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Originally formed in 1993 to cater for different genres both Hook Recordings and Bellboy Records became successful and Influential imprints selling over 700,000 units of Vinyl and securing over 700 licenses for CD, Film, Game and TV during its first ten years in operation. During September 2008 the labels were relaunched with a series of compilations of past releases. New releases from established and new artists are set to launch from April 2009.
The Bellboy labels Tec House and Techno sound appealed to a different audience but would quite often see Hook fans and DJ's defect to Bellboy as their tastes changed. It gained supporters from all walks of life and around 50% of its sales were purchased by home music listeners some even purchasing a turntable for the sole purpose of listening to Bellboy releases. The label paid little attention to fashion and like Hook was credited with its own sound which was mostly due to Chris Cowie using aliases such as Vegas Soul, Scan Carriers, Bulkhead and Landlord. One notable supporter of the label was the legendary BBC radio one DJ John Peel who aired many Bellboy releases on his show but the label also found favour with many dance music DJs from the mainstream to the eclectic and one could never really tell who would like the next release.. The label opened up doors Hook couldn't like having releases reviewed in Rolling Stone and The Times. Chris Cowie's Best Behaviour album was awarded Muzik magazines fifth best album of the year in company with the Chemical Brothers and Daft Punk. The label was chosen by British electronic dance music pioneers 808 State for their Invader release, an honour for Chris Cowie a long time fan of the band. Today many of the labels past releases are as fresh as ever and can be heard on dance floors and in living rooms across the globe.
Hook Recordings became one of the most influential trance labels of its time because of its unique sound that appealed as much to the home listener as it did on the dance floors across the globe. Like other labels with a particular sound it can often be credited to one person and in the case of Hook it was probably due to Chris Cowie who had a hand in 80% of the labels releases using aliases such as X Cabs, Deniro, and Canyon or his collaborations with DJ's like Christopher Lawrence who said the only way to play Hook releases is to mix five in one go. Over the years Trance developed an increasingly commercial sound which Hook didn't particularly follow but of all its artists Transa were its most commercial sounding act achieving UK chart success through Enervate which was licensed to Perfecto. The labels biggest selling release is the classic X Cabs Neuro which was in constant repress for nearly ten years selling in the region of 50,000 and it was also the labels most licensed track. It was the first UK label to create a true on location mix CD in the form of Hook Recordings The Collection, a 20 track double CD recorded at the top of Scotland's Ben Nevis which happens to be the highest point in the entire British Isles. Armed with turntables, and a generator the team hired a helicopter and flew to the mountains peak and recorded the entire mix watched by a few bewildered mountain climbers and a hovering bird of prey.
The labels ten year history is littered with notable achievements but undoubtedly the labels helped shape the global dance scene with its music and the support of just about every major DJ you could think of.