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Premiere: Stillhead - Nirvana

Premiere: Stillhead – Nirvana
Adam Tiran

Back in 2011 when we first decided to start this website, electronic music was at a fascinating intersection. dBridge and Instra:mental were pioneering Autonomic, a new strain of IDM- and ambient-infused half-step drum & bass. That was simultaneously being fed into the post-dubstep, or so called ‘future bass’, of producers like DjRUM and George Fitzgerald. It was a period of genuine and fluid cross-pollination, as many artists delved into the murkier boundaries of both tempos.

One artist prominently at the forefront of that overlapping period was Edinburgh-born and now Copenhagen based producer Alex Cowles, who went by the moniker DFRNT at the time and whose output on his own Cut and Echodub (now defunct) imprints consistently delivered the goods in terms of introspective electronica from the fringes of house, dubstep and ambient. Notably, Cut offered all its releases at no cost to the customer in an attempt to improve the image of free labels and the calibre of music one can expect from them. In so doing, he gifted career boosts to artists like Versa, Essay and Rain Dog.

Cowles produces under the moniker Stillhead these days and this month returns to the fray in fine style with new album Copenhagen, a patchwork of electronic experimentations through the gaze of his favoured deep and expansive sound palette, out on his own Brightest Dark Place. The original material is also accompanied by remixes from Bop and Hatti Vatti.

‘Nirvana’ is the album’s most immersive track, a downtempo cinematic excursion through dub stabs, mbira keys and a half step beat, later transforming into a solo piano lamentation.

Stillhead – Copenhagen is out soon on via his Indiegogo page.