Archive for the Blog Category

What’s your favourite waveform? #1 – KOWTON – (loves the square)

Posted in Blog, WYFW? with tags , , on June 25, 2012 by magicanddreams

Welcome to the inaugural edition of a new series I will be running here on the M+D website.

Interviews with artists whose work I admire, with questions about the creative process.

It’s called “What’s your favourite waveform?”

First up is Joe ‘Kowton’ Cowton:

MAGIC:  So, the most difficult question first: what IS your favourite waveform, and why?

KOWTON: Square. Its absolute, all or nothing: none of this transitory business sine or triangle waves are into.

Do you follow any rules or systems for writing your music?

I try and keep things as simple as they possibly can while remaining engaging. I think I’ve learnt a lot from working with Pev about removing anything that isn’t necessary. If a track isn’t cluttered the parts that are there have more room to move and their effect is intensified, I’d rather have that than a bunch of noises that aren’t doing a lot.

Can you talk me briefly through the process of making a track?

Load up the sampler with drums, make a 4 or 8 bar loop and try and make something from that! Once there’s a rough arrangement I get busy trying to record some sends: reverbs, delays or flange or whatever and give the track some movement. From there on in its just a case of deleting sections and adding more effects. To finish I run the whole thing through my tube eq a couple of times to add a bit of grit and cohesion.

What is the part of the process that you least enjoy?

I find arranging things hell. Not so much once a shape’s forming but more the initial period of taking a loop and creating the skeleton of a track. I think a lot of people probably share this sentiment!

What is your favourite piece of equipment?

My tube eq: I’ve never used a plug in that sounds this good, I think distortion is a difficult thing to emulate with software. I just borrowed a Sherman Filterbank which sounds fucking great too, its a different kind of distortion to the eq though – more brittle and cleaner.

Do you ever have a critical voice and / or an imagined audience responding in your head whilst working?

Usually only once I’ve sent it someone! Then I imagine Chris  [Farrell, Idle Handler] or Pev scowling at the track and make loads of changes, thats probably the most productive phase. 

What’s the atmosphere of your studio / workplace like?

At home its pretty relaxed: i’ve just got my gear setup in the corner of my bedroom. I used to hate working there because the hot water tank was in my room and it was permantly about 30 degrees in there! That’s been taken out now and it’s a really nice place to work. Then there’s the Livity Sound studio aka ‘The Broom-cupboard’. That one’s dark and cold with no windows,  but Tom’s got all his gear in there so its great for processing stuff. I need to go down there more.

What do you do when you get stuck?

Give up. Talk to my housemates or go to the shop or the Bell. I don’t bother sweating it any more, I’ve been stuck so many thousand times that I know its just a case of waiting for some fresh inspiration rather than trying to force anything.  

How do you know when a track is finished? How do you choose a title for a piece?

When I start making it worse rather than better. Sometimes I’ll send a track out a bit prematurely but I think generally speaking you just know.

What’s the track from your own catalogue that you are happiest with?

Des Bisous –  I’m still not sure how I got it to sound quite so rough, but that’s the kind of tune I want to be writing. I’ve been playing the dub version out quite a lot and it always down really well: given its not got a kick it still surprises me that everyone doesn’t just leave!

Do you create in other ways than writing music?

Not really: I wish I could draw or paint but I’m terrible. Or write at length for that matter, I think thats one of those things that needs a real investment of time though. Next year.

Are there people from other disciplines (e.g. painters / writers / architects) who have influenced your creative process?

Not directly but I’m drawn to anyone who demonstrates control and simplicity in their work yet manages to create a very powerful impression. I go through phases like anyone else.

What piece of equipment / software would you wish into being?

An auto-arrange. It could form a algorithim based on every other track I’ve ever made and arrange the track in a semi-random fashion. I’d fucking love that.

How do you timetable / schedule your work time?

I tend to fit in making music around working at the shop, doing gigs and being in the pub. As i said earlier I find trying to force creativity a nightmare – when I’ve got ideas I’ll make the time and get the work done. I write quite quickly when I get going so this approach seems to work.

If you could go back in time and be a fly-on-the-wall at recording sessions for any track or album, it would be….?

Loose Joints – ‘All Over My Face’. Just such an incredible track, one of those where if someone doesn’t like it I think you’re genuinely entitled to demand a reply as to why not.

Thanks Joe!


posted by MAGIC


Some summer summons

Posted in Bass Clef, Blog, Live, Some Truths with tags , , on June 13, 2012 by magicanddreams

Good day friends.

Here’s some details of a few live shows I have coming up….

First off I’ll be taking my first ever trip to Poland, to play a Bass Clef set at the Malta Festival.

Then a few days later I’ll be packing up the modular synth and taking it on a trip to the seaside, to play a Some Truths set at Joseph Stannard’s Outer Church night:

Great looking line-up eh? Tickets are available here.

Then I’ll be back in the cosy environs of Cafe Oto on July 16th,

I’m very happy to be the guest of Andre Vide and Rashad at their two day residency.

Also appearing is Kouhei Matsunaga, info is HERE.


posted by MAGIC

Well-armed and shackled

Posted in Bass Clef, Blog, Live on June 6, 2012 by magicanddreams


This saturday: benefit show for the lovely folks at the Hackney Film Festival – should be a good one!


posted by MAGIC



oh Myeongbeonm Kim

Posted in Blog with tags , , , , on May 31, 2012 by magicanddreams

Love this stuff, very lynchian, half awake, everything is possible, let go.

posted by MAGIC




Posted in Blog, Live with tags , , on May 15, 2012 by magicanddreams

Woah…Tom Bugs has posted up a couple of his practise sessions for this friday night’s show:

606 and synths and boxes galore…I think it’s going to be an amazing gig!


posted by MAGIC


Posted in Bass Clef, Blog, Coseph Jonrad, Ekoclef, Pipe Dreams, Some Truths with tags on May 10, 2012 by magicanddreams

Hey hey and hey there,

seeing as tomorrow will be the first release day that we won’t have any new titles for, since we launched the brave ship M+D all those 13 months ago…I would like to take a moment to remind you all of what we have still available!


All 12 volumes of the ‘Paper Round Tapes’ by Coseph Jonrad are still in print.

Confusingly enough these are of course cdrs…just £5 to the UK and Europe, £6 for the rest of the world.


We still have 5 of our cassette releases in print and avilable to order:

all three Some Truths albums, the Ekoclef album, and Bass Clef’s ‘inner space break free’.

They are £7 UK, £8 Europe and £9 for the US/ROW.

They come with download codes for the whole album as 320 bitrate Mp3s.

And of course the lush debut album by ( the Hey! Collossian) Pipe Dreams,

which is £5 for the UK and Europe, or £6 US/ROW:

We’ll do discounts for multiple item orders.

All prices include shipping of course.

Drop us a line at:

Magicanddreamsmusic @ gmail dot com


posted by MAGIC


Posted in Bass Clef, Blog with tags , on May 8, 2012 by magicanddreams

I’d just like to take a moment to pause and celebrate the life of Spannered.

If you’ve never been there go and have a nose around – they’ve finished adding content now, but there’s a wealth of great mixes, live sets by all kinds of awesome people; Surgeon, Mike Dred, Vex’d, Neil Landstrumm to name but a very few.


and, no less than 4 mixes by me:

1. Echo Chamber (62 tracks of digi dub mixed decks’n’theremin style…back from before I even had a computer, Nick Ekoplekz had to rip it for me!)

2. the sequel Son Of Echo Chamber

3. an archive of the all-african mix I originally did for FACT

4. and the rave-tastic Inner Space Influences mix from last year….



posted by MAGIC