Mootant launch Press release short
New Tech House label Mootant releases its debut courtesy of founder and producer Chris Cowie. Producing music for over two decades culminating in over 200 hundred commercial releases., he's also responsible for the seminal and influential Bellboy Records and Hook Recordings. Soon after their launch in the early '90s, the labels sound became widely respected and often imitated due to Cowie's sound weaving through 90% of the label's output. His records would be found in the record boxes of most premier DJ's of the era, including Carl Cox, Paul Oakenfold, Dave Clarke and Jeff Mills. One notable supporter was Legendary BBC Radio One DJ John Peel, who played many Cowie tracks from the Bellboy label on his show. It was considered an honour if Peel played one of your records
Whilst Bellboy was blowing up dance floors across the globe, so was its sibling, Hook. Its sound was a staple of the worlds top club and radio DJ's of the Trance genre, but due to the Cowie twist on the sound, releases could just as easily be found in the record boxes of Progressive and Tech House DJ's. Hook could be credited with helping fuel California's 1997 fledgeling Trance scene. The label found a fanbase in LA via epic dance floor supremo 'Neuro' from X Cabs, one of Cowie's many pseudonyms. This led to collaborating with LA DJ Christopher Lawrence, establishing the label's influence on the early Californian EDM scene..
Fast forward a couple of decades, Cowie launches the Mootant Record label. Mootants sound will lean toward Tech House and give the nod to the techier side of Deep House and Melodic Techno. The brand will be the vehicle for most of Cowie's releases but not limited to, and there are plans to bring in the talents of other artists. Understanding the impact of visual media in music promotion, all releases will be accompanied by custom-created videos. Keeping up with cutting edge tech, Cowie has also entered the NFT space via the Mootant brand creating experimental audio/visual art. There are also plans to develop Mootant NFT's as unique one-off remixes and label artwork collectors cards.
When hitting half a century, most people think about slowing things down a bit, taking up a gentle hobby as they get in the mood for retirement. But not Chris Cowie. He's about to launch a new label imprint, 'Mootant,' and jump-start another era of prolific output, beginning with the Backflip EP, his first release in a decade. During the '90s and early 2000s, he produced over two hundred separate releases assigned to twenty pseudonyms, collaborations, and real name. Due to his prolific output, there was no option but to use pseudonyms; otherwise, there would have been occasions with two or more Cowie releases in the same week. The prolificness also needed more labels. At one point, Cowie was creating 90% of the music for five brands he had launched to accommodate the ceaseless flow of dance music from his studio. With hindsight, he understands using so many pseudonyms didn't do his profile much good, but they were good for the labels making them appear like they had many artists on the roster. However, a good chunk of his best work is pseudonym releases, so praise was uncredited to Cowie at the time of their release. During a conversation with Dave Clarke, he told Cowie he had never played any of his releases. But he had been hammering one of his Aquatrax releases, which were identified only by Roman Numerals, taking the pseudonym option to a whole new level of anonymity. With the launch of Mootant, the use of pseudonyms is unlikely, but a resurrection of his two most popular aliases, X Cabs and Vegas Soul, is a possibility.
