Posts Tagged ‘Wolf Music’

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! 

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.

Cottam

Preston’s Cottam came to attention in 2009 with a series of limited edition 12″s of deep house and nu disco. Since then the father of three has been making a name for himself on a variety of respected labels and will be joining us in the lazer basement for Supermax’s night bumpin’ disco and deep jackin’ house next weekend. Resident Sigmund K caught up with him for a chat and recommended we listen to Cottam’s latest mix…

 Sigmund K: Cottam, for those who don’t know you, am I right if I introduce you this way: you grew up in raves near Manchester, then got into DJing but put your decks away when your first kid arrived. You then got a copy of Ableton and build tracks in your free time. Then one of your mates advised you to release them, so you decide to do so but undercover… that’s basically when it starts working out for you, you go back to DJing and start releasing on many labels including Use Of Weapons, Wolf Music, your own imprint Cottam, and recently on AUS Music. What am I missing in this very unusual career?

Cottam: I actually got into DJing before I’d ever even been to a party but that’s definitely what got me hooked, those early parties have a lot to answer for hahahaha. I played many many places around the local area for years but nothing very serious. My decks only got put away after my third child; three children take up a lot of space and time and nothing was really happening gig wise for me so I thought it was time to move on (not from loving music you understand). I started messing about making stuff on Ableton while my partner, Sian, was expecting Jacob, who’s now three. It wasn’t a conscious decision to keep the first releases undercover…. the guy at the distribution company just suggested leaving them blank with a colour code and I was just happy to have some of my music out. Yeah, after those first three releases the DJ work started to come again and then I got taken on by Warm Music and it’s all gone from there really.

Was your first decision to release undercover reflecting your desire to be “underground”? I am saying this because I know that you used to go to many raves, listening to the likes of Surgeon, Regis, etc. Are they still a big influence for you today?

There was no plan to be underground on my part…. the distribution company (Rubadub) may well have done, thank god. They really looked/look after me. As for Surgeon and Regis and the old raves, yeah they were a big part of my life, and although I wouldn’t really buy much of the harder material these days I still have a soft spot for all their music. I do dig them out at home from time to time and get lost in spinning them, great stuff to DJ/create with so it’s always fun.

Your recent release on Aus is a bit different from your past releases, are you still experimenting through your productions? Are you still exploring new styles and kind of tempos?

I just enjoy making stuff. I haven’t had much time at all recently but that’s all gonna change in September when my youngest, Jacob, starts nursery. I’m gonna have 5 afternoons a week free… Can’t wait to get stuck into it. Hopefully you’ll hear my sound evolve after a few months. The plan is to try all sorts, if it works it works, if it doesn’t it doesn’t! But I intend to enjoy myself and give it my all.

So you have been DJing around a lot in the past years, do you have a good experience performing when you come to London? Do you like small venues like Dalston Superstore, with a smaller capacity but maybe a much stronger contact with the crowd?

I love small venues and I love big venues (if they’re good), but yeah, small venues are my kinda thing. Nice and close to the crowd is the way I like it. Nice small place, good set up/soundsystem, good crowd, big smiles… that’s what it’s about!

What are you preparing next? I guess that you must be quite busy at home, how do you see your career evolving in the next years?

I’m just in the process of finishing another EP for Aus Music and another in my Cottam series. Also got a remix of Jamie L coming out soon on Paper Recordings. Got another slightly techy thing coming up on an old friend’s soon to be born label…. Apart from that I’m just plodding on until September when I’ll be able to fully immerse my self in making stuff. I really can’t say how my career will evolve… I’ll have to wait and see…

Finally, is there a track that you always take with you before a set, like a lucky opener or a dance floor killer that you have to play?

Big tracks I take everywhere….

New World Aquarium – Trespassers

Femi Kuti – You Better Ask Yourself (Jose Marquez remix)

Levon Vincent – Double Jointed Sex Freak

LTJ – Mellow Mood

There’s far too many mention and I don’t always play them.

Cottam plays Supermax on Friday 22nd June from 9pm – 3am alongside residents Sigmund K, Carlos Baffo, Eugene & Mortimer, Gunther Schlass and Educate.

Photo credit: IGR Photography