Every once in a while, we manage to get an interview or an exclusive of some kind that truly excites us, and today is one of those days. Paul Woolford, who's known for his releases on labels such as XL Recordings, Running Back, Houndstooth, Hotflush and Aus Music, has recently released a stunning 2-track project, Chaos, which focuses on the yin-yang dynamic between meditation and its tranquility, and chaos and madness. What results between the two is a stunning look into Woolford's mind in the present day.
We sat with the extraordinary artist to discuss his latest release through Eats Everything's Edible output, turning problems into opportunity, and more.
Hi Paul, thank you for taking the time to talk to us. You're gearing up for a massive release through Eat's Everything's record label. While Mediate is out now, what can people expect from the rest of the EP project?
Hello, it's a pleasure. So the record consists of two tracks - Chaos & Meditate - I think Meditate is in some ways a classic-sounding house record that encapsulates what many people know of a certain strand of my productions. I've used some of the string & orchestral influences of my recent work but held them back until the breakdown in a very high-energy framework. It's a Summer record and I can see it causing havoc, after testing it out on the road for about 9 months. Chaos is a different beast altogether, something that the more adventurous will have fun with - the idea is about creating something that's slightly disorientating, so in some parts it almost feels like the groove could collapse, but it holds together somehow and pays off with a pretty rough and raw sequence, before repeating the structure. They are polar opposites.
To go along with that, you also chose to release through Edible Records. What about the label drew you to working with them?
Mainly because they are all my friends. Dan has been a friend since we met when he broke through a few years ago, Nick Harris has been a friend for many years and we have worked on many projects together from various singles for NRK when he ran that, to the double mix compilation The Lab. Nicolas Dixon that does all the art work for the label is a friend from Leeds, and Rag in the management seat has been a mate for years as well, so it all made perfect sense. These people are working properly, there's no flaky bullshit involved, just proper heads doing it for the right reasons, so here we are.
To me, the word 'Meditate' indicates peace and tranquility and an introspective look inwards. What prompted the creation of this track, and how did this track relate to the idea of meditation?
It's all down to the moment in the centre of the track - if and when you meditate properly, there is a moment reached eventually of enlightenment - David Lynch calls it "diving down into the ocean of pure consciousness".
The title is a message to remind people to do it. I believe it should be a part of school's curriculum and I think that everyone on earth should be doing it daily.
You've dealt with a whole myriad of different labels and event production companies, etc, and undoubtedly dealt with a lot of frustrations along the way. How do you keep your focus on creating music?
Frustrating experiences can actually be transformational devices, it's all in how healthy and balanced your view is of a certain situation. I have regularly turned what initially looks like an annoyance into an opportunity, so I think it's vital to keep an open mind constantly. In terms how I keep focused - that's all down to getting good amounts of sleep, good food, and always feeding my mind with as much culture as I can consume. I'm eternally a fan, I have an enquiring mind and I can't ever see myself losing that hunger to ask questions. "What if?" is the daily question.
Finally, what can we expect from you for 2017?
Of the things I can talk about - another huge house record for a surprising (for some!) label, the release of the next Special Request double album 'Belief System', some very low-key white label action under different names and everything else I can't talk about just yet...
Chaos is out now on Edible, purchase it here.