From creating zines and tapes in their Bristol bedrooms to powering an esteemed label that releases records of real sonic creativity, Joe Hatt and Adrian Dutt have become purveyors of extensive and original alternative records from which to indulge in. Howling Owl‘s moulded a family that thrives in a completely DIY ethos, inspiring their peers with not just their output but the complete dedication they give to the work that they release.
To celebrate the third year of the labels existence, a series of gigs are set to take place from tomorrow (26th July) at The Centrespace Gallery in Bristol, line-ups consisting of members of the Howling Owl family, their sister label Bulb and various other friends that have been a part since their inception in 2011. These gigs will just touch on the innovative and experimental nature of the labels interests, ideas of which have blossomed and had an impact on Bristol’s fledgling scene.
Here’s just some of the output that Howling Owl have given the time to and released.
Over two albums, both released on HO, Oliver Wilde has created an arresting concoction of psychedelia-infused pop that dazzles and soothes the mind in one sitting. Perhaps the labels purest example of their interest in experimental sounds, Wilde features prominently on other HO records, having worked with and produced Towns debut LP and the forthcoming record from new Howling Owl members Something Anorak.
The label have never settled in one genre, the proof in that was the beginning of their sister label, Bulb. The first port of call when it started in 2014 was to release a two-track EP from 17-Year-Old musician Dylan Mallett, otherwise known as Silver Waves. A guitarist and self proclaimed ‘noise-maker’, Mallett’s hypnotic, industrial beats and skip-stop guitar trills on ‘I‘ incorporated a quite-loud dynamic that was infectious yet discerning, all the while emotionally captivating. It heralded another development for the label, allowing them to evolve and once again allowed us to discover another set of completely original and inventive pieces of music.
It’s not just in other people’s music that they’ve found interesting dynamics. Both being members of Spectres, they have created ferocious and ear-bleeding post-punk that veers into alt-noise, even Shoegaze territory. ‘Maybe You Shouldn’t Be Living Here‘ (a title we hope is dedicated to the most underrated film of all time, Taffin.) is the latest taste, a rasping beast that rives in feedback over a trance-inducing motorik beat. Their debut album is complete and set for release on HO, a landmark date for the label and band.
Howling Owl have prospered through their sheer interest and dedication to what they love. Their DIY attitude has allowed them free reign of the control in what they release and it has let them develop into one of the most creative labels in the country. Their ear for a unique sound has allowed them to find some of the most interesting acts, and we hope that this continues to many more years to come.
Happy Birthday Howling Owl Records.