A leading light of the UK house music scene for more than 20 years, it’s safe to say that Nick Hook has a seriously strong musical track record.
He has produced and remixed more than 140 releases on many of the biggest house music labels including Zulu Records, Whartone Records, Distinctive, Hed Kandi, Whore House, FFRR, Whoop!, Om, Housesession, Loaded, Skint, React, Renaissance, Phonetic, Jeepers!, Motion, Limbo, AATW, Stress and DMC.
Nick has DJ’d in clubs all over the UK as well as overseas, where he has headlined at major venues in Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Kazakhstan and Ibiza. During the 1990s and 2000s, Nick was the driving force behind two of London’s most legendary house music clubs, namely Loosen Up and Whoop it Up, as promoter and resident DJ. Both clubs were at the forefront of the UK progressive scene and featured the biggest guest DJs of the day, including Sasha, Jon Digweed, Seb Fontaine, Dave Seamen and Timo Maas. Today, Nick is a resident DJ and co-promoter of the highly successful Brighton club night Tech-noir.
Nick has also co-founded and managed several seminal house music labels such as Om Records and Off The Hook Records, and these days runs Brighton-based label Jeepers! Music. The label has gone from strength to strength since it’s inception in 2007, with tracks and remixes from top artists including Stefano Noferini, Hoxton Whores, Jay Kay, Dolly Rockers, Nick Hook, Martin Sharp, Tenacious, Gojack, Dan McKie, Stretch Silvester, Chris Rawles, Sonikross and Nightstylers.
Nick’s productions on Jeepers! and other labels continue to gain support from many of the world’s best DJs, including Roger Sanchez, Peter Brown, ATFC, Sonny Wharton, Todd Terry, Jonathan Ulysses, Groove Armada, Shapeshifters, Danny Rampling, Timo Garcia, Oliver Lang and many more. And his productions continue to feature in the charts of many of the top download stores.
His numerous remix credits include artists such as Hoxton Whores, The Grid, Gusto, Alex Neri, Adamski, Peyton, Saint Etienne, OneWorld and Sara Parker. Meanwhile some of the biggest and brightest names in house music have remixed Nick’s own productions, including Hoxton Whores, The Dolly Rockers, Mike Monday, Oliver Lang, Soul Mechanik, Jay Kay, Chris Fortier, Circulation, Dom Kane, James Harcourt, Tim Andresen, Stretch Silvester and Lucien Foorte.
THE FULL STORY
In the beginning
It all began when Nick fell in love with house music and started DJing back in the early days of the acid house revolution.
In 1990 he teamed up with house music producer Morgan King, and together they produced tracks for the Swedish house label Btech. In the spring of 1991, Nick launched his first club in London called Up, which later became the unforgettable Loosen Up.
Nick and Morgan’s partnership lead to immediate recording success. One of their tracks, ‘Take Me Up’ (released under the name Soundsource – one of Nick and Morgan’s many guises), was among the biggest underground tunes of ‘91. Later licensed by FFRR, it reached number 62 in the national UK chart in 1992.
Early years: Om Records and Loosen Up
That year the Soundsource partnership launched Om Records, which fast became one of the most influential labels of the fledgling progressive house scene. Om Records released tracks by Nick and Morgan under various different names, plus many rising stars of the London house scene including Billy Nasty, Paul Daly, 108 Grand, Marc Auerbach and Steve Travell. The label also featured remixes from Slam, Leftfield, Bump and Well Hung Parliament.
Nick’s releases on Om include Soundsource’s ‘One High’, Pleasure Box’s ‘Goodbye To Jane EP’, and First Life’s ‘Love Bomb’.
During this time Loosen Up went from strength to strength. Between 1992 and 1994, it was one of London’s most influential clubs. Many DJs who became masters of the house music scene guested at Loosen Up during those years including Sasha, John Digweed, Darren Emerson, Orde Meikle (Slam), Billy Nasty, Paul Daly (Leftfield) and Tall Paul. But the club owed its success to Nick’s legendary ‘graveyard shift’ sets, which left clubbers on a high and begging for more.
The success of Loosen Up saw Nick’s DJ career take off, and he went on to play guest spots at many of the UK’s top clubs of the 1990s, including the Ministry Of Sound, The Drum Club, Slam, and Club UK, as well as headline at many venues across Europe and Ireland.
Going solo: Off The Hook Records
Nick started his solo career in 1994 after leaving Om Records. His first solo release was ‘Credence’ on the new progressive label Whoop Records (Nick was involved in the recording of most of Whoop Records’ early releases).
