Myna Cycles

Techno lads hang with Cowley

Photo: Cameron Ward


Sounding like a bike shop for birds, Myna Cycles is actually the exciting new musical collaboration between Neil Cowley and Jacana People. Cowley, a contemporary pianist whose name will no doubt be familiar to you, is seemingly a world away from the more club-focused Jacana People. The Buckinghamshire duo run a neat line in blissed-out Bicep-style ambient electronics and place their influences as lying “somewhere between 90s rave culture, ambient, 70s psychedelia and environmentalism”.


Their eponymous debut EP combines Jacana’s sun-dappled dance music with the fragile acoustics of Cowley, and the result is a gorgeous collection of ambient techno. Just listen to Cowley’s melancholic piano elevate on the silken softness of ‘Tundra’, sounding like Kiasmos on ketamine, or perhaps a tranquilised Bonobo (the musician, that is). This EP was not their first meeting, though. Jacana had previously remixed Cowley’s still-water-smooth ambient piece, ‘Souls Of The S-Bahn’, while Cowley played keys on their charmingly scuffed 2021 single ‘And The Lake Was…’. When entering Cowley’s studio and seeing his collection of synths, the Jacana boys knew a more substantial collaboration was on the cards. “I was delighted to see their eyes light up,” says Cowley. “Clearly, like me, they love the challenge of creating fresh sounds from chunks of metal.”


Neil Cowley is something of a child prodigy. At the age of 10, he played a Shostakovich concerto to over 1,000 people at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall. He would go on to play piano on Adele’s multi-platinum album, ‘21’, but since disbanding The Neil Cowley Trio, his sound has taken a more electronic direction. Maybe ‘Myna Cycles’ is the culmination of his new musical journey. Or maybe it’s something simpler. “Hopefully, what this EP demonstrates is that I just like hanging out with Jacana People,” he says.

‘Myna Cycles’ is out on Cross Country

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