It was after a few months of fleeting tracks on wax appearing hither and thether, in the establishing moments of the Akkord entity being announced as garage’s “future” legends Synkro & Indigo, an album fast on the approach, Houndstooth all explosive and noises all insane.
Now it’s 2015, Akkord is a concrete act with live delights to offer, ridiculous releases under their combined name and Houndstooth: still explosive.
But let’s hold up one timely second there! 2015? 2013? Skipped a bit there didn’t we…
Twenty Fourteen – June – Akkord drop a four-track bomb via the old dog’s canine humbly named HTH020 – oh the rivers of excitement do tremble with undercurrent turbulence at the connotations of such a title. Fuck off. I suppose there’s some sort of ‘cool’ strung to boying off the labelling one’s produce – “Just call it ‘product 138’ man, that’s what it is: our 138th product…” – and I won’t deny that, yes, there is something a little ‘cool’ about the procedure.
It suggests that slapping a label on it is perhaps derogative or distracting from the feast at hand; “don’t worry about the name, worry about the nature” etc. Fair, I can dig that, especially when the nature sounds like this…
Yeah. You’ll find that one busting balls in Old Man Diode’s Amen episode of Mix the Belt. I’ve had the sickening pleasure of being crushed under its gargantuan weight on a couple of occasions, whilst out’n’about on the tiles ‘n that. And I have to say… fuck me!
However, this “banger”, this “monster”, this “roller”, this “floor-filler”, is but one segment of a quartered EP – one piece of a puzzle so separate from itself that those hunting for “mayhem” will be sadly disappointed. But for those of you hunting for “real” mayhem, well you’d be most pleasantly surprised. The vibe is somewhat doomsday – ambience abundant, cavernously spacious voids stand gaping like the maws of low-frequency giants in the oscillating haze of this abstract and dangerous deliverance. And of course the musical nerds rained an open heaven of credited praise upon its noise-shattering head – we like weird and horrible – something I question yet explore day after day.
And as a fan expectant and a project so perfectly nipping at the tangible fringes, of course, it was always due, only, to get weirder.
2014’s November month saw the entire EP dismantled, assaulted, mutilated, frisked, fumbled, delighted, investigated, groped and eventually rearranged by a couple of well trusted label affiliates. The two-track EP was dubbed, accordingly, HTH030, and is basically:
- the entire HTH020 EP torn into a 10-minute ambient audio monolith; boundless, time signature-less, colossal, consuming and terrifying – Haxan Cloak’s Cloud of Witness
- Typeface & Greyscale mulched into a macabre of Vatican Shadow’s own works, combined, fluidly, with themselves – a really, really, dark-room, industrial, munted out of your jaw-slide Techno track – your nan won’t like it, anyway.
End of 2014.
Limited edition Digital & CD.
I asked “Why?” – a quick crack at the hype surrounding Record Store Day & those jumping on the vinyl bandwagon? A nod of respect to a format that carried the globe after the demise of the cassette – now shunned for the digital decade?
There IS an army of essential “tools” launching at the latest trend, as there always is, though this particular trend requires production lines of highly skilled individuals, massive warehouses and factories, finance and extensive time – things crushed, in not-so-long-ago years, by the very same multi-nationals now shoving a ridiculously high demand down their curb-kicked throats.
The remaining cogs in the vinyl wheel plodded on, turning nice, healthy and smooth when the demand was small enough to handle, the purists loving it, the rest of the world digitally/CD obsessed. But now – the slight change of the times and the ‘cool’ slapped on wax again – industry disaster. There isn’t enough man power, enough time, enough trained individuals, resources or mechanics to keep up with the pressure – vinyl is collapsing in on itself.
So, if like me, you were wondering why these CD exclusives are popping up about the place, now you know.
As for the particular exclusives above? Those found in 2015’s addition to the original, 2014, HTH020 Akkord release? Well… let’s just say that people hungering for more, absolute, left-field dives into obscure oblivion will be rubbing their painful, swollen bellies after consummation of the latest two additions to the HTH035 table.
Has Houndstooth and the devilish Akkord just repackaged and re-sold the same product, THREE TIMES, to a load of musically-ego-inflated idiots in, literally, less than a 12 month space of time? Like selling the “boxset collection” of a series every consecutive year until finally releasing the “Complete BluRay Director’s Cut Boxset Limited Edition” after 13 seasons and several now-obsolete previous purchases? (please scroll to the bottom…)
… hmmm. Maybe?(again… please scroll to the bottom) Though I’m not really too sure – mainly because this 3rd release has this Fis work in it…
Oh. My. Cunting. God.