One of Nick’s acts, First Life, partnered by Martin Sharp, released its second single ‘Be One Of Us’ in 1994, which became a progressive house classic. It was massive for both Sasha and John Digweed and was one of the tunes responsible for kick-starting the progressive house scene in Florida. First Life also remixed Dum Dum’s ‘One Earth Beat’, which was one of Whoop Records’ biggest releases – both mixes were used by John Digweed on his Renaissance 2 mix CD.
In 1995 Loosen Up joined forces with Whoop to form a new weekly progressive house night called Whoop It Up. It ran for over five years as a weekly Friday night club in London – three years at the Gardening Club in Covent Garden and two years at The Velvet Room on Charing Cross Road. Alongside resident DJs Nick Hook, Terry Marks, Andy Lekker and Joel Xavier, Whoop It Up featured the cream of the UK house scene including Seb Fontaine, Dave Seamen, Timo Maas, Sasha, Nick Warren, Slacker and John Digweed.
Meanwhile, Nick launched Off The Hook Records, which released 11 singles between 1997 and 2000. These included four solo singles and collaborations with other artists including Shango and the late, great Tom Bouthier. Off The Hook also released a new First Life track called ‘Burst Into Fire’ – another big track, the video for which was shown twice on MTV.
New millennium, new collaborations
In 2000 Nick teamed up with DJ Gordon Kaye to form Subterfuge. The pair had previously worked together as First Joy, with releases on Whoop and Stress in 1995. Subterfuge released two singles on React in 2001. Its first single ‘ID Sanctuary’ – which included mixes by Circulation and Funk Funktion – featured extensive radio play from the likes of Radio One’s Pete Tong and reached number 81 in the national chart. Subterfuge’s second single ‘Prana’, which featured remixes by Soul Mechanik and Gil, received critical acclaim, with support from all the top jocks including Radio One’s Seb Fontaine.
Also that year Nick’s collaboration with Andy Morris, ‘Groove On’ was released on the epic Scottish house music label, Limbo Records.
Nick signed to Distinctive Records (the home of Hybrid and Way Out West) in 2001 and his single, ‘Enhanced’, which featured vocals by the late great comedian Bill Hicks, was released in 2002 (it became an anthem at Ibiza’s Bora Bora,) featuring top remixes from Soul Mekanik and Mike Monday.
In 2003 Nick started working with In Music, his first release for the label being a collaboration with Skynet entitled ‘U Treat Me Right (Love Thing)’, which reached number one in the Balance Promotions Chart. First Life’s classic track ‘Be One Of Us’ was released on In Music in 2004, with a brand new First Life mix and a brilliant remix from Chris Fortier. Again it topped the Balance Chart and gained support among many of the UK’s top DJs.
Also in 2004 In Music released Nick’s 10th solo single, ‘Burn Out Baby’, which included remixes from Mike Monday, Martin Sharp and Hedstatic. Featuring vocals from Carol Neen, ‘Burn Out Baby’ was a favourite for many top DJs around the world. That same year, Nick and Martin Sharp (First Life) continued to produce for In Music and Wallop Recordings.
Recent years: Jeepers! and century landmark
In 2007 he had a number of new releases for various labels, including First Life ‘Survival’ (Inevitable Records), The Casey Jones Effect (Nick and Rob Green) ‘Electrify Me’ (Baroque), Hook & Black (Nick and Matt Black) and ‘Lucky Punk’ (Segment). Plus First Life remixes of Luis Paris vs Adamski’s ‘One Of The People’ (Phonetic Recordings) and Janet Gabriel’s ‘The Power’ (Inevitable).
That year, Nick launched a brand new house music label called Jeepers! (www.jeepersmusic.co.uk) with fellow Brighton DJ Lee Morrison. The label’s first release was a Nick Hook solo single entitled ‘The Funky Muzik’, which gained DJ support from such luminaries as Laurent Garnier, Tim Andresen and the Flash Brothers, and topped the Ministry Of Sound electro chart and reached number two in the DJ Download chart.
Since then Jeepers! has gone from strength to strength, with tracks and remixes from top artists including Stefano Noferini, Hoxton Whores, Jay Kay, Dolley Rockers, Tenacious, Gojack, Dan McKie, Tim Andresen, Anton Neumark, Oliver Lang, Nightstylers and Hi-Fi Sean.
Nick’s remix of the Tim Andresen single, ‘Gimmay’, in 2008, for Tim’s What Happens label, was played on the Pete Tong Essential selection on Radio One and entered the DMC Buzz Chart and Cool Cuts chart.
In 2009 Nick Hook’s ‘Enhanced’ (featuring vocals from the late great Bill Hicks) was re-released on Distinctive with new mixes from James Harcourt, Tim Andresen and Nick himself. Originally released on Distinctive back in 2002, it became one of the Ibiza anthems that year.
