Posts Tagged ‘Medlar’

Wolf Music

By Pavliné


SWEAT is back at Superstore for another round of proper house music, disco bangers and tropical nonsense! For its third edition at Dalston Superstore, it seemed a natural fit to invite two house and disco fanatics whose record collection and knowledge is rivalled by few: Wolf Music! Stuart and Matt have been DJing since 2009, which also saw the inception of Wolf Music Recordings, one of the UK’s most influential house labels of the decade. They’re talking shop, favourite disco tracks and answer THE classic Superstore question asked by SWEAT’s resident Pavliné!

Hey guys! We can’t wait to have you join us for SWEAT! Tell us a bit about Wolf Music and and what drove your impulse to create your own label?

S: I’d been involved in various musical endeavours before I met Matt but had never run a label. I thought, at least if it fails we’ll have some records to give out to our friends for their birthdays/Christmas/wedding presents! Luckily it didn’t, and we’re still riding that wave.

M: I was already running a label when the opportunity to work with Atmosfear Dancing in Outer Space came up. It’s an all-time favourite of mine and I couldn’t pass it up. I knew that what I wanted to do with it didn’t suit the current label so I decided to start something new. I asked Stu to join me and that something new went on to be WOLF.

If you had to choose one record to represent Wolf Music, which one would it be?

S: That’s a tough question, as over the past eight years styles and artists have shifted. However I think we’ve stayed true to the sound we set out to represent, quality house music. We’re also around 60 releases in so there’s a lot to choose from! I’m going to pick something from 2013, Medlar‘s debut album Sleep. In my opinion an absolute masterpiece. You can listen to the whole album with the accompanying video by Letty Fox here.

M: I’d have to agree with Stu on this question. The album is a real melting pot of sounds that all make sense when listened to as a complete piece.

You recently celebrated eight years of Wolf Music. What can we expect from the label in the year to come?

S: Hopefully we’ll be able to realise our dream of launching a range of branded fidget spinners.

M: To keep pushing the sound and culture that we identify with, and to buy that second super-yacht from the spoils.

You recently published a vinyl-only mix of soulful house. What was the idea behind this? Can you tell us a bit about your relationship to vinyl records?

S: The idea behind the mix was to showcase records from the golden era of soulful house, a sound that doesn’t get as much love as some other sub genres of house music. Matt & I have also played this style of house in our sets amongst more deeper cuts so we decided to take the time to dig into our collections to expose people to records that Matt and I class as classics.

The fact it was a vinyl mix was more the fact that Matt & I own those tracks on vinyl. Of course vinyl holds a special place in our hearts and we continue to push the medium through the WOLF releases and when DJing. I wouldn’t call ourselves vinyl purists though.

M: I don’t often hear DJs playing good vocals in clubs and this was a chance to show people they need not be afraid – there’s loads of amazing vocal tracks that still bump.

What can we expect from your set at Superstore?

S: I’ll most likely be rolling through with a bag full of vocal house & ecstasy disco

M: Pure Drama

Can you think of a track that would fit the tropical and hedonistic aesthetic of SWEAT?

S: Me’Shell Ndegeocello If That’s Your Boyfriend (He Wasn’t Last Night) (Mad Sex Remix). Lil louis helping Me’Shell throw shade from ’94

M: Stu’s gone house so I’m going disco. Bobby Womack’s I Feel A Groove Comin’ On

’cause I do too…

Now for the classic Dalston Superstore question, which is: if we had a time machine ready to take you to any dance floor, past present or future, where would you like to go and why?

S: I guess the easy answer would be to watch Larry Levan at Paradise Garage but I’d quite like to go back to last weekend at Love International to make sure I could leave the dance floor before Young Marco played Alphaville’s Forever Young and killed my vibe.

 Pavliné: I love Young Marco but Forever Young, ouch!

M: I’d like to see Siano at his Gallery peak. Before disco was called disco and the DJ would play whatever would move the floor. Then if there was still juice in the time machine I would go catch Ron Hardy bringing down the walls at the music box.

Forever Young though…


Catch Wolf Music at Sweat this Friday 14 July from 9pm-3am at Dalston Superstore! 