Three of Cowie's labels, Bellboy Records, Hook Recordings and Aquatrax, achieved great success in the '90s and early 2000s. Their releases earned a constant stream of five-star reviews, numerous top ten dance chart positions, copious amounts of glowing press and a financial turnover reaching one million in 99. Not bad for a brand launched a few years previously from the bedroom of a council flat financed by dole money. Soon after their launch in the early '90s, the Bellboy and Hook labels became highly respected and influential imprints in their respective Tech House/Techno and Trance genres. This was likely due to Cowie's unique sound weaving through 90% of the label's output. His records would be found in the record boxes of nearly all premier club and radio DJ's of the era. One notable supporter was Legendary BBC Radio One DJ John Peel, who liked Bellboys eclectic output. He played many Cowie tracks from the Bellboy label on his show. It's considered an honour if Peel played one of your tracks. Bellboy was the label that appealed to DJ's ranging from Carl Cox to Laurent Garnier to Sasha and Danny Tenaglia. Driving, atmospheric peak-time Tech House and Techno for Bellboy A-sides and pushing the barriers on the B-sides were the order of the day. When Carl Cox phones you up every other weekend at 5.00am for a year, screaming down the phone, 'that track is fucking amazing,' and you have John Peel dropping the same track on his show, you know you're doing something right. Whilst Bellboy was lighting up dance floors across the globe, so was its sibling, Hook. Its sound was a staple of the worlds top club and radio DJ's of the Trance genre, but due to the Cowie twist on the sound, releases would also be found in Progressive and Tech House DJ's record boxes. Like his other labels, Cowie's hands were all over the Hook sound, which he describes as 'Techno influenced Trance'. It wasn't an epic trance label, its sound, whilst still melodic, is more stripped-down and drum and bass lead. Listening today, the Techno influence is hard to miss, and releases have stood the test of time well. Hook was the imprint that received the lions share of radio play. There was rarely a week in its history a Cowie alias release wasn't played by the prime BBC Radio One Dance DJs. Hook could also be credited with helping fuel California's 1997 fledgeling Trance scene. The label found a fanbase in LA via epic dance floor supremo 'Neuro' from X Cabs, one of Cowie's many pseudonyms. This lead to collaborating with LA DJ Christopher Lawrence, establishing the label's influence on the early Californian EDM scene.
In 2004 whilst living in Spain, the Hook & Bellboy labels went into liquidation caused by the labels inability to cover overheads due to the enormous reduction in vinyl sales. They weren't alone. During this period, thousands of labels, distributors and record stores across the world went under. Digital distribution was still in its infancy, so the labels could not survive the long transition from vinyl to digital and rampant piracy didn't help matters either. There was also a strained relationship with his former label manager, which was the final nail in the coffin for the fairytale, so the labels shut the doors. Cowie then moved to Holland for a few years and from there to the Czech Republic. From 2005 to 2011, there were around fifteen releases on various labels, which for Cowie pales in comparison to his previous years' productivity. This was down to spending time living after being in a music world bubble for 20 years. He was also a little turned off from aspects of the dance scene, feeling that most of its underground appeal had been lost to hyper commercialisation. He also thought the type of sound he produced had passed its moment, but in fact, that style of Tech House became more popular than ever. But he also acknowledges the slow down might have been part of an extended battery charge after a decade of creation set to level ten.
In 2014 Cowie moved into sound design, resulting in the immensely successful 'Niche' samples Label, which specialised in custom sample packs for Native Instruments Maschine. Unsurprisingly, the packs that consistently sold the most are the ones with Cowie's signature sound all over them, precisely what made Bellboy Records and Hook Recordings successful. A couple of years ago, he launched the Mootant sample label, then a Mootant YouTube channel focusing on production tips and will also host the videos for Mootant releases. Completing the plan is the launch of the Mootant record label with a sound that leans toward Tech House whilst giving the nod to the techier side of Deep House and Techno. The label will be the vehicle for most of Cowie's releases but not limited to, and there are plans to bring in the talents of other artists. Cowie has also entered the NFT space via the Mootant brand creating experimental audio/visual art. There are also plans to develop Mootant NFT's as unique one-off remixes and label artwork collectors cards.
Undeniably Mootants road-map has a similar thread as his Bellboy and Hook imprints. It's no accident. Cowie is employing past experience to Mootant and says the music will naturally have his production style, but the sound is different from what he used to do. Some releases will have the rawness of his old, real-time arranged, straight to DAT tape mixes, but he won't work on autopilot emulating what he used to do. There's also a massive list of songs he could draw on from the past to remix and re-release, but he rejects that idea because this is Mootants time.
Backflip EP, Mootants debut release from Chris Cowie is released on May 31 2021