Analogue tape hiss. Twanging, steel-stringed blues guitar. The sharp punctuation of a drum-machine snare. These are just a few of the sounds conjured by genre-crossing and ARIA-winning producer, writer and mixer Stephen Mowat.
Mowat began his music career early and his passion for crafting singular, expressive works of creativity has followed him to this day. His teenage experiments with DJing and electronic beat production led to early success in Australia’s rising hip hop scene, a pivotal time for the genre locally, in which it was discovering its own uniquely Australian voice.
Beginning his musical education working with an MPC sampler instilled in Mowat a magpie-like curiosity for music. To find the perfect sample for that beat, you need to trawl through old records and diverse genres. And you can hear that broad musical appreciation in Mowat’s work today, through its deft combinations of digital and analogue production techniques.
From helping hair-metal guitars simmer under raw hip-hop drums on Sydney rapper and producer BLESSED’s ‘Superfly’, to writing songs with Melbourne alt-rocker Ali Barter in his studio, Mowat puts the artists he works with first. He lets their work sing and breath, so that the messages in their songs can ring out across the world.
As Matik, he produced Pez’s ARIA-nominated album A Mind Of My Own – including the single Festival Song, which was number seven in Triple J’s Hottest 100 of 2008. He also produced for Drapht’s ARIA-winning album The Life Of Riley, Bliss n Eso’s platinum-selling and ARIA-nominated albums Running On Air and Circus In The Sky, and Seth Sentry’s This Was Tomorrow.