Tag Archives: Hush Hush Records


With a catalogue that spans four years and 70+ releases, Seattle’s Hush Hush Recordings has become a staple in the electronic underground, releasing everything from grime bootlegs to formative night bus releases and a host of dreamy pop manipulations. Admittedly, much of what the label has released over the past few years has been outside of our scope, but it’s always been a pleasure to delve back into the prolific outfit’s catalogue to see who else has been brought into the fold. One of those acts, Greek duo Ocean Hope, debuted on HH in November 2015 with Chamber Dreams EP, a collection of bucolic, reverb-drenched pop numbers. On August 19, HH will release Chamber Dreams: Remixes Vol. 1, comprised of 10 remixes by label artists and friends. Madison’s Chants, who has released on both HH and Astral Plane Recordings, is among the remixes and his take, recorded just before The Zookeeper sessions, blends the percussive, impact-heavy style he’s been known for with the airy vocals and emotive, tape hiss drenched instrumentation of the Grecians. Stream Kid Smpl, Keep Shelly In Athens and Kimekai’s takes on Ocean Hope here and pre-order Chamber Dreams: Remixes, Vol. 1 here. Another volume of Ocean Hope remixes from HH family and friends will follow in September.


“One question I’ve been asking myself lately is what happens if our architecture pushes to be fictional, forcing our lives into fantasy.”

With his first two releases out in the past year, New York’s Eaves is a relatively new name in the constantly expanding (and blurring) world of club music, but his perspective on the form feels far more articulated than artists and critics both far older and more experienced. Last March’s Hue EP on Seattle’s Hush Hush Records functioned as a startling introduction to Eaves, a chest rattling four-tracker touching on architectural tropes and blending ambient noise (bird sounds, static, eery pads) with a myriad of different percussion arrangements. December’s Gorilla, a uniquely arranged four movement piece for Purple Tape Pedigree, both expand and expound upon his work on Hue, maintaining the spatial awareness and dystopian sonics, but involving a much wider emotional range, full of the sort of anxiety and excitement both inherent in our persons and our environments.

We spoke with Eaves via email about Gorilla, fictional architectures, and having an appreciation for EDM as a musical idea. His Astral Plane mix features a series of vaulting rises and dips in energy, cutting across over 50 tracks from a who’s who of boundary pushing producers and peppered with bizarre vocals from an EDM pack and Call of Duty respectively. Referring to his short attention span, Eaves rejects that he does not see his own art/music/culture consumption as being “a calculated, contemplative experience,” instead seeing the process in terms of “osmosis” or “indigestion” and his Astral Plane mix, along with Gorilla‘s skirting, almost spastic form, certainly reflects (enforces?) that point of view, an almost uncontrollable tumble through the canon with plenty of outside noise and peripheral interference. Check out our full talk with Eaves after the jump as well as a full image-oriented track list and indulge in his Astral Plane mix below.

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The electronic music community has always been interested in the sublime, both theoretically and literally, through psychoactive substances and transcendent experiences. If the sublime is reached amid a torrent of drum machines, then all the better. Over the past few years, a widely dispersed set of producers have seemed to approach the question of the sublime from a different angle, matching noisy sonics and hybrid sensibilities with moments of brief elation, moments that often become larger than the songs, albums and mixers that hold them. It’s an aesthetic found on Lotic’s recent Agitations mix and Rabit’s Communion EP, on most efforts released on Mr. Mitch’s Gobstopper label, and on Acre’s debut Better Strangers LP.

Seattle’s Kid Smpl has never sat comfortably in any one mold, advancing from the “night bus” inspired UK sounds of his early releases on Hush Hush Records to a current sound that touches on everything from digital dancehall, jungle and the hyperreal stylings of FKA Twigs, Kelela and Le1f. Often times, those influences only seem to flit in and out of a song momentarily, the remainder filled by wide-eyed cinematics, often accompanied by the sounds of worlds tearing apart. Smpl’s music has always been imbued with a sense of the dramatic and while his aesthetic has slowly become more outward-focused, there’s still a distinctly personal focus in his releases, whether his reference points be Emptyset or Alkaline. His Astral Plane mix touches on both influences and contemporaries, the whole coming off as remarkably consistent with his original work despite including everything from Letta’s remembrance anthem “Where I Left You” to Lee Bannon alias DedekindCut’s crushing breakcore. Be sure to get Smpl’s Response/Ascend EP, out now on Symbols, and always look out for more from this loft-minded Northwester.