The 2009 mixes hit the mark again with support from many of the world’s top DJs, including Tiesto, D Ramirez, Nick Warren, Andy Cato (Groove Armada), Bushwacker, Oliver Lang and many more.
Also in 2009 the First Life classic ‘Be One Of Us’ was released on Jeepers! with new mixes and great DJ support. That year Nick also remixed Funk Fanatics feat Peyton’s ‘Love Is The Answer’ for Loaded, and Claes Rosen’s ‘Eighties’.
Nick reached his landmark 100th release in 2010 with his solo single ‘For Your Ears, Your Heart & Your Soul’ on Jeepers! Throughout 2010 Nick worked on a number of solo tracks and collaborations for Jeepers!, plus remixes including Jay Kay’s ‘Never Forgotten’ (Kinky Vinyl) plus others for labels including Axis Trax, Skint and Red Box Records.
2011 and beyond: going from strength to strength
In 2011 Nick’s remixes included Sara Parker’s ‘Something On The DJ’ on Axis Trax and One World’s ‘Freedom For Palestine’, which featured Maxi Jazz from Faithless. The same year also saw Nick’s solo single ‘Try For Your Love’ – which was remixed by Hoxton Whores – on Jeepers! gain massive support from the likes of Todd Terry, Shapeshifters’ Roger Sanchez, Groove Armada, Timo Garcia and Carl Kennedy.
In 2012, Nick’s top-rated solo single, ‘Open Our People’s Eyes’ on Jeepers!, featured brilliant remixes from Stretch Silvester (of Stretch & Vern fame) and Russia’s Mazai & Fomin. Also very well received in 2012 were Nick’s remixes of Hoxton Whores’ feat Angie Brown ‘Weekend’ on Whore House (which gained great support from top DJs), plus Collider’s ‘Can’t You Feel It’ and Sonikross’s ‘My Religion’, both on Jeepers!. The year ended very strongly with Nick’s new remix of one of his classics, ‘Skanking’, which went to number one in the Trackitdown Deep/Tech House chart during Xmas and stayed in the top 10 for more than a month.
Nick had a great start to 2013, with his remix of Skyroom’s ‘Let It Flow’, on Jeepers! receiving great reviews and reaching number nine in the Trackitdown House chart. Also that year Nick Hook & Martin Sharp single ‘Hellfire’ was released on the mighty Hoxton Whores label, Whore House. And Nick Hook & Martin Sharp’s remix of ‘Running For The Money’, by Sonikross, on Jeepers!, was very well received. That year Nick also had remixes released on Housesession Records and Brandon Block’s, Blox Box Records.
2014 was another good year, with Nick Hook & Martin Sharp’s singles, ‘Revolution Down’ being released on Oliver Lang’s Dojo Records, and ‘Feel The Love’ on Jeepers!. And another solo single, ‘Deep Dark Soul’, featured a great remix from the Dolley Rockers.
In 2015 Nick had another two solo singles released, ‘Get Back Into Bed’ was released on Motion Records and ‘Just For One Day’ (with amazing remixes from Tenacious and Martin Sharp) was released on Jeepers!. Also Nick Hook & Martin Sharp’s track ‘Joy’ was released on My Digital Enemy’s label, Zulu Records.
And Nick topped off a memorable year by making a guest DJ appearance at The Gallery at Ministry of Sound in London.
The recording success continued in 2016 with Nick Hook & Martin Sharp’s acclaimed single ‘Just A Feeling’ being released on Sonny Wharton’s, Wharton Records. It reached number 30 in the Traxsource House Chart and also featured on a Hed Kandi compilation album. Another Nick Hook solo single, ‘House People Pump It Up’, released on Jeepers!, was very well received, as was ‘Embrace The Rhythm’ by Nick Hook and Martin Sharp, also released on Jeepers!.
A collaboration between Nick Hook and Jay Kay, entitled ‘Cool Down Funk’ was one of Jeepers! most successful releases, reaching number 20 in the Traxsource House chart and gaining support from a host of top DJs.
In 2016 Brighton club night, Tech-noir, which Nick founded in 2009 with DJ Brody, celebrated it’s 7th birthday with a big event at one of Brighton’s largest venues, The Arch. Sonny Wharton was the guest DJ, playing alongside Nick and Brody and the night was a massive success. Tech-noir is one of the most established club brands in Brighton, and has featured many of the biggest name DJs on the club scene today including Prok & Fitch, Enzo Siffredi, Hoxton Whores, Oliver Lang, Steve Mac, Tim Cullen, Jason Chance, Timo Garcia, Seamus Haji and Sonny Wharton.
Nick continues to be a busy boy in the studio and he has many new tracks and remixes coming soon.
Check out Nick’s website discography page for a complete list of more than 140 releases (and counting).