Voltergeist is producer Shaun Dowse, who previously worked under the pseudonym “Emotiquon” with co-writer James Rehill. He has been producing electronic music for 15 years, and in 2008 started his own record label, Microrave Records.
Shaun was born on 19th March 1978, in Irvine Central Hospital, Ayrshire. He grew up outside a small village called Kirkmichael, deep in the heart of the Ayrshire countryside. He attributes his weird and vivid imagination to “being initially very isolated from people my own age”.
“My first memory of being fascinated with music was watching the drummer in a band at a wedding. I was only 3 years old, and absolutely transfixed by the way the hi-hat seemed to open and close by itself!”
Shaun studied percussion from an early age, beginning lessons at a local music shop at the age of 8, and playing all the way through primary and secondary education. He also played violin and piano, but stopped taking lessons thanks to despising “being repeatedly told how to play something properly. I’ll decide how I want the thing to sound!”. He also taught himself how to play guitar and bass.
“The real turning point came when I bought a copy of ‘Amiga Format’ magazine. It came with a floppy disc on the front, containing the full version of ProTracker. It was an early sample sequencing program, and it opened up a whole new world of sounds and composition styles for me. That was ages ago!”
Recording as Listmaker, Shaun managed to get some attention with a track featured on Future Music magazine in July 1998, alongside Autechre, Dave Angel, Kevin Saunderson and Funk D’ Void. He developed his live performance skills by playing at numerous Student Unions and clubs around Glasgow and Edinburgh. In 2003 he met Emotiquon co-writer James Rehill (who was working as a bus driver in Glasgow!) and together they went on to remix artists such as Heaven 17, Enter Shikari, Shitdisco, Dot Allison and Vendor Defender. After playing a handful of local live dates, they were invited to perform at The Altitude Festival (Meribel, FRANCE) April 2008.
“The Emotiquon experience was great fun, and we’ve achieved some really good things. I’d like to explore my own headspace a little more, and see what direction it takes my music in…”
The music of Voltergeist is inspired by his love of deep house, abstract electronica, minimal techno, and heavy “blissed-out” dub music. Living in the heart of the Ayrshire countryside (homeland of the famous Scottish poet Robert Burns) is also a major inspiration, surrounded by beautiful woodland waterfalls, rolling hills, and dramatic sunsets on the West Coast over the Isle of Arran.
Debut release Earthen Spirit Loops [MRR000] introduced the dub-fuelled minimal techno sounds of Voltergeist to the international market, which gathered much support from the likes of Dubfire, Nick Warren, Deadbeat, X-Press 2 and Glasgow’s Silicone Soul.
This opened up a world of remix opportunities, the results of which can be heard (and in several cases downloaded for free) from the Microrave Records SoundCloud page (see “LINKS”).
Voltergeist is currently working on his debut album “Burnt & Buried”, featuring guest musical contributions from Ayrshire poet and songwriter Little Fire, Mike Hastings (Trembling Bells) and folktronica pioneer Frog Pocket (Planet Mu).