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Madison, Wisconsin-based producer Chants first came to our attention through a series of pleasant, R&B-tinged pieces of beat work on Seattle-based Hush Hush Records, showing off a distinct skill for vocal manipulation and melody. More recently, his club workouts, including one each from the Heterotopia bonus tracks and remixes, have become some of our favorite tracks to play out and, while markedly different from his earlier material on Hush Hush, don’t seem totally out of place with songs like “Porch Song 1 AM”. On October 30, Chants will release the We Are All Underwater LP on Hush Hush, a full length statement featuring guest vocalists like Mereki and Boom Forest, but also a tape that sees the producer’s more dancefloor-focused inclinations meet the sort of soothing, bedroom-oriented work previously mentioned. It’s often difficult to reconcile music that is both made in a bedroom and made to sound like it’s made in a bedroom for music overtly made for the club, but Chants does an excellent job of, if not melding the two, making them easily beside each other. As the album goes, the Riley Lake-featuring “Halogen” falls into the former category, a delicate, reverb-soaked bit that sets a melancholic tone for the first half of the record. Of course, Chants’ affect can’t be reduced to melancholy as the album hits a hopeful tone by the second half, tracks like “Gossamer” and “Oxygen Loops” proving to be some of the LP’s best. Pre-order We Are All Under Water here.


The past few years have seen Madison, Wisconsin-based producer Chants grow out of the cozy, beat scene-indebted shell he entered the popular consciousness wearing and into more jagged, barbarous garb if you will. Still a master at twisting, melodic functions, Chants’ recent output has been firmly aimed at the club, specifically metallic, thudding rhythm tracks. His latest two efforts comes as remixes for Hush Hush Records label mates MICHAELBRAILEY and Hudson Alexander, the former out today and the latter our July 10. Chants’ remix of BRAILEY’s “2 Lovers” is out on the British producer’s Perdicardial: Remixed tape, which also features w. baer, yyy and others, and features the sort of noisy, disjointed club patterns favored by the Janus and NON collectives. His take on Alexander’s “So Many Things” is slightly more sonorous than the clattering take on “2 Lovers”, retaining a warped kinetic energy embodied in pseudo-footwork percussion (those toms!) and a swimming sensation carried through the original’s string section. With his debut LP due in the fall, its a pleasure to see more and more Chants material pop up, especially as he diversifies his sound palette and continues to churn out hard hitting club productions. If the album sounds anything like a confluence of “U Had Rhythm” and “Porch Song 1 AM”, I think we’ll all be happy. Get BRAILEY’s Perdicardial: Remixed here and be on the lookout for more tracks from Alexander’s Needs/So Many Things single.


With releases out on his own Half Death outlet (also see: Darkmatter, Sangam) and a single out via Kastle’s Symbols label, New York-based producer Kadahn has begun to draw fans to his disassociate take on grime and other strains of soundsystem music. Silver Shadow of a Shrine, arriving May 4 via the always excellent Hush Hush Records, is both the producer’s longest and most complete release to date, an eight song tape that reads as a synthesizer-driven opus to New York. And like label-mate Kid Smpl, Kadahn clearly owes a great deal to the London lineage of dance music. “Remember” brings to mind the abstract fringe of grime, Mr. Mitch’s peace edits in particular, as well as the shuffling, sample-driven approach of Flukes, Iron Soul and other cult favorites. Silver Shadow of a Shrine can be pre-ordered via iTunes and more Kadahn material is available here.


