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About Hooj Choons

The Early Years
Hooj Choons is an independent dance music record label. It was started in London in 1990 by "Red Jerry" AKA Jeremy Dickens & Phil Howells. Around that time the music of the day was House music (what is now called "Classic House"). There first release was Carnival De Casa From the Rio Rhythm Band. It did OK as did the following 11 releases, enough to keep the label going over the next two years. However it was in 1992 with the release of Felix - Don't You Want Me" when Hooj got their first big break. Don't You Want Me was written by Rollo and Red Jerry and went on to sell bucketloads of copies.

The Cross Over Years
Hooj carried on with a series of solid & steady set of releases through 1993 & 1994. Artists such as Diss-Cuss and Andronicus. The next big hit came in the form of "Son of a Gun" from JX. This was originally released on Hooj but then licenced to Internal Dance and re-released. Hooj had gained a fair amount of street-cred with DJ's by this time and there name was well respected. Hooj cashed in on this and did a series of deals with London \ FFFR (JX) and Warners (Tin Tin Out). This saw Hooj issuing Promos with their label and logo on and the respective major following up with the main release. I have heard reports that Hooj nearly got bought by FFFR at this time, but the price was not right (thankfully). This deal obviously worked well for a while seeing some of the JX releases hit the UK charts.

The Post House Years
After the cross over years of 1995 and 1996 Hooj began to firmly find their feet again. This was the time of "Progressive House" and tunes such as Movin Melodies from Indica and This Love from Red Sun where stepping stones onto what I consider the golden age of Hooj Choons (musically at least). It is around this time that Hooj set up to sub-labels Top Banana for more housier stuff and Prolekult for the harder edged stuff.

The Golden Age of Hooj
I consider The Calling from Solar Stone as the watershed record into the Golden Age of Hooj Choons. Appropriately enough this was their 50th release. The song itself was ahead of its time mixing break-beats with sweeping trance like epic synth pads and catchy melodies (It came out at around the same time as Way Out West's - "The Gift" which is a similar record both in terms of statue, timing and sound). It was tunes like this that became the blue print for the Trance scene two years later. If Hooj thought they had a corker with The Calling this was nothing compared to the next epic release Cafe Del Mar from Energy 52. This 1997 release found its way into the sets of all the superstar DJs and many a CD compilation. Surely must be one of Hoojs top earners to date. Apparently tunes like this were picked up for UK licence for relatively small sums - this being the pre-trance-big-label-cash-in era. The top quality releases continued from newly signed Oliver Liebs L.S.G, Lost Tribe, Miro, The Epic Greece 2000 and Lustrals Everytime. These releases paved the way and fueled the dance floor for the upcoming trance scene of 1998 & 1999. This period ends with the 70th release the re-issued Greece 2000 from Three Drives a commercial move which set the tone for the next period in Hoojs history.

The Commercial Trance Years
From mid 1998 to the end of 1999 the dance culture stepped up several gears to become a monster genre of global media consumer culture. Trance was one of the main exponents of this move. Every major jumped on the bandwagon and compilations such as Euphoria and Trance Nation took dance music into the mainstream. After playing a part in creating this scene it was only right for Hooj that this was pay back time. Invisible From Tilt epitomizes this period. Blatantly commercial but a solid money maker that did the rounds on the "Now Thats What I call Trance 43" type compilations. It was not only epic trancers however, Expand the Room from the Light & the stunning Space Manoeuvres from Stage One where highlights. This period ended when Trance became "progressive trance"; a lazy tag which does not do Hooj releases 95 onwards justice. It is around this point that Hooj spun off a more commercial trancey division called Lost Language.

Any of the information above is gleaned from various sources. If any of it is wrong or you think that an important part of the story is missing then Contact me.

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