How The Other Half Lives

This Saturday sees two of our favourite parties come to Superstore for an excellent team-up taking place over both floors. The basement plays host to Hot Boy Dancing Spot, where special guest Rory Phillips, fresh from a US tour that even took in a celebrated Beats In Space appearance, will join residents The Lovely Jonjo and Hello Mozart. Meanwhile, upstairs, vinyl-obsessives Drop The Needle return for another journey through the depths of their record bags.

We caught up with DTN guest Goncalo Pereira aka ZNTN from record label and mixtape series How The Other Half Lives to quiz him on all things wax ahead of the party…

Why the cassette tape limitations on the HTOHL mixtapes?

As I didn’t want people to try to use obvious dance music genres or edits I thought that referring to it as a mix-tape would help to put it in perspective. No mixing and a short amount of time will make people only get their favourites and not care if a track is easily mixable or not. Also making a reference to cassettes might bring back memories of old tapes. 

Is there much, or any, crossover with tracks that feature on them, to what you play out?

Depends on the night. It’s a great way to find new tracks and I’ve had a couple residencies that worked around the same sort of music selection and mixing style, but I’m mostly booked for more of a club type of night. I do try to mix it up a bit if it’s early enough and bring some weird gems through the night but I suppose this project is an outlet for music I don’t usually play out.
 
Which one do you find yourself coming back to more often that not?
 
I try to go over all of them every now and then and my best-of keeps on changing, I think some of them take a while to get to you. I’d suggest as a starting point the mix-tapes by Ivan Smagghe, Bennedict Bull’s four part mix-tape, Romain BNO, Scott Fraser, Justin Robertson, JD Twitch…
 
What can we look forward to on the record label for the rest of the year?
 
I just released a couple weeks ago a double 12” by The Draughtsman (Alex Egan), that includes six original tracks and remixes by Cosmo Vitelli, Tim Paris, Daniel Avery and Roman Flugel.

Currently I am working on release number four which includes a new project called Herman Brahns (Unlikely and Medlar) with remixes by Scott Fraser and DMX Krew.

Plus getting back on guest mix-tapes and more of my own original material.

What’s currently on your stereo?
 
Currently on my stereo or piled next to it are Office Of Future Plans, The Asphodells, Iron & Wine – Kiss Each Other Clean, Yo La Tengo – Fade, Macadam Mambo 003, Anthony Naples – Moscato, Rogue Edits 003.
 
What’s your favourite record store ever?
 
Embarrassed to pick favourites but I make a weekly visit to Rough Trade for my ‘rock’ collection and to Phonica for my ‘electronic’ collection. Kristina and Sounds Of The Universe are also unmissable. Back in Lisbon I’d pick Flur as a mandatory stop.
 
What was the last record you bought?
 
You can never buy just one and you can tell how divided I feel about my collection which prompted the mix-tape project.

Last week includes Crackboy – Crackwood, Doubleheart – Roots, Brassica – Temple Fortune, Jawbreaker/Jawbox split, Husker Du – Everything Falls Apart…

Why is wax still so important?
 
If you’re paying for something it has to count – I completely understand the necessity for digital for it’s portability and accessibility but digital-only releases are disposable. If you’re willing to release a vinyl record or to pay for one then there’s more effort involved and that will keep the quality on another level. The records you buy on vinyl will most likely be your favourites. Plus the obvious higher quality and amazing artwork! Having said that I love when albums come with voucher for digital.

 

Discogs or crate digging?

I have to say it’s usually Discogs, I do some digging but mostly trying to track down records I’ve missed or are out of print. There are also a lot of American labels that I admire which don’t seem to do particularly well in the UK so it’s impossible to find them in second-hand shops.

And what’s one track we can expect to hear from you at Drop The Needle?
 
Can I pick two? An upper and a downer?

Fader – Fortunate Alpha

Sophie – Nothing More To Say (Jackmaster Dub)

Join Goncalo in the top bar this Saturday 23rd February for Drop The Needle. Downstairs plays host to Hot Boy Dancing Spot with special guest Rory Phillips.

