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Howie B

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Howie B
Howie B in 2007
Background information
Birth nameHoward Simon Bernstein
Born (1963-04-18) 18 April 1963 (age 61)
Glasgow, Scotland
GenresTrip hop, electronic
Occupation(s)Music producer
LabelsIsland Records

Howard Simon Bernstein[1] (born 18 April 1963,[2] Glasgow, Scotland) is a Scottish musician, producer and DJ who has worked with artists including Björk, U2, Tricky, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Soul II Soul, Robbie Robertson, Elisa, Mukul Deora, Marlene Kuntz and the Gift.

Early life and career[edit]

Born into a Jewish family amidst the Catholic-Protestant sectarianism of Glasgow,[3] Bernstein attended socialist Jewish youth clubs in the city while finding a musical education in John Peel's radio shows, recording tracks from the show on a two-track tape recorder and making rudimentary mixes from them.[4]

Later, he spent a year in Israel working on a kibbutz as part of Jewish cultural youth movement Habonim[5] before living for a period in the United States.

Once back in the UK, he moved to a squat in Limehouse, London. When asked in 2018 "What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?", he mentioned "Siouxsie and the Banshees in 1978".[6] In the 1980s, he was "heavily influenced" by the London Skating scene and its DIY attitude.[6] He saved to buy an album a week and then listened to it all day long . The bands he liked the most at the time were "Siouxsie and the Banshees - of which I was a big fan - but also Santana, John McLaughlin, Sly & Robbie, a lot of reggae, and Brian Eno".[7]

He had a desire to work in the music industry, and after establishing himself as a DJ, he found a job working as a teaboy at Lillie Yard studios – owned by film composer Hans Zimmer. He worked his way up there between 1984 and 1986, from teaboy to tape operator to assistant engineer to engineer.[8] He learnt there all the technical details and procedures.

Artist production, engineering and collaboration[edit]

He started working; mixing and engineering with Siouxsie and the Banshees,[9] on their 1988 singles "Peek-a-Boo" and "The Killing Jar".[10] "I could not believe I was doing it. Four years earlier I'd been jumping up on the stage trying to touch her, and then I'm in the studio with her. That was a big moment".[9] He then engineered and mixed on Soul II Soul's debut album Club Classics Vol. One in 1989, after he befriended the group during regular visits to their parties at London's Africa Centre.[11] By the early 1990s, he was hired by Massive Attack and Goldie.[12] Following the success of these collaborations, he left Lillie Yard to go freelance. In 1993, he set up his own label Pussyfoot.[10]

He worked as a programmer for Björk on several albums, engineering on 1995's Post and co-writing "I Miss You". His mix of "All is Full of Love" was included in the final cut of her following album, 1997's Homogenic.

At the same time, he collaborated with U2 on different projects. He supervised their side-project Passengers: Original Soundtracks 1 alongside producer Brian Eno.[13] He also heavily involved in the U2's electronically focused Pop in 1997, co-producing it with Flood. "At the beginning they were trying to find a role for me" he said of the beginning of the project. "My original title was 'DJ and Vibes'. It was a bit of a difficult title to be given, because some of the tunes didn't need that kind of input – it's not as though there's scratching and loops all over the record. And vibes... that's a really difficult word to describe, and to put your finger on. So it was a bit ad hoc at first. As we got further and further into the project, the role I was playing came out – I was co-producer, engineer, and mixer. I gave the band a direct line into club culture and freestyle DJing." He then embarked on their PopMart tour, for a DJ set.

Other notable credits include producing Tricky's 'Ponderosa',[14] performing 'noises' on Marlene Kuntz's Ricoveri Virtuali E Sexy Solitudini,[15] producing two albums (Reale and collaborative album Not in the Face) for Italian funk rock group Casino Royale.,[16] producing and co-writing Take Your Partner by the Hand with Robbie Robertson for his own album Turn the Dark Off,[13] producing Sly and Robbie's album Drum & Bass Strip to the Bone,[17] producing a solo project for U2's The Edge and producing for Hal Willner.[18]

In 2021, Italian duo Pinhdar released the album Parallel, produced by Howie B and including his significant musical contributions. He told ondarock that “this is one of the records I’m most proud of.”[19]

Solo career[edit]

He has been releasing music under his own name since the early 1990s, as well as under other various monikers and as part of groups including ambient/electronica Skylab. His productions appeared on seminal electronic labels including Mo'Wax and Eye Q, while he signed with major label Polydor (sister label Island in the US) for a deal that spanned four full-length albums and several singles.

As a DJ, he mostly notably compiled and mixed FabricLive.05 for London nightclub Fabric's nascent label in 2002.

A new album, Down with the Dawn, was announced in late 2013[20] and released on 9 April 2014.[21]

Film scores, TV, advertising music and theatre[edit]

He produced a remix of the cover version of Theme from Mission: Impossible for the 1996 feature-film remake, called Mission: Impossible Theme (Mission Accomplished) performed by U2 members Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen, Jr., which peaked at No. 7 in both the UK and US charts and sold over 500,000 copies.

