One of the most respected electronic composers of the '90s, Howie B is a sonic polymath whose production work with U2, Bjork, Tricky, Brian Eno, Sinead O'Connor, Sly and Robbie and Everything but the Girl has made him an ace hired gun often called upon to give pop stars credit in the dance world.
Born in Glasgow during the 1960s, Howard Bernstein grew up in an unenviable position; a Jewish child within the west of Scotland's sectarian divide.
Rejecting all forms of bigotry and division he found solace in music. Invigorated by John Peel's scattershot broadcasts, he began collecting 70s vinyl from the likes of John McLaughlin, Santana and Gong.
After moving to London he gained production skills with a 3 year stint at Lilley Yard in Fulham, manning the controls for Swing Out Sister and Siouxsie and the Banshees.
By the mid 80s he was part of Soul II Soul's 'weekend posse' and reinforced the connection with Nellee Hooper and Jazzy B with contributions to the first Soul II Soul album.
During the 90s he worked with Massive Attack and a pre-jungle Goldie, began releasing 'Howie B Inc' 12s on James Lavelle's Mo' Wax label and helped to programme Tricky's Island-deal securing demo’s.
1993 saw the launch of his own imprint, Pussyfoot, and two years later he collaborated on and co-produced U2s 'Pop' album.
He was invited to produce the live sound for its accompanying world tour, and the project went far beyond previous attempts in merging rock spectacle and electronic ingenuity.
Although his genre-spanning work with Skylab on 1994's #1 brought his talents for organized chaos before a wider audience, it was ultimately his role in the production chair for such artists as Tricky, Björk, and, eventually, U2, that landed him a multi-album recording deal with Polydor which yielded LPs including 1996's Music for Babies, 1997's Turn the Dark Off, 1999's Snatch and followed by Folk in 2001.
He provided music for Wim Wender’s movie End of Violence and a short film by Run Wrake accompanied Music For Babies and has won numerous awards.
He just finished to produced the new long awaited Happy Mondays album in 14 years, which is also set to feature a guest appearance from Ry Cooder.
He’s most recent releases include ‘Last Bingo In Paris’ for French label Stereo Pictures and Mayonnaise (a collaboration with Crispin Hunt and Will O’Donovan) for U.S. label Lunatic Works/BMG.
Most recently Howie has been involved in the world of Fashion and has been working with Italian Fashion House Fornari in the creation of his design collection HVANA for which he is Creative Director.
Howie B works actively with HVANA menswear collection for Italian Fashion House Fornari for which he is Creative Director as well.
Listen to Radio Free Hvana at Dazed and Confused.
Music For Astronauts and Cosmonauts is his first collaboration with Icelandic Musican and Artist Húbert Nói(:::) produced over the last eight years in the legendary Greenhouse Studio in Reykjavik.
(2) Howie B was a popular London-based DJ and nascent studio hand prior to his move into full-time recording and production in the early '90s. Born in Glasgow, Howard Bernstein's association with Bristol club faves like Soul II Soul and Massive Attack helped fuel his fusion of soul, hip-hop, house, jazz, and funk, which he first hazarded on early collaborative projects like Dobie and Nomad Soul. He launched his own label, Pussyfoot, in 1994, already having released tracks under his own name and Olde Scottish through the noted outbound hip-hop imprints 2Kool and Mo'Wax. He'd also issued a small (but steady) stream of material that moved hip-hop instrumentals one step beyond the experimental, thus joining Howie B with beat junkies like DJ Shadow, U.N.K.L.E, Portishead, and Coldcut at the forefront of a U.K. breakbeat renaissance.
Although his genre-spanning work with Skylab on 1994's #1 brought his talents for organized chaos to a wider audience, it was ultimately his role in the production chair (on albums by Tricky, Björk, and eventually U2) that landed Howie B. a multi-album recording deal with Polydor Records. This deal yielded LPs including 1996's Music for Babies, 1997's Turn the Dark Off, and 1999's Snatch. He continued fielding production offers in the early 2000s and eventually partnered with Casino Royale, an eclectic Italian band that – like Howie himself – had worked with U2 during the previous decade. The group requested his help in producing their comeback album, Reale, and the resulting record hit Italian shores in 2006. Howie B wished to continue working with the material, however, and secured the band's permission to mold the footage into something new. Reale: Not in the Face arrived in 2008, featuring his own reworked versions of Casino Royale's master recordings. In 2013 he founded HB Recordings and released his album Down with the Dawn on the label a year later. ~ Sean Cooper & Andrew Leahey, Rovi