Off The Hook – 2 years of Hotline Recordings

It’s been a little over 2 years since Hotline Recordings launched with the incendiary dancehall and grime referencing ‘Backchat’ from Kahn & Neek. Since then, the label has gone on to release music from the likes of Lurka, Rachael, DJ Sotofett, Commodo and most recently Hodge.  Today, the Hotline voicemail is rattling out it’s latest transmission, details of a cassette compilation called ‘Off The Hook’. The tape packs a collection of all 10 tracks that the label has released so far, kickstarting with the B-Sides, and working it's way forward in anti-chronological order. On the flip, Hotline unleashes a cassette-exclusive mix from the pair that licked the very first flames on the label: Kahn & Neek. Up until now, Hotline has offered its music only on vinyl. The first pressing of all their records which come in picture sleeves always sells out within days and the plain sleeve re-presses are mostly long gone, leaving people at the mercy of discogs sharks and Russian websites. Indeed, the inlay notes on ‘Off The Hook’ read ‘shouts to everyone who put our shit on rapidshare’. The crew behind the label told us: ‘We love vinyl and dubplate culture, it’s our thing, but we got so sick of little shitbags ripping our stuff and putting crappy quality versions up online, it’s not the one’. With this in mind, the cassette, which will be available in upfront exclusive edition from RwdFwd next Tuesday (16/12/14) will come with a download code for 9 of the 10 tracks, leaving out only the Sotofett remix of Okada, which is to remain tape-only, along with the mix on the B side. ‘It’s the only way we were comfortable doing it’ they told us. ‘We know people want to play the tracks digitally and this is the way for us to celebrate and maintain the physicality of what we do while maintaining the highest quality for those that want properly mastered files. You get the music, a mix and what we think is a well presented package, not just a handful of downloads off some website. To complete the 2-year celebrations, the first 100 copies of ‘Off The Hook’ will come with a 24 page zine full of unseen imagery and ‘alternative versions’ of sleeve artwork and posters, offering a look behind the scenes on the label that isn't afraid to deface the odd wall or building, or send journos ransom notes, in order to push their music… If you're still not convinced, why don't you ring the voicemail in the next days, for an enticing message from the hotline. We will have more pictures of the cassette and booklet to follow in the next few days, so watch this space...