He has produced, co-produced, composed and written a number of scores and soundtracks for full-length feature and short films alike, including The End of Violence with Ry Cooder, Dollhouse, How To Sell A Banksy, Double Xposure, Lost in Thailand, Made in China and Rabbit.[22] He frequently collaborated with director Run Wrake, who would animate short films and music videos set to accompany Howie B's music.[23] He also soundtracked a pornographic film directed by Jacob Pander.[24]

His TV work includes creating music for BBC One's Imagine documentary on The Royal Ballet's principal guest artist Carlos Acosta, for a Dazed & Confused short film project Stop for a Minute[25] and for a Dazed series on Channel 4.[26]

His work for advertising campaigns includes creating music for Maserati,[27] Hyundai,[28] Range Rover, Hugo Boss and BUPA.[29]

He also collaborated with Argentine theatre group De La Guarda on an album produced by one of their members, Gaby Kerpel, who he also mentored.[30]

His remix of "Cherry Lips" by Garbage is used after every home run hit by the Milwaukee Brewers.

Pussyfoot Records and HB records[edit]

His label, Pussyfoot Records, ran from 1994 to 2002 and released over 20 albums and compilations and around 50 singles.

He set up HB Records in 2013 to release a new album Down with the Dawn.



Chart singles[edit]

  • "Angels Go Bald: Too" (1997) – UK No. 36
  • "Switch" (1997) – UK No. 62
  • "Take Your Partner By the Hand" (1998) – UK No. 74 †

† Howie B featuring Robbie Robertson from Contact from the Underworld of Redboy[31]





  1. ^ "A LETTER FROM SPACE". ASCAP. American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. Retrieved 9 July 2023.
  2. ^ BBC Radio 6 Music, Gilles Peterson, "Howie B in conversation", interview with Howie B, 19 April 2014
  3. ^ Howie B interview Archived 21 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine That's. Retrieved 2013-16-12.
  4. ^ Insights into fatherhood SCMP. Retrieved 2013-16-12.
  5. ^ The comedy gang: The Jewish youth group that made Sacha Baron Cohen The Independent. Retrieved 2013-16-12.
  6. ^ a b Parry, Fred (September 2018). "Howie B. Producer — Glasgow [interview]". Fredperry.com. Archived from the original on 21 January 2019. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  7. ^ "A meeting with Howie B, Rencontre avec Howie B". Gonzai.com. 20 November 2018. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  8. ^ Howie B: Electronic Music For Live Performance Archived 16 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine Sound on Sound. Retrieved 2013-16-12.
  9. ^ a b Peixoto, Ariane (25 March 2014). "Howie B at the Frontier". Djmag.com. Archived from the original on 30 May 2016. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  10. ^ a b "Howie B. [interview]". Residentadvisor. Archived from the original on 21 January 2019. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  11. ^ Soul II Soul: The Day Of The Funki Dred Blues & Soul. Retrieved 2013-17-12.
  12. ^ Sturges, Fiona (3 April 1998). "Howie B [interview]". The Independent. Archived from the original on 21 January 2019. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  13. ^ a b Flood & Howie B: Producing U2's 'Pop' Sound on Sound. Retrieved 2013-17-12.
  14. ^ Tricky: Discogs Discogs. Retrieved 2014-07-02.
  15. ^ Marlene Kuntz: Discogs Discogs. Retrieved 2014-07-02.
  16. ^ Clash Music: Howie B vs Casino Royale Clash Music. Retrieved 2014-07-02.
  17. ^ Drum & Bass Strip To The Bone by Howie B review Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2014-07-02.
  18. ^ Hal Wilner: Pomegranate Arts Archived 18 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine Pomegranate Arts. Retrieved 2014-07-02.
  19. ^ Delli Paoli, Giuliano. "Pindhar: pitiche visioni". Retrieved 9 April 2021.
  20. ^ Howie B announced Down With The Dawn Archived 17 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine Digital Warble. Retrieved 2013-17-12.
  21. ^ "Dazed preview" John-Paul Pryor, 'Howie B – Down with the Dawn', Dazed Digital, 3 April 2014.
  22. ^ Howie B. filmography IMDB. Retrieved 2013-18-12.
  23. ^ Thomas, Gary (31 March 2014). "Run Wrake, 1965-2012". British Film Institute. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  24. ^ Howie B interview Time Out Hong Kong. Retrieved 2013-18-12.
  25. ^ Stop For A Minute Angelfire. Retrieved 2014-18-02.
  26. ^ Renegade Masters Design Week. Retrieved 2014-18-02.
  27. ^ Seven Notes: Howie B Live At Abbey Road Studios WhatCulture!. Retrieved 2013-18-12.
  28. ^ Hyundai launches latest Europe-wide campaign Campaign. Retrieved 2014-04-02.
  29. ^ Song Of The Salesman: BUPA Song of the Salesman. Retrieved 2014-04-02.
  30. ^ Gaby Kerpel: Nonesuch Records Nonesuch Records. Retrieved 2014-07-02.
  31. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 35. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  32. ^ "Ofelia Dorme – Paranoid Park (Howie B remix) video". NME. NME. Retrieved 10 January 2014.

External links[edit]