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Star Pixel are a duo based in Cambridgeshire, England creating Electro-Grunge. Formed in early 2020, they released their first single ‘The Circle’ in June 2021. Their debut album ‘Hadron Kaleidoscope‘ will be released on Friday 5th August 2022. Together, the duo have taken their mutual love for 90’s grunge and brought it up to date with a fresh modern sound and big dance beats.

The duo comprises Charlie Howell and Gavin Chappell-Bates, who performed together for over ten years in various bands, including Bokaata, Plus Guest and Up & Atom. Charlie devised the concept of Star Pixel, with a clear vision for a musical project which would blend various genres, most specifically grunge and EDM. After a barren creative period, Gavin was invigorated by the idea and the pair quickly began assembling a large collection of songs. Working remotely from one another at a time when they were unable to meet up or perform, they feverishly wrote, recorded and demoed separately, bouncing ideas of one another, in a perfect collaboration and fusion of ideas and styles.

Of the original concept, Charlie said:

I’ve always been interested in bands that work outside genres, or crossover between styles, and wanted to see what would happen if I combined the grunge guitar sounds of the 90s with contemporary electronic beats and production.

16 songs were written for the project, with ten making it onto the final album. They cover a wide range of themes including mental health, obsession, escape, the environment and the rise of technology. The first single to be released from the project, ‘The Circle’, stemmed directly from the situation that the songs were written and recorded in.

Of the song, Gavin says:

I wanted to write something positive, uplifting and hopeful, which talked about our shared humanity, what unites us not what divides. Because underneath we are all the same, regardless of whether we are musicians or Presidents.

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Charlie Howell has been writing and producing various strands of electronic music for over 20 years. Better known by his alter-ego psyclonic, he has written, recorded and released two albums to date. His last album ‘Found Sound’ was created 100% from his own audio recordings and sample of real-world sounds. It featured no instruments and no synthetic sounds, just a wide array of background noises, bleeps, tones, textures, and sounds from found objects and environments.

Favourite grunge album – TBC

Gavin Chappell-Bates is a singer-songwriter who has released two solo albums, the last of which, ‘The Last One’, was crowdfunded. His music has appeared on shows on BBC 6 Music and BBC Radio 2. He is also part of a musical collective which he co-founded called Peace On Your Plate. He co-wrote their debut single which was recorded at Abbey Road Studios and reached number 48 in the official downloads chart.

Favourite grunge album – Siamese Dream, Smashing Pumpkins

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Influences / recommended if you like

  • A Perfect Circle
  • Alice In Chains
  • Danny Byrd
  • David Bowie
  • Faith No More
  • Feeder
  • Filter
  • Massive Attack
  • Muse
  • Nero
  • Nine Inch Nails
  • Nirvana
  • Pendulum
  • Placebo
  • Rage Against The Machine
  • Royal Blood
  • Skunk Anansie
  • Smashing Pumpkins
  • Soundgarden
  • The Prodigy
  • The XX