Howie B at Rough Trade East
After five years, Howie B is finally back with a brand new record of dark and gloomy trip hop. He is one of the most important and influential artists between the two centuries; he’s worked with everyone from Annie Lennox to Bjork, from Placebo to U2, from Soul II Soul to Tricky. Over the past five years Howie B has been involved in several projects: creating a score for the Milan Planetarium, writing soundtracks for Chinese movies and scoring for many others (The Wolf of Wall Street is just the latest).
His new record is an ethereal masterpiece of dubby trip pop with some nocturnal passages, rich in beats and groove, with stylish musical escamotages and wise choices. The opening Frankie City is a trip into warp record, with techno moods and post-rock beats. Run Always is more hip hop, while Down with the Dawn is trip hop tout court (highlighting the influence Howie B has had on new generations). Finally, Authentication: a classical suite for cellos and violins, tender and celestial.
At Rough Trade East the maestro offered a selection from his personal taste, including reggae, dub, hip hop, R’n’B, salsa, rumba, trip hop and some (slighty) techno tunes. The central part of the DJ set was probably the best of the entire lot, as Howie B played some stunning, mysterious hip hop tunes with dirty beats and great bases, together with some salsa and South American music.
For the last part of the show, Howie B played more reggae and dub tunes. His class and style are indubitable. Rough Trade East proved once again to be home to London’s best free concerts.
Photo: Lorenzo Cibrario
For further information and future events visit Howie B’s website here.
Watch the video for Down with the Dawn here: