Stephen was born in Edinburgh in 1972 and has a long history of involvement in electronic music. He started listening to the original electro sound of the early eighties while breakdancing. His inspiration to make music comes from artist like Bobby Orlando, Heaven 17 and early Human League. Then in 1988 Stephen discovered House music at the Hoochie Coochie Club in Edinburgh. Local DJ Yogi Haughton would play anything from jazz to the first early Chicago and Detroit releases. It was these records that converted him from a music listener to a music maker. He started playing live with Roland drum machines and basslines emulating the acid sound of Chicago under the name of MD3 and would continue to do this for another two years.
Stephen recalls when things started to get out of control around the early nineties. A time when real Detroit techno and Chicago house music was hard to find and Rave music was on the increase. After numerous live shows throughout 1989/1991, Stephen retired to his bedroom to make music for the next three years. He spent his time wisely perfecting a sound that is uniquely his. All this paid of in 1995 when Stephen released his first EP on Djax up Beats (Holland). Label owner and DJ Saskia Slegers liked Stephens’s music so much that his first release would be an album. Stephen stayed loyal to the label and covered 8 releases between 1995 to 2000.
Soon after the first Djax releases Stephen was recording for other labels such as Soma, T&B, Drought, Scandinavia, to name a few. Stephen released an EP under the name Earl Brown called the cornucopia EP in 1996, the lead track “how I feel” made number 20 in Music magazines top 100 of 1996, where his talent was compared to that of Chicago innovator LIL’ LOUIS. Not a bad achievement for his second release.
Around the same time he contributed a track to Glasgow’s label Soma under the same name Earl Brown for their 50th release. He also collaborated with Envoy for two trax on his album Shoulder to shoulder.
Stephen decided to start his own label in 2000 called Realtime Records. The purpose of this project was to release all his own material that had been rejected from other labels. The reason was because Stephen believed they had missed something. After five very successful releases Stephen decided to put the label on hold.
All his early releases were getting Stephen a lot of attention so he started playing in the clubs again mostly playing live sets. Enjoying playing in Belgium, Germany, France, Copenhagen, and Oslo he would always return to play at his local club PURE in Edinburgh.
Here Stephen’s career would take another turning point when he was playing live before Derrick May one night. As soon as Derrick entered the club he approached Stephen to talk to him about his music. This was the beginning of a friendship that still lasts today. A deal was struck after long negotiations and Stephen released two EPs on the Legendary Detroit label Transmat in 2002.
Recently Stephen approached DJ Bone after purchasing the first release on Subject Detroit and the conversation led to him contributing trax for Bones mix CD. Soon after he was given the opportunity to record an EP called Subject Scotland as part of the Subject Detroit global series.
Stephen’s inspiration lies firmly in Detroit techno, his releases and live performances are proof of this. He chooses to give his music to labels that he respects, rather than make a certain style of music for a particular type of label. “That for me is fashion and music is not fashion Music is Music”.
Future projects include a new EP on Transmat. A remix for Mark Williams and to work with Mark on a joint release. Material for Arne Weinberg and Paul Mac should be available this year. To stay loyal to the subject family and release more material through Subject Detroit.