl album sampler.
Throwing Snow’s ‘Axioms’ is also out now, a producer you have a close relationship with. What spurred this release? And how difficult was it to produce that snowflake effect?
It was always our intention to do a very special vinyl release of Throwing Snow’s three digital singles from 2015, so it was in the planning from the beginning of getting the music, manufacturing the vinyl has gone through a few different ideas but we got there in the end.
What other plans do you have for the anniversary?
We have three very special events, which started on Saturday (February 20th), when we hosted Room Two at fabric in London, with Dave Clarke, Call Super, Marquis Hawkes and Second Storey (live). The following Thursday, (February 25th): we present a free live showcase at Dalston’s Shacklewell Arms with Snow Ghosts, Soft As Snow and Guy Andrews, before we take over Berghain in Berlin the next night (February 26th) with Special Request, Call Super, Throwing Snow (live), Akkord, Soft As Snow (live) and Shift Work (live). Needless to say, we’re very excited!
Have you noticed an influence/impact with what the label has achieved?
We’ve had some great honours so far, RA label of the month, featuring in best label year end lists on a number of websites we admire and respect, and we continue to get some very nice words written about the label with each release we put out. We hope to only grow that influence and impact further as we reach more anniversaries in the future.
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'Tessellations' is set to be released on February 26th.