Through his work as Dj, Producer, Dancefloor experimentalist, Remixer,
Collaborator and label owner, Paul Woolford has succeeded in bringing a rare
level of artistry to the world of modern dance music and in doing so, made an
enduring global impact. His name is synonymous with high-quality.
"When Paul played in Detroit at The Works with Derrick May and I, it was the most spiritual set I've heard him play…"
CARL CRAIG interviewed for by WeLoveTV June 2011.
"If you need any more evidence that Mr Neverending-Purple-Patch is doing things with percussion (in all it's different flavours) that would make Richie Hawtin proud, then this is it 10/10" 'Pandemonium' Single of the Month IDJ MAGAZINE
"A Staggeringly on-form Paul Woolford provides the missing ingredient. For reference points, think Carl Craig's epic version of Junior Boys' 'Like A Child'. Yup, that good."
DJ MAGAZINE review of Paul Woolford's Morgan Geist Remix
"The highlight of the Space Terraza at We Love. Every week Paul Woolford clarified, refined and defined the sound of one of the most important rooms in contemporary dance music each Sunday."
"Paul Woolford's "The Truth" should be filed in anyone's collection next to other classic UK techno albums such as LFO's "LFO" Chemical Brothers' "Exit Planet Dust", Underworld's "Dubnobasswithmyheadman" and Aphex Twin's "I Care Because You Do"
Releases in 2011 include the debut single for Hotflush, the cutting edge label owned by Scuba, both the debut and the second single for Carl Craig's Planet E Communications in Detroit featuring incendiary reworks of 'Razor Burn' , two releases on London's Phonica label with a rework from German cult figure Kassem Mosse, reworks of Woolford tracks on Intimacy from Appleblim & Berghain's Norman Nodge plus remixes for Francesco Tristano for InFine in France and T Williams for the UK's cult Local Action imprint amongst a brace of Woolford's sharpest material yet. These releases have united DJs across the board in their support from Surgeon to Skream, Carl Craig to Ben UFO.
This is all in addition to the giveaway of 10 classic re-edits in July on Soundcloud for which there were just under 20,000 downloads within a week. These moves clearly place Paul Woolford in a unique position which has led to him playing his debut Detroit gig in Detroit with Carl Craig & Derrick May - Woolford played the middle slot… and to opening up the main stage of the Detroit Electronic Music Festival in March.
Woolford's work with Planet E also extends into playing his part in the label's 20 Year anniversary celebrations with a series of gigs in key locations including New York's District 36, Detroit's The Works, Berlin's Berghain, London, Vienna, Holland's Extrema festival and beyond. On the booking side Woolford was invited to join the UK's esteemed Paramount Artists and not only that, the roster of Detroit Premiere Artists for North America - testament to the regard in which he is held.
As a remixer, Woolford's approach is from a wider perspective than merely the dancefloor, although this is the initial spark for much of his interpretations. He chooses to accentuate the emotional moments and quite often bring out a melancholic side of the original using repetition and layering of sequences. The number overriding factors upon deciding to take on any remix is the strength of the song and the options for creativity within. Often Woolford will turn down remixes if the material does not lend itself open to wider interpretation.
The projects through Woolford's Intimacy studio have included Depeche Mode (the single 'Hole To Feed' on Mute), Simian Mobile Disco featuring Jamie Lidell (Off The Map), Morgan Geist 'The Shore' for Environ (for which Beatportal awarded a 'Bomb Alert' and DJ Mag included in their 'Killers'), The Juan Maclean 'Happy House' for New York's DFA, DJ Hell feat P.Diddy 'The DJ' for Gigolo in Berlin, and Chelonis R. Jones 'The Cockpit' for Systematic, also in Germany. Aside from these projects, Woolford has worked remixes and production for the Mercury Music Prize-nominated act Maps for Mute Records, and also the Ewan Pearson-produced band Delphic, having sequenced their Minimix for Annie Mac's Radio 1 show. The quality of each of these projects speaks for itself. Woolford also did his own Minimix for Annie Mac's R1 show in 2006, using the history of techno music as the focus.
