Release Date: 17/11/2014
Houndstooth has never been a label that could be accused of predictability. Nitro-charged breakbeat, lo-fi pop and pounding warehouse techno have all made their appearance on the label, so perhaps its little surprise the latest release should be equally divergent from previous offerings. Taking the form of a remix package of Akkord’s ‘HTH020’ EP, Houndstooth has recruited two of the more enigmatic figures in electronic music to adopt the challenge; The Haxan Cloak & Vatican Shadow.
Those familiar with the original EP will know Akkord used the record to showcase their scientific, exacting take on bass music. Their background in D&B undoubtedly left its mark in the form of ultra-crisp, sub-heavy production. Given this it seems appropriate that the two ensuing remixes should seek to muddy the waters somewhat, injecting some sentiment into Akkord’s somewhat cold-blooded originals.
Staggering into focus, The Haxan Cloak’s offering draws on elements from all four tracks on the original EP. The recast begins somewhat cautiously - pointed kick drums stuttering between fragmented digital noise and pensive echoes, shrouded in fog. The whiplash inducing drop comes suddenly and without warning; like watching a rocket hurtle to top speed from a near standstill. A cacophony of broken rhythms tumble over one another violently, nauseatingly abrasive drones swarming into the field of vision before easing off, then repeating the motion yet more intensely. To put it bluntly, The Haxan Cloak has crafted one of the most original tracks I’ve heard in some time, stretching Akkord’s tonal palette to the limit of recognition, without quite losing grip entirely.
Dominick Fernow’s Vatican Shadow remix couldn’t be much more different. Drawing on elements from ‘Typeface’ & ‘Greyscale’ Fernow sculpts the tracks to his own signature effortlessly, reducing the original’s to a brooding, tripped out slab of small-hours techno. Jagged 4/4 rhythms saunter effortlessly between Fernow’s smoke-laced atmosphere’s, the samples opaque and indistinct, again in sharp-contract to Akkord’s razor-edged originals.
Following recently from the release of one of our favourite LPs of the year - Call Super’s Suzi Ecto, ‘HTH030’ proves Houndstooth to be on exceptional form at the moment, showing an originality rarely matched.