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Artist Focus

Special Request


Meet Paul Woolford aka Special Request! Under his Paul Woolford moniker, he’s played at Tobacco Dock twice and will join us again on the 12th March with his other moniker Special Request. He’ll be bringing in what he descibred as a self indulgent project…

“I think most artists have a gut feeling for how something will be reacted to – much of the impact is down to presentation, timing and so on, but with this project I really didn’t care for any of that. It was more important to me than “will anyone else get it?” – I didn’t really give a fuck about anyone else.”

Electronic music can often be engaged in a constant tug-of-war between nostalgia and futurism, and Paul Woolford’s Special Request project exemplifies the convergence of those two ideals.  Taking inspiration from the early rave era, and junglist sounds, it’s a very strong and British sound, and a celebration of what’s come before whilst looking forward.  Released two years ago on Houndstooth, this VIP is a prime example of his wavey sound, that nods to his youthful loves.

It’s all about in the drums on this grimier tip, as he remixes Wiley for the Grime dons album. Originally produced by Teddy Music and featuring Teddy & JME, Special Request steps in to make his mark on the track- flipping it into techno/jungle banger.

And who can forget this one:

Special Request began as a reaction to Woolford’s frustration with the more professionalised aspects of his career alongside a desire for reinvigoration, and to take him back to some of his first loves.

Speaking to RBMA as he launched the alias in 2012 he explains the inspirations behind this sound here:

“It was a combination of factors. I wanted to get some exhilaration back into the act of producing and I was reacting against a situation within the business side of the industry that I saw through. As soon as I started to make the tracks I felt invigorated – it quickly became clear that this was about unlocking something more than just the actual music. When the tracks almost write themselves, maintaining the flow is the smartest thing you can do. My life revolves around making this process as smooth as possible – there’s a lot of social sacrifice, but there always has been.”

I know you can’t turn back…