Kowton himself is one of them. His Twitter presence is minimal, his press pictures are moody and his music is serious. He talks about it intensely, about how it swirls around his brain from the second he wakes up (around 7.30am with his girlfriend, who is “a lot more fun than me” and is a graphic designer who does stuff for Livity) to the moment he goes back to sleep and how, for him, the music is why he does this; not the fame, the travel, the perks or anything else.
But he laughs often, too, a dirty belly laugh that is mischievous and infectious. He does so when discussing politics and the new Alan Partridge, his E honeymoon in Manchester and how he competes with his older brothers’ Cambridge doctorates by telling his parents about his worldly travels and the air miles he’s clocked up. When not sculpting devastating techno or “drinking a little too much,” he can be found reading books on post-war European fiscal policies, the cult of the football manager and classic Russian literature.
Leaning back on the roomy hotel sofa, cradling his brew, Kowton admits to having an obsessive personality and says he lives his life with the same utilitarian approach he has to his music: today he wears plain black skate trainers and a loose print jumper with black jeans, but the same is true most days. “I’m a bit weird, I buy three of the same thing then just wear them to death,” he says.
It’s that sense of obsession, attention to detail and single-mindedness that might, to the outside world, make him seem moody and shut off. Spend time with him, though, and Kowton is quiet but warm, and clearly serious about what he does. “You have a responsibility,” he says as the crowd in the club thins
in the early morning hours. “Even if there was just one person here I’ve got to make sure he has the best night possible.” He might not be the most fun dude at the party, then, but Kowton makes sure you will be.
'Utility' is out on April 15 on Livity Sound