For the next two weeks, we will be featuring different facets of Seattle’s crown jewel of an electronic music event, the consistently excellent Decibel Festival. Considering that Seattle is our hometown and Decibel is one of the most tactful curators of electronic music in the United States, the annual gathering is one of the highlights of our year and more than deserves the praise heaped on it in recent years. The festival runs on a showcase structure, featuring different labels, promotion groups and other tastemakers flexing their creative muscle at Seattle’s best venues. Over the past 11 years, Decibel has grown from a small neighborhood gathering to one of the premiere dance music festivals in the world and over the next few weeks, we’ll parse through the dozens of events to highlight the best and brightest talent the festival has to offer.

Over the past week of Decibel Festival coverage, we’ve pointed our cursors at two showcases, Kinesthesia (Arca + Jesse Kanda, Max Cooper, Total Freedom) and Modern Love (Andy Stott, Millie & Andrea, Demdike Stare), that stopping through Seattle in the midst of truly global tours that will hit dozens of other cities before 2014 lets out. And while Decibel’s growth has allowed the inclusion of highly touted live acts like the aforementioned Cooper and Stott, its roots are still firmly planted in the lush Pacific Northwest and a heartening number of the festival’s key acts hail from Seattle, Portland and the surrounding region. Natasha Kmeto, DJAO, J. Alvarez, The Sight Below and many more local artists will be displaying their numerous talents across a number of showcases, but the single, most condensed collection of local talent at Decibel comes in the form of the Hush Hush Records showcase. Still a relatively young outlet, the discography of Alex Ruder’s label reads like a storyboard of against-the-grain beatwerk, from the fabric (and heart) tearing UK-derived work of Kid Smpl to the richly textured guitar + voice compositions of Cock & Swan.

Hush Hush will be bringing the core of its roster to Decibel and the showcase, taking place on September 26 (Friday) at EMP’s JBL Theater, will feature live performances from Kid Smpl, Hanssen, Slow Year, and Cock & Swan. And while the label ostensibly started as an outlet for the sort of “night bus” sounds intended to soundtrack long, lunar rides on public transportation, this bill has more than enough propulsion to bring any listener out of their doldrums. For a taste a what’s to come next Friday, Hush Hush core man Hanssen was kind enough to contribute a mini mix of key and upcoming label material, all influenced by gauzy hip hop, found sound collage art and rich R&B dynamics. The Hush Hush showcase will not feature the biggest names or stage productions at Decibel, but you won’t find a better representation of the festival’s DIY spirit, inclusive ethos and overall quality control.

If our insistence on attending showcases at EMP seems odd, it’s only because the venue will play host to many of Decibel’s most dynamic performances, dancefloor oriented and not. On any one night, you could witness the hellish choral work of Oneohtrix Point Never, the brilliant harmonics of Cock & Swan and the West African-derived percussive workouts of Millie & Andrea in Seattle’s usual home of rock & roll kitsch. Get single tickets to the Hush Hush showcase here.

The blossoming Hush Hush Records reached a milestone yesterday with the release of their first label compilation. Hush Hush: Presents, Vol. 1 features 28 tracks from 28 old, new, and future Hush Hush artists/friends each sharing their own take on the night bus sound. Focusing on feeling rather than constrictions of definition, night bus is an aesthetic, an encounter, a collapse. Astral Plane favorites Chants, Cock & Swan, and tinyforest give instance to this divergence of process with their additions as well as newcomers Yakamoto Kotzuga and Keenya‘s tracks “After Midnight” and “Lost in Corners”.

With the recent release of Redbull Music Academy graduee Kid Smpl’s Silo Tear EP (sounds like driving down a highway in the dark and seeing streetlight after streetlight ghost by you) and the teaser-like nature of Vol. 1, it is easy to imagine that the cement laid by Hush Hush founder, Alex Ruder, has begun to set. Name-your-price download of Hush Hush: Presents, Vol 1. is available on bandcamp here.

