Howie B [Pussyfoot...Fabric], Alex Smoke [Hum & Haw...Soma], Residents :: James McArdle, Martin Hewitt
C O N S T R U C T
For more information please contact or visit ::
t. +44 7793 115 299
t. +44 7789 513 312
e. [email protected]
HOWIE B :: BIOGRAPHY
Howie B. was a popular London-based DJ and nascent studio hand prior to his move into full-time recording and production in the early '90s. Born in Glasgow, his association with Bristol club faves like Soul II Soul and Massive Attack fueled his aesthetic on a fusion of soul, hip-hop, house, jazz, and funk, first hazarded on early collaborative projects like Dobie and Nomad Soul. Howie B. set up his own label, Pussyfoot, in 1994, already having released tracks under the his own name and Olde Scottish through noted outbound hip-hop imprints 2Kool and Mo'Wax, and a small-but-steady stream of material moving hip-hop instrumentals a step beyond the experimental joined Bernstein with beat junkies like DJ Shadow, U.N.K.L.E., Portishead, and Coldcut at the forefront of a U.K. breakbeat renaissance. Although his genre-spanning work with Skylab on 1994's #1 brought his talents for organized chaos before a wider audience, it was ultimately his role in the production chair for such artists as Tricky, Bjork, and, eventually, U2, that landed him a multi-album recording deal with Polydor which yielded LPs including 1996's Music for Babies, 1997's Turn the Dark Off, 1999's Snatch and 2001’s ‘Folk’. Howie’s most recent releases include ‘Last Bingo In Paris’ for French label Stereo Pictures and Mayonnaise (a collaboration with Crispin Hunt and Will O’Donovan) for U.S. label Lunatic Works/BMG.
Most recently Howie has been involved in the world of Fashion and has been working with Italian Fashion House Fornarina in the creation of his design collection HVANA for which he is Creative Director.
ALEX SMOKE :: BIOGRAPHY
Alex Smoke is a new breed of electronic music producer.
While his music may reside on the dancefloor along with his renowned live sets, it also resonates so much further than this. With a production style drawn from a myriad of influences that blur the boundaries between electronica, techno, classical and hip hop, Alex Smoke's music evolves in new directions with every new project he undertakes, musically consistently fulfilling, regardless of the listener's preferred genre.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Alex's proficiency in multi-faceted electronic-beat-making is founded securely on a lifetime of classical training, nurtured not least by his mother, by profession a music teacher. At a young age, alex received a coveted scholarship for Durham Cathedral Choir School, where he excelled on the cello, piano and drums. In fact, the very same voice that adorns his techno tracks, was once heard in Durham Cathedral Choir, albeit an octave higher. After a brief glitch, studying marine biology, Alex soon got back on track, wisely using his student loan to buy his first Apple Mac computer and simple software, giving his imagination the necessary tools to begin producing.
It didn't take long. After his first release in 2002 on local Glasgow label "S.U.D.", Alex was soon snapped up by the legendary dance music label, Soma Records, on which he released his seminal first album, "Incommunicado" to critical acclaim in 2004. This deeply emotive release utilized cutting edge production techniques to give birth to a beguiling new style, which was lauded throughout the house and techno community. Tracks, such as the anthemic "Chicca Wappa" and his own vocal masterpiece "Don't See The Point", announced the arrival of an already accomplished newcomer amongst the heavyweights in the scene. Upcoming Berlin indie label Vakant immediately recognized this young producer's extraordinary talent and provided a platform for a series of ep releases that continued to tantalize enthusiasts not only within the techno-driven German capital, until the keenly anticipated arrival in 2006 of album no. 2, "Paradolia", back on Soma.
Paradolia is defined as the human ability to creatively perceive coherent images in randomness, an unusual word by anyone's standard, but then Mr Smoke is an artist very far from the ordinary. A Rorschach test this was not, more a sonic experiment that explores the parameters of Alex Smoke's potent psyche. "Paradolia" is swollen with ingenuity and experimentation perfectly suspended in an intoxicating symmetry of melancholy and melody. This release, like its predecessor, welds the influence of disparate genres into one homogeneous opus. In "Prima Materia" Alex unites for example two early influences in Chicago House and Classical, detonating a symphonic explosion, unlike any before.
2006 also saw Alex join the elite wall of fame of Soma's mix compilation series, "Sci.Fi.Hi.Fi.". Following in the footsteps of Ewan Pearson and Luciano, Alex was also given the opportunity to portray influences past, present and future on one release with no prescribed genre-related parameters to his selection. Naturally, the Smoke release is a rich journey through eclectic genres and subgenres, from Burial to Basic Channel through to Model 500.
Throughout his relatively short career Alex has become an in-demand remixer, already with remixes for Steve Reich, Depeche Mode, Mylo, Junior Boys, Funk D’Void, Radio 4, Jay Haze and Envoy under his discography belt, to mention but a few. His dynamic live set has, since the first Soma release, been consistently in demand, leaving almost no country on the world map unvisited, nor unimpressed for that matter.
In 2008 Alex had the opportunity to fully realize his love of classical music when he was commissioned by Dundee City Council to compose an entirely orchestral work which was performed by the prestigious Scottish Ensemble for their ‘Designs For Life’ project.
This brings us to the here and now. Or should that be the Hum+Haw? For this is the name of Alex's burgeoning label project with former Soma man Jim Hutchison, which will house his forthcoming releases, as well as nurture young Glaswegian talent and international musical electricians. Again you will try in vain to categorize this youthful label on the brink of releasing ‘Lux’, Alex’s third and most anticipated album so far. After a handful of releases, including two singles from Smoke’s experimental hip hop alter ego FOOL they have developed a forward thinking reputation and have enlisted cutting edge producers to remix their tracks including Various Production, Rustie, Hudson Mohawk, Chris De Luca, Phon.O and Alex Cortex.
FOOL is the politically motivated collaboration between Alex (providing the electronics) and LA mc, Non, of Shadow Huntaz fame (delivering the hip and the hop). ‘Mad Man’s Drum’ is their album project which will be out on Hum+Haw in 2009.
March 2009 will see the release of ‘Lux’ and the development of his live set to include more hardware equipment and thereby expand his boundaries and resonance even further.
Expect the unexpected.