New Talent: Owen Howells.

London’s Owen Howells, described as ‘genre agnostic and forward thinking’ by IDJ mag, proffers a heady twist on house and techno with wide-ranging appeal.

His approach has won him many plaudits; Owen’s productions have been championed by Markus Schulz, Davide Squillace, Sonny Fodera, Raymundo Rodriguez, and Tomoki Tamura, not to mention Loco Dice, who picked up a then-unreleased track from Soundclound and played it out across the globe in late 2011.He has released on Wunderkammer, Sounds of Juan, Muchiq, Brikbat & has forthcoming releases on Shades of Grey, Zipped records, Trendy Mullet recordings & Nutation.

In the past year, Owen’s played alongside Raymundo Rodriguez(Jaded), Mauro Picotto, Groove Armada, Rob Mello(Classic), Antonio De Angelis(Viva Music/One more), Robert James,(Hot Creations), Sigha(Hot Flush)and Pariah(R&S), to name but a few.

He’s also part of Shades of Grey, a collective and label which has carved a snug niche for itself in the UK Bass scene, earning support from Mary Anne Hobbes (Radio 1/XFM) on its first release, and running a successful monthly basement party in Brixton, where Owen is resident.

We grabbed 5 minutes to see what he’s all about.

Introduce yourself…

Hi, my name’s Owen Howells, I’m an electronic music producer who mainly writes house & techno, I love to DJ and am fascinated by the effect dance music has on people. I really enjoy beans on toast in the mornings & lazing around the house.

What is it that excites you about electronic music?

Good question, All sorts really. Labels like Spectral Sound, Ostgut Ton, Liebe Detail really keep me on my toes musically and are constantly introducing me to amazing new artists and sounds.  Also artists like Nicolas Jaar, I saw him a few months back and he just blew me away, the perfect balance of something quite electronic but with so much soul shining through.

And of course events like One More & Jaded here in London, moving away from the mass produced clubbing experience and putting on small/medium events with really intimate atmospheres and booking amazing DJ’s and artists to perform is definitely what I’m into and they do it just right!

What should people expect from one of your productions?

I’d say slightly leftfield house & techno,. So far all the music I’ve made would definitely fit smug into those ‘house’ , ‘techno’ & ‘minimal’ pigeonholes but it’s definitely got a weird streak through it, maybe an afterhours feel?!?

A recent review said my music had an eastern European feel.. I can roll with that…

Same question for one of your DJ sets…

Expect a pretty nervous looking guy at first. It definitely takes me a while to relax when I’m Djing and then I really get into it. Musically I enjoy long sets where I can start things off a bit slower and almost discoey and take it all the way to something quite driving and intense. Unfortunately at the moment a lot of my sets are quite short so I just try to play a lot of the good music I’ve come across lately and perhaps play a couple of oldies

How did you first hook up with the labels you have?

My first EP was on Wunderkammer, I met Malkavath the label owner through a mutual friend at a party here in London and he said he’d like to release my ‘Chips, beans & cheese EP’. Wunderkammer are great, they’ve been going for 5 years and have released some amazing records, I like to help out as much as I can with WK.

Shades of Grey the label I co own with several others came about by me meeting my good friend Luke who writes music under the name ‘Duct’ and he introduced me to ‘Fybe one’ and a couple of other lovely guys and we just got cracking really.

In both instances a passion for music has just lead me one way or another into meeting similarly minded people.

What are your ultimate goals in life would you say?

Pwarr at the moment I’m just trying to live in the moment, finish my degree and give this music thing 100% of my energy. I’d be pretty happy with a house in the sun, my friends and family around me and to be healthy!

What’s been your best discovery this year, musically or otherwise?

Going to Berghain/Panorama bar for the first time was pretty amazing, I can’t wait to go back next time I’m in Berlin.  Also Duct introduced me to Blawan and Hessle audio which has definitely broadened my musical horizons.

 What sort of kit do you use when producing and DJing – does the ‘how’ matter to you?

 Producing wise I’m mainly ‘in the box’ as such, I don’t own much outboard gear currently but if I had a bit more money perhaps I would splash out!

I use Logic pro, some KRK monitors,  rhode mic,  Xoom recorder & keyboard etc.  When it comes to software some VST’s I can’t live without would have to be Native Instruments Battery & the PSP vintage warmer for my drums and some trusty 808 samples in the EXS24.

If I’m Djing I’ll either play an all vinyl set or perform with ableton live and an Akai apc40, Ableton’s an amazing tool for Djing enables me to create live edits & remixes on the fly.

 Who are you outside of music day to day?

I’m a student ,who is extremely clumsy & forgetful and can be a bit of a know it all at times. But overall I don’t think I’m too bad?!?