With his dark eyes, long hair and thick moustache and goatee, Virgil Howe is unmistakably the son of renowned guitarist Steve Howe (from Yes) and a child of the world of progressive rock. Immersed in his father’s world from a young age, it is only logical that he would start improvising some music notes on his Moog Synth at the age of 4. Today, after successively drumming for The Killer Meters, Little Barrie and Dirty Feel, Howe is based in London and is focusing on producing and releasing singles and mixtapes on Scenario Records – a major label in UK underground hip-hop music.

Browsing his Soundcloud, it is evident that his style has considerably changed in two years.  His latest work is more mature and it seems that he is gradually defining himself in a unique musical style.  His mixes are refreshingly new in a world where electro music essentially consists of adding a repetitive melody to vaguely sophisticated beats. The influence of different styles is very strong in his recent mixes, ranging from disco to electronic, through “bootyshakin” and “spacefunk”. He excels in taking songs that belong to a very specific genre of music and twisting them around to produce an entirely different sound. For example, Snoop Dogg’s, Drop It Like It’s Hot becomes Kiss It Like It’s Hot, as it is tastefully brightened up with lazy lounge beats and slow soul notes.

Virgil Howe has character and his music is reflective of that. His unusual focus on disco-funk and his massive use of unknown vocalists seem like bold moves in the ultra-competitive sphere of London music, but by giving personality to his songs certainly pays off. Ease Back Mama, Stolen Moments, Afroway: Howe is certainly successful in imposing rhythmic afro beats as his trademark and he says himself that he stands as “as spokesperson for the outer worlds”. Certainly his family background encouraged him to find a place in the world of music, but his increasing popularity can only be explained by the fact that his style is one step ahead.

To know more about him, you can check out his Soundcloud, follow him on Twitter or like his Facebook page!

Deptford Goth

Peckham’s quirky-named and nicely-bearded producer Deptford Goth – real name Daniel Woolhouse – turned a few heads last year when he released his debut EP ‘Youth II’, tapping into the vogue for auto-tuned vocals and moody electronics that saw the likes of James Blake and Ifan Dafydd establish their respective names.

That’s not to say, of course, that Suffolk-born Woolhouse doesn’t plot his own course – his spacious sound seems to draw on more throwback influences than that of his contemporaries, evoking something of eighties electro in its own way.

New single ‘Life After Defo’ serves as a fine example of this, it’s echoing drums and drifting synths providing the perfect backdrop to the sombre lyrics that suggest disillusionment and uncertainty. And if all of that still hasn’t sold Deptford Goth to you, the slightly bizarre video features some dismembered limbs writhing about the screen – entertaining, if nothing else!

His first album is scheduled to drop on Merok Records – the same label that brought you the Klaxons and Crystal Castles – early in 2013. I’ll definitely be interested to see where he takes things.

Check out an interview with him here:                                                            

Soundcloud here: