The members of CLOUT!, Grant Armour, Bradley Steptoe, Jordan Cunningham, Chris Le Monde & William Cunningham, met 5 to 7 years ago as teenagers in and around Southend, in the mists of a nationally covered localised counterculture (between 2004 and 2006). The underground counterculture in Southend at the time was a community of young people obsessed with the celebration of experimental music from the past. It championed and encouraged musical exploration, record collecting and enabled teenagers from the area to subject themselves to experimental music. This occurred during the emerging age of easy access to all music through the Internet. In Southend, experimental music from the past wasn't just the other side of the computer screen, it was in your town once a month, being brought back to life through a community of people. As teenagers this was a quite remarkable movement to be a part of, though we certainly didn't fully appreciate it at the time.
The members of CLOUT! bonded over record collecting and sonic equipment obsession, finding each other at the same parties or local haunts. CLOUT! formed organically from a group of friends - we never had to recruit or search for members in the group.
The members of CLOUT! initially began meeting up in pairs to record and experiment separately from one another around 4 years ago (2007’ish). The first song CLOUT! wrote and recorded was Maxwell's O.
To bring to life the songs that they had recorded separately and together, CLOUT! had their first practice as a band around mid-2009. CLOUT! first experimented live at their own night in Southend, called Beauty & the Beat (a reference to the album by Edan), on September 11th 2009. Despite its success, CLOUT! decided to postpone gigging as a band to write and develop as a band until they started regularly gigging at the beginning of September 2010. Since then they have played Offset Festival, The Cave Club, and started their own Hip-Hop, Soul, and Dancehall clubnight, SPEAK YA CLOUT!
Several incarnations later, 'Maxwell's O' was released as the A-side on their first EP. This EP is intended as a document: 'Maxwell’s O' combines their recorded and live sound, while other tracks 'It’s Too Late' and 'The Dodo Riddim' reflect their bedroom recorded sound. Along with these tracks the EP features a variety of remixes from artists they admire, perpetuating their creative technique of ‘passing on the song’. The choice of remixers for the EP reflects some of their musical interests, i.e. experimental leftfield electronica (in Kwes’s rework), 808/303 influenced Dance music (in Tom Furse’s remix), Dub, Jazz & 2-step (in Mote’s remix) and emerging Dance/Electronic styles, particularly Chicago Footwork (in the Mote RMX – CLOUT! Sample Rate Version); which came about as an accidentally sped up version of Mote’s remix. A ‘happy accident’ embraced by CLOUT! during the mastering process.