Launched with lots of post acid house inspired enthusiasm and no money in a Blackfriars shoe cupboard in 1991 by (the soon to depart) Phil Howells and ‘Red’ Jerry Dickens, Hooj Choons enjoyed over a decade near the top of the European dance tree, with over 130 single releases, 20+ albums, 4 sub labels and a club night ('Elements') under it’s belt before its demise in 2003.
As house music flourished in the 90’s, Hooj grew with it, switching focus from genre to genre without ever getting too caught up with one style for too long. From the latin flavoured Balearica of the first release, Rio Rhythm Bands Carnival da Casa’ , to the London hardcore sound of Simon Seds ‘Wigged’ / Tomoaki – Past, Present, Future, to the synthier/more Euro side of the initial wave of progressive house with Felix, Andronicus and Restless Rockers, the ‘ trance’ years with Café Del Mar, Nalin + Kane, Greece 2000 and Lost Tribe, progressive mk 2 with Killahurtz, Medway, Jark Prongo, LSG, tribal house with Tenaglia’s Datar, Halo Varga and Trancesetters, deep techy tackle with Circulation, Mooger Fooger and Echomen, and at the end, hints of the electro/ disco storms to come with the likes of Psycho Radio and Chicken Lips.
But if Hooj managed to stay one step ahead commercially by always being half a step behind the underground creatively, it was, unfortunately ahead of the curve again when it came to the huge downward shift in music sales that was to devastate the global record industry in the years after 2003, when Hooj closed it doors. Having grown fat on the proceeds of the 90’s booms years, Hooj maybe didn’t react quickly enough to plummeting sales after 2000, and was one of the first of many , many labels , shops , and distributors that were to fold in the years after as the old order crumbled. In 2007 Hooj has had new life breathed into it and was relaunched by the team behind Lost Language, Precinct & Airtight. Its actively looking forward to facing the challenges of the brave new world it faces.