Scottish born Stillhead (formerly DFRNT) produces deep electronic music. It sits stylistically between dub, drum & bass, ambient, dub-techno, downtempo, post dubstep, deep techno and bass music.
After 6 years, 4 albums, more than 20 EPs and countless remixes and DJ appearances under his DFRNT alias, Alex Cowles decided to switch things up, and in 2013 he made a fresh start under the name Stillhead.
Inspired by Nordic electronica in the first instance, and taking a far more meticulous approach to crafting his deep sound he swiftly released the “Dwelling EP” on his own new label Brightest Dark Place, following that with the expansive full-length album “Iceberg” on Here & Now Recordings.
Iceberg was released on vinyl and featured multiple collaborations with vocalists such as Zoe Ellying and Triinu Taul and two tracks featuring rapper Mu Vonz.
Stillhead's next release, the “Spiders EP” saw Alex back home on his own Brightest Dark Place label, which bridged the gap between first album “Iceberg” and his second album “Copenhagen”.
“Copenhagen” was produced during a year Alex spent in the Danish capital city, and was a double-disc album including remixes from producers such as Bop, Another Channel, Hatti Vatti, Tonik Ensemble, Mr. Roque, Generate and featured another collaboration with rapper Mu Vonz and work with experimentalist Lee Chapman and vocalist pille.riin.
Following “Copenhagen”, Alex released 3 EPs at the end of 2018, each of the three showcasing a different stylistic approach. One, an ambient soundtrack (for a short documentary), another, a set of tracks exploring drum & bass sounds and the third, a collection of tracks written for an imaginary science fiction movie.
After a 1 year gap, Alex decided to release his next project in 2 parts. First up the “Wednesday Dub EP” landed in mid June 2020 and three weeks later his third Stillhead album “Out of the Loop Part 1” was released. This took his deep and dubby sound further (including a collaboration with producer Skruff), while the sequel “Out of the Loop Part 2” provided a balance in neo-classical piano-led tracks and ambience (including a collaboration with Swedish singer Mattias Jonsson).
Part 2 was released in January 2021 alongside a limited double-CD set containing both parts. Between parts 1 and 2, there was also a sell-out vinyl only release on the coveted Challenger Deep label, cementing Stillhead's presence in the realms of what he calls “future dub”.
Shortly after Out of the Loop Part 2, a trio of singles (Back Once, Flat Foot & Summer) were released exploring Stillhead's roots in deep dubstep.
2022 brought us more from Stillhead in the form of his fifth full-length album “Restraint And Reverb” which appeared on gorgeous double gatefold, coloured vinyl with a string of 4 singles in the run up to its release.
Retaining his deep, dubby sensibilities from OotL Part 1, but looking a little more towards the dancefloor, the album moves from UK garage, via dubstep to some of that deep dubby house and downtempo sounds that peppered Alex’s early DFRNT productions.
In addition to his own releases, Alex has completed remixes for a number of artists including Nick Warren, Machinedrum, Rumpistol, Frenk Dublin, Youth and Troy Gunner as well as popular unofficial remixes of Massive Attack, Thundercat, Leftfield and Faithless.
As Stillhead, Alex has written the ambient score for a short film (and licensed tracks for others), contributed tracks to various compilations: Nick Warren's Balance and Soundgarden Series, Anjunadeep's Chillout albums, Hospital Records/Med School's New Blood series, Pablo Bolivar's Avant Roots and the groundbreaking Traum Schallplatten label.
At the time of writing, his deep drum & bass track “After Sundown” for Med School's “New Blood 018” has reached over 2 million plays on Apple Music.
Alex has performed live as Stillhead in a number of places including Copenhagen, Tallinn, Riga, Portugal and even Greenland.
His music has had international support from Sasha, Nick Warren, Lulu Rouge, Maya Jane Coles, Om Unit, The Black Dog, Machinedrum, Pablo Bolivar, Breach, Addison Groove, Laurent Garnier, Blackdown, DJ Mag, Kiss FM, Mixmag, BBC Radio and loads more.
Stillhead continues to produce music, perform and DJ, host podcasts and mixes as well as release various projects on his Brightest Dark Place record label.