Howes: TD-W700/Leazes (Melodic)

Hugely accomplished debut release from 19 year old future garage producer

Released Jul 22nd, 2013 via Melodic / By Larry Day
Howes: TD-W700/Leazes (Melodic) 19-year-old John Howes is another name in a growing pool of young production talent. On his debut release, TD-W700/Leazes, the Mancunian techno fiend fuses minimalism and electronic elements in order to create a bubbling broth of chopped'n'screwed samples, frosty beats and the faint murmur of bass.

It's not worlds away from future garage acts like Disclosure, but it's a hell of a lot less clinical; Howes has already demonstrated his talent for dance music with heart via the much-blogged 'Asiko' (which features on this EP).

'Leazes' begins life as a distant echo of house: a shimmering, muffled feedback loop here, aching beats there. It's got horror movie synths, jostling and squirming against the rigid spine of drum machine; there's a highly unsettling atmosphere being created in the seven minute paean.

Eventually, as the percussion becomes more prominent, the incoherence of the swirling synthesizer lines fades, leaving a cut that exudes desolation. It's an ode to loneliness, a neo-house effort for the isolated; it's not as crisp or clean as at first it may appear, instead evoking images of grimy London backstreets at four in the morning. It's a companion piece to the coked out paranoid insomnia.

'TD-W700', named after a cassette deck, is heavy on rhythms. Pulsing synth blips provide a sturdy backdrop from metallic, industrial drum noises. It's a track that's been brutalised, with samples roughly hewn and the fragments of former hooks surreptitiously sneaking into the fray.

At only 19, Howes has already devoted half his life to creating music. He's carving out his own comfy niche in which to work from, welding aspects from electronica, dance, house and garage together to sculpt a unique timbre within a saturated genre of mesmerising talents. He's inspired by acts like Can and Cluster, cherry-picking his samples from the breadth of musical history, mixing the fresh with the stale.

This is also true also for his recording process. His favourite way to make sounds is to record onto tape, and quickly put that into a computer, to create the “best of both worlds”.

You're not going to stumble across a debut release as accomplished as this too often. It's subtle and restrained, and instead of going for gimmicks in order to draw attention, Howes opts for a slower burn, making sleek, exceptional noises that burrow into your noggin rather than smack you in the chops. It may not instantly reach out to demand appreciation, but after the dust starts to settle, you'll be left picking yourself up from a puddle on the floor.