It would be easy to dismiss Joey Butler aka Kid Smpl as derivative of one song/album, but when that song/album is Burial’s “Night Bus” and Untrue, that dismissal quickly becomes moot. Over the past few years, Butler has traipsed between ambient sounds, borrowing equally from early dubstep and J Dilla-esque sample culture. He has released several EP’s and countless bootlegs and remixes, all touching on aspects of the night bus sound with varied success.

Butler’s music relies on a sort of imprecise perfection, heavily reliant on a rich textural element, but without the static propulsion of most electronic music. Some of Butler’s past releases (like the Collapse EP) have attempted to walk the line between hip hop beat work and dubstep atmospherics, falling into a motionless gray area. Collapse is far from a bad release, but it lacks the intimacy implied in a night bus release.

Now aligned with Alex Ruder’s Hush Hush Records, Butler has released his best music to date in 2012. Skylight is both Smpl’s full-length debut and the clearest incarnation of his vision, a 13 song ride that ripples with closeted emotion. In our Purveyors feature on Hush Hush, Ruder described the night bus sound as “the type of music you wanna put on your headphones while riding alone on a bus at night.” The connection between Skylight and the urban environment cannot be understated.

The scattered R&B vocals throughout Skylight are the clearest human element of the album, but also its most disassociate.  Butler’s vocals exist below the surface and are completely unintelligible, giving them a slightly disorienting edge. On “Static”, the warmest track on the album, the vocals take on a singsong quality, driving the listener to fruitlessly crane his/her neck to hear. The paradox between intimacy and distance is palpable throughout the album

Neither emotionally endearing nor dissociative, Skylight’s greatest strength is also its greatest weakness. Like the blurred urban landscape it is built out of, Skylight is a visceral juxtaposition between human closeness and emotional distance. Butler has crafted an album that is not only perfect to listen to on late night bus rides, but encapsulates the very essence of the nocturnal urban landscape.

In this day and age, just about anyone can run a record label. WordPress and Blogger allow for the creation of a snazzy website in minutes, while Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Mixcloud, etc. allow for the free  (or reasonably cheap) proliferation of music. Digital music distribution is as easy as ever. This also means that the market is completely flooded with underdeveloped concepts, both in the music itself and in the pseudo-labels that distribute it. When a label does succeed at bridging the gap between functionality, aesthetic and sonic quality, it makes it that much more impressive. Heavy hitters like Warp, XL and 4AD have the established distribution networks and fan backing to take chances on artists, allowing them the freedom to pick and choose an eclectic roster of both old and new talent. Newer labels like Body High, Friends of Friends and Night Slugs appeal to more niche audiences and often prefer to release music digitally. To celebrate the labels we love, we bring you Purveyors. With every feature, you will find a behind-the-scenes look into the inner-workings of the most innovative, eclectic labels from across the globe. You will get to know the people pulling the strings and delivering exciting new sounds straight to your cerebral cortex. Without further ado…

There’s a certain sound that just seems tailored for late nights on public transportation. Watching the city lights flash by on the bus, or the awkward eye contact made with the one other soul on the subway. The sound encapsulates the empty spaces within the urban environment as much as it does the intimate nature of late night encounters. It’s designed to be listened to in headphones and usually in solitude. Alex Ruder, the man behind Hush Hush Records, calls it Night Bus. Ruder has been cultivating the Night Bus sound via his radio show at Seattle’s KEXP and a monthly club night, also called Hush Hush. Now, the sound has an official platform. At only one release old, Hush Hush is wise beyond its years, already cultivating and pushing the Night Bus sound into exciting new territory. Hush Hush’s first release comes from recent Red Bull Music Academy inductee Kid Smpl. The Escape Pod EP couldn’t evoke the fleeting urban environment any better and functions as an apt first release to introduce new listeners to the Night Bus vibe. Nowadays, Ruder is looking to the future with an Escape Pod remix package coming soon and an EP from Anthony Ellect coming late 2012/early 2013. With Ruder at the helm, Hush Hush is well on its way to defining the ephemeral sound and taking it into unfound territory. Hit the jump for the full interview…

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