Initially inspired by the constant throb of the radio throughout his childhood, the seeds of his future direction were sewn by the time a record-collecting addiction kicked in properly during his teenage years. This insatiable appetite for musical stimulation has driven Woolford to explore far beyond the cutting- edge house and techno that is his stock-in-trade, and led him down more experimental paths, embracing aspects of improvised jazz through his collaborative work with Paul Hession, and taking huge inspiration from the modern composition of Steve Reich and Philiip Glass. All this is distilled within the techno dynamic that Woolford has made second-nature.
Paul Woolford tours the world constantly as a guest dj of the finest clubs and festivals, and in keeping with this made his peak-time saturday night debut at Spain's esteemed Benicassim in summer 2009 and also at Glastonbury. Both shows are more famed for their rock acts and it's testament to Woolford's wide-range and inclusive values that he is as much a viable option to these events as he is to a 500 capacity underground sweatbox such as D-Edge in Sao Paolo or The Works in Detroit. Other favourites have included Warung in Santa Catarina, Womb in Tokyo, Goa in Madrid, Panaramabar in Berlin, Il Muretto in Venice where he held a 6-week summer residency, Chicago's Smartbar, Paris' The Mix, Manchester's Sankeys & The Electric Chair, Buenos Aires and Sao Paolo's Pacha, Riccione's Cocorico, Dusseldorf's Tribehouse, LA's Avalon, Las Vegas' Jet, Milan's Amnesia, Zurich's Q Club, a career-defining performance in 2007 at Serbia's Exit Festival and again in 2009, Buenos Aires' Creamfields event twice, Global Gathering, The Glade Festival, Glastonbury. Paul Woolford has a frequently exhausting schedule that runs into overdrive in the summer when his main weekly residency at WeLoveSpace on Sundays in Ibiza starts. He was awarded 'Best Newcomer' in Ibiza's DJ Awards in 2006, nominated in the Tech-House category in 2010, won DJ Magazine's Best Of British Best DJ Awards in 2010, and was nominated in 2007.
Many know Paul Woolford's name through the 2005 slow-burning hit "Erotic Discourse", released on 2020 Vision, the Leeds label with which he made his name initially. The success of this proved he has the ability to create a genre-defining sound and led to sales of over 15,000, capturing the imagination of DJs across the board from The Chemical Brothers, Richie Hawtin and DJ Hell to Francois Kevorkian, Laurent Garnier, Trevor Jackson and Erol Alkan. It was Erol Alkan that described the track as "a modern day psyche record" and the track became a classic, spawning a legion of copyists intent on imitating the studio technique at the heart of the track. Rather than replicate himself with a swiftly produced facsimile of the track as many and most djs and producers do, Woolford sharply turned left and his next 3 releases were EPs of detroit-inspired techno and deep house for UK stalwart NRK. The tracks '313', 'Sealed In Amber' and 'Demons' proved to be amongst Woolford's best work, and perfectly encapsulated that mood of integrity, rather than cashing on the previous success of 'Erotic Discourse'. Since this time Woolford has given birth to his Intimacy label which is now his first home to explore the myriad of different facets from across the house and techno divide, occasionally dipping into heavy experimentalism as with the collaboration with world-class free-jazz drummer Paul Hession on 'Vanguard', and also releasing the work of other artists such as Jet Project and Mat Playford. Intimacy is set to step up a gear in 2010.
Magazine Covers have included DJ Mag August 2006 (with Nic Fanciulli), One Week To Live October 2006, IDJ in January 2008 with a photo shoot from Tate Modern's Doris Salcedo installation "Shibboleth" (after a personal email from Woolford, Salcedo gave her express permission) and an exhaustive 5 page feature to mark the release of his "The Truth" album on 2020 Vision.
Irrespective of your position on the dancefloor or listening at home, Paul Woolford's tropes and idiosyncrasies are unmistakable and he has become a force to be reckoned with in modern dance music.