Medlar

This Friday sees young DJ and producer Medlar take to the lazer pit for a night of sleazy summer heat at Supermax. Currently a stalwart of underground UK house label Wolf Music, he’s been gaining prominence over the last year as one to watch out for. With little information on him available, we decided to investigate further and we’re lucky enough to catch up with Medlar himself and find out what’s what, who he is and maybe even dig up a few secrets about him… 

For those new to Medlar, how would you describe your sound both as a producer and as a DJ?

Medlar is pretty much just purist house music. I’ve been into various electronic music scenes, mainly UK-based underground styles, and house and disco came relatively late. I made Terrell and felt it would be worth attempting (and fun) to build on that sound. My DJ sets pretty much reflect the house and disco that I’ve discovered over the last year, old and new. I play as much vinyl as I can so I’m trawling Discogs a lot looking for tracks which may set me apart in some way.

Your label, Wolf Music, seems like such a tight-knit family- how did you come to be part of them?

Yes, it really is. I met Matt Neale (one of the Wolf Music bosses along with Stu Clarke) whilst working in the same office as him and Greymatter in Brighton about five years ago. I’d remained in contact with Greymatter – who’s provided me with so much great advice over the years – and I sent him Terrell. He suggested I send it to Matt and it’s blossomed from there. It’s an ideal place to be as a producer, their A&R skills are second to none and being able to get feedback on ideas from everyone involved is really useful, all very positive. Playing at label parties are so much fun too.

You’ve only been on the collective dance music radar since early last year. Can you tell us what path led you to the point you are at now with your music career?

I started playing around with electronic music production when I was about 14 or 15, so 2002, I’d been into playing drums and guitars (not very well) a bit before that. I basically tried to make jungle for years with no real understanding of it, and got really into buying records and DJing at the same time. My first release was a remix for Greymatter on his label Unique Uncut under my other alias, Klic, and I then did a solo release through UU too; ‘Karaoke/Hi Tech Soul’ (2009). Detroit techno influenced garage-y stuff, in the days before the “future garage” apocalypse. Since then I discovered house and disco and that’s kinda been it!

Who are your house heroes?

Larry Heard’s productions under Mr Fingers are some of the most raw, emotive electronic music I’ve ever heard, and is a definite point of reference for Medlar, so I guess he could be a hero of mine. I love the stories of the roots of house being sewn in the gay New York disco clubs, so Mancuso, Levan et al definitely get a salute!

People describe you as enigmatic… tell us a secret about yourself…

I designed some vinyl center labels, so officially the first record with my name on it is a grime 12″ from 2007 which features Skepta and Wiley. Possibly a very boring fact…

You’ve recently played festivals in both Sweden and Croatia, what else is on the festival list either as a punter or as a DJ for the remainder of what could be a soggy summer?

No more festivals on the horizon unfortunately. I was supposed to play the Stubnitz at Bloc alongside Unlikely (co-honcho of Wavey Tones), but let’s not talk about that…! I will be playing Vienna, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester and a few London dates over the next months.

What other labels, other than Wolf Music, are really piquing your interest at the moment?

The new FACES record is great, and I’m enjoying a lot of releases from Prime Numbers, Firecracker, Fourth Wave, Dekmantel, Delusions of Grandeur, more that I can’t recall right now. I’ve been buying as many Nice ‘N’ Ripe 12″s as I possibly can over the past year. 

You’re playing at the Tief 1st Birthday with Omar S in a few months, which must be pretty exciting! Who would be on your dream bill to share and why?

It’s pretty amazing to have been on some insane lineups already. The Wolf Music takeover of room 2 at Tief was pretty special, Todd Terje and Morgan Geist were in the next room and ours was rammed all night…. Tough question, I’ll go for Chic, Delia Derbyshire (RIP) and Todd Edwards.

And finally, what three tracks will be gracing your record bag for Supermax here at Dalston Superstore?

James Welsh & Terri Walker – M62

DMX Krew – Mustard Parasol

[third track in on Medlar’s Tief Mix

Soho – Hot Music

I’ve also been busy making edits/reworks of classic house and my own tracks, which can only be heard by seeing myself or any of the Wolf Music DJs play out, so I’ll play some of those for sure.

Medlar plays Supermax at Dalston Superstore on Friday 20th July with Vincent Duff, The Lovely Jonjo, Sigmund K, Eugene & Mortimer and Educate from 9pm – 3am.