“Slightly robotic synth funk with big awkward chords.” Joe Howe introduces himself and gives us an exclusive stream of ‘Chewww’ from his new EP on Sound Pellegrino.
Who are you?
My name is Joe Howe. I’m a musician, composer and worrier, based in Glasgow. I’m not as young as I look.
What do you sound like?
One of the good things about producing under my own name is that I no longer have to choose! Currently: slightly robotic synth funk with big awkward chords and unexpected changes. My dad said one of my first bands were ‘ambitious’. He meant it in a bad way. Maybe I should just stick with that?
Why should we listen to you?
I promise more notes-per-average-listen than most other music. Plus I leave in my mistakes so you can have fun spotting them.
What have you released so far? What else have you got coming out in the near future?
Over the last nine years, I’ve put out roughly one album a year under loads of different names (Joemus and Sunbutler with Momus, and more recently Ben Butler & Mousepad). My current EP on Sound Pellegrino, entitled EXEP, is the first one under my own name.
I’ve also worked on two theatrical productions with director Santiago Blaum: Switch On, a synthesiser opera, and more recently Die Geschichte Vom Soldaten Elik, a reworking of Stravinsky’s Soldier’s Tale.
Look out for collabs with Matthias Zimmermann and another EP on Austin-based label #FEELINGS, amongst other stuff, later this year.
What song sums you up? Why?
‘Night School’ by Frank Zappa is quite a good bet. Its mixture of massive weird chords, skittering relentless percussion, and persuasive time signature all really resonate with me. Also it mixes well with house music.
What or who is your biggest influence and why?
The guy on the cover of Popeye magazine from October 2012. His outfit has just the right amount of indigo, he’s wrangling with a sort of mobile library unit in New York and he just generally seems like he has everything sorted out in a way that I really envy.
Where can we hear your music?
Where will you be in five years’ time?
Most likely hiding in the back room of a theatre somewhere, with a pair of headphones clamped to my head, battling deadlines, happy.
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself.
I once won £300 for impersonating Paul Simon in a karaoke video.