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Essential listening: Paul Woolford

Essential listening: Paul Woolford

Paul Woolford is one of the most versatile DJ/producers to come out of the UK, creating all kinds of different music under numerous aliases. The Leeds-based musician has used his Bobby Peru guise to showcase a fondness of electro and tech house whilst Special Request deals in a more rugged sound. The latest body of work entitled Belief System encompasses numerous genres like jungle and house whilst not forgetting to share signature piano chords which are a stunning constant throughout Woolford’s productions.

After first realizing music was his calling in life when introduced to the club night Back to Basics, Woolford soon became an integral part of this event which had given him such a creative appetite, earning a residency. Appeal would soon start to grow further afield with the mighty Space (now Hi) in Ibiza becoming his home every Sunday as part of a hectic tour schedule including all corners of the globe.

When Woolford decided to set up his own label Intimacy there was even more excitement. The creative license now at his disposal to share the most honest and bold sounds was a much celebrated moment and helped add a huge amount of intrigue around upcoming releases.

Untitled (Call Out Your Name)
If ever you wanted a more definitive recent example of the way he uses piano chords to add such emotion this track is a fine specimen. The vocals provide additional warmth to this record and help create a really uplifting mood. At the same time the masterful use of a certain instrument by Woolford never fails to evoke a soothing presence, as is the case with this song.

A vivid reflection of Woolford’s desire to share the darker side of house and techno, this record offers a murky feel with the arrangement of minimal synths. The intermittent cymbals help to further define this record as one which encapsulates the often mysterious feel associated with the aforementioned genres, particularly the latter. The way in which this track leaves a wake of intrigue would suggest this one is an essential at any after-hours party.

Special Request is a moniker Woolford established to specialize in a less delicate type of music and Amnesia is a prime example of that conquest. The way in which it starts out with a stark selection of drums makes for a very direct listening experience. Midway through there is a brief return of tranquillity courtesy of another delectable arrangement of piano chords before the piercing drums restore the track’s jagged feel.

Stairfoot Lane Bunker
The distinctly contrasting musical path which can be attributed to records put out under Woolford’s Special Request alias is a prominent feature of this track. At the start the meandering selection of synths helps to really stir up a vale of gloominess before a completely wondrous shift into jungle beats creates a beautiful chaos. Combining such contrasting styles results in a rather immense listening experience and is a distinctive tilt to Woolford’s incredible talents as a producer.

Curtain Twitcher
A rather apt track title which captures the sense of pandemonium this record creates with an emphasis on the more abstract sounds of house and techno. Everything from the constantly protruding drums to the bold synth arrangements helps to create another song which evokes pure craziness and therefore accomplishes the primary aim for Woolford when he established Special Request.

Paul Woolford appears at The Warehouse Project on Friday 20th and Saturday 21st October, also appearing at Store Street in December as support for The Chemical Brothers. December will also see him at Rise Festival, where winter sports and clubbing collide at Les Deux Alpes.

Photo courtesy of Paramount Artists

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Essential listening: Paul Woolford

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