I often mess around with Fis’s Vapour City take on Eyesdontlie, to the dismay of others in the room – not too many people like listening to horrible rumbling soundscapes with no musical direction other than open-ended madness – and his mangling of the HTH020 pallet has swung me even further afield into the Fis love centre. Those rising strings, that euphoria and then that tumble into uncontrollable, round, grumbling, low HZ depth.
I don’t think they’re cash-cowing musical ridiculousness – I think these guys are putting a bit in to try and turn the tide on this vinyl situation and also to experiment, as one should, with the bounds of an already sold product. Delivering it again, with a completely fresh face – the whole concept was built around dismantling and exploring a four track EP, giving it to others to make it whatever they felt appropriate, no “club banger” remixes, just absolute musical nomaddery of the most untouched kind. (sigh* check my note below man…)
Hold the fucking phone, son! Here I am; singing praises for Houndstooth on doing a bit to help the industry with a CD exclusive release… As per usual I’m winging it, writing on the fly, research in the can and just all out musical love peppered with my whimsical way with words… so as I’m winging this shit I winged upon the final chapter of this now darkening series. Check out HTH040!!!…
“oh they’re not just cash-cowing the same release 3 times guys, c’mon…” …THEY’RE DOING IT 4 FUCKING TIMES! 4!! Those “Limited” exclusive CD & Digital tracks just got a Vinyl press due to “popular demand”…
How many times can I go back on myself? I’m literally so depressed about the past few hours I put into writing this article. I love the musical content so it HAS to go live – I HAVE to share it with you, that’s what we’re about here; sharing excellent musical content – but fuck me Houndstooth, I mean I only guessed at your Limited-CD-copy moves and so this is all assumption based but on that particular assumption; you just perpetuated the situation by caving in on the vinyl demand, which is exactly what I thought you were moving against with the… never mind… good tracks. really! and ends have to meet somewhere, gotta make your cash, I’m assuming that you gotta squeeze where you have to squeeze because the industry is such a fucking bitch… but still… subsidiary of a globally renowned club? I question your financial need to meet popular demand. I hope I’m wrong.
Being the colossal hypocrite that I am, of course I just re-arranged my ordering of HTH035. I started writing this fucking thing BECAUSE I was ordering a copy of HTH035. Now… and you’ll grimmace and be like “Mate you can’t say all that and then do that!?!? Now who’s the perpetuating exacerbater?”. But yeah; now I’ve got this as an order (would have spent a nice comfortable £7 before as well… nicely racked up to £18 because of this sudden turn of HTH040 events):
Fobbed off HTH035 AS A PACK OF UNNECESSARY LIES! Digitally ordered HTH020 and HTH030 & have ordered a print of HTH040 (which comes with free WAV DL’s of the “Limited” “Exclusives” found on HTH035).
Yes I’m a contradicting dickhead, alright?
I’m trying to build a really interesting and mad collection of vinyl, like a massive bandwagon dickhead, because I don’t even have vinyl decks yet, but I’m doing it for when I finally do… I promise you I genuinely will one day invest in a pair, and when that day comes… oh the fun to be had!
But yeah man – I crumbled as the market not helping vinyl. But only because I do, genuinely, respect and love AND want to be involved in vinyl. I don’t want to just be a CDJ/Digi DJ, I’d feel empty spinning madness on the decks with CD’s and USBs but lacking any ability on the OG turntables – it feels disrespectful to the craft and the culture – and I love the craft and the culture – paramount.
Of course I’m over-exaggerating the extremities of these circumstances as well – not the vinyl industry situation though – Houndstooth are well within their right, and frankly should release CD & Digi copies of the whole 8-track collection – because it’s beautiful. Vinyl heads should be allowed to own a copy of all the delights as well! Assumptions shouldn’t be made by blindly putting bits of information I’ve read from others, as opposed to concretely evidenced myself, together and launching it at a body that I respect and wish to learn from.
But you know what else should be done?
Those people at the top – not Houndstooth, they’re small fries who’ve always had the healthy support in, I mean the big guns, the alpha omegas, the Sonys & the Warners, the EMIs and the blah blah blah… – they should be supporting those valuable cogs in their wheels as opposed to exploiting them as and when they see fit – instead of turning those profits into another lazy hit single, we should see a percentage going into the revitalisation and establishment of a strong, educated and ready-to-perform vinyl industry, supported by those that are squeezing it so tight after casting it aside not so long ago.