Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ssg Special - Kowton

Funny thing is, both you and I probably have boomkat to thank for Kowton. From this end, it was boomkat’s glee-filled, glowing description* of last April’s Basic Music Knowledge EP that pricked my ears in the first place – I mean, how could I resist a release described as ‘a narco-nautical groove where subbass blackens the waters like squid ink and snares cut the flesh like coral'?! But wait, there's more: 'severely deep stuff that'll give lesser divers the bends…. recommended to fans of the Szare 12"s, Kassem Mosse and listening to Marcel Dettmann records on 33’? Well, that is pretty much a description of the content and soundtrack of my ideal lost weekend…

From Joe Cowton’s end, it was shopping in Boomkat's old physical store, Pelican Neck Records, that he says was the decisive (and no doubt wallet-lightening) habit in the formation of his basic tonal vocabulary. Shopping at Pelican Neck also introduced Joe to Liam from Mindset, who put out the first Narcossist record, back in 2008; but, as I see it, it was the move to Bristol in the same year that really clinched it. Joe started haunting Rooted records, where, while developing his current sound signature – deliberately trying to fuse earlier, darker garage sounds with 'all houses narcotic and nautical' – he was introduced to Chris Farrell, who runs Idle Hands.

Kowton’s EPs are the best possible fit for ‘the devil’s workshop’ – they’re not only deep, dark and warm, but also seductive and, at a pinch, sexy – just like the Dark Prince, or so I've been told. Perhaps I’ve come under Satan’s sway, but for me, both EPs released so far on Idle Hands sound like someone who’s been at it for much, much longer: this is a music knowledge which is anything but basic.

Joe can also mix: his RA cast from September last year was one of the three or so that I played off the hook all through the last part of 2010. It even survived a January Pod purge so merciless that Ming would fain dip his lid in a flash**. What my feelings kept forcing me to repeat to Chris – and anyone else who would listen – is that Kowton’s RA podcast was genuinely and sincerely contemporary, in a year where so much music was all naked bathing neck deep in tape hiss and its pastiche-y analogues. It's a fine line between nostalgia and neuralgia. For me what that means is that Joe’s music is focused on the now – by which I mean his now, not some colourlouss, odourless zeitgeist – developing new and subtle directions from the recombination of influences he’s accumulated and assimilated over years of careful listening and creating. And this is a creative mix that bears and rewards careful listening. Over to Joe:

‘The mix is some of my favorite records of the moment, a few classics, and some of my more recent tracks. Most of the early drafts of the mix I recorded were late at night, just on headphones, and I think the way it came out reflects that, both in the tunes and the way it was mixed. I've tried to keep things simple – and hopefully it works.

Kowton - Ssg Special

Future Releases:
Kowton - Keep Walking / Show me (Nakedlunch)
Kowton - Looking At You / Dusk - Fraction (Kowton remix) / Dusk Fraction (Keysound)
Kowton - Metronome / Clak Clak Clak (Commune)
Kowton - Untitled 29-6 / Never Liked Dancing / ? / ? (Idle Hands)
5th Feb @ The Blast, Bristol w/ Funkineven
11th Feb @ Dubstudio Sessions, Bristol
1st March @ Acetate, Leeds w/ Pinch & Peverelist
5th March @ Disconnected, Nottingham w / Andrew Weatherall
26th March @ Club Cosmique, Bristol w/ Space Dimension Controller



  1. Joe's a great producer and a great guy. I think 2011 will be a big year for him. This + the Idle Hands 12" just out = a cracking start :-)

  2. Reading your piece reminded me that online shopping can never replace the high street store as a focal point for friendship and collaboration. Shame that.

    Anyway, halfway through this now and it's brill.

  3. That Dusk remix of his is truly tremendous.

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  5. I like this much more than the RA mix, which as wasn't mad on to be honest.

  6. Is there a tracklist for this ? awesome mix ..

  7. Very smooth mix...
    Some tracks I could recognise:

    01- INSTRA:MENTAL - lets talk (Naked Lunch)
    02- KOWTON - drunk on sunday (Idle Hands)
    03- - snake cave (Horizontal Ground)
    04- SHACKLETON - death is not final (Skull Disco)
    05- KOWTON- she dont jack (Idle Hands)
    07- GEEEMAN - rubberband 2 (Clone Jack for Daze)
    10- PEPE BRADOCK - deep burnt (KIF Recordings)

    And there is a nice mix from him live in Bristol here:

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  9. guys, you know how we do it... we have a tracklist which we will post next week. we would prefer it if you don't start constructing it here.

  10. so sorry.. i thought you didn't have a tracklist for this

  11. What`s the problem with a little bit of action on the coments? So I am not allowed to coment or reveal the tracks on the mix?

    I think that is the point of this space anyway. And since two of the mix`s tracks are Kowtow`s new EP, it can only be benefitial for him too.

    And Giorgio...thank for the Omar S tip. I spent hours trying to remember what that track was :-D

  12. i wet my pants when i realised it was omar s - just as the lonely coming in, and then following that with deep burnt... nice

  13. really, really, nice. goes in a completely different directions from his RA cast as well.

  14. ___lovely!__________________________________________


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