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03 May 10
Review: Kowton (aka Joe Cowton) is the latest in a proud and distinguished line of Bristol based bass music producers, and his two track EP on the fledgling Idle Hands imprint (also based in Bristol) is nothing short of superb. Treading the grey area between house, techno and dubstep, "Basic Music Knowledge" utilises a shuffling house beat and cut-up garage vocals, much in the same vein as Ramadanman and Midland's recent EP on Will Saul's Aus Music. On the flip, "Hunger" is like a subtle, pitched down slice of deep techno hiding behind clunking rhythms and uncertain beat.
21 Nov 11
Played by: Mike Hindle - Immersed Audio
Review: For the past two years Kowton has been one of the producers at the forefront of the gradual movement of Bristol's bass scene into the exploration of house. His stripped back productions are often fairly devoid of melody, but "Dirty Little Bomb" occupies a particularly murky zone that pushes the extremes of his template further still. The track's modest 108bpm speed is slower than anything Kowton has produced before; in taking it down to this level he provides the bass tones with considerable breathing room, with the LFO modulation that provides the track's main hook adding a nice bit of lift to what may otherwise become a trudge. But it's the distorted, bit-crushed hi-hats and snares which give the track its real textural focus, with their abrasive wire-wool tones providing enough shock to prevent the comparatively cushioned surrounds of the track. The real masterstroke on this release however is the remix from techno producer Rivet, whose recent singles on Naked Index have impressed with their industrial take on warehouse techno and bass. Rivet's remix manages to straddle the divide between these two genres with confidence similar to Untold's recent "Little Things Like That" on Clone's Basement Series. Totally essential!
08 Aug 11
Played by: 2562 / A Made Up Sound
Review: This release for [Naked Lunch] serves as something of a definitive stance for Kowton, placing his sound between house and garage dynamics. Where his earlier tracks were draped in sinister drones and melodic absences, title track "Keep Walking" grooves along with a positively content, Metro Area kind of cheekiness. "Show Me" plumbs a steppier duct, as a house tempo gets invaded by skipping claps and hats. The hushed female snippet of, "c'mon," embellishes an overall creepiness, seemingly inviting you to a place you know you shouldn't go to, but want to visit all the same. Excellent release.
30 Apr 12
Played by: Paul Mac
Review: With the dust barely settled from his last grime-infused monster on Livity Sound, Bristol's Kowton returns on the city's premier label at the bass/house/techno intersection, Idle Hands. "Never Liked Dancing" is classic Kowton - raw, stripped back drum machine rhythms, sprung bass, all twisted into unique shapes that hint at sinister figures lurking in the shadows. "Track Mute" meanwhile takes that simmering energy and turns the heat right up, as rapid stabs, laser FX and a churning low end intermingle in a sweaty Stokes Croft basement vibe. As with any Kowton release, this is essential.