CULTURE

Howie B to spin and mix

Howie B, one of electronica’s more influential figures who initially gained fame as a London-based DJ before moving into full-time recording and producing with major international acts, will be returning to his old trade here in Athens this Saturday for an after-midnight session behind the turntables at the Gagarin Club. Besides his intuitive skills in mixing soul, hip-hop, house, jazz and funk styles on the turntables, Howie B has produced for artists of the caliber of Tricky, Bjork, U2 and Ry Cooder. His first collaboration with the Irish supergroup, 1995’s «Passengers,» an intriguing project that featured a diverse cast ranging from pioneering electronica figure Brian Eno to opera singer Pavarotti, led to further work with U2 on the rock group’s «Pop» album, the act’s foray into the dance scene.Howie B also toured as the band’s pre-show DJ on the extensive world tour that followed. The connection helped earn Howie B a multi-album deal with major label Polydor which has yielded a series of worthwhile albums. Prior to the deal, Howie B had set up his own label, Pussyfoot, in 1994, through which he released a steady stream of work that moved hip-hop into more experimental domains amid a scene that included other innovators such as Portishead and DJ Shadow. Howie B’s more recent work on the Polydor label include 1996’s «Music for Babies,» an ambient collection of tracks recorded while his wife was pregnant. But, not long after, Howie B was whipping up more chaotic and aggressive material that appeared on his «Turn the Dark Off» album a year later. It was followed by «Snatch» in 1998, an album which took Howie B some three years to complete as its impressive cast of contributors, including Robbie Robertson of The Band, Gavin Friday, and blues guitarist Robbie Macintosh, all rolled through the studio. Gagarin, 205 Liosion, Attica Coach Center, tel 210.854.7600. Doors open at 1 a.m.