The Story of HalleluWah Hits!

HalleluwahHits

HalleluWah Hits is a Glasgow record label featuring the best in Electronic Music.

Halleluwah Hits

But we began as a record shop,  way up high on Buchanan street in the awesome Che Camille’s, owned by fashionista Camille Lorigo.  We accessed the space from the diamond-studded Argyle Arcade, and had beautiful views of the whole city centre as well as a quaint rooftop garden.

Halleluwah Hits - and the view from the rooftop of Che Camille.

‘Camille had asked us to set up a music section in the corner of her shop,’ says Ryan Smith, one of three music-loving folks who have since given up their day jobs to run the tiny emporium full-time.

‘We’d been DJing at the Che Camille fashion shows, and Camille wanted us to run a dedicated music space,’ (and “to take care of the ‘tunes’ in Che Camille”) says Smith, referring to the tiny New Yorker, Camille Lorigo, …

‘Camille’s stuff is kinda leaning more towards the ladies stuff,’ says Smith, ‘So our part of the shop has developed into more of a boy’s space. Basically, we’re quite happy for people to wander over and hang out with us for a bit.’ And geek out, perhaps, at the Mogwai Young Team limited edition boxsets, or rare Sonic Youth Goo box sets, for example? Two treasures currently buried in the attic boutique? ‘Aye, totally! There’s a few things we’ve got on sale just now, that I’m not even sure I want to part with,’ laughs Smith.

Although they started things unofficially, putting together mix-tapes by Little Rock Records-runner, The Niallist or Glasgow ambient bleep-merchant Louts, which they then handed out to customers, they’re launching their own record label this month. Halleluwah Hits’ first release will be local boy, 20-year-old electro producer, Dam Mantle’s EP, Grey. Although plans are in the pipeline for other releases, and rehearsals have begun for Halleluwah Hits’ own band (they’re still deciding on the name), in the meantime, the mini-corner-shop stocks a cherry-picked collection of rare, limited edition vinyl, classic reissues and quality stuff put out by local artists.

‘I guess we’re basically following Camille’s example of trying to bring independent stuff onto the High Street, and show support to local artists,’ says Smith. Besides the music, Halleluwah Hits sell rare and limited edition t-shirts from independent designers, plus comic books, posters and pop culture nick-knacks. ‘We like that whole thing of being anti-generic; not wanting to dress exactly like everyone else, and offer up different designs,’ says Smith. ‘No one expects to find us up here – which is a bit weird as we’re on Buchanan Street, the busiest street in town. We really love the vibe of somewhere like Monorail, so maybe this could be like a smaller, city centre version of that?’

And then we met DAM MANTLE and the record label was launched!  We had worked on creating a record label for some time, back while we (Adam, Craig, Ryan and Syd), lived together in an old house in Pollok Park, set up to release the various projects we were/are working on.  But the Dam Mantle releases solidified our label strength.

Dam Mantle Early on

On first meeting Tom Marshallsay aka Dam Mantle up in Halleluwah Hits HQ, he brought with him some music he had been creating under the name Animals + War (his old alias).  Loving the sound, we asked if he would do a mix tape. The result blew us away, and introduced us to his new ideas as Dam Mantle.

After asking Tom to DJ at a few Che Camille parties, we found we were all on the same brain, feeling that Glasgow  has a musical energy unrivaled right now,  that there’s a lot about to explode in the city.
Over the next week we talked about the release, and were happy to announce it will be bouncing off your ears on the 5th of april on a Easter Special holy Halleluwah day.

Unfortunately, in 2011, Che Camille closed the Buchanan street shop, signalling an end to this remarkable record shop era.  However, the record label picked up the slack and continues.

“Dam Mantle’s Debut EP, Grey, was released in Spring 2010 on new Glasgow label Halleluwah Hits and has received rave reviews across the board, with the track ‘Rebong’ featured on influential website Pitchfork’s Forkcast column.”

 

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And then …. DIE HARD!

Halleluwahhits and DIE HARD
Die Hard – ‘Die Hard’ (Halleluwah Hits)

Die Hard are an intriguing bunch, made even more so by the mystery surrounding who they actually are.  Hailing from Glasgow and known simply as Adam, Craig and Ryan, they don’t have an online presence to speak of, bar the reviews of their debut EP, and what photographs are available have their faces obscured.  Their first studio offering does little to penetrate this self-imposed anonymity – it ricochets unpredictably between triumphant choral sections and discordant, menacing synths, leaving the listener slightly bewildered, but nevertheless impressed.

Die Hard, formed in 2011.  Three friends spending months in a flat in the city centre recording their long awaited debut long player (“LP” for those of you who forgot!).

Die Hards sound is a blend of Glasgows dark humour mixed with strong melodies + strange textures. Songs that ask questions about the telling of lies, revenge & lust.

Die Hard release their debut LP on Halleluwah Hits on 27th Febuary 2012, on both mp3 and committed to 12″ heavyweight pure virgin white vinyl.

Listen to a selection of tracks from the album here http://soundcloud.com/halleluwah_hits/sets/die-hard

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The Mysterious Dam Mantle!

Halleluwahhits and Dam MantleSo who is “Dam Mantle”?  Well, depending on who you ask, he is really “Tom Marshallsay”.  But others will swear that his real name is “Tom Marshall”.  We don’t know and frankly, we don’t care.  We just wanted him to keep producing music.   And since he is a private person, you don’t get that many chances to ask him!  And don’t ask him who in Glasgow is similar to him or is playing his music or you might hear, “I keep my head in the sand a bit,” he says coyly.

Living in Glasgow, working on a Fine Arts Degree at the School of Art, he always knew that he wanted to create — he just didn’t know whether it would be art, music or technology.

“I wanted to make stuff, and that’s what I’m best at,” he shrugs.

After playing in a band which played Led Zeppelin covers and pursuing a solo acoustic project called Animals And War he decided it was time for a fresh start.   The old group used to be a quartet named Beebah Stant, and supported Tickley Feather and Gary War, and ‘It was more folk influenced but I tried to reflect electronic music organically. And then I came to this point. It probably comes down to having access to software and collecting enough synthesisers and drum machines to make the music I do now.’.  Remember the other group?? Animals and War!  With that change, Dam Mantle was born.

“The old projects feel like my former self in a way, this is a new beast.”

But at the end of 2009, he decided to go it alone and begin the process of “creating” that he sought in his life.

“When I can make something at the best of my ability it’s on my own,” says Marshallsay.  “Isolation really is where it comes from – late nights, staying up overnight being surrounded by what I love.  “Fiddling and being dazed – getting involved in a tiny piece of sound and folding it out into something.

But it is his GREY debut that has the world talking.  The reviews and the descriptions by the reviewers reinforced what he and Halleluwah Hits knew all along — he was a winner!

A kaleidoscopic mix of melodic samples, jittery beats and post-dubstep bass mutations, Dam Mantle’s tunes sound equally good in a club or a rock venue. ‘I’m more than happy to play to a club or play next to a noise band,’ explains Marshallsay, ‘I hope that music works like that and it can be seen in different contexts.’

Dam Mantle’s sound twists the once rigid rhythmic lines of hip-hop into a cocktail that confuses as much as it entertains. … from swirling symphonic strings …, to bass stabs that further put you off balance.

‘Glaswegian beat mathematician Tom Marshallsay, a.k.a. Dam Mantle, seems to embrace an amiably all-over-the-map compositional style. EP cut “Rebong” is an exceptionally groovy slice of glitch-hop, with a harp sample not unlike something Flying Lotus would use’.

One of his secrets?  To play with an orchestra!

Despite his music becoming “almost explicitly electronic” at the moment, Mantle’s multi-instrumental talents will surely lead us even further into “the distorted source” of his fusion of cultures and sounds, and perhaps even onto his dream of playing “with a full live orchestra.”

About his releases:Dam Mantle Glasgow Electronic Music Scene

Releases have ranged from the other-worldly chamber orchestration found in his ‘Grey EP’

the menacing, electronic-infused hip hop of the ‘Purple Arrow EP’,

or the joyfully eclectic bedlam of his ‘We EP’ release.

‘Brothers Fowl’ sees Mantle turning another corner, building the record with a similar palette of sounds and rhythms but bringing a noir-ish ambiance to proceedings. It’s his most fully-realised statement and a fine culmination of the last three years of activity.

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