John Gosling & Steve Mackey

Steve Mackey and John Gosling, both formerly members of famously innovative British bands, found life after rock-‘n’-roll by reinventing themselves as now famously innovative sound designers. Mackey, 46, played bass in Pulp (and recently reunited with Jarvis Cocker and company for a tour) and has continued to produce and remix for other artists, including M.I.A., Kelis, and Florence + the Machine. Gosling, 50, who played drums and keyboard in the ’80s for the legendary art-rock outfit Psychic TV, had left the band by 1987, and in the following decade found new life as a globe-trotting DJ, at a time when that still involved hauling crates of records around. “My back still bears witness to that era,” Gosling says. “But it was a good way to see the world.” Through his work as a DJ, Gosling met Alexander McQueen and began creating music for his shows. “McQueen would ask for things that were so off-the-wall that it was easier to make them than to look for them,” says Gosling. “Like, soundtracks with wolves and traditional Scottish music crossed with punk . . . with wolves.” Gosling eventually became musical director for the McQueen brand, which led to his work creating soundtracks for Chloé. A few years ago, he joined forces with Mackey, who, in addition to his production work, had been assembling soundscapes for Giles Deacon. “Giles is a friend and has really interesting taste in new electronic music,” says Mackey, who is married to stylist and Love editor Katie Grand. “Giles invited me to put music together for his fashion shows, and then I spent a few years working with Miucca Prada on her Miu Miu label.” He adds, “I knew John as a DJ and from Psychic TV. He was working with McQueen and doing some interesting music—quite dark and aggressive.” It turns out that all those years of playing live music have helped Mackey and Gosling stand out in the world of sound design, where their mixes and original compositions for shows have placed them on the leading edge of the art. “We both bring a lot of musical knowledge,” says Gosling. “So it’s easy for us to play or program a piece